Will Ruth Sunderland EVER engage with the evidence showing that appointing more women onto corporate boards leads to financial decline?

Ruth Sunderland is a business journalist with the Daily Mail. In January 2014 our associated organization Campaign for Merit in Business – C4MB – posted a blog piece critiquing her article on the financial returns in 2013 of FTSE100 and FTSE350 companies with female chief executives, here. An extract:

So, just one of the four female FTSE100 CEOs performed more strongly than the average male FTSE100 CEO in 2013. The article’s downplaying of female failure is breathtaking:

‘Cynthia Carroll left the top position at mining giant Anglo American earlier this year after disappointing investors and has been replaced by a man.’

‘Disappointing investors’? They lost their shirts. In the course of Cynthia Carroll’s five-year tenure at Anglo American £9 BILLION was wiped off the company’s value. The following is a link to our piece on the matter, along with further information on the performances of other female CEOs:


Six months later, in July 2014, C4MB posted another blog piece on Ms Sunderland – here – with the snappy title, ‘Is Ruth Sunderland (Daily Mail journalist) willing to engage with evidence showing that placing more women on corporate boards leads to financial decline?’ It was, of course a rhetorical question, and the answer was, ‘No’.

My thanks to Chloe for pointing me to a piece by Ms Sunderland in today’s edition of the Daily Mailhere. It’s titled:

Female success isn’t at the expense of men, so why does equality still look like a distant dream?

She may not have written the silly title, but she wrote the silly article. Excerpts:

The gender pay gap in this country is higher than the OECD average and we still have only a small handful of women in chief executive roles at top companies…

Many companies have made serious efforts to get more female directors into the boardroom, and to help women with children navigate work and home. So why does equality still look like a distant dream?

My personal theory is ‘the snowball effect’. [Will this morph into ‘the glass snowball’ in time, to join all the other glass-related myths?] While outrageous sexism is relatively rare these days, for fear of lawsuits if nothing else, many women experience small, but repeated episodes of discrimination – of being overlooked, not listened to, assumed not to be ambitious and so forth…

Despite the nonsense spouted by the ‘men’s rights’ brigade, female success does not come at the expense of male failure.

I shall email Ms Sunderland a link to this blog piece, and ask her if she’ll EVER be prepared to engage with the evidence – here – demonstrating a causal link between appointing more women onto corporate boards, and financial decline. Don’t hold your breath.

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