Mike Buchanan’s challenge of Kate Grussing, the founder of Sapphire Partners

Kate Grussing is the founder of Sapphire Partners, one of the first search firms to promote diversity in UK plcs. She is an ambassador for the 30 Per Cent Club and Women on Boards. In an article in today’s Sunday Times, she writes this:

Despite enormous evidence that strong representation of women helps businesses to generate better returns, the same people — often white, public-school-educated men — still seem to get the nod for key roles.

Kate Grussing is – does it really need saying yet again? – misrepresenting correlation as causation. During the nine years I’ve run Campaign for Merit in Business I’ve challenged a huge number of people (mainly women with vested interests for advocating for “more women on boards”) to provide evidence of a causal link between appointing more women to boards and “better returns”, and have yet to have any such evidence provided. The explanation couldn’t be simpler. There was already plenty of evidence before 2012 – from longitudinal studies – of a causal link between appointing more women to boards, and corporate financial DECLINE. So I shall be emailing Kate Grussing today to ask her to email me (mikebuchananuk@gmail.com) with some of the “enormous evidence” she claims exists that shows “strong representation of women helps businesses to generate better returns”. Don’t hold your breath, because the evidence doesn’t exist.

 

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