Josie Cox, a contributor to Forbes, is a blithering idiot

Another ridiculous article, this time in Forbes, implying a causal link between increasing diversity on corporate boards and improved corporate performance – Coronavirus And The Gender Pay Gap: An Excuse To Avoid Uncomfortable Facts. Ms Cox writes:

Research shows that Fortune 500 companies with the highest representation of women on their boards significantly outperform others. And companies with a smaller gender pay gap are likely to be more successful at attracting female talent which translate directly into a healthier bottom line.

Followers of this website should not need no reminder of the evidence compiled by this website many years ago, demonstrating a causal link between increased gender diversity on boards and corporate financial decline. The evidence is here.

The blithering idiot ends her article with this:

What will differentiate a satisfactory performance from an outstanding one might well be culture. There are of course many ways to safeguard corporate culture, but treating gender pay gaps with the attention and urgency they deserve is certainly a good place to start.

The attention and urgency that gender pay gaps deserve are precisely zero.

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Andrew Bailey appointed Bank of England governor

In the autumn there was some speculation that the next governor of the Bank of England might be a woman, and Dame Helena Morrissey – a woman with literally no experience of the banking sector – was confirmed to be on the shortlist. It was an appalling example of tokenism, and our associated website Justice for Men & Boys posted a blog piece, An open letter to Sajid Javid, Chancellor of the Exchequer: Why Dame Helena Morrissey is unfit to become the next Governor of the Bank of England.

Yesterday Sajid Javid announced the new governor was to be Andrew Bailey, and that the decision to appoint him had been made before the general election. Maybe the government was concerned about the impact on the general election of a media storm about the job going to another person of penis? Javid said in his statement:

He [Andrew Bailey] was the “stand-out candidate in a competitive field” with both international standing and experience of running a large complex organisation.

We can but hope this is the first of a series of appointments – including those of cabinet ministers – which are not made on the grounds of gender. Although Philip Davies being appointed the first male Minister for Women & Equalities would be good. A piece in yesterday’s Times:

Sajid Javid has named Andrew Bailey as governor of the Bank of England, making him one of the most powerful unelected officials in Britain.

Mr Bailey, who has had a rough ride as chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority since 2016, will take over from Mark Carney on March 16.

He was the “stand-out candidate in a competitive field” with both international standing and experience of running a large complex organisation, the chancellor said.

Mr Bailey, 60, was at the Bank of England for 30 years, where he rose to prominence resolving stricken banks and shoring up the system during the financial crisis before moving to the FCA. He has worked across monetary policy and financial stability and was a deputy governor before joining the conduct regulator.

Mr Javid said: “It is a tribute to his integrity that he emerged from the most serious crash in living memory with his reputation enhanced.”

However, his reputation has taken a bashing since he took over at the FCA. He has been accused of being slow to react to a number of financial scandals that left tens of thousands of people out of pocket. His critics have called him ponderous and weak.

Gina Miller, the anti-Brexit campaigner and wealth manager, said: “It’s absolutely scandalous — if you look at his record at the FCA and what has happened under his watch — to have someone like that now in charge of Bank. He intervened after things. If you look at all the things on his watch, the culture has been to do things at the very last minute.”

Others pointed to his career before the FCA, where financial scandals come with the job since it oversees 60,000 firms. At the Bank he was highly respected.

George Buckley, UK economist at Nomura, said: “It’s a good choice, a steady choice. It’s nice to see they’ve chosen someone for their capacity to do the job as opposed to whether they are a supporter or not of the government.”

Mr Bailey, 60, said that he was honoured to take over from Mr Carney “particularly at such a critical time for the nation as we leave the European Union”.

The governor plays almost as important a role for household finances as the government. He is in charge of committees that set interest rates and oversee financial stability. He can determine the cost of borrowing, ration mortgages, demand that banks withhold dividend and bonus payments and put them into resolution.

The Bank operates independently of the government and Mr Javid was keen to stress that its independence would be protected following political attacks on Mr Carney during the Brexit referendum and afterwards.

The announcement was symbolically made in the same room that Gordon Brown revealed in 1997 that the Bank would be given operational independence. Mr Javid said: “It is critical that the governor is independently minded and that the institution makes whatever decision it feels necessary without any interference whatsoever from any politician.”

Mr Bailey had been selected by the Conservatives before the election was called but delayed making the appointment until today.

Mr Carney, 54, has agreed to stay on an extra month and a half, from January 31 to March 15, to ensure that there is an “orderly transition”, the chancellor said. He thanked Mr Carney for his “distinguished six and a half years of service”. The Treasury will now begin a search for a new FCA chief executive.

Mr Bailey will be paid a basic salary of £495,000 — more than Mr Carney’s £480,000 but a smaller overall package because Mr Carney received an additional £250,000 living allowance. At the FCA Mr Bailey’s basic salary was £449,000 and he received a bonus of £68,000 last year.

Mr Bailey will get no bonus at the Bank and he has taken a less generous pension than Mr Carney. He beat several serious contenders to the top job, including a number of women. [J4MB emphasis]

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International Men’s Day: Stephen Frost, CEO and Founder of Frost Included, is a mangina and a blithering idiot (but I repeat myself)

At the top of this website there’s a quotation from Milton Friedman, the late American economist who won the Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences in 1976:

Few trends could so thoroughly undermine the very foundations of our free society as the acceptance by corporate officials of a social responsibility other than to make as much money for their shareholders as possible.

Those who work in “Diversity and Inclusion” are parasites, one and all. Some are manginas as well, selling out their fellow men for personal gain. An example is Stephen Frost, who had an article published in Forbes yesterday. His profile on the article:

I am CEO and Founder of Frost Included, a diversity and inclusion consultancy. I work with individuals, teams and organizations to embed inclusive leadership in their decision-making, to benefit them and the world at large. This involves work on strategy, data, governance, leadership and systems design. Previously, I was Head of Diversity and Inclusion at KPMG, the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and Stonewall’s first Workplace director. I was educated at Oxford and Harvard and my team and I have won numerous awards for our work. I have lectured at Harvard Business School, Singapore Management University and Sciences Po in France and I also serve as an Advisor to the British Government. I am the author of The Inclusion Imperative (2014), co-author of Inclusive Talent Management (2016) and co-author of Building an Inclusive Organisation (2019).

The Forbes article is the most ignorant article I’ve ever read about International Men’s Day, and it’s appropriate that Stephen Frost, a mangina, wrote it – Should We Be Celebrating International Men’s Day?

My day can only get better from here.

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If everyone who read this gave us £5.00 – or even better, £5.00 or more, monthly – we could change the world. £5.00 monthly would entitle you to Bronze party membership, details here. Benefits include a dedicated and signed book by Mike Buchanan. Click below to make a difference. Thanks.

Equality campaigners ditch former McDonald’s boss Steve Easterbrook

A piece in today’s Times. The description of Catalyst as “equality campaigners” – it’s a radical feminist organization – is evidence of journalistic naivety and laziness, while Steve Easterbook’s presence on the board of the organization is evidence of the capitulation of “big business” to feminists. We’ve had things to say about Catalyst on this website, including their conflation of correlation with causation with respect to the financial impact of increasing gender diversity on boards.

The Times article:

The McDonald’s chief executive sacked over an affair with a junior colleague has been removed from the board of a women’s campaign group.

Steve Easterbrook, 52, who was ousted from his £1.2 million a year job as boss of the world’s largest fast food company, had been a “champion for change” for Catalyst, a not-for-profit organisation which seeks “to build workplaces that work for women”. [J4MB: Translation – workplaces where women are advanced ahead of men, regardless of their merit.]

Last night the group said it was “concerned” to learn about his consensual affair and all mention of his name was removed from its website.

However, Oxford University, where the British executive is a fellow and “corporate reputation expert”, said it would stand by him.

Mr Easterbrook’s departure from Catalyst emerged hours after he quit his role yesterday on the board of Walmart. The company, which owns the British supermarket chain Asda, said in a regulatory filing that his resignation “was not due to any disagreement with the company on any matter relating to its operations, policies or practices”.

Catalyst said: “We believe the decision to remove him as CEO [of McDonald’s] and from the board was the right thing to do and represents the company’s ongoing commitment to building respectful, safe and inclusive workplaces.

“Ensuring a workplace where everyone can thrive requires a long-term, intentional commitment from those in leadership — especially CEOs. Catalyst has a long-standing relationship with McDonald’s; we will continue to work with its leadership and companies across the globe to transform cultures and create real and lasting change.”

Mr Easterbrook, who is credited with having revived McDonald’s fortunes in recent years, was fired after a board meeting for breaching company rules over a relationship with an unnamed junior colleague.

It has emerged he could leave with as much as £40 million in pay and shares. He will receive about £500,000, half his basic pay, but it is thought he retains shares and options worth millions.

Oxford University said: “This will not affect his position as a visiting fellow.”

Last night the family of David Fairhurst, who was sacked as McDonald’s global human resources head on Monday, accused the company of forcing him out because he knew about Mr Easterbrook’s affair. One told the Daily Mail: “They are trying to make out that he knew what was going on, but he was in a very difficult position. That was his boss after all.”

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Masculine culture is damaging your business – here’s how and why you should change it

A huge steaming pile of bullshit from Business Matters, which bills itself as “UKs leading business magazine”. The piece is so utterly woeful that the writer isn’t named, presumably to stop her becoming an object of ridicule.

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An open letter to Sajid Javid, Chancellor of the Exchequer: Why Dame Helena Morrissey is unfit to become the next Governor of the Bank of England

We’ve just posted this, along with the evidence that increasing gender diversity on boards leads to a decline in corporate performance.

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If everyone who read this gave us £5.00 – or even better, £5.00 or more, monthly – we could change the world. £5.00 monthly would entitle you to Bronze party membership, details here. Benefits include a dedicated and signed book by Mike Buchanan. Click below to make a difference. Thanks.

‘Men as Change Agents’ board meets for first time

Another day, another ill-considered ideologically-driven anti-business initiative intended to increase the number of women on corporate boards. I’ve archived the piece just published by Personnel Today, my comments – also archived – are “awaiting moderation”. I’m more likely to win a gold medal for pole vaulting at the next Olympics, than the comments be published.

One day the business community will wake up and realise the Empress has no clothes, but how much damage will have been done by then, and what will be the cost to business of unravelling the mess?

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Helena Morrissey, mother of nine children, whose husband is a Buddhist monk, is tipped to be the first female Governor of the Bank of England in its 325-year history

A piece in The Daily Mail, updated today. Wikipedia’s details on the career of Helena Morrissey:

Morrissey began her career at the New York and London bond desks at Schroders. Finding her career path blocked there, she moved to Newton Investment Management in the early 1990s as a fixed income fund manager.

Morrissey became Newton’s chief executive; as of 2015, it manages £47 billion of assets.

She is Head of Personal Investing at Legal & General Investment Management, which has over £1 trillion of assets under management (2019).

Morrissey has no more experience in banking than the vast majority of people reading this blog piece. So what, precisely, puts her in strong contention to become the next Governor of the Bank of England? Nothing, if you exclude ideologically-motivated reasons.

People familiar with this website will be aware of the longstanding pro-feminist bias of the Bank of England, including under the present Governor, Mark Carney. Morrissey was the founder of The 30% Club, an organization which has relentlessly implied that the observed correlation between boardroom gender diversity and financial performance indicates a causal link, a cynical lie to suggest there’s a business case for appointing more women on boards. In fact, as followers of this website know very well, the evidence from longitudinal studies all point in one direction – there’s a clear causal link between appointing more women on boards, and corporate financial DECLINE. If anything, the business case is to appoint fewer female directors, not more.

Our many blog pieces on Morrissey are here. C4MB was publicly challenging her as early as 2012 – an example here.

So, the next Governer of the Bank of England could be a lying feminist (but I repeat myself). What could possibly go wrong?

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An open invitation to Philip Aldrick, Economics Editor of The Times

I’ve been a subscriber to The Times for some years, despite the paper’s enthusiasm for spreading feminist narratives, no matter how clearly they’re based on lies. Philip Aldrick’s profile on The Times website:

Philip Aldrick is economics editor and an economics columnist for The Times, covering the daily news and writing two opinion pieces a week. He joined the paper in 2013 from The Daily Telegraph, where he held the same role. Prior to that he was banking editor at the Telegraph during the financial crisis, winning several awards including business and finance journalist of the year at the 2011 Press Awards. He was shortlisted again for his economics columns in the 2017 Press Awards.

@philaldrick

His article in today’s Times, which led to me writing an open letter inviting him to become the first mainstream media journalist in the world to tell the truth about the impact of increasing female representation on boards:

Business executives remain stubbornly male, pale and stale, despite progress on bringing women into the boardroom, governance experts have said.

Between 1996 and 2017, the share of women in FTSE 100 executive roles has risen from 1 per cent to only 3 per cent, according to ICSA: The Governance Institute. It analysed the boards of Britain’s top 100 listed companies for its report A View at the Top.

The slow progress on gender diversity in key decision-making roles has been masked by a big increase in non-executive positions. Female representation on FTSE 100 boards has risen from 4.1 per cent in 1996 to 28 per cent in 2017. The institute said that the findings showed “a lack of genuine diversity”.

Improving gender diversity on boards is one of the government’s core policy goals. In 2016 the Hampton- Alexander Review set a target that women should hold 33 per cent of board and senior leadership positions in the FTSE 350 by the end of 2020.

Figures released this month suggest that companies are on track to meet the challenge, with 32.1 per cent of FTSE 100 board positions occupied by women in November and 27.5 per cent for the FTSE 250. Only four of Britain’s 350 largest listed companies have no women board members.

Kelly Tolhurst, a business minister, said: “These figures show there are now more women than ever before at the top of UK business.”

However, the institute’s analysis suggests that far more effort is needed if advances are to last. Without more progress, “there will be little change in the C-Suite in coming years”, it said.

Unrepresentative boards may be doing shareholders a disservice. Studies have shown that companies with women on the board perform better. [J4MB emphasis.]

The institute is a 125-year-old body that works with regulators to champion high standards of governance. Its research was a follow-up review to similar analysis undertaken in 1998 by Elisabeth Marx, a leadership consultant.

It added that diversity was about more than gender balance. “While there has been progress in gender diversity at non-executive director level, boards remain more obviously male, as well as significantly whiter than the British population,” it said. “Directors are increasing in age, with little diversity in terms of educational or career background.”

The average age of a FTSE 100 board director was 58.5 years in 2017, compared with 56 in 1996. A greater proportion came from a background of accountancy or finance — 49 per cent in 2017, up from 38 per cent in 1996 — and a quarter had qualifications from Oxbridge or Harvard University.

Sara Drake, head of the institute, said: “Given the rapidly changing expectations of organisations and their boards, diversity of thoughts and experience are an even more crucial component of board effectiveness than ever before.”

You can subscribe to The Times here.

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James Delingpole: “Study – Woke Gender Quotas on Company Boards Reduce Profitability by 12 Percent”

Enjoy. The study to which James Delingpole refers was published in The Leadership Quarterly three weeks ago – Women directors, firm performance, and firm risk: A causal perspective. The full Abstract:

Norway was the first of ten countries to legislate gender quotas for boards of publicly traded firms. There is considerable debate and mixed evidence concerning the implications of female board representation. In this paper, we explain the main sources of biases in the existing literature on the effects of women directors on firm performance and review methods to account for these biases. We address the endogeneity problem by using a difference-in-differences approach to study the effects of women directors on firm performance with specific consideration of the common trend assumption, and we explicitly distinguish between accounting-based (i.e., operating income divided by assets, return on assets) and market-based (i.e., market-to-book ratio and Tobin’s Q) performance measures in the Norwegian setting. The control group are firms from Finland, Sweden, and Denmark. We further extend the analysis of causal effects of women directors to firm risk. Our results imply a negative effect of mandated female representation on firm performance and on firm risk.

Published yesterday, Delingpole’s article has already attracted 391 comments. The most up-voted, from “Loose Cannon”:

If women’s executive abilities were being undervalued/underutilized, then enterprising female investors and leaders would arbitrage the discrepancy and create more female driven businesses. Same applies to the so-called gender pay gap which would signal employers to hire an all female workforce and reap the cost advantage.

Regular visitors to this website will be aware that in 2012 I gave evidence to House of Commons and House of Lords inquiries, confirming a causal link between increasing female representation on boards, and corporate financial decline. I’ve just added details of this new study to our short briefing paper with direct links to the studies confirming that causal link – here.

Along with Dr Catherine Hakim and Steve Moxon, I gave oral evidence to the House of Commons inquiry in 2012 – here (video, 56:50).

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If everyone who read this gave us £5.00 – or even better, £5.00 or more, monthly – we could change the world. £5.00 monthly would entitle you to Bronze party membership, details here. Benefits include a dedicated and signed book by Mike Buchanan. Click below to make a difference. Thanks.