Dr Catherine Hakim, originator of Preference Theory, to attend the conference

We’re delighted to report that Dr Catherine Hakim, a world-renowned British sociologist, will be attending the conference.

She’s best known to followers of this website as the originator of Preference Theory in 2000, when she was a Senior Research Fellow at the LSE. For us, the key statistics she reported in her paper were that four in seven British men are “work-centred”, while just one in seven British women is.

All else being equal, we’d expect the gender balance on (say) FTSE100 boards to be around 80% male, 20% female. But all else is far from equal. Two thirds of private sector employees are men, and men still occupy most of the senior positions in professions which disproportionately lead to board directorships, notably Finance. Adding in these factors, we’d expect women to take up fewer than 5% of FTSE100 directorships. Due to government threats of legislated gender quotas, women now occupy over 25% of those positions, and the figure continues to rise. Tellingly, more than 90% of female FTSE100 board directors are Non-Executive Directors.

In late 2012 my request to give oral evidence on behalf of Campaign for Merit in Business to the House of Commons inquiry “Women in the Workplace” was accepted, and at my request I was accompanied by Dr Catherine Hakim and Steve Moxon. The video (56:49) is here.

The committee utterly refused to engage with the evidence I presented of a causal link between increasing female representation on boards and corporate financial decline. Three months later we launched J4MB.

Baroness Karren Brady interviews Mike Buchanan about the gender pay gap

 Karren Brady with men's rights activist Mike Buchanan

I was recently interviewed by Karren Brady for her hour-long Channel 5 TV documentary, “Why do men earn more than women?” It was broadcast last night, and judging by the adverts before and during the programme, the target audience was predominantly women.

Karen and I had a filmed discussion of about two hours. Very little of the explanations I presented her with concerning gender pay gaps made it into the final documentary – not William Collins’s analysis, not Dr Catherine Hakim’s Preference Theory, published in 2000 – four out of seven British men are work-centred, but only one out of seven British women is. I presented the evidence of a causal link between increasing gender diversity on corporate boards, and financial decline, she ignored it and instead alluded to a 2016 Credit Suisse report which she believed showed a causal link with improved profitability, but didn’t.

The documentary is here, our discussion is between 26:57 – 30:33.

Meet Luo Mingxiong, the Chinese investor who says female bosses are bad for business

Followers of this website will need no reminding that we’ve been explaining since 2012 that strong evidence exists – here – demonstrating a causal link between increasing gender diversity on boards, and corporate financial DECLINE. While proponents of ‘more women on boards’ continue to misrepresent correlation (between increasing gender diversity on boards, and corporate financial improvement) as causation, any 16-year-old studying Mathematics at GCSE level should be aware that correlation isn’t the same as causation, and doesn’t even imply it.

Professor Susan Vinnicombe of Cranfield University has been for many years the world’s leading academic proponent for ‘more women on boards’. In 2012 she admitted to a House of Lords inquiry that she knew of no evidence of a causal link between increasing gender diversity on boards, and improved corporate financial performance – here.

Our thanks to James for alerting us to an article about a Chinese investor based in Beijing, Luo Mingxiong. The start of the piece:

After days in the spotlight for saying female CEOs are bad for business, Luo Mingxiong, a Chinese investor in Beijing, does not regret what he said.

“If I could have had a chance to say it again, I would still list this as my investment principle,” said Luo. He was referring to his statement at a public presentation in Beijing this month that “we usually don’t invest in female chief executive officers”.

Luo, the founder of Beijing venture capital firm Jingbei Investment, sparked a public outcry in China as he listed female CEOs in his 10 no-investment principles, suggesting that in the corporate world, they are as negative an attribute as dishonesty or an inability to learn.

Embedded in the article is a link to an article by a female journalist, Enoch Yiu, and published in 2016 in the South China Morning Post. It’s titled, Female CEOs, board members improve company returns, says Credit Suisse study. She is misrepresenting correlation as causation. The 52-page-long 2016 Credit Suisse study is here. The bottom line? At no point does the report claim a causal link between increased gender diversity on boards, and improved corporate financial performance.

August Lovenskiolds: Do men make better CEOs than women?

Another excellent piece from the august August. Our thanks to AVfM for the image above, taken from the piece. An excerpt:

15 of the 20 men still held their titles after 5 years, compared to just 10 of the 20 women.

8 of the men improved the ranking of their companies, compared to 0 of the women.

Final result: Men at plus 451 were 994 ranks higher than comparable women CEOs, who scored minus 443. This was not just a slaughter of women CEOs, this was Bambi meets Godzilla.

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August Lovenskiolds: ‘Women hate being CEOs – and they suck at it’

A tip of the hat to August Lovenskiolds for his illuminating analysis. The bottom line:

In 2012, 20 S&P 500 companies had female CEOs.

By 2017, 10 of the women were no longer CEOs.

By 2017, all the female CEO’s companies had fallen in the S&P rankings.

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White men ‘endangered species’ in top business roles as women promoted to senior positions – Tesco chairman

Our thanks to Sean for this. Extracts:

Speaking at the Retail Week Live conference on Thursday, he (John Allan, Tesco chairman) said: “If you are female and from an ethnic background and preferably both then you are in an extremely propitious period.

“For a thousand years men have got most of these jobs, the pendulum has swung very significantly the other way now and will do for the foreseeable future I think.

“If you are a white male – tough – you are an endangered species and you are going to have to work twice as hard.”

These days I’m embarrassed to admit I spent my 30-year career as a business executive, such is the idiocy and complicity of the senior executives in FTSE350 companies and elsewhere who’ve enthusiastically embraced feminist demands for more women on boards.

Regular followers of this blog will surely need no reminding of the evidence (five longitudinal studies) compiled in 2012 by Campaign for Merit in Business demonstrating a clear causal link between increasing female representation on boards, and corporate financial decline. That evidence has never been challenged by proponents of ‘more women on boards’.

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Monique Svazlian Tallon (Monique Tallon) is a blithering idiot

One of the supporters to whom I owe the most is Jeff, who has been relentlessly encouraging since before the launch of Campaign for Merit in Business in early 2012, almost five years ago, a year before the launch of J4MB.

Jeff is a terrific source of leads to articles, and recently sent me a link to a short opinion piece by Monique Svazlian Tallon, titled, “Four Reasons Why We’re Still Talking About Diversity on Boards”. Jeff writes:

I have not read anything more infantile and ridiculous about gender diversity on boards than this diatribe, Mike. The sense of entitlement from this woman is overwhelming……I do hope you have the time to respond to her.

An extract from the piece should help you grasp what a blithering idiot the woman is:

The business case for having more women on boards is clear. It has been shown that when there are two or more women on a board of directors, the organisation performs better on it’s ROI by 66%. If any other investment opportunity presented this kind of potential gain, businesses would have jumped. But they haven’t. Some say it’s due to a lack of understanding of the business imperative, others point to a pipeline issue or a lack of mentoring.

The daft woman clearly believes that the appointment of two women to a corporate board will increase ROI by 66%. She evidently considers this a causal link – ‘If any other investment opportunity…’ – rather than correlation, the latter not providing any justification for increasing female representation on boards. The causal link is more likely the opposite to the one she assumes – more financially successful companies can better afford to indulge in social engineering initiatives e.g. increasing the proportion of female directors on their boards.

The evidence from major longitudinal studies could not be clearer. Increasing female representation on corporate boards leads to corporate financial decline.

More idiocy:

… male performance is over-estimated compared to that of women. Because women are held to stricter and higher standards, the odds of them progressing are lower.


When men and women perform an act, men are given credit more often while women are judged more harshly.


There is a general belief that women cannot be both good mothers and good performers, therefore women with children are less likely to be hired and promoted.


Women have the unique challenge of having to choose between being seen as competent or being liked, walking a tightrope between being too nice or being assertive, which often puts them in a double bind.

Monique Svazlian Tallon is an American, she unfortunately moved to Europe in 2009 after forming Highest Path. She  is just one of countless ideologically-driven parasites (many of them are men) making a living out of developing and executing gender / diversity / blah blah blah initiatives in major companies. Her company’s strapline reads, ‘Developing 21st Century Leaders”. It should, more accurately, read, ‘Developing 21st Century Leaders With Vaginas’.

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Blithering idiots at 100+ organizations in the financial services sector are colluding with blithering idiots at HM Treasury to harm the financial services sector

A few weeks ago I sent a written submission to the DBIS inquiry into corporate governance, in relation to gender diversity on corporate boards. Followers of this blog and that of the associated Campaign for Merit in Business will need no reminding of the evidence of a causal link between increasing female representation on boards, and corporate financial decline.

That evidence has never been refuted by anyone to whom we’ve presented it, whether in government, business, academia, journalism, or elsewhere. Equally, nobody has ever provided us with evidence of  a causal link between increasing female representation on boards, and corporate financial improvement (the alleged ‘business case’ for this ideologically-driven initiative).

Not having been invited by the DBIS inquiry to give oral evidence, during which I would have shown the government’s policy (since 2011) to be damaging to companies – bullying them into appointing more women onto their boards, with the threat of legislated gender quotas if they don’t do so ‘voluntarily’ – as I did at a previous DBIS inquiry, in November 2012, video here (56:50).

I wrote to Richard Fuller, who sits on the committee, asking to be given the opportunity. He didn’t respond. I wasn’t surprised. When I last met him, I explained that evidence (from longitudinal studies) showed a causal link between increasing female representation on corporate boards, and corporate financial decline. He stated (whilst glancing nervously at a young female apparatchik, who was taking notes) that the assertion was ‘impossible’. It took some time to persuade him to accept the hard copies of the evidence, which I’d brought with me. I assume he threw it in the bin after my departure.

My thanks to the indefatigable Jeff for emailing me the following today:

HM Treasury Women in Finance Charter: a pledge for gender balance across financial services

Women in Finance Charter list of signatories (100+ signatories)

Quotes from Women in Finance Charter signatories (59 signatories)

A typical statement from one of the 59 organisations:

Lynne Atkin, HR Director, Barclays UK and Barclaycard, said:

Barclays is proud to support the launch of the Women in Finance Charter, and will continue to play a leading role in supporting greater progress for senior women in our industry.

Every part of our business is contributing to this agenda, we’ve supported the Davies commission and set out own targets for senior female representation at Managing Director. (sic)

A turgid report by three women:

HM Treasury Women in Finance Charter – Leading the Way

The start of the report’s Introduction:

What this report is about

Gender balance in UK financial services has leapt up the agenda since the government asked Jayne-Anne Gadha, Chief Executive of Virgin Money, to lead a review of women in senior management, and launched the HM Treasury Women in Finance Charter in March 2016.

On the front page the Charter is described as being run ‘in collaboration with HM Treasury’ and is ‘supported by Virgin Money’.

I no longer feel inclined to devote any more time and energy to this battle, in which I’ve been engaged for almost five years, when there are so many other more worthwhile battles to be fought. Senior business people (mostly men) have over recent years proved themselves mind-numbingly stupid in accepting the arguments for increasing the proportion of women in their companies’ senior levels, and I see no evidence of that stupidity lessening. Indeed, their public pronouncements become ever more absurd with each passing year.

At some point these blithering idiots will be faced with the stark truth that they’ve made a big mistake, but it will be difficult and costly to return to the principle of promoting people solely on merit. They’ll need to sack or demote the women who were promoted on ideological grounds, and give their jobs to the men who were better qualified.

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Campaign for Merit in Business referenced in a Guardian piece – MPs’ corporate governance inquiry: what are the key issues?

We recently sent a written submission to a DBIS inquiry on corporate governance, and were pleased to see it covered by The Guardian yesterday – here. The relevant extract:

A read through the submissions to the committee so far shows that breaking free from white, middle-aged male [my emphasis] groupthink is almost universally popular. [Racist, ageist, and sexist – well done, The Guardian!] The Institute of Directors criticises companies for rejecting alternative voices at the risk of stagnation and calls for younger directors. LGIM opposes quotas but wants the chairman to push for a greater mix of ethnicity, skills and background. The TUC calls for mandatory quotas for women. The Campaign for Merit in Business has a different view, asserting the diversity drive is “anti-male” and asking why the government does not encourage more women in sewage work and bomb disposal.

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The ‘business case’ for more women on boards – it’s enough to drive a man mad…

On behalf of Campaign for Merit in Business I recently sent a written submission to the DBIS inquiry on corporate governance, and I have yet to learn if I’m going to be asked to give oral evidence, as I did to a previous inquiry in 2012. I hope so, as I believe I’d be the only person to point out that the entire ‘business case’ for higher female representation on boards is based upon the false premise that appointing more women to boards will lead to enhanced financial performance, while the evidence clearly demonstrates a causal link with corporate performance decline.

But that doesn’t stop the proponents of ‘more women on boards’ from relentlessly lying (or implying) a supposed business case. The list of written submissions to the DBIS inquiry is here. One is from the odious 30% club, who cite a number of studies and reports in support of their contention that more women on boards leads to improved financial performance. The most recent is from the Credit Suisse Research Institute, September 2016, the 51-page-long The CS Gender 3000: The Reward for Change. The second page starts with this:

Gender diversity is an important element of corporate performance and talent management efforts. In its second, updated report the Credit Suisse Research Institute reconfirms the clear link [my emphasis] between diversity and improved business performance.

The begged question, of course, is whether the clear link is a causal link, or meaningless correlation.

On p.25 a section starts, with the title, ‘Does greater female participation make for greater impact?’ We find this in the second paragraph on p.27:

Lower leverage, higher payouts and higher return on capital employed lend support to the idea that diversity implies better returns for lower risk. In addition, our HOLT analysis shows that companies with a number of female top managers hold meaningfully lower excess cash on their balance sheets. Figure 29 again shows a linear relationship as we see for the dividend payout ratio, 15% lower for companies with 25% women, 18% for those with 33% and 26% for those with 50%. While we still do not argue causality, [my emphasis] there is a consistency in our findings that demonstrates that greater gender diversity at senior levels leads to [my emphasis] greater returns for a company…

So the report doesn’t ‘argue causality’ then goes on to… er… argue causality. It’s enough to drive a man mad…

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