Men were right all along. Women’s hormones DO make them irrational

Sometimes female journalists are allowed to write what male journalists aren’t. An example is Rachel Ragg’s article in today’s Mail Online. Would companies promote individual men to senior executive positions if they were so adversely affected by their hormones? Of course not.

The article:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2168928/Men-right-Our-hormones-DO-make-women-irrational-.html

The word is getting out… (updated 9.7.12)

[Note: Michael Klein of http://sciencefiles.org posted a comment to the blog which is the subject of this post on 5 July, and as of today – 9 July – it’s still not visible on the blog. I don’t know the reason for this , but for the sake of this blog’s readers I’ve just added Michael’s comment to this blog, at the bottom of the piece.]

My thanks to a supporter for pointing me to an intriguing post on a blog run by Henkel, a multinational company which manufactures such leading ‘personal care’ brands as Persil washing powder, Schwarzkopf haircare products and Loctite adhesives. Enjoy it while it’s still available, because from past history we can expect the ‘improved gender diversity’ brigade to bully and shame the people who run the website into removing the post. In the meantime I invite you to add your own comments to mine.

http://www.henkeldiversity.com/2012/05/02/the-benefit-from-gender-diversity-just-a-delusion/

In case it IS taken down, here’s the text. The first link is to my blog piece for The Institute of Economic Affairs:

The benefit from gender diversity – just a delusion?

(c) Mike Buchanan

The call for more diverse board members and leadership-teams is on everyone’s lips. It is said that companies are able to perform better, be more innovative and will outperform their peers if they increase their diversity. These arguments – at least the gender diversity aspects –are massively challenged by Mike Buchanan, author of the book “The Glass Ceiling Delusion: The real reasons more women don’t reach senior positions”

Mike Buchanan looked at some studies and surveys and found out, that they were not able to find causal links between the higher proportion of women on management committees and a better performance of these companies. Furthermore he found studies which detected deterioration in performance when a women’s quota is targeted and another study that stated that younger executive teams as well as a higher proportion of female executives lead to higher risk taking. Thus the message of Mike Buchanan is clear: The proclaimed benefit of gender diversity is a delusion!

Is he right? If we consider the arguments in more detail theses statements are not as profound as it seems at the first moment but a very one-sided and reduce view of the cited studies. For example one study he quoted proved that companies with a higher proportion of women on their management committees are the ones with the best performance. The poorer corporate performance again could also be due to the inexperience of the younger board members and not attributable solely to the sex. Anyhow – are there facts and figures, studies or surveys which show a significant and causal link, that companies with men in the top management steadily make more profit, perform better or generate more revenues than companies with mixed leadership teams?

With these arguments of delusion in mind another call is even more interesting. Also recent research of McKinsey shows, that companies with diverse executive boards enjoy significant higher earnings and returns on equity. As here only gender and international differences are considered Dr. Gregersen, Professor of Leadership at the Business School INSEAD, even goes further and recommends diversifying diversity.  He believes that even better results can be made – especially concerning the innovation capacity – when not only (or mostly) gender and culture are focused but every kind of diversity is promoted. As in today’s fast moving environment the management teams of companies need to generate innovative or even disruptive strategies, different perspectives, various experiences and open communication which reflects different opinion is needed.

Delusion or a further need to diversify – what do you think?

I’ve posted the following comment:

I’ve just looked at the McKinsey report you mention, and (as expected) it’s as flawed as all the others presented as showing the financial performance benefits of greater gender diversity. From the report:

“We acknowledge that these findings, though consistent, aren’t proof of a direct relationship between diversity and financial success. At high-performing companies, the board or CEO may simply have greater latitude to pursue diversity initiatives, and other management innovations may contribute more directly to superior results.”

We are being led to confuse correlation with causation. It’s like concluding that because rich men often marry beautiful women, those women CAUSE those men to become rich. No wonder beautiful women are in such demand…

I’ve been looking for evidence of a positive causal link between ‘improved’ gender diversity and superior corporate financial performance for three years, and I have yet to find any. The only evidence I can find is a negative link (see my IEA blog). Maybe your readers can provide evidence to me? Thank you.

Mike Buchanan

CAMPAIGN FOR MERIT IN BUSINESS

https://c4mb.wordpress.com

Michael Klein’s comment:

 I sometimes wonder how long it will take for people looking at a tree to calling the tree a tree. The effect of Gender Diversity in the boardroom is like a tree – It is proven to harm companies not to do companies any good. So we may well skill all this ideological junk and revert to the facts, calling a tree a tree that is.

The proof of quota’s harm is here:
Now lets turn to the McKinsey Study: Freshmen at a university learn that there is a difference between correlation and causation. When you find a correlation between diversity in the boardroom and say ROI, that does not mean Gender diversity CAUSED a good ROI. To claim that is does is called a fallacy of affirming the consequence, it is this very fallacy because one can quite easily argue that it is especially successful companies (with a good ROI) who give in to CSR-pressure exerted by the UN, EU, their national government and include more women in their boards. Hence, there is no need to look any further in this dubious study by McKinsey, but if you do, you will find a sophisticated attempt to avoid the very question of causation.
The next study, usually mentioned when it comes to the supposed merits of Gender Diversity in the Boardroom is a study by the Finnish EVA. I’ve linked and discussed the study here:
When you read this brief “study” carefully, you will not only find a number of methodological errors, but also come to the conclusion that the only argument the authors have left in their arsenal for advancing women’s share in Boards is that they are women, which boils down to the rather crude statement that it is better to include more women in boardrooms, because it is better to include women in boardrooms. In formal Logic we call that a tautology and subsume it under the “no-content” statements.
So as far as science, and not ideology is concerned, there is no way around the fact that a women quota in boardrooms harms a company and does it no good. How could it be different? Anyone heard of something like experience. If the logic behind the women quota would be correct, you could place a newborn child in a boardroom and it would have a positive effect because of the increase in diversity. Hence, I strongly suggest to read Mike Buchanan’s book with an open mind. It will open eyes and avenues of thinking.

Free downloadable material from Swayne O’Pie’s new book

I’m pleased to report that Swayne O’Pie has agreed to make available material from his book Exposing Feminism: The Thirty Years’ War Against Men on this blog (and on other blogs and websites in due course). The book’s just been published internationally (11 June) in both paperback and ebook editions (Kindle only). The Kindle edition is downloadable onto PCs and Macs using free-to-download software from Amazon. It’s also downloadable onto some e-readers in addition to the Kindle device. The content of the UK paperback edition which has the title Why Britain Hates Men: Exposing Feminism is virtually identical. The book is lengthy – 460 pages – and has 53 chapters. The following material is contained in the file at the end of this post, and chapters 20, 26, and 29 will be of particular interest to those concerned with the outcomes resulting from gender-typical choices in the workplace:

Foreword

Author’s Note

Preface

Table of Contents

Introduction

Chapter 1 – Cultural Misandry: The Widespread Disrespect for Men

Chapter 2 – Why Would Anyone Want to Disagree With Feminism?

Chapter 9 – Who Are These Women Who Make the World Worse for Men?

Chapter 15 – For Feminism Success Will Never be Enough: ‘Forever’ Feminism

Chapter 20 – Feminism and Women’s Choices

Chapter 26 – Women Choose Low Pay and Low Status

Chapter 39 – Top Jobs for the Sisters: Can Positive Discrimination be Justified?

The file:

120619 Sample chapters from ‘Exposing Feminism’

Positive discrimination for women at the Bank of England

My thanks to George for sending me an article from the Mail on Sunday issue of 10 June. It’s an interview by Lisa Buckingham of Catherine Brown, the Bank of England’s executive director of human resources. Brown is paid £200,000 a year, not bad for someone whose key aim in her working life appears to be social engineering. From the article:

When Bank of England Governor Sir Mervyn King prompted outraged headlines for taking his seat at Wimbledon and attending the cricket at Lord’s while the global economy faced meltdown, he was apparently doing only what all his staff are urged to do. Not necessarily in such esteemed surroundings, of course. But employees at the Bank of England from the Governor down are encouraged to work flexibly. Indeed, according to Catherine Brown, the Bank’s executive director of human resources, there are ‘no fixed hours’ at our premier City regulator.

‘We are output-focused – there are no set hours,’ she says, adding that this has been crucial to the Bank’s success in recruiting women and to keeping its staff turnover at an astonishingly low four per cent a year…

What does this say about the work ethic of (a) women, and (b) public sector employees? And these are the people who are going to regulate British business? From the same article:

Brown, 46, says: ‘…while the governors and directors are very largely white and male, that is a snapshot in time and in five years it may look very different.’ … this year the intake of women has shot up to 45 per cent…

A Tibetan Buddhist – she became interested in the faith after spending time trekking in the Himalayas – Brown says: ‘I do have a very strong commitment to ensuring that the values on which the global economy are based are decency and fairness. Emerging economies are better if they have these characteristics. The UK economy has these core values and the Bank has a clear role to play in that.

‘Decency and fairness’. Here we have yet again the use of terms (‘diversity’ is another) which seem reasonable but which are ALWAYS used to justify one thing – positive discrimination for women in recruitment and promotion terms, regardless of merit. We need have no doubt that pressures on companies to hire more female directors will increase. I’m reminded of a quotation from the Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman’s Capitalism and Freedom (1962):

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 stockholders as possible.

The Bank of England is paying Catherine Brown £200,000 a year to ‘thoroughly undermine the very foundations of our free society’. You couldn’t make it up.

Deutsche Bundesbank discussion paper – new link

The original link to the Deutsche Bundesbank discussion paper (which covers among other issues the negative impact of increasing the number of women on corporate boards) is no longer ‘live’, but the following link is still operational:

http://www.bundesbank.de/Redaktion/EN/Downloads/Publications/Discussion_Paper_1/2012/2012_03_06_dkp_03.pdf?__blob=publicationFile

Please let me know if this link fails at any point. Thank you.

You couldn’t make it up… the response of a FTSE100 company to my invitation to the IEA

Regular visitors to this blog will be aware that I recently invited senior people – mainly CEOs – from major companies to attend my presentation on gender diversity in the boardroom, and in senior executive positions more generally, at The Institute of Economic Affairs on 29 August. Today I had an email response from the secretary of the CEO of a FTSE100 company. She explained that my invitation ‘was passed to the Group HR Director’. Whether the CEO was made aware of my invitation, was not made clear, but ’The Group HR Director does not have any interest in attending the presentation’. I then enquired whether this person might want one of two colleagues to attend. The CEO’s secretary’s response is as follows. Honestly, I’m not making this up:

We are currently looking at gender diversity in the workplace, so don’t feel this would be of interest.

I’ve emailed back to explain that they should have an interest precisely because they’ll otherwise only hear one side of the argument. I don’t imagine I’ll get a response.

I’m glad I’m not a shareholder in this company, bent as it is – like most FTSE100 companies – on a social engineering experiment which can only harm UK plc, and the rest of the country by extension.

We need to talk about Vince Cable

It seems I was premature in declaring a small victory had been won in the battle against the ideological goal of ‘improved’ gender balance in the boardroom. I’d inferred from broadsheet newspaper reports that Theresa May, Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities, had written to EU Commissioner Viviane Reding opposing EU imposition of quotas for women in the boardroom, that this was the government’s revised domestic position also. I was wrong, it now seems. I’m grateful to Fred for pointing me towards the following article on yesterday’s Mail Online. It concerns the coalition’s ultra-Leftie Business Secretary, and the piece is titled, “Firms face compulsory quotas if they don’t put women in top jobs, insists Vince Cable”:

Businesses could be hit with compulsory quotas to increase the number of women on boards unless they raise the number voluntarily, said Vince Cable. The Business Secretary said he was ready to introduce legal targets if firms had failed to ensure a quarter of executives at board level were female by 2015. He also suggested that if he were prime minister, half of the Cabinet would be women.

More women should be promoted in the boardroom under guidelines being pushed by The Business Secretary. Mr Cable said there were encouraging signs that firms were beginning to heed calls for gender equality – revealing figures suggesting that in the past three months, half of new appointments to FTSE company boards have been women.

He said he planned to ‘name and shame’ companies that fail to make further progress. One in ten of Britain’s biggest firms still has all-male boards. ‘It’s very, very important that women are there in numbers,’ Mr Cable said. ‘Our objective is to get a quarter of all board membership being women by 2015. Our current approach, which is trying to change the culture, trying to name and shame, I think will work. If it doesn’t, we can look at things like quotas. There is a body called the Financial Reporting Council that requires companies to declare publicly what they do. So companies will be in the future publicly identified and there will then be a role for me to go out and say publicly, “This is a disgrace, you should change your behaviour”.’

Asked whether he would introduce quotas if that approach failed to deliver the target figures, the Business Secretary said: ‘I would, yes. I think that’s a perfectly legitimate last resort. But I think the current approach that we have adopted is beginning to produce serious results, so let’s give it a chance.’

The EU has announced a consultation on how to increase women’s presence on corporate boards, warning that progress towards equality is too slow. Mandatory quotas are being threatened if member states fail to make sufficient progress. The EU’s Justice Commissioner, Viviane Reding, has warned that on current rates of change, it will take more than 40 years for women to hold 40 per cent of board positions in Europe’s publicly traded companies.

In Britain, companies are working towards a voluntary target to increase the percentage of women on FTSE 100 boards to 25 per cent, up from 12.5 per cent last year. But business leaders have warned against compulsory quotas. On BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour the Business Secretary also took a swipe at David Cameron’s failure to meet an aspiration that a third of his ministers should be women. There are five women – all Conservative – in the Cabinet.

In a reference to the new French president’s decision to make half of his top team female, Mr Cable said: ‘If I ever finish up in Mr Cameron’s job, and who knows what could happen, you might well get a Francois Hollande moment.’

Meanwhile, Tory MP Peter Bone demanded that Vince Cable be sacked from the Cabinet after it emerged that the Business Secretary was in contact with Labour to discuss a possible alliance following the next election. At the weekend it was revealed that Mr Cable had held phone conversations with Labour leader Ed Miliband.

The appointment of a noted Leftie to such an important position, and the fact he’s still there, are indicators of how left-wing and feminist-friendly David Cameron is himself. I was warning of this two years ago, and herewith give you a chapter titled, ‘David Cameron: heir to Harman?’ from The Glass Ceiling Delusion:

120106 sample chapter from ‘The Glass Ceiling Delusion’

A presentation at The Institute of Economic Affairs

I’ve been delighted by the response to the blog I posted on the website of The Institute of Economic Affairs on 24 April:

http://www.iea.org.uk/blog/the-gender-diversity-delusion

The IEA has been pleased with the level of interest shown in the piece, and intrigued by the absence of evidence from commentators in support of the claim that ‘improved’ gender diversity in the boardroom can be expected to lead to improved corporate performance. I’ll be making a presentation at the IEA on 29 August, on the topic of gender diversity in the boardroom and in senior executive positions generally. Although the government recently indicated it’s dropping the threat of forcing companies to increase the number of women on their boards [note added 7 June: this now appears not to be the case – see the following: http://fightingfeminism.wordpress.com/2012/06/05/we-need-to-talk-about-vince-cable/] it’s still committed to ‘encouraging’ companies to do so, and  is spending taxpayers’ money in support of the effort.

The IEA is expecting some 40 attendees, mainly economists, and with their agreement I’m inviting leading business figures as well as a number of politicians, newspaper and magazine editors, business editors, other journalists, writers and academics.

Ms Marx and Her Brothers

People often ask me why I’m so concerned about militant feminism and its various manifestations, such as ‘improved’ gender diversity in the boardroom. There are many reasons but one is that militant feminism is a cloak behind which socialism lurks and exerts its malign influence. In his book Why Britain Hates Men: Exposing Feminism (on sale in the UK only, the international edition is titled Exposing Feminism: The Thirty Years’ War Against Men) the British campaigner and writer Swayne O’Pie – ‘The Feminists’ Nemesis’ – memorably calls feminism ‘Socialism’s Trojan Horse’. He’s kindly agreed to my suggestion that I put a chapter from his book on this blog. It’s titled, ‘Ms Marx and Her Brothers’. Enjoy:

120604 chapter 5 from ‘Exposing Feminism’

I recommend the book highly; and at 460 pages in length, it’s terrific value. It’s available to order from www.exposingfeminism.com and in the next week or two it will be made available as an ebook with the title Exposing Feminism.

The groupthink argument for appointing more women to boards

Followers of the ‘gender diversity in the boardroom’ debate will notice arguments waxing and waning over the years, depending on how intrinsically convincing they are, and how difficult they are to counter. At one time proponents of ‘improved’ gender balance argued for the existence of the ‘glass ceiling’, but that argument always had one major intrinsic problem. The people at the top of major companies knew that not only did the glass ceiling not exist, they’d been working hard for years to get more women into senior positions, only to find few women able and willing to take them on. And when women did take on senior positions, they often resigned a year or two afterwards – the euphemistically-named ‘retention problem’. To get business leaders on board, the ‘pipeline problem’ was invented.

Numerous propositions have been mooted in recent years to explain the ‘problem’ of the small number of women on boards. They all reliably have one thing in common. The ‘solution’ to the ‘problem’ always entails special treatment for women.

An intriguing argument has been gaining ground in the past couple of years, namely that business leaders tend to appoint new directors in their own mould – often termed ‘male, pale and stale’, as a female Conservative MP wrote in a newspaper article last week. The expression manages to fit into four words sexism, racism, and ageism. The proposition is that the tendency results in ‘groupthink’ which will result in poorer corporate performance over time. Needless to say, no evidence is ever presented to back this proposition. Indeed, you can be sure feminist researchers have sought that evidence, and failed to find it. Yet the proposition is spread by taxpayer-funded bodies and reported faithfully in the media, for example an article titled, ‘Male-dominated boards will fall behind rivals, says report’, in the Daily Telegraph of 29 May 2012:

Companies with male-dominated boards will fall behind their rivals because they lack the ‘fresh’ ideas women can bring, a government report claims. Without women in senior posts, companies will lose touch with their customers and risk making ‘flawed decisions’ as a result of ‘groupthink’ by men, a report from the Department for Business said. In a separate study, the Equalities and Human Rights Commission suggested firms should appoint more women directors to help the economic recovery.

So here we have the classic problem / solution. The problem? A risk to corporate performance. The solution? Appoint more women.

The idea of women bringing ‘fresh’ ideas is an intriguing one. It’s long been a central tenet of feminist arguments – which underpin all arguments for ‘improved’ gender balance – that there’s no intrinsic difference between men’s and women’s brains which might account for differences in gender outcomes. At the same time, it is claimed that women are intellectually superior in some areas. From where this alleged superiority originates, if not the brain, I cannot imagine. In his book Why Britain Hates Men Swayne O’Pie covers this topic in a chapter with the title, ‘Jack and Jill are the same, except when Jill’s better’. The idea that male and female babies are born with no innate gendered brain wiring is known as the ‘blank slate’ theory of human nature. It’s a key left-wing article of faith, and utterly discredited among psychologists who aren’t feminist ideologues.

To my mind one of the key reasons men dominate corporate boards is the same reason that men (numerically) dominate the engineering profession (to take one example of a male-typical profession) and are rarely to be found in nursing (to take one example of a female-typical profession). Gender-typical men and women do indeed have different ways of thinking, deriving from their gender-typical brains, and the male gender-typical brain is simply better adapted for senior positions in business (or engineering) than the female gender-pattern brain.

Ironically, given the groupthink argument for having more women on boards, women are far more likely than men to engage in groupthink. You only need to witness women’s herd mentality in areas such as fashion for a clue into this reality. Further evidence is provided by women’s constant bleating over the past 30 years that women need more role models to inspire them to seek senior positions. But who will be the role models’ role models? These are sheep with the ambition to become shepherdesses.

My book The Glass Ceiling Delusion has a good deal of material on the issue of gender-typical thinking, and how it leads to the numerical gender outcomes we see all around us. My arguments are largely based upon the content of books by four eminent psychology professors, which I recommend strongly:

Susan Pinker’s The Sexual Paradox

Louanne Brizendine’s The Female Brain

Steven Pinker’s The Blank Slate

Simon Baron-Cohen’s The Essential Difference.

If you have the time to read only one of the titles, I’d recommend it be The Essential Difference.