It’s a sorry state of affairs that almost 100 years after the Suffragettes won us the right to vote for parliament, we women should still need to press hard for equal representation at the top levels of government and business. The European Union is currently considering the introduction of a law which would prescribe quotas for the appointment of women to company boards: but is this the best way forward?
Several studies have been carried out into whether or not company growth and profitability are improved by the addition of more female directors but results are inconclusive for the obvious reason that the sample is small. Other studies based on male/female group interactions are, however, encouragingly positive in their findings: they tend to show that the different behaviour and response patterns of the sexes can be mutually beneficial and lead to improvements in output.
Some will argue that quotas don’t work and that merit alone should be sufficient, but the culture of clubby male domination needs to be broken down somehow so that women get the chance to shine as decision-makers, whether in politics or business.
So let’s get in there – whatever it takes – and prove the point one way or the other.