How many women have you got? Oh, one more needed.

Quotas. Listening to Women’s Hour (right this very minute in fact) I’m suddenly shocked into wakefulness by instinctively yelling an answer to the question ‘12.5% of board members are women in the FTSE100 – do we need quotas to change this?’

‘No!’ I screeched, ‘Next?!’ What a stupid frikkin’ question. Quotas, for all good they do in education where they ensure that posh places take on people outside of Eton, are death when it comes to female credibility in business.

‘Suzy?’ they’ll say to their mates down the pub, ‘Yeah, Suzy’s been promoted to the board instead of Glenn. Well, I’m sure she’s fine, but she only got the job because we needed one more woman. We’ll have to keep an eye on her to make sure she doean’t balls things up because she has no balls.’

Do you really want to be Suzy in this equation? Undermined, no matter how good you are, because of government-imposed quotas? Even if you get your job on merit, they’ll always be a whisper, a rumour, sometimes an open sneer that you were only appointed to make up the numbers. How the hell does this do us any good in the business world?

And don’t get me started on the women who was claiming that the financial world is addressing the gender issue behind closed doors. By giving women ‘Leadership Courses’. I absolutely reject the idea that women are not being promoted in the financial world and elsewhere because they don’t know how to lead.

Why the fuck aren’t these women on the ‘normal’ leadership courses anyway? Why are they being excluded? How about some fucking ‘women are just as good as men’ courses for senior managers and other managers? Or some ‘flexible working is not a crime’ courses? I think both of those would do more to change the number of women promoted more than telling women how to lead in a separate course from men.

Utter bullshit. But at least it woke me up.


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