Pros of Gender Quotas
There has been a considerable improvement of female representation in many areas of life in the past century: in “2012, women took home more than a third of the medals” awarded at the London Olympics, but more importantly, “the percentage of women on the boards of the 100 largest companies has risen over the past year to a record of 15.6%. And in the last six months, 35% of new board appointments to FTSE 250 companies have been women” (Braund). Many countries, led by Norway, have promoted female representation by implementing gender quotas for corporate boards and they do so because gender quotas increase diversity in the workplace and with increased diversity comes many derivative benefits.
Increased diversity by itself is a tremendous benefit; “it is in conformity with the notions of equality and representation” (Bilkisu). By increasing diversity on corporate boards, we can “give speedy increase in women’s representation [and] guarantee ‘equality of results’ for women and men aspirants” and, in doing so, support the concepts of freedom and liberty that this country was found upon (Bilkisu). Furthermore, not only do gender quotas promote democracy through increased diversity, they also help to defeat the tendencies of groups composed of similar individuals.
Corporate boards with members that “have similar backgrounds and have been through similar socialization are more likely than not to share views and presumptions and [are] less likely to engage in vigorous discussion and to challenge management” (Gratton). Sharing views and presumptions and the reluctance to debate amongst one another results in groupthink, in which group members try to minimize conflict by reaching consensus and therefore create an atmosphere of decreased creativity, uniqueness, and independent thinking. This scenario often exists in all male or majority male corporate boards because “they tend towards ‘the risky shift’ which results in them colluding with each...
References: Bart, C. (2010). Boardrooms ignore gender diversity at their peril. The Globe and Mail, B2.
Bilkisu, H. (2010). Gender quotas - step to equity. All Africa.
Braund, C. (2012). Society: Public manager: There’s room for more women in the boardroom. The Guardian, 38.
Coonan, H. (2010). Women at the top: No more talk, let 's see action. The Australian Financial Review, 47.
Dong-youb, S., & Joon-gi, K. (2011). Should we force firms to hire more women? The Korea Herald.
Gratton, L., Tomasdottir, H., Petursdottir, K., Benigson, M., & Nowak, K. (2009). Are there board benefits to breaking male hegemony? The Australian Financial Review, 14.
Jury, A. (2009). Company boards need the feminine touch. The Australian Financial Review, 64.
Khoo, L. (2012). Accountacy futures: Diversity works; boards need push on diversity. Business Times Singapore.
Mantzarapis, P. (2011). Boardroom quota no solution. The Advertiser, 76.
McFarland, J. (2011). Directors ' group gives thumbs down to quotas; Canadian institute favours adopting voluntary measures to improved diversity on corporate boards. The Globe and Mail, B6.
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