Companies told women must make up third of senior directors by 2020

Our thanks to Ian for this. An extract:

The Investment Association has 250 members which manage £7.7tn in assets. Its boss Chris Cummings said that it is “unacceptable” that one in five of the UK’s biggest companies are falling short on gender diversity.

“Companies must do more than take the tokenistic step of appointing just one woman to their board and consider that job done.

“There is also compelling evidence that boards with greater gender balance outperform their less diverse peers,” he said.

In the final sentence Cummings is, of course, confusing correlation with causation – whether knowingly or unknowingly. Better-performing firms can more easily afford to engage in social engineering exercises such as increasing the proportion of women on their boards. As every follower of this blog  knows, the only “compelling evidence” of a causal link is that between increasing gender diversity on boards, and financial performance decline. The evidence is here. Nobody has challenged the evidence since we published it in 2012, and presented it to House of Commons and House of Lords inquiries the same year.

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