Corporate social responsibility strategy threatens entrepreneurship and innovation

The Institute of Economic Affairs has just posted an excellent article by Michael Klein relating to the latest Corporate Social Responsibility (‘CSR’) strategy of the European Commission, and how CSR is used to force the Commission’s left-wing ideologies upon the business sector, with damaging results. The article:


Helena Morrissey appears before a House of Lords select committee

Helena Morrissey, founder of the 30 per cent club, today appeared before the House of Lords select committee investigating ‘Women on Boards’. The following is a link to the video, the first hour of which is devoted to Mrs Morrissey. Enjoy:

When the minutes are published – later this week – we’ll post them along with a detailed critique of what Mrs Morrissey had to say. One of her more interesting statements in the meeting was the following:

‘I haven’t seen any evidence that suggests having more women on boards undermines shareholder value.’

Why is this interesting? Only last Wednesday I emailed Mrs Morrissey the following invitation to the IEA event, and this wasn’t the first time she’d been made aware of our arguments. The invitation included precisely the evidence which Mrs Morrissey claimed in today’s meeting not to have seen. Ironically, she referred to the study in question later in her testimony to the House of Lords today. It’s the Ahern & Dittmar (University of Michigan) study on the negative impact of gender quotas on Norwegian companies.

My invitation to Mrs Morrissey:

120718 invitation emailed to Helena Morrissey

My IEA blog cited both the University of Michigan study and another showing the negative impact of ‘improving’ gender diversity on boards, reported by Deutsche Bundesbank:

The Institute of Equality and Diversity Practitioners

My thanks to Helen for bringing to my attention The Institute of Equality and Diversity Practitioners, an organisation founded in 2009. Website She writes, ‘If the Board members and other members of The Institute of Equality and Diversity Practitioners can’t provide you with evidence of a positive causal link between ‘improved’ gender diversity on boards and enhanced corporate performance, then who can?’ A good point, Helen, and well made.

I see the IEDP has a Board consisting of seven women and one man. Now that gender ratio  is interesting because it’s the same ratio that exists (on average) across FTSE100 companies’ boardrooms, albeit in the opposite direction. As always in the world of equality and diversity, female domination of senior-level bodies is admirable and to be sustained, while male domination is regrettable and to be destroyed.

I’ve emailed the IEDP the following message, and will let you know of anything that emerges from them. Don’t hold your breath.

Greetings from the Campaign for Merit in Business. You might be interested in the following piece posted by The Institute of Economic Affairs:

I can’t imagine a body of people better qualified than yourselves to provide the elusive evidence for a positive causal link between ‘improved’ gender diversity in boardrooms, and enhanced corporate performance. We’ve been in touch with many organisations and individuals who claim the link exists, but not one has been able to provide a shred of robust evidence. Maybe you’ll be the first organisation to do so? I do hope so. Finding the Higgs-Boson particle was straightforward by comparison. A copy of this message will be posted on the blogs and Have a nice day.

Lunchtime lecture at the IEA: The gender diversity delusion – why companies shouldn’t ‘improve’ gender diversity

[Update 28 July: Strong demand for this event has resulted in the lecture room capacity (60) being reached already, so unfortunately no more applications can be accepted.]

The Institute of Economic Affairs (‘IEA’) has just posted details of my forthcoming lecture (29 August). If you’d like to attend, please contact the IEA direct – details on the link below – or email me Thank you.

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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.

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:

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:] 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.

A new IEA blog, ‘Why positive discrimination is ireversible’

An interesting new blog this afternoon from the IEA, with a link to my own recent blog, ‘The gender diversity delusion’:

Why not join me in getting automatic notifications of new IEA blogs, or new comments on existing blogs of interest? They are without doubt well ahead of other leading think tanks in this area (and others, too).