“This is a man’s world, this is a man’s world, and it would be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl.”
James Brown was a wise man, and some 50 years after he crooned these forward thinking lines, someone is starting to listen.
As the financial world is trying to scrabble up from its knees, the fairer sex has been quick to try to gain a few more laps in the race for equality.
But what do these ball-busting revolutionaries hope to create? Will I wake up in five years time to find a political utopia whereby all persons or things in consideration are treated the same regardless of their combination of X or Y chromosomes? It’s a lovely idea, but not one I see as readily achievable, especially if the Tories win the next election
The French Government has published plans to make more room for women in its boardrooms. This follows a similar move by Norway in 2002, which enforced a quota whereby all boardrooms must be 40% female. The current average amount of women in French boardrooms is 10%, a pitiful amount, and with influential figures like Carla Bruni and Economic Minster Christine Legarde flying the female flag, Frances decision to prioritize equality comes with little surprise.
But surely the point of equality is to be merited with due respect for your achievements despite your age, ethnic origins, social status or indeed, your sex. Not because of it. Forcing boardrooms to give over 40% of it’s chairs to women simply ‘to be fair” only serves to denigrate them further; if we stamp our pretty little Laboutins hard enough, the mean old men will have to give us our way…
Prominent women throughout the years have always risen in times of adversity and I truly believe that a better-balanced boardroom would help us to fix our broken economy. But now is a time for joining forces and damage limitation, not pride, greed and the age-long search for the ever-elusive equality agenda.
Besides, 40% is not equal. It’s less than half. And I think that says it all.