We now know a good deal about the impact of increasing female representation on corporate boards. Longitudinal studies (the only ones of any relevance, as they separate causation from correlation) of companies in the United States, Germany and Norway show it leads to corporate financial decline. A briefing paper on the matter prepared by Campaign for Merit in Business has the Abstracts and URLs of five such studies:
Across the developed world major corporations are increasing female representation on their boards and senior executive levels, sometimes under government pressure, sometimes not. We’re indebted to M, a supporter who lives in Eastern Europe, for pointing us to some intriguing pieces. He’s just come up with a new one, a real gem, relating to Qantas. From Wikipedia’s entry on the company:
Qantas Airways Limited is the flag carrier of Australia. The name was originally ‘QANTAS’, an acronym for ‘Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services’. Nicknamed ‘The Flying Kangaroo’, Qantas is Australia’s largest airline, the oldest continuously operated airline in the world, and the second oldest in the world overall… Qantas carries a 65% share of the Australian domestic market and carries 18.7% of all passengers travelling in and out of Australia.
Qantas has been going through turbulent times (pun intended). With fairly stable revenues and passenger numbers, it moved from an A$249 million profit after tax in 2010/11, to losses of $244 million in 2011/12, and a derisory profit of just A$6 million in 2012/13. Also from Wikipedia:
In August 2011 the company announced that, due to financial losses and a decline in market share, major structural changes would be made. Up to 1,000 jobs would be lost in Australia…
The last thing Qantas would need in such difficult times would be time-consuming and distracting initiatives to drive up female representation on its board and senior executive levels. Under government pressure, however, that’s exactly what it has faced for years, since at least 1999. Our thanks to M for pointing us to a 24-page document which will be depressing reading for any normally intelligent person – gender feminists, by contrast, will love it – Qantas’s 2011/12 report to the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA):
To protect your sanity we’ve extracted from the document just a little of the content, from p.3:
The Qantas Group is covered by the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act 1999 (Commonwealth) and to comply with the Act is required to:
– Develop an equal opportunity for women in the workplace program
– Report annually (by 31 May) to the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA) on the program and its effectiveness.
The report is being submitted on behalf of the Qantas Group and covers our workplace program gender diversity activities during the reporting period 1 April 2011 – 31 March 2012.
Diversity Highlights for 2011/2012
– The Qantas Board of Directors appointed one additional woman, increasing female representation to 25%, up by 8% since the last reporting period.
– Qantas has 57% female representation on the Qantas Foundation Board, as 4 of the 7 Directors are women.
– 2 of the 10 Directors of the Qantas Superannuation Board, including the Chairman are women, representing 20% of the Board.
– During the reporting period, the number of women employed on the Qantas Executive Committee (ExCo), reporting directly to the CEO increased to 3 or 27%. This is a significant increase from having zero representation 3 years ago in 2009.
– Qantas’ Company Secretary is female.
– The number of women in Senior Management roles (levels 2-4 in Table A) increased by 2% to 29% during the reporting period.
<End of extract. We apologise for inflicting that on you.>
So what’s been the consequence of the relentless march of women into senior roles at Qantas, both before and during the period in which the company has faced severe financial difficulties? Well, Standard & Poor’s (S&P) have just cut Qantas’s credit rating to ‘junk’ (link below). Oops.
In an effort to pour salt into Qantas’s wounds, Australia’s government is refusing to bail out the company, despite having assaulted it with gender diversity initiatives since at least 1999. We expect this matter will be resolved by an Asian company – probably a Chinese one – taking over Qantas, and immediately cancelling all such stupid initiatives. We assume that Australian feminists, and the politicians who’ve pandered to them for so long, are proud to have brought a once-great company to its knees.
As time goes on, across the developed world, we’ll see ever more examples of major companies being destroyed by gender diversity initiatives, and the Chinese in particular buying the assets at rock-bottom prices.