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Forced Corporate Gender Equality — Are You on Board?

France's ruling political party recently proposed legislation that would make it mandatory for major companies to have women make up 50 percent of their board members by 2015. Right now, women constitute 10 percent of the board of directors at France's top companies. The US isn't far ahead — only 15 percent of board members at Fortune 500 companies are women.

French lawmakers hope the quotas will help change public attitudes about gender equality, and the requirements might also be good for business. A 2007 study found that Fortune 500 companies with the largest number of female directors significantly outperformed those with the least representation. As France debates the proposed law, would you like to see a similar one in the US?

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AMP AMP 7 years
I work an industry that is practically a boys club. I've countless times heard male co-workers say other men in the industry are "their bro". "Yeah, we can' get that deal done, I'll just call my so and so, he's my bro." Yeah... BUT while it sucks to struggle so hard b/c I'm a female, I don't think legislation is the answer. Its just like affirmative action. I think the best person for the job should get it, no matter gender or race... or whatever else.
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
Is the website being spammed by illiterates? What is up with this? Ugh - anon posts.
mix-tape mix-tape 7 years
1.) I would like to ask what going on with all of these "What's up, I'm new to the forum..." posts? 2.) I have to agree with what most people are saying on here, women don't need to be handed jobs because we are simply women. Yet we wouldn't even have the opportunity to get these jobs with hard work if it weren't for initial laws forcing society to give women more opportunities. I think there is a place for government in helping to facilitate change and I believe we have reached it. Affirmative action happens all the time and I don't really agree with the concept in today's society. Then again I could be a bit naive and haven't experienced any set backs as of yet?
fuzzles fuzzles 7 years
SG, I'd respond to your comment, but I'm running late for my "How to Successfully Subjugate Women 101" class.
jazzytummy jazzytummy 7 years
Spacekatgal, please jump off of your soapbox. Just because many here don't agree with you, it doesn't mean that we are "complicit in our subjugation". Give me a f*cking break...that is just insulting. This is not the 1970's. Please explain the difference here... you are against not getting a job because of our gender but for getting a job because of our gender? Your idea of what equality is is vastly different from mine. It seems to you, equality is a numbers game based on gender. To me, equality means being regarded for the work that I do, regardless of my gender. Equality is not being the little woman who needs the big male lawmakers to set quotas so that I can sit at the grown-up table. I work in a male dominated field as well, and dealt with sexual harassment issues during the 80's as well as old school physicians who didn't think women belonged in my field. It royally sucked, however, it made me work harder, and I gained the respect of my peers...these were not the gray hairs (who will never change), but the men of my own generation. I am very successful in my job today, and have the respect of the predominantly male colleagues that I work with, because I am good at what I do, not because some law put me there. These are also the men who grew up with mothers in the work force, and their attitudes about working women in general are different than men my father's age. It sucks that we sometimes we have to work harder to get where we want to get, but we have made strides in the last 30 years. I personally want to get a position based on my own merit, not to mention I wouldn't want to work with a bunch of men who resent the sh!t out of me because I got a job due to a quota. The most qualified person should get the job, and that is not always going to be someone with a vagina. Sad but true. I know you will say sometimes the most qualified person IS the woman who is overlooked, but that also happens to use your supporters' analogy, the man who is the bigger suck up or who has the better golf game with the clients may get a promotion over an equally or more qualified man. Quotas are NOT the answer. But as I mentioned before, your idea of equality and mine are vastly different.
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
If that was so, the director of engineering at my company would be an actual engineer and not somebody who played a good game of golf with the clients;-)
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
I think merit can only take you so far. You can be the greatest accountant or engineer in the world, but if you aren't "in good" with the board of director's, men's club and liked by them, they'll overlook your merits to find somebody more like them. The highest eschelons of management are exclusive and you don't get there based on merit.
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
I work in a male dominated industry - engineering. My current company is almost a hundred years old and has never had a woman on the board or in a president or vice president position. It's all old men, who when they retire, elect more men to replace them. Outside of marketing, there's no women who are above project manager level and even then there's only one in a company of over 2,000 employees. When I was in grad school, I had job offers a year before I was set to graduate and I think it was because firms need to look more diversified and were looking to hire women. My first job out of school was at a place that I thought was hiring for my qualifications. Turns out they were carefully calculating how to be awarded a $200 million dollar contract that was coming up in 2 years and the client happened to have women in higher up positions. My engineering company hired me and another girl because they knew it would look good to the client's female staff and would give an edge. And it worked - we were awarded the job and the client told me that a major factor was my company hiring us 2 young female engineers. That said, I hear all the time that women can't be good engineers, that we belong at home with babies, or that I'm just a glorified secretary. On one hand, I don't want to be given anything just because I'm a girl, but on the other hand, I know that anything above project manager (into the client management realm, department management realm and beyond) is going to take some serious changes to the men within the company. I just don't know if us few women can really break into the good ol' boys club, no matter how great we are.
snarkypants snarkypants 7 years
well, feel that way if you must, but i am at the highest position in my company that i can be without going to med school. i worked my @ss off to get it, and know it is due to the fact that i deserve the job. know i am more competent than those i supervise, so sorry for being anti-feminist for working hard to achieve my goal.
Kimpossible Kimpossible 7 years
I agree with those who are against this for the same reasons already stated. We can't force companies or people to do things. Just like we can't (and shouldn't) force women to have or not have abortions, we can't force companies to hire certain types of people solely to fill a quota.
snarkypants snarkypants 7 years
i'm not saying that the women are less capable. i just think companies should hire based on who is the most capable, be it man, woman, monkey.
snarkypants snarkypants 7 years
i agree with jessie. this is actually sexism. hiring anybody based on sex is wrong. as most of the other posters said, it's not who you are, it's how you do a job. i think gender should not be an issue when hiring. AT ALL. if i knew companies who did this, i actually wouldn't apply to work there. i want a job/position based on my qualifications, not my genitalia.
tiff58 tiff58 7 years
Stardust, I agree with you completely. Change happens by showing people that women deserve those positions, not by legistlating "equality." As stated, companies with more women on their boards have higher performance- that is where it starts! If a company chooses not to be diverse, it will likely suffer.
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 7 years
I think this would be a great step forward. But I worry that women who aren't qualified will be put into the job just to satisfy a requirement. I think all people should have to work for the position, regardless of gender, race, colour or creed.
jessicagurl jessicagurl 7 years
I think this is a great idea. Forced equality is still equality! Like someone said up above, it's giving great opportunities to women who may have thought these types of position were out of reach to them.
Jessiebanana Jessiebanana 7 years
Ummm how is it gender equality to hire someone based on their gender? I don't think you're moving in the right direction and helping women by effectively hurting men. Ideally if the pool of well qualified applicants is 50/50 the board should on average reflect that, but there shouldn't be a outside forced regulation of it.
sloane220 sloane220 7 years
i meant: i think laws like this would force the establishment to look for qualified people outside f the typical white male demographic.
sloane220 sloane220 7 years
i agree with this, and i don't there's any cogent excuse for the lack of non-white male executives. i think laws like this would force the establishment to look for qualified outside of the typical white male demographic. if a company is going to have to hire say, an asian woman, who's to say they won't hire the most qualified asian woman they can find, instead of hiring who they typically hire, which is a white male? it's time for some more people to get opportunities, and affirmative action only helps them.
tvjunkie45 tvjunkie45 7 years
Affirmative action is never the answer. Actually it's still sexism, because they are saying that women aren't good enough to get the job on their own, they need someone else to give it to them. A business should never be forced to hire someone, and quotas do nothing but hurt everyone involved.
Chouette4u Chouette4u 7 years
What a terrible idea.
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