It’s true that, as with a nation, there’s a lot of ruin in a company. It’s also true that that ruin arrives rather faster for a company given the competition faced. Therefore the selection of know nothings to be on the board – to run a company – has to be rather more limited than our ability to appoint idiots as Ministers.
Which is one explanation for what is happening here:
Working class men may be getting kicked off boards at Britain’s blue-chip companies to make space for younger women from more affluent backgrounds, according to the accounting watchdog.
In a report on diversity in FTSE 350 firms, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) said the latest data on gender and socio-economic status (SES) in boardrooms “could suggest that the increasing number of women is being achieved by appointing high SES women in place of low SES men”.
It added: “In other words, we have to ask the question whether we are replacing one under-represented group with another.”
One chairman told the FRC that his low socio-economic background made it “bloody hard” to progress in his career because he didn’t have the “correct accent”.
Another director railed against the influence of board members who “all read The Economist … and go to Davos and pat each other on the back”.
It came as campaigners and shareholder groups are increasingly putting pressure on firms to increase female representation in boardrooms.
So, what’s happening is that those limited number of spaces which can be allocated to people who have no clue is being allocated to a different group of people who have no clue.
At which point it’s possible to accuse me of being most unkind. Because of course we are all united in insisting that women and proles are perfectly competent. Which is why we so value the diversity. Except, of course, this isn’t true, is it? For if it were then there would be no pressure to raise the portion of directors who were from those groups.
Think back to what the original claim is, the reason why we need the pressures. That companies are run by white male toffs. This is bad. The claim is that more diverse companies perform better. But that isn’t true, if it were those more diverse would already have outcompeted those not so.
The argument is therefore that having white male toffs running everything is unfair, not inefficient. Well, OK, maybe it is and maybe we’d like to do something about it. But if that doing raise inefficiency then we are back to that claim above. There’s only a limited number of spaces for the incompetent. So, when the insistence is that some of this group should get them then there’s going to be some dropping of that other group that already held them.
We also get to run this the other way around, the logic is reversible.
If there were some group of undiscovered talent among the proles and power skirts then having more of them on boards would benefit the company. The capitalists would therefore do this. If, however, there isn’t but there is the pressure to look good on the issue then we’d see one group of token incompetents being replaced by another as political fashions swing one way and the other.
What are we seeing?
There is no undiscovered pool of talent, is there?