Posts Tagged ‘women’


April 11, 2011

A proposal that women achieve parity with men over the next 10 years on Canada’s major bank boards, is resoundingly being voted down by management and shareholders.  As of now there are three or four women on the 15-member boards.  Also as of now, if the rate of change for women on  the boards continues at the same pace as it has over  the past 20 years it will take 120 years to reach parity between men and  women board members.

And the problem gets worse.  Only 21 per cent of Canadian MPs are women.  Women hold a mere 14 per cent of board seats and 17 percent of senior officers on FP500 corporations.  Close to  half of those companies have no female directors at all. Some governments like India and Argentina have passed laws stipulating that corporate boards must be 30 per cent female.  France has such a law (40 percent women) and Germany is planning one. Should governments (including Canada and the United States) stipulate that a certain proportion of women (say 30-40 percent) should sit on corporate boards?

If women are half the population (and more than half the MBAs)  should not women have at least 40 per cent of board seats?

Should the government pass legislation stipulating that Canadian  and American women should occupy 40 per cent of board seats?

What do you think?


March 8, 2009

Today is International Women’s Day.

Are women equal to men?  If not, why not?

Of course women are not equal to men in physical strength.  Never will be.  That’s just a fact of life.

But what about brains?   Remember when Larry Summers, then president of Harvard, now a senior economic adviser to President Obama, mused out loud whether in brain power, women were inherently inferior to men when it came to the study of science and mathematics.  He was hounded out of Harvard but was he onto something?

What about public life?  Of course women like Margaret Thatcher and Hillary Clinton and Angela Markel are right at the top.  But is it because they are women or because they act like men?

What about business?  Well, there are more women in top jobs (many of them manly females) but their less fortunate sisters down the totem poll on the assembly line are only making 70 per cent of what their male counterparts are making.

What about politics?  There is not a legislative assembly in the world that has 50 per cent women.  Most have fewer than 25 per cent.  So one half of the population is seriously under-represented.  It should be noted here that Premier Jean Charest, as a matter of  policy has appointed women to 50 per cent of his cabinet.  He deserves plaudits.

What about religion?  One of the biggest offenders here is the  Roman Catholic church.  The church teaches that women are not fit to be priests nor homilists nor distributors of communion – and none of this rampant discrimination is likely to change in the near future.

So are women equal to men?

What do you think?

The Vatican newspaper says one of the things that contributed most to the emancipation of women was the invention of the washing machine.  What do you think of  that?