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Greater representation of women on boards? – YES – but not with quotas

Everyone would agree that the long-standing imbalance at the senior ranks of business has to be resolved. We need more women to nominate and be...

I have not yet read Anthea McIntyre’s book – Tomorrow’s boards: creating balanced and effective boards. I did hear Anthea interviewed on Radio National this morning and must say I agree with the main arguments she makes. Anthea is from the Australian Institute of Company Directors. This is part of a continuing initiative to boost the participation rate of women on boards. You can hear the interview at http://www.abc.net.au/rn/lifematters/stories/2011/3288306.htm

I was pleased to see the challenge to the notion that quotas are an answer. Clearly they are not. It so happens, that any senior position in any organisation has a lead time for achievement. The same applies, of course. to the senior executive positions which ironically are a feeder for boards. So even if women are being hired into career growth positions in equal or even superior numbers, these will need the appropriate lead time to acquire the knowledge, skills and experience to acquit themselves in those positions. Once this achievement cycle is complete, then one would expect the placement rate in senior positions, including boards, should show a much healthier representation from women.

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