As AN admirer of Nicola Sturgeon’s political abilities, I’m astonished by her clumsy presentation of the case for reserving 40 per cent of “top” jobs for women in “big” firms. But the idea affects men as well, and we’re all entitled to question the logic involved.
Top jobs must be reserved for top performers in any firm. What if the level of available female talent judged superior to that of men falls below 40 per cent?
Are posts to remain vacant, or are women to be appointed regardless of (in)ability?
Would outsiders be brought in, leading to unemployment? Will there be a time limit on implementation; punishments for non-compliance?
The first point to be established must be justification of the basic principle.
This is in no way served by Ms Sturgeon’s statement: “We are still under-represented in the governance of companies and public authorities.”
This suggests the existence of approved representation percentages for males and female: gibbering nonsense.
We should also be told the basis of the 40 per cent demanded; the fact that it applies in Norway is irrelevant.
A logical extension would be to insist on the required gender levels being applied to the entire workforce.
Government’s relationship with business should be to bring about suitable market conditions for them to flourish in the service of the country
It’s also worth pointing out that other groupings might claim positive discrimination, such as on ethnicity or sexual orientation – both perhaps to be similarly subdivided?