How to win enemies and alienate people…one reason there aren’t enough women in the boardroom

images-1I spend a lot of my working life in boardrooms.  What I do for a living means I am often required to have tough conversations with senior people.  Most of them are men.   That has never bothered me, nor has it hindered my ability to be good at what I do.  I’m judged for the quality of my thinking, and not my gender.

Which, is why I found myself prematurely walking out of a swanky dinner at Claridges this evening. Hosted by a global search firm, the event was meant to mark the launch of a network to attract female talent into the FTSE boardroom. I was invited.  So far, so good.  I was looking forward to hearing the keynote speakers and networking with interesting people over a glass of champagne. Even better.

Until, that is, one of the keynote speakers stood up and spent the first five minutes doing a Romney. You know, alienating 53% of the audience. Who were female. Who were meant to be the next generation of talent.  Who – might I remind any head-hunters reading this blog – were potential candidates and/or clients.  This man ran data centres. He explained we wouldn’t know what a data centre was – his tone implying that data centres were too technical  for our pretty little heads. The fact that several accomplished MDs for UK tech firms were present seemed to have passed him by. Then he mentioned his ‘other half’. We were urged to feel gratified that this Neanderthal twit had introduced his ‘little woman’(yes, those were the words he used to describe his spouse), because clearly women are not professionally complete unless they are also sleeping with the boss!

I am afraid to say that common sense overtook courtesy at this point. I voted with my feet before the main course was served.  On the high-speed train home, I reflected on the experience. I have been to many dinners and networking events in the City, often very male dominated.  I can honestly say I have never been offended by the discussion, no matter how robust or different from my own view of the world.  Gender quite simply, wasn’t an issue.  What set tonight’s event apart?

For me it had to be the old-style misogyny and out-moded thinking. This man was representing purveyors of talent, who claim to actively support diverse leadership teams.  Really? As their spokesperson, I certainly wouldn’t want him representing me in the market. Instead of engaging with his audience, he simply confirmed a highly negative stereotype. His archaic leadership model has no currency in today’s workplace, nor is it borne out by the many women who sit on boards in the UK.  This is currently 15%  according to the latest report from Cranfield.  Women also make up 49% of the workforce here in the UK, across both public and private sector firms. Approximately 21% of start-ups in the UK are female-owned or led.

Personally, I think it’s time for a new paradigm. To paraphrase Project Eve’s wisdom…Instead of lamenting ‘the glass ceiling, it’s time we built a new house’.  Search firms, investors, networks and employers all have a role to play, as do the men and women who make up our workforce.

What do you think?  Should gender matter?  

25 COMMENTS

  1. 274863 863423I just couldnt go away your internet site before suggesting that I really enjoyed the standard info an individual give on your visitors? Is gonna be back regularly so that you can inspect new posts. 695703

  2. I have really noticed that fixing credit activity should be conducted with tactics. If not, chances are you’ll find yourself damaging your rating. In order to reach your goals in fixing your credit score you have to always make sure that from this minute you pay all your monthly dues promptly before their timetabled date. Really it is significant given that by not accomplishing this, all other activities that you will decide to use to improve your credit positioning will not be powerful. Thanks for giving your strategies.

  3. I absolutely love your website.. Excellent colors & theme.
    Did you make this web site yourself? Please reply back as I’m attempting
    to create my own website and would like to know where you got this from or exactly what the theme is called.
    Thank you!

  4. 960314 204445An fascinating discussion could be valued at comment. I do believe which you merely write read more about this subject, it may possibly not often be a taboo subject but normally persons are too few to dicuss on such topics. To a higher. Cheers 790705

  5. I have taken notice that in video cameras, extraordinary devices help to target automatically. Those sensors regarding some camcorders change in in the area of contrast, while others work with a beam involving infra-red (IR) light, particularly in low lumination. Higher spec cameras often use a mix of both programs and could have Face Priority AF where the digicam can ‘See’ some sort of face while keeping focused only in that. Thanks for sharing your opinions on this blog site.

  6. When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get several emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that service? Thank you!

  7. One thing I’ve noticed is the fact that there are plenty of common myths regarding the banking companies intentions whenever talking about property foreclosure. One fairy tale in particular is the fact that the bank desires your house. The lender wants your cash, not your house. They want the money they lent you together with interest. Keeping away from the bank will undoubtedly draw a foreclosed final result. Thanks for your post.

  8. Why YouTube video lessons are shared everywhere? I think one cause is that these are effortless to obtain embed code and paste that script everyplace you wish for.

  9. 680360 142722This was an incredible post. Truly loved studying your internet site post. Your data was quite informative and useful. I feel youll proceed posting and updating frequently. Looking forward to your subsequent one. 818984

  10. Thanks for the thoughts you are sharing on this web site. Another thing I’d really like to say is the fact that getting hold of duplicates of your credit file in order to scrutinize accuracy of any detail will be the first motion you have to accomplish in fixing credit. You are looking to clear your credit report from detrimental details faults that ruin your credit score.

  11. I should say also believe that mesothelioma cancer is a exceptional form of cancer that is typically found in those people previously exposed to asbestos. Cancerous cellular material form within the mesothelium, which is a safety lining that covers a lot of the body’s areas. These cells usually form inside the lining of your lungs, abdominal area, or the sac that really encircles the heart. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here