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Do you support so-called “quota systems” to achieve gender diversity by promoting women to senior leadership positions in companies?

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I gave a no vote but it's not really so simple. Best person for the job should always win, often women, often men, but in some places the old boys network really needs a push.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

I don't exactly agree with the quote. Equality of output is by definition discriminatory - in order to force the equality, more qualified people must be forced out by less. This is discriminatory.

What we need is equality of opportunity. Women and other minorities shouldn't face discrimination when it comes to being considered for positions, they should be as equally potential for the job as anyone else.

That said, in an unbalanced situation, sometimes it needs a little push to bring it more towards balance. If there are not as many women on a board, then focusing efforts onto creating an environment of more equal opportunity, and creating a smaller quota in order to ensure representation exists, can be a good thing when done right.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Implementing a quota system would be an excellent way to avoid solving the problem. It won't help to teach men who feel that women are inferior that they are not. It will create an atmosphere of animosity which will lead to more harassment, insubordination, and low morale. In cases where a better qualified person is passed over to achieve quota, it can adversely affect business performance.

These aren't just thoughts, I'm speaking from experience. Having spent 23 years in the military and seeing a similar quota implemented back in the '70s, it was an epic failure. Quotas simply don't work. People have to be educated from youth and the education must be driven socially, not academically. Discrimination in all forms is a social malady after all.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

@Strangerland

I don't exactly agree with the quote. Equality of output is by definition discriminatory

Not sure what you mean by “output”. Do you mean “outcome” as in “equality of opportunity” vs. “equality of outcome”? An auto-spell check problem?

I’m all in favor of equality of opportunity, but people are not of equal ability, attitude, tenacity, etc., so equal outcomes (commensurate pay) cannot be guaranteed.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Not sure what you mean by “output”. Do you mean “outcome” as in “equality of opportunity” vs. “equality of outcome”? An auto-spell check problem?

Yes, I meant outcome.

equal outcomes (commensurate pay) cannot be guaranteed.

Why not? Why should women and men be paid differently if they are equal?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I don't like quotas at all but they are sometimes helpful in solving some entrenched societal problems. Even so, I have to vote 'no.' One more thing though - there are al ot of unspoken of quotas too. Those can be filed under "we already have too many of them here" or "we don't want too many of them here."

1 ( +2 / -1 )

equal outcomes (commensurate pay) cannot be guaranteed.

Why not? Why should women and men be paid differently if they are equal?

As Ike said, people are not of equal ability, attitude, tenacity, etc., so equal outcomes (commensurate pay) cannot be guaranteed.

If they are in fact equal, then yes, they should have the same pay; but often times, they are not equal.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I think that a person should be selected on their ability to perform in the role.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

A person should only be selected on the basis of his/her qualifications and nothing else.

I do realize that in the male dominated corporate environment of Japan women unfortunately still often hit that glass ceiling but things are slowly but surely changing and quota will cause an opposite effect.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If both women and men had equal opportunities and rights from birth then there would be more females available, capable and trained to compete for positions of senior leadership. The best and most capable are the one who should be selected regardless of their sex.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

@Strangerland

Why not? Why should women and men be paid differently if they are equal?

Compared as individuals men and women are not “equal” if you mean they, on an individual basis, have exactly the same skill level (unlikely), education (unlikely) and experience (unlikely) as well as other factors and therefore should receive the same pay.

However, for example, some individual women have superior skills to some individual men. Do you think that such women would welcome those men receiving the same pay based on “equality”?

If you think so, there’s a high paying job in Venezuela awaiting you.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Business demands the recruitment process look beyond the politics of gender diversity and at the skills/character quality potential of the prospective employee. Quota's are not the answer, equal opportunities requires a level playing field day one.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

This is really a follow on from discussions we had re gay marriage.

A "man's wage" really wasn't a man's wage, it was the family's income that provided the woman with the wherewithal to look after that family. (I don't know how universal this is but,Traditionally, the woman until at least quite recently held the purse strings and ran the household and gave back the man a little pocketmoney. That was, at least, the idealized theory).

Therefore, isn't the real issue we should be looking not gender pay equalizing but reducing single persons' pay to a single persons rate (equal according to ability), versus a family rate for couples with children, bearing in mind the additional costs of a family and the importance of them to the nation?

This would then address the other big problem of people not reproducing sufficiently.

At present, selfishness, immaturity and narcissism is rewarded; while national sustenance, via having family and bring it up well, is punished.

In that way, as per some Northern European nations, either party can be the income earner and either party be the family sustainer.

Of course, that would require more of a socialistic approach as it would have to address the capitalistic con trick that now has two adults having to work, and often more than one job, just in order to support their families.

As private enterprise is so beloved by the current economic regime, that adjustment would have to come via taxation.

And let us not forget paying the women who, in the vast majority full the lowest paid employment, a properly living wage that affords them somewhere decent to live, a chance to further their skills or education, and the hope of having a family in the future.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@zichi

"...then there would be more females available, capable and trained to compete for positions of senior leadership."

There should be more, since women have tended to slightly outnumber males at universities and other higher learning areas for the past 30 years or so in the developed world. If women aren't "competing" for senior positions, it's because they have chosen not to. And all the quotas in the world ain't gonna fix that.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I recommend people look into Jordan B Peterson. He often discusses evidence showing that "as societies become more gender-equal in their social and political policies, men and women become more different in certain aspects, rather than more similar." "Policies that maximize equality of opportunity make equality of outcome increasingly impossible. The doctrine, ever more radically and loudly insisted upon by the politically correct, that sex differences are only socially constructed is wrong."

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@JeffLee

If women aren't "competing" for senior positions, it's because they have chosen not to

So, inequality in the workforce is all their own fault is it?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

the capitalistic con trick that now has two adults having to work, and often more than one job, just in order to support their families

You make a good point. It does seem that people have to work more these days while raising a family.

Also, the question focuses on "senior leadership positions", which are perhaps not the most productive jobs around. (The pointy haired boss is still an idiot no matter the gender.) Scientists, engineers, farmers, IT specialists, production line managers, construction site managers, surgeons - is anyone asking for quotas for these kinds of jobs?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yes or else women will not be given fair opportunities.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

So let's ask a question to ABC Corp, Japan:

Q: Why are there so few female senior executive in your company?

A: Because there are almost no women who apply for these roles - very few of the managers of ABC Corp are women and all our senior executives are chosen from the ranks of management.

Q: Why is this?

A: Because we do not promote women to manager grade.

Why is that in Japan so few women are in any positions of power or authority, whereas in more progressive countries, women tend to fill a much higher percentage of roles?

The answer must surely be Japan's deeply rooted sexism and discrimination against women. This is why there are so few credible candidates for senior roles - they have been held back by companies and society more generally. Perhaps the only to make the change is a quota system.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@albaleo

the great capitalistic con trick that now has two adults having to work ...

You make a good point. It does seem that people have to work more these days while raising a family.

I've edited to "great capitalistic con trick".

The amazing thing is, it has all happened without anyone protesting and within a few decades. 50, 60 years ago, one person could go out and pretty much earn enough to support a family while the other person managed the household, cared, tended and educated the children at all levels of society.

Now people just can't afford to and so stop reproducing.

The current form of capitalism is one that ONLY makes a profit by passing on the full an real costs of its business to the rest of society, and this is another example of it. Not just the diminishing population, women putting off having children until the last opportunities, but also a growing general breakdown in society because children are not looked after properly, or are hived off to complete strangers, generally least skilled/educated or of foreign backgrounds (read easily exploitable) in incubator style nurseries.

There clearly is sexist and discrimination against women at all levels in Japan but some of the phenomenon is based on pragmatism, albeit outdated pragmatism, eg the expectation that women will leave to get married and start a family by aged 25.

I was shocked by JeffLee's comment above, clearly a Right Wing American/Social-Darwinianist concept that it was women's 'fault' for not competing. They express similar view over racial minorities that then square the equation if you are a woman from a racial minority (the lowest paid of all). Responsibility for an abusive, exploitive system is boiled to a "it's your fault if you are a loser in the game" ... by that logic, yes, it's women's "fault" if they have to get pregnant and bring up a child. It's only their choice to do an "lose" the corporate game by doing so.

Rather than conclude positive discrimination and quota don't work, as someone quoted Jordan B Peterson saying, rather accept a more obvious conclusion that where they have not worked is where they were not practised well.

But, overall, my concern is that this movement is not about improving society but merely further pushing women into having become corporate wage slaves under the guise of equality as the carrot, getting them hooked to the money and consuming on the way.

In Japan there is not the tradition of having a stranger, let alone foreigners in your house to look after it or look after your children (housekeepers, au pairs etc). In essence, parents outsourcing their love, care and attention to more vulnerable and easily exploitable others. As wonderful as having a foreigner au pair might sound, I can't help thinking the tradition is rooted back in the days of slavery.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

JeffLee

There should be more, since women have tended to slightly outnumber males at universities and other higher learning areas for the past 30 years or so in the developed world. If women aren't "competing" for senior positions, it's because they have chosen not to. And all the quotas in the world ain't gonna fix that.

Really!

One of Japan’s most prestigious medical schools has admitted deliberately altering entrance exam scores for more than a decade to restrict the number of female students and ensure more men became doctors.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/08/tokyo-medical-school-admits-changing-results-to-exclude-women

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Strangerland said it best.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

People should be promoted or given positions based on merits not based on gender or age. Placing people into government or management just because of their gender is absolutely absurd and just as prejudiced as not allowing them to the position in the first place.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

How many youngsters do you think are kept down or wasted as a resource because seniority is primarily decided by age too?

Unfortunately, you don't factor in procreation into that equation therefore there is a need for positive discrimination and rights protection for women ... unless you want the nation to completely stop having babies.

I think you're misrepresenting what positive discrimination is. It's not just about putting people in position because of their gender. It's about making sure that people of equal ability are given equal opportunity.

Countless studies have been done to prove discrimination goes on. In Japan the general attitude if women don't get promoted because they are going to leave to have their child.

There needs to be reform in both maternity leave/childcare and the right to return to work as in developed nations. Then the provision of adequate childcare linked to the place of employment.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

“Equally qualified” male and female job candidates or candidates for promotion are not necessarily equally evaluated. Research shows that even university students evaluate male professors a lot more highly than female professors (this has been repeatedly reported on), even when fake names are used for online courses. Having a family and young children is frequently seen as evidence that a man is established, needs a job to support his family, and will not leave the job as he needs the income. However, a woman with young children is often seen as a risk as she might take sick leave when the kids are sick. Married women in Japan, and I am speaking from personal experience, are sometimes not even considered as in need of a job (“her husband can provide for her,” “the current position is good enough for her=no need to promote her”).

I also wonder how employers can evaluate working parents, given the fact that in Japan it is mostly mothers who lose a few years’ worth of career if they choose to have children. Having a baby means, as a minimum, having a fulltime job taking care of it for a year (each feeding lasted about 30 minutes, done every two hours in the case of my children; diaper changing, etc.) as the baby’s father is absent from home (working hard for a corporation but also developing his career and improving his future prospects in the company and on job market). Returning to work after two children, it is impossible to compete with childless candidates or most men who have children. My resume has “holes” that correspond the births of my children. My husband’s resume does not have any such “marks” (scars) that record the expansion of his family.

My conclusion is that perhaps quotas would help working mothers I just described.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Gender diversity will have to include the whole gamut of LBGTI and other variations to be really "inclusive". Limiting it to "men"and "women" surely will not do!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The amazing thing is, it has all happened without anyone protesting and within a few decades. 50, 60 years ago, one person could go out and pretty much earn enough to support a family while the other person managed the household, cared, tended and educated the children at all levels of society.

The one that stays at home does not have to always be a woman. Yes, perhaps for a few years while children are breast feeding, but beyond that, it does not need to be the man that works.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I say yes, because it's not like most people in the big companies, and definitely in government, aren't really qualified anyway -- it's just an Old Boys' club. The women who would get the positions as a result of this are likely far more qualified anyway. Let the men serve tea.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@smithinjapan

Let the men serve tea.

That sounds like a good title or elavator pitch for a role reversal comedy.

One day Japan wakes up, the women are in power and ... the men serve tea.

Yes, my reading of the situation in Holland/German/Scandinavia etc is that the parents have a choice of who does the caring and can swop positions without it effecting their career. It's government supported with long leave.

(Have not checked specific details as I write).

Is this not where the whole "last year's Christman cake" thing comes from? 24 and you're out of the company and married.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I gave a no vote but it's not really so simple. Best person for the job should always win, often women, often men, but in some places the old boys network really needs a push.

Best post, can’t argue that point.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Ability takes priority. Unfortunately, never mind gender, I have also seen leadership selection is based on if him/her knows some big shots, or relatives, etc.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I vote this a yes.

At the end of the day, it is a "quota" but not necessarily the case that the quota will be met.

But I think it's useful insofar is that it can serve as a reminder when a position comes up for grabs, and the rest of the incumbents are largely a bunch of one type of human. The "best person" for the job may indeed have a strong component of the diversity that they would represent, diversity does in fact bring value.

Yes, it would suck if you are counted against because of this, but it's not like no people like you will ever be able to get a fancy job, you just have to compete for it more. Same as minorities have competed hard to get where they are as well. I don't think complete incompetents would be chosen, solely on the basis of the diversity they would appear to bring.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Given that the candidates are equally qualified, women should be promoted ahead of men as a matter of principle to redress centuries of gender discrimination. Men who can't deal with a female boss can lump it.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I support preferential treatment for female candidates in entry and rank and file levels. Merits and other relevant factors should be taken primarily into account for promoting someone to top and executive positions.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I think it's a really different question. Everyone probably agrees that rank should be decided by merit, but the people deciding the rank are often blind to their own biases. In that way, I think quotas might be able to open some eyes to what women and minorities are capable of if given the chance. On the other hand, it can sow distrust and animosity. Not easy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

NO QUOTAS! There's a BETTER way. We have 6000 years of written behavioral case history of PATRIARCHY. It is all bad. We've tried 'revolution' many times in history and it is always a FULL revolution, 360° from one set of psychopaths to another, new, set, perhaps even worse (see: Stalin). And always Patriarchical. It is time we transform to Matriarchy. And, to begin that transformation, we just stop promoting men. 'Supervisor' maybe. Executive, NO. One of the reasons men guard our dominance so fiercely is our knowledge that, one to one, women are more competent than men, more attentive to detail, and less impulsive or risk taking among other things. Men won't see a glass ceiling, just the ceiling. Again, men have done such a terrible job in the last 70,000 years that extinction is already penciled in on Humanity's future. and there is no reason to trust our 'leadership' further. The only problem with this, of course, is that men cannot be trusted to be home alone without getting into trouble. Some men can do well taking care of the house and not killing the kids but others, most, would have to have remedial socialization. WE might also suspend the vote for men, disenfranchise their citizenship for a time, until we can figure out effective ways to educate them and to be able to trust them with time on their hands and no immediate supervision to keep them safe. Some time in the future, if it looks like men are stepping up to the problems we have created over the last 70,000 years, we might let us participate again in the higher reaches of the Human drama. Seriously, we're getting down to the wire here (~50 years) and we need to find a NEW behavioral path, not the same old crap with different names and labels as usual. The WOMEN will SAVE us, if we let them. And if they can let themselves. MATRIARCHY NOW! or we're done here

0 ( +0 / -0 )

While I support the idea of more women in leadership, particularly governmental, quota systems would be problematic. You would have to apply them across the board of all professions. I don't forsee many women putting thier hands up for hard and dirty work such as construction or garbage collection nor that many men putting thier hands up for nurturing type jobs such as aged care and nursing or part time jobs at the supermarket cash register etc.

Let the free job market based on merit and personal choice decide.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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