Some might argue that the best way to bring more women into their higher ranks of Wall Street firms is quotas.
Those people are not Lord Mervyn Davies of Aberosch, the former chief executive of Standard Chartered who served as Minister of State for Trade, Promotion and Investment.
When, because of the meager number of women on the boards of financial firms during the crisis and the fairer sex’s inclination to take less risk than men, the UK’s Lord Mervyn Davies was given the task of increasing the number of women on the boards of FTSE companies, he all but ruled out quotas.
Davies writes in The Guardian:
“Quotas have proved successful in some countries, but many of the women I have spoken with are against these.”
“I have not ruled them out as a recommendation, but at the moment I am not convinced that they are the right method to encourage progress.”
Instead, he suggests internships.
“Companies could be required to provide board internships to give senior staff the experience of what it means to be on a board.”
And encouraging head-hunters to find more women.
“One possibility is to create a best practice code for head-hunters tasked with board level and other senior appointments; they also debated how to increase the transparency of board appointments made via a nomination committee.”
And as a woman, I don’t like the idea of filling a position because of a quota, either, however I’d like some more effort put forth.
Because while the subject of quotas hasn’t been treated so seriously in the U.S. yet, perhaps it should be.
According to the Wall Street Journal:
In U.S. financial companies, only 16.8% of executive officers and only 2.5% of chief executive officers are female, according to a 2010 study by Catalyst Inc.