Tag Archives: boardrooms

Smashing the Glass Ceiling Part II: Hitler’s Thoughts About Women in Boardrooms

I recently wrote a post about the proposal to implement a quota to increase female participation in boardrooms after a mere 24 companies signed up to a voluntary pledge.
It now seems that the news of a quota has also made its way into the boardroom of the Führerbunker. In case you don’t know your internet memes, which I don’t believe for a second but still, I’ll give the video below some context: One scene of the film Downfall, in which Hitler launches into a furious rant, is frequently parodied by placing new subtitles to the footage. Initially YouTube blocked all Downfall parodies after complaints by Constantin films, but they are currently only placing advertisements on some of the uploaded videos as most parodies are viewed as fair use cases, which means that I won’t get into trouble 😉

Smashing the Glass Ceiling: Getting Women into European Boardrooms

Leading up to International Women’s Day, European Union (EU) justice commissioner Viviane Reding announced that she is considering enforcing a quota to break the glass ceiling and increase the participation of women in the boardrooms of European companies. This suggestion has stirred debate about the possible downsides of such a quota, especially in comparison with voluntary targets that aim to increase gender equality in European big business.

Sexist objections include platitudes such as the board meeting having to end at three o’clock because the CEO must pick up the children from school, half of the board of directors having synchronised menstrual cycles causing the top of the company to be instable, and CFO’s only being available on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Obviously, there are also serious objections to the quota. Hypothetically, a quota could mean that women that are insufficiently qualified will become members of boards, merely to meet the numbers prescribed by the European Union. This would not only make these women token board members, but it would also mean that a potentially sufficiently qualified male would be denied a job that he would be more suitable for. And would an emancipated woman really want a job that has been created thanks to a job quota? Wouldn’t she be regarded as merely having made it into the board room due to EU regulation? Continue reading Smashing the Glass Ceiling: Getting Women into European Boardrooms