quotas

We must ask ourselves, is it really Priti Patel who has been benefiting from her race and ethnicity or have there been quotas which historically have been favouring individuals from the other end of the spectrum, namely those from public schools who are of a particular race and gender?
"To all the little girls watching... never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world" Hillary Clinton's words after she failed to shatter the glass ceiling to the very top floor.
Some of my male peers in the industry joke about it, calling the consistently male dominated talks or panels 'manels' - recognising the distinct lack of female voices. What's telling is that 'manels' are everywhere - in the boardroom, C-Suite and across the tech sector, especially finance.
The idea of putting into action a quota for women, seems to get many people's backs up. I have lost count of the number of times I have been told that our representatives must be there on merit only. What an insult to women, apparently in Scotland only 35% of the women's population is able.
You want a truly diverse workforce, you don't have people brought in because they fit a label, you bring them in because they're talented. It's a matter of pride and self-worth to refuse a job if you know you're only being offered it because you fit into a particular category.
Businesses clearly have a long way to go before there is equality in the boardroom. But market forces rather than quotas are a large part of the answer.
When Helen Clark - the former New Zealand Prime Minister who runs the UN Development Programme - was asked about quotas recently she responded with characteristic clarity 'when nothing else works you should have quotas'.
Whilst quotas signify a step in the right direction, it is important to acknowledge that their necessity highlights society's unwillingness to achieve such a rebalancing of power on its own. A quota for female presence in Europe's boardrooms is not a bad thing, but I fear that it fails to effectively address in-built constructs of gender difference.
Quota implementation in Latin America has not gone unchallenged. Detractors frequently argue that quotas interfere with meritocratic recruitment, alleging that "quota women" are the female relatives of male politicians, thereby perpetuating - rather than destabilising - elite control. Similarly, quota women are criticised for being dependent on party leaders, lacking autonomous voices, and failing to promote feminist policies.
With the ground breaking news earlier this week that the European Parliament passed a vote on the requirement that large, listed companies ensure women hold 40 per cent of non-executive board seats by 2020, comes the realisation that the global business community has to wake up and smell the coffee.