Government Diktat

California style.  That state has passed a law.

The law requires a company to appoint one woman to its board of directors by the end of 2019. By the end of 2021 a five-member board would need to have two women, while boards with six or more directors would need three. The Legislature, always alert to possible micro-aggressions, defines female as “an individual who self-identifies her gender as a woman, without regard to the individual’s designated sex at birth.”

(One wonders whether the law would be satisfied by a male Board member self-identifying as a woman for the purpose of Board-related activities.  [/snark])

The number of women selected for Board membership has much to do with the lack of women with actual qualifications for those positions.  Forcing quotas onto private enterprises won’t produce qualified women out of thin air.

The lack stems from two major sources (among others).  One is the way we teach our girls and young women throughout K-16.  Our “educators” generally don’t push them as hard or in the same direction as they push our boys and young men.  This is an example of the bigotry of low expectations.

The other major source is in our various corporate cultures.  Women don’t get the same support, encouragement, or kicks in the fannies to do better that men do, so they don’t develop, over the course of their careers, the qualifications needed for Board seats.

Along these lines, women employees don’t spend the same continuous time on their careers as do men: many women take significant time off from their careers to have and raise children.  As a nation, we still haven’t worked out a way around this difference in time commitment.  Paid parental leave might be a step in that direction, but even were it, it’s wholly inadequate.

This law does not address any of these.

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