Women make up 59% of university graduates. Women dominate the traditionally male professions of law and medicine. Canadian women beat out all the Nordic countries (except Iceland) in holding senior management positions in business.
Women are doing very well, based on their individual competence, initiative and ambition. They don’t need the government to bring in gender quotas as Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has done for provincial boards and is now urging private companies to follow suit.
Experience from Nordic countries, such as Norway, where it is mandatory that 40% of board members be female in public companies, is not very reassuring. Thanks to this pressure for quotas, younger and less experienced women are being quickly promoted with detrimental effects on the operating performance of businesses. Only when competent, experienced women, who excel in their work, are appointed to boards do businesses improve their performance by the presence of these women.
In effect, competent women rise to the top naturally because of who they are, and what they do. They are not held back by that illusory glass ceiling so often complained about by feminists. The “glass ceiling” is a figment of the feminists’ imagination, and has no basis in fact. It is used by feminists as a useful tool to demand government intervention to give women an unfair advantage over men. Most women don’t need it or want it. Few women, unless they are childless, want a prominent position with its long hours and stress. Many prefer to balance their lives between work and family. This is made clear by studies from Nordic countries, which indicate that mandatory gender quotas have not advanced women in the business world at all. Women there have not increased their enrolment in business programs, nor have they changed their decisions around marriage and family. Gender quota policies in these countries have proven to be without merit.
Yet, feminists are determined to make gender quotas one of their major issues in Canada.
The feminist organization Equal Voice (EV), which received $1.47 million from Status of Women between 2006 and 2012, still promotes female victimhood in 2016.
EV, despite the evidence, denies that women have equal opportunity for advancement in Canada. At every turn, this feminist organization supports special treatment for women in the workforce. One of their first demands after the 2015 election was to make changes for women MPs who are challenged by the long hours MPs must work to represent their constituents.
It also endorses an NDP Bill, C-237, which mandates a political party quota of 45% for women as a condition for reimbursement of campaign expenses which are now gender neutral.
And of course, EV never misses an opportunity to gripe about how Canadian women live under unbearable conditions compared to men, of harassment, violence and discrimination, thus re-enforcing a divisive victimizer/victimhood mentality. A convenient manoeuvre to obtain more advantages for women.
Another champion of quotas for women on boards of directors is Senator Celine Hervieux-Payette, now retired. She has introduced four bills since 2011 to “modernize boards of directors” by legislating quotas for women, disregarding the objections of successful women who achieve without special advantages, and promoting the view that women are incapable of advancement without an extra boost from the state.
Women are doing very well in Canada. Unfortunately, a vocal minority of highly placed, well funded feminists still prefer to promote themselves as victims.
REALity Issue XXXV No. 11 November 2016