leadership

Ten laughable “explanations” men gave to keeping women out of the boardroom

Tarla Lambert /

No women in the boardroom? Well, look, there’s a good reason for it according to numerous male bosses in Britain.

For starters she probably doesn’t “fit comfortably” in the space – physically, metaphysically, emotionally – you know?

And she definitely wouldn’t want the “hassle” of sitting on a board. She has better things to do with her time like ironing, folding and baking cakes. A fruitful career? She’s more suited to cutting up fruit slices for the kids’ soccer.

Doubtless she wouldn’t have the right credentials anyway. She might have gone to university and graduated with higher marks than the guy next to her, but he likes beer, is white, balding and middle-aged. He’s clearly a better fit for the gig.

These excuses might seem implausible, but we’re here to tell you, they’re real.

A study commissioned by the British Government, revealed 10 of the “worst explanations” that researchers were given for not employing women to the boards of the UK’s largest companies. If you’re prepared to fill your rage-quota for the day, read on for the full list:

  1. “I don’t think women fit comfortably into the board environment.”
  2. “There aren’t that many women with the right credentials and depth of experience to sit on the board — the issues covered are extremely complex.”
  3. “Most women don’t want the hassle or pressure of sitting on a board.”
  4. “Shareholders just aren’t interested in the make-up of the board, so why should we be?”
  5. “My other board colleagues wouldn’t want to appoint a woman on our board.”
  6. “All the ‘good’ women have already been snapped up.”
  7. “We have one woman already on the board, so we are done — it is someone else’s turn.”
  8. “There aren’t any vacancies at the moment — if there were I would think about appointing a woman.”
  9. “We need to build the pipeline from the bottom — there just aren’t enough senior women in this sector.”
  10. “I can’t just appoint a woman because I want to.”

This article originally published by Women’s Agenda.

NOW READ: How diversity can help business go from good to great

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Tarla Lambert

Tarla Lambert is the publisher for Women's Agenda. She's a politics junkie, content marketing specialist, wine drinker, rugby league watcher and fierce advocate for equality.

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