The Central Bank of Nigeria on Tuesday said it was currently working with banks to ensure that a certain percentage of the position of senior management and board members were reserved for women.I wrote this:
I think it's wrong to use a quota system to try to enforce equality in management or any other field.From Re: CBN To Reserve Bank Management & Board Seats For Women
A quota system might almost make sense if we assume that the only reason we don't see an equal number of women in senior management is because evil men refuse to promote competent female managers, but that's not true. The fact is that women don't aspire for leadership the way men do, because they think that is not their role in life. Most women think womanhood is about looking good and making babies so they tend to sacrifice their careers for family life. If a man gets a good job in a different city, his wife will resign from her job to follow him. If a woman gets the same opportunity, her husband will not resign to support her. Then there's maternity leave. Little things like that add up over time.
Even when a woman is trying to move ahead in the corporate world, other women will try to pull her back by branding her as a NaughtyWoman or spreading rumors that she must have slept with the boss. The few women trying to get ahead tend to rely more on their looks and the cuteness factor instead of concentrating on substance and performance, and it works for them to a point, but not to the very top. As a result, in banking and many other industrial sectors of Nigeria, the best candidates for top management roles are unlikely to be women.
This is not to say women don't have the ability to be great leaders. The problem is that they are not encouraged to develop their leadership potentials, so most of them don't do so. As a result, a quota system mandating that a particular percentage of senior managers must be women is going to result in a lower quality of leadership. It's not fair that women are not allowed to develop their potentials, but it's also not fair to shareholders if you prevent banks from appointing the very best senior managers they can find regardless of whether such candidates are men or women. An insufficiently competent senior manager can ruin any company, so you want the very best, male or female.
Such "pro-women" policies will also encourage female managers aspiring for top positions to relax. If I know I'm the only female manager in a company and the company is forced to appoint 3 senior female managers by law, then why should I improve my performance? If a woman is guaranteed a slot at the very top by virtue of her gender then why should she strive to be better than men? Currently, women at the top are respected because we know they must be very good to have gotten there, but once such policies are in place, that will no longer be the case. Do we want that?
I would like to see more women in senior management, but the best way to achieve that is by encouraging women to work harder and take their careers more seriously. It's by commending women more for working hard and being smart than for looking good. It's by not telling women that they are supposed to be "submissive". It's by helping your wife at home or hiring domestic helpers so she can work harder at her job. It's by celebrating women who are good at what they do for being good at what they do, and not for their beauty. By treating the disease and not the symptom.