Miriam Gonzalez Durantez argues for quotas on boards – but warns that inclusive culture is also necessary

Remarkably, we’ve seen a consensus between our two leadership candidates that some for of action such as all women shortlists or zipping in list contests, is necessary to do something about the party’s shockingly poor record on diversity.

Miriam Gonzalez Durantez, as reported in the International Business Times, has called for quotas on company boards:

I am a reluctant supporter of temporary [boardroom] quotas. Intervention, on a temporary basis, is probably the only solution to make a big change. It irritates my legal mind because obviously discrimination cannot be sorted with another discrimination, but I’ve come to the conclusion that unless you make an intervention, change will to be difficult.

She did go on to say, though, that where there must be no tokenism. Companies must allow women on their boards to play a full part:

Boards have a specific role: controlling what the situation is for shareholders and the community as a whole, that is why they were created. Too many boards are either not diverse or diverse nominally and not inclusive. They sit women around the table but they don’t participate in discussions, those boards are not fulfilling.

This is a long term goal, she says, to make life easier for the next generation of girls:

I have engraved in my mind that with education you can do anything, so I’m dedicated to making sure girls look at the financial sector and see there is a place for them there. Lots of women think: ‘I don’t want to go out to be seen as a woman, this puts into question how I got here.’ But this is the wrong approach, we should be helping the next generation.

Many people within the party will get very angry at the thought of these sorts of measures, insisting that people must be selected “on merit” without seeing that the playing field is far from level. How can anyone suggest that Alison McInnes, the Scottish Lib Dems’ justice spokesperson who has singlehandledy forced the SNP into several major policy u-turns does not deserve to be there? Well, she was not selected at the top of her list for the Scottish Parliament elections by 2 votes. to widespread disbelief within and outside the party.It astounds me that people can think that this is ok.

We need to have so many more diverse representatives and this is just one of the things we must to do make that happen. Tackling the sexist culture within the party which enables things like the appalling undermining of Catherine Bearder to continue unchallenged.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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46 Comments

  • Siobhan Mathers 3rd Jul '15 - 6:34pm

    I agree with Miriam. I think that quotas on boards is a necessary temporary measure. And yes women have to play a full role rather than be tokenistic. This chimes with Julia Gillard’s comments in her native Wales recently where she said that the best teams were gender balanced. Of course exact proportions all the time would be unrealistic. But I believe that we must take concrete steps towards more women participating fully in politics and business.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-33365732

  • I have long thought that the wrong spouse became Leader of the Lib Dem Party.

  • I have always been against ‘quota’ systems, believing that the best person should get the position/job.
    BUT I now support a temporary measure (unless anyone can convince me otherwise)to break the log jam for minority/under represented groups – starting with us as a Party.

  • Antony Hook Antony Hook 4th Jul '15 - 12:03pm

    “I think a male who grew up on a council estate and went to their local school will be more disadvantaged than a privately educated female from a wealthy background.”

    Absolutely!

  • Ruth Bright 4th Jul '15 - 12:27pm

    Until that woman has her second period of maternity leave and then her career tends towards toast!

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 4th Jul '15 - 1:00pm

    What we need to do is make sure we increase opportunities for all under-represented groups -and remember that the male who grows up on a council estate will always be more advantaged than the female from the same estate unless we sort out our society. We can’t pretend that our society functions on merit until we do.

  • Stephen Hesketh 4th Jul '15 - 1:32pm

    MrWallace 3rd Jul ’15 – 11:13pm
    “I think a male who grew up on a council estate and went to their local school will be more disadvantaged than a privately educated female from a wealthy background. So why make it a male/female quota and why not just say at least 93% of board members must have gone to a non-fee paying school?”

    You raise a very interesting point Mr Wallace. Accents are another interesting area attracting not infrequent bias.

  • Stephen Hesketh 4th Jul '15 - 1:34pm

    Caron Lindsay 4th Jul ’15 – 1:00pm

    Agreed.

  • @ Caron. Yes a female from a working class background will have a harder time than a male from the same background, a disabled person of any sex from the said background will have a harder time still.

    And yet the point still remains and has been largely unanswered. Why the obsession with gender when the real divide to equal opportunity is wealth/social class/private education?

    Privately educated people are 5 times as likely to become MPs, around 15 times more likely to become lords and around 50 times more likely to become high court judges etc…

    To hear an extremely privileged woman who has far better opportunities than the vast majority of men complain against female discrimination and say nothing about class discrimination comes across to me as utterly self serving and I have not time for it at all I’m afraid. To see a picture of the person complaining about gender discrimination sitting near the front at Wimbledon with no mention of wealth and social class effecting ones opportunities in life just doesn’t sit well with me at all.

    If someone really cares about discrimination or lack of opportunities surely they’ll start with where the real barriers to equality of opportunity are, the economic circumstances of ones birth, but it’s very rare to hear those sorts of people ever mention this, most of them seem utterly blind to it. Almost like they don’t understand that people below a certain social economic status even exist.

    I’d suggest that you don’t call for any sort of male/female quotas at all until you are at the very least also calling for public and private education quotas too.

    I had a friend who once tried to persuade me that I should never vote, he said something that I still cannot to this day dispute. He told me that once you fall below a certain level no party will give a @@@@ about you. The evidence says he was entirely right.

  • Ruth Bright 4th Jul '15 - 4:07pm

    jedibeeftrix – most women have babies so how is it separate from gender?!

    David – the “obsession” with gender in this organisation in particular is so great because there is not just an imbalance (100% male in the Commons) but a grotesque imbalance.

  • I hesitate to get involved in this discussion (as a man – does that say something?)

    However perhaps the key to ending any relative career effects of parental leave is when both men and women stop calling it “maternity leave” and when men and women take approximately equal amounts of it?

  • I can see why the Party has such a big ‘woman problem’ right here on this thread. Every time a way forward is proposed, certain men come along and demand that something be done about the poor oppressed working class men. Well, how about the Party tackle its ‘woman problem’ and catch up with the other political parties first? It’s not that hard to do if Labour and the Tories can manage it! Trying to fix imbalances in representation from working class/BAME/disabled etc people is a mammoth task if you try to fix all those inequalities in one go – unless you can find the mythical black transgender, , single-parent, state-educated woman in a wheelchair living in social housing – so of course nothing is done! .

    Letting the perfect be the enemy of the good is nothing more than a tactic to preserve the status quo.

  • @ruth. 100% of your euro MPs are female. Seriously though 2 points:

    1. You have so few MPs now and since 8 is not a large enough sample size to be representative of anything that is utterly irrelevant. If it was zero out of 50 or zero out of 100 that would mean something was seriously wrong. But zero out of 8, I’d just be glad you still have 8 and not zero out of zero.

    2. You had lots of female MPs, everyone of them just like most of the men proved to be incapable of persuading their voters that they were worthy of keeping their seats, it’s not like there were no women given a ‘winnable’ seat. Lots of women were given the chance to have a seat by the lib dems, they just failed to achieve it. Was it like the party refused funds to women MPs to campaign with or something?

    I do not believe for one minute that the liberal democrats are an institutionally sexist organisation.

    @Andrew. Yes it means you’re frightened to share your opinion.

  • @Andrew
    “However perhaps the key to ending any relative career effects of parental leave is when both men and women stop calling it “maternity leave” and when men and women take approximately equal amounts of it?”

    You don’t think there are good physiological reasons why mothers should generally take more leave than fathers? Most women start their maternity leave some weeks before the birth – for very good reasons.

    No, the real key to ending these career effects is for employers (both male and female) to stop treating mothers unfairly.

  • When it came down to the biggest test of prejudice, ie the selection of the American Presidential candidate by the Democrats, they voted for a black man over a white woman. I was very glad indeed that Obama became President, it was so historic, but don’t let’s forget that the Americans chose him first and have yet to break the gender barrier.
    Of course we should be tackling all types of inequality and Ms Gonzales is tackling one that she know about. It can surely only do good if there is no longer a disparity between the population at large and membership of Boards.
    Yes we must fight against other forms of discrimination but I don’t see why women shouldn’t stick up for themselves.

  • Ruth Bright 4th Jul '15 - 5:57pm

    Phyllis – blimey what would we do without you? xx

    Stuart – exactly.

    David – I take your points but there is sexism in our attrition rates for PPCs ie our failure to support female candidates who are already there long-term so that the electorate gets to know them well in advance of election time. Agreed many female PPCs were given a chance, they might well have been drowned in the historical tide anyway but it might have helped if some of them had not been selected so late. Nicola Sturgeon was apprentice to Salmond for donkeys years and look where that apprenticeship got her. Some of our older male MPs need to announce their retirements early and find someone who looks very different as their replacement.

    Do look at my article “None shall be enslaved by maternity” on this site. Off to get the wee ones’ tea now……

  • @phyills. Somebody said something should be done about the entire poor working classes (me), but nobody said that it should solely be about poor working class men (presumably to the detriment of working class women). What was said was focus on the the big problem, ones social economic status greatly affecting their chances in life more than anything else.

    Seriously, can you show me one post that either said or implied that helping the working classes out was about purely helping the male members of the working class. It seems to me like you’re seeing things that don’t exist… At least they don’t exist on this thread anyway.

  • Eddie Sammon 4th Jul '15 - 6:56pm

    Obama won against Clinton in 2008 because of Iraq and he was seen as being to the left of her, not because women are more oppressed than black people. 95% of people in prison are men and black men are hugely overrepresented there. The Federal Policy Committee is over 50% women (although with 15 on the panel it has to be a majority for someone, unless you include trans) – there are areas where women are doing better than men.

    I don’t mind the opinion that women have it worse than men and sometimes I agree with it, but let’s not start painting it out as being horrific for women. Men are not having a great time either.

    I’m not getting into a debate on this. It should be obvious that when looking at data you look at both sides and every time I have to take time out of my day to counter incorrect narratives a bit of goodwill goes.

    At this moment I will be putting a big fat “none of the above” on all elections going forward until I see someone not pandering to populism.

  • One thing I have never seen in the liberal democrats is a culture of sexism, racism or discrimination. If the party can’t tackle the big issues then it won’t go anywhere I’m afraid. If it’s focus is to be on why were the only MPs who managed to keep their seats men I think it is in a fair bit of trouble, you had lots of good female candidates and the voters rejected them all because they wanted to. Not because of any sexist conspiracy.

    And by the way the reason women tend to spend more time looking after very young children than men is because nature made them better at it. If stating this is sexist then nature is sexist, reality is as it. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but they’re not entitled to their own facts.

  • David, they might not exist explicitly on this thread but as has been pointed out, men from a working class background will always do better than women from the same background, so it is a natural consequence of what you are suggesting.

    Every time gender equality is debated on here, it’s always “never mind women, what about the [insert preferred oppressed group here]”. It’s a diversion tactic, pure and simple. By suggesting that “you don’t call for any sort of male/female quotas at all until you are at the very least also calling for public and private education quotas too” you are advocating kicking the whole issue of gender equality into the long grass. It’s basically saying ‘ let’s not do this straightforward thing which all the other parties seem to manage perfectly well, let’s do this really difficult thing instead, or at least pin the two together’.

    Thank goodness the other parties didn’t engage in such pointless ‘whataboutterys’ or there wouldn’t be any women in the Houses of Parliament at all.

    All people, regardless of gender, background, etc should have a level playing field. Let’s start with the ones who make up 51% of the population shall we?

  • OK, my feelings on this:

    having children is a choice. Children are wonderful, but they are very demanding. Bringing them up as well-socialised, positive members of society is a task of great importance to society, and should be recognised. One way to do that is for one parent to give up work while the children are small. For normal families that means significant financial sacrifices, and one partner normally suffers in their career. But even the other partner may have to make career sacrifices – I work in a University, and the most successful Professors have been working 70 hour weeks for decades. If they want to spend meaningful time with their children, this is difficult…
    The other choice is for both parents to carry on with their careers. This means other people look after their children. For the lucky ones that can mean grandparents (anyone who has had that luck should be barred from saying career and children is easy). For the rest it is expensive and stressful because people you don’t know may not bring up your children as you would like.
    Ok, so the parents are carrying on with their careers and making some sacrifices in terms of time with their children and money. But that is not actually all. By taking maternity leave or shared parental leave they make things awkward for their employers and colleagues. Either colleagues do their job for them while they are away, or someone is hired part time to do it. Can there be a more lousy contract (other than zero hour) than a 6 month parental leave cover? You just learn the job when the incumbent swans back and takes over again. And in my university we never know if the person is going to come back full-time or part-time, or at all, until the last minute. Just forget forward planning… And of course all this can happen every year for 5 years in some cases…

    So I am just a bit astonished that two parents expect to have children with no negative effects on their two careers at all! Talk about having your cake and eating it!

    Such a contrast with people who unluckily find themselves becoming carers! The State pretty much expects them to give up everything to care for a relative…

  • I should have said “look after their children for part of the time” of course! Unless your are aristocracy…

  • @Phyllis: “David, they might not exist explicitly on this thread”. They don’t exist at all on this thread.

    @Phyllis: “men from a working class background will always do better than women from the same background, so it is a natural consequence of what you are suggesting.” Will they always do ‘better’? What is ‘better’? They are less likely to go onto university for example. More women from working class backgrounds will go onto university, get a degree and go onto to become middle class professionals than men from the same background. But I’m not going to claim that this is the result of some feminist conspiracy aimed at keeping young lads down the coal mines…

    @Phyllis: “Every time gender equality is debated on here, it’s always “never mind women, what about the [insert preferred oppressed group here]”. It’s a diversion tactic, pure and simple.” Again, I think you might be seeing something that doesn’t exist. I think it’s far more likely that these posters are saying, as I am, that if you genuinely want to use something as blunt as quotas to enforce equality of opportunity then you need to use it to help some genuinely disadvantaged group, such as those from low income households. I do not believe that all women fit into some homogeneous group of the disadvantaged purely as a result of their sex. I’ve known many women who were privately educated by wealthy parents, supported through university and given every opportunity. Those women are simply not oppressed and disadvantaged due to being born female in the UK in 2015. Female members of other groups however are, but that is true for the male members of those groups too.

    @Phyllis: “All people, regardless of gender, background, etc should have a level playing field. Let’s start with the ones who make up 51% of the population shall we?” No, lets definitely not start there. If this was say Pakistan or some other country where women are at an extreme disadvantage I would definitely agree with you, but as I said I don’t believe that all females regardless of background are disadvantaged in Britain. The real disadvantage in the UK these days is ones the economic status one is born into, ones social/economic status has probably been a bigger advantage or disadvantage in the UK for at least 25 years now.

  • Ruth Bright 4th Jul '15 - 11:17pm

    Andrew – you are wise to say that parents must accept some effect on their careers. I breastfed for three years and was prepared to accept that that pretty much displaced everything else I had in mind for those three years. What we should not accept though is for pregnancy and parenthood not just to affect careers but to destroy them wasting skills, training and talents.

    David – as a pregnant PPC I was subject to numerous comments about my size – “walking Caesarean” etc . That discrimination was direct and humiliating. Several years ago Dinti Batstone wrote a report about how badly the party had treated a number of pregnant councillors in a range of circumstances. Alas, most of them would only speak anonymously.

  • Ruth,
    I agree entirely – all that talent needs to be used, not wasted. And women should be able to make any of the range of parenting choices without being made to feel guilty about it (usually by other women, in my experience)

    I also think the current maternity rules are very all or nothing. Many women I know would like to be able to keep more in touch with work, but it is a maximum 10 days or you lose the maternity pay. Perhaps the new shared parenting arrangements will improve that, but the tag-team approach must be very annoying for employers. And I think where possible women (and now men) and their employers should be encouraged to negotiate arrangements through pregnancy and beyond that suit both parties, but which may not be returning to the same job. Returning to a different post for example, releasing the original one for a new permanent appointment.

    The comments you mention about pregnant women are disgraceful. It seems we have even gone backwards in this particular respect. I think it is that many men feel very threatened by successful women, actually.

    On average, women and men seem to react differently to children. Women love to do things WITH their children while men like to do things FOR their children (take them to activities run by others, build tree houses, that sort of thing…) When the child is ill off school it is far more likely to be the woman who re-arranges her life to accommodate this. And one of my friends was a house-husband but I could not help but notice that his wife would come back from a full day earning money as a research chemist, clean the house, make new curtains and look after the kids etc while he went off playing hockey…. I have no idea whether this is genetics or conditioning, but it is there… And obviously there are many exceptions…

  • Phyllis,
    Actually I thought that there was evidence that amongst the working class, women are increasingly becoming the breadwinners. Girls do better in school, get better educated, and are likely to move into white collar jobs while men are stuck chasing a decreasing pool of blue collar jobs. Of course within the SAME job, there can be discrimination on wages, but the women are getting better jobs

    I remember a tv programme a few years ago where they tracked a bunch of boys and girls from a former pit village in south yorkshire. The boys all wanted jobs and mechanics and such, but these were hard to find. The girls were going on to college. They interviewed one pair of 17 year olds who were in a relationship – she had a place at university. He was saying “she’ll be back, just watch” She was saying “I’m never coming back to live here – its a dead end”

  • Sammy O'Neill 5th Jul '15 - 1:11am

    What a truly depressing comment section here, as is usually the case if women are the subject matter. Honestly, it’s like observing a bunch of dinosaurs. I don’t actually think some party members realise how sexist they actually are. Well hate to break it to you gentlemen, but the reality is it’s people like you who are killing the party. I dread to think how many female members/active activists we lose every year because of the treatment they receive at the hands of their fellow party members. I could not never advise a young woman in her 20’s to join the Lib Dems as it stands- judging by some of the Lib Dem Voice commentators they wouldn’t want them to join anyway.

  • The pool of people who sit on boards is too narrow in many different ways. Gender is only one of these, but it is the one that is easiest to measure objectively.

    Rather than imposing a quota on the number of female directors, I suggest imposing a limit on the number of boards on which a person can sit. This would immediately open up new opportunities for increasing diversity on boards in many ways.

    In particular, executive directors of large companies should be so busy running their own company that they should not have the time to be an effective non-executive director of another company.

  • Speaking as a woman from a disadvantaged background who works in a male dominated field I can’t think of anything that I am opposed to more than quotas.

    Anyone that comes from an under represented group starts much much further back in the field and to get to the finish line at the same time as everyone else is no mean achievement. Quotas undermine this achievement by adding yet another layer of discrimination. All the existence of a quota means is that once you have battled your way through all of the obstacles in your path and you get that top job your going to have to waste time justifying the fact that you deserve that job on your merits and not your gender, ethnicity, disability or socio-economic background. Almost by definition you become a token. Quotas lower the bar instead of raising people up to meet it.

    I really believe if you want to change representation within the party you need to start at the bottom not the top – local party leaders and councillors need to identify talent and then they need to nurture it. We have a leadership programme for parliamentary candidates – but what about the regional and local levels? Are local councils, the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly not natural stepping stones in a political career? What if you do not want to stand for parliament? Party members from under represented groups need to be given the opportunities to learn the skills that are passed onto to their “too male and too pale” counterparts almost by default . Too often coming from a disadvantged background its not that you dont know how to take adavantage of opportunities its that you dont know where the opportunites are – we need to concentrate on getting everyone to the same starting point. If we can do this for people of Alison McInnes ‘ calibre they wont need any help to get to the finishing line – nobody will be able to keep up with them!

  • Jayne Mansfield 5th Jul '15 - 10:17am

    @ Phyllis,
    My idea of a ‘woman problem’ may be different to yours. Like Germaine Greer,I have always been a liberation feminist, not an equality feminist. As she points out, where has equality got us. Well it has got us a few women at the top.

    Please look up Liberation Feminism which accepts women’s different sex. I for one don’t want to be equal to men, assimilate into a male structure that has hierarchies, including those of class and race.

    I see the disgraceful undermining of the Liberal Democrats’ only remaining MEP through this prism. It seems that this successful women, voted into power by the electorate, doesn’t think or prioritise like a man. Good for her, ( even if she doesn’t see herself as a liberation feminist. )

  • Eddie Sammon 5th Jul '15 - 11:51am

    Sammy, please don’t think that the Lib Dems are full of sexism deniers. I am not a member, but I use this site and I hate it when it is just full of men. I want to know what women think about politics and I want them to be treated with equal respect.

    Debates around quotas etc will continue, but the party is not full of people who think all the top jobs should go to men. Personally I am in favour of diversity quotas, but I think my ideal solution matters less than tackling anger about sexism.

    You will also find that even on LabourList when they announced their next cabinet would be 50-50 gender balanced that most of the commenters moaned about it. Moaning about quotas is not a uniquely Lib Dem thing on the centre/centre-left of politics.

  • John Tilley 5th Jul '15 - 12:32pm

    Jayne Mansfield,
    Thank you for a welcome perspective on this ta does not fall into the usual tramlines.

    I also agree with you about the treatment of Catherine Bearder in the media, It just shows that some Liberal Democrats in the Westmnster Bubbd just cannot give up their addiction to back door, anonymous, negative briefing against people in their own party.

  • Identity politics will be the death of this party. How can the Lib Dems have any kind of broad appeal when those who challenge demonstrably wrong and ideologically driven opinions are labelled ‘dinosaurs’?

  • Jayne Mansfield 5th Jul '15 - 7:30pm

    @ Paul Walter,
    Paul, Nicola Horlick was given the nickname ‘Superwoman’ by the media , because she was such a rarity.

  • Michele “…..getting everyone to the same starting point…..If we can do this for people of Alison McInnes ‘ calibre they wont need any help to get to the finishing line – nobody will be able to keep up with them!”

    Sorry if I have misunderstood you it seems to me, from the article, that Alison McInnes proved herself to be an outstanding candidate but she was rejected by only two votes because of ingrained sexism – that’s the inference in the article. So, even if everyone is helped to get to the point that Alison reached, they are still scuppered at ‘ the finishing line’, as Alison has been. Lynne Featherstone and Jo Swinson were two very able ministers but they still did not make it to the Cabinet.

    Jayne Mansfield, interesting post, thanks for sharing. I agree with you (and Germaine Greer). will need to read up a bit more to see what steps ‘liberation feminism’ suggests to overcome institutional sexism.

  • If we are to have quotas on boards, then surely there should be quotas for working in sewers . The health of cities is more dependent upon clearing fatbergs from sewers than ensuring women sit on boards of companies.

    As women make up over50% of medical students where they receive goof career advice . early enough, then they can take the right subjects. I would suggest that too many girls are not receiving the right career advice and taking subjects which will take them to the top. If a girl is not going to take Further Maths a Level and make sure we undertakes the applied maths options, then she is unlikelt to be able to read engineering o physics at a top university. Many of the quants in The City come from a physics/engineering background.

  • @ Phyllis

    And that is my point. Alison McInnes is more than capable of fighting her own battle on this, she doesn’t need anyone else to do it for her. Under represented groups need champions capable of smashing through barriers, they need leaders not place holders. We need to concentrate on finding and then mentoring more like her instead of finding bums to put on seats. We need to raise people up not lower the bar. Alison McInnes ‘ deselection is outrageous but the real tradegy is that we don’t have 100 more just like her ready to step into the breach.

    Quotas guarantee us more women they do not guarantee us more women like Alison McInnes, Jo Swinson or Lynne Featherstone.

    Quotas are make do measures that allow people to claim they are dealing with the problem while continuing to ignore the root causes.

  • Ruth Bright 7th Jul '15 - 2:30pm

    Michele what worries me is that saying an individual woman can fight her own battles is all very fine but sometimes we
    need some help. When my local party asked “where had I got to?” And why wasn’t I performing as PPC a mere six weeks after an emergency Caesarean and the birth of a sick baby there was no-one to turn to in the party to ask for support.

    I have just read an e-mail from my local party. The minutes of the last meeting reveal they have already found a white middle aged man who fancies standing for the local County seat in 2017! Nothing unseemly like a level playing field selection meeting is mentioned. My local party does not have selection meetings so how can a woman come forward unless she is “in the know” . This is the enormity of the problem Phyllis is talking about redressing.

  • @ Ruth Bright

    I sympathise with what happened to you but I don’t see how a quota would have helped. How would more women candidates have helped you personally? Do you not think a mentor (male or female) – someone to turn to for advice and support would have been of more help? I’m not saying that woman SHOULD fight their own battles I’m saying that we should be fostering and mentoring talent so that they are ABLE to. I want to see a sea of strong women representing us at national, regional and local levels – but I just don’t see the correlation between this sea and over selecting female candidates.

    You mention that there is a need to be “in the know”. I agree with you completely – too many of the white, middle aged, middle class candidates are handed this knowledge on a platter. The only difference between you and I is that I think the party should make a point of giving this knowledge to its minority candidates before throwing them in at the deep end.

    The only argument I can see for quotas is female solidarity and given that both you and Phyllis have chosen to take issue with my dislike of quotas rather than tackling some of the more “interesting” gender equality views on this thread has definitely not won me over.

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