The Debate About Quotas

By Joyce He and Sarah Kaplan | Gender and the Economy | January 03, 2017

Policy makers and organizations have been working toward achieving gender diversity for many decades, but progress has been slow and is perhaps even stagnating. Only 5% of the 500 CEOs on the 2016 Fortune 500 list are women, a mere 27 out of 500. Men are two to three times more likely to hold senior management positions, a figure that has stagnated for almost 30 years despite widespread efforts to remedy this imbalance. Employers still lean toward hiring men over women who have similar qualifications, and the gender wage gap persists in numerous occupations. In Canada, despite implementation of a “comply or explain” disclosure regime to facilitate gender diversity on boards of directors, 45% of companies still have no women on their boards. Notwithstanding extensive research on the topic and widespread diversity initiatives, gender representation remains a persistent problem in corporate leadership and in the workforce.

What is your reaction to the fact that the 61st session of the Commission on the Status of Women will be chaired by a man?