This might be true but it\’s considered indelicate to say so

Murray is not a supporter. “Women in the boardroom? Terrific,” he says. “Why not? Always welcome. But why make a special case out of it? Why tell everybody you’ve got to have X number of women in the boardroom? Women are quite as intelligent as men. They have a tendency not to be so involved quite often and they’re not so ambitious in business as men because they’ve better things to do. Quite often they like bringing up their children and all sorts of other things.

“All these things have unintended consequences. Pregnant ladies have nine months off. Do you think that means that when I rush out, what I’m absolutely desperate to have is young women who are about to get married in my company, and that I really need them on board because I know they’re going to get pregnant and they’re going to go off for nine months?”

Simon Murray, new Glencore Chairman.

7 comments on “This might be true but it\’s considered indelicate to say so

  1. A Norwegian chap I work with was telling me about Norway’s efforts to make the whole of Statoil 50/50 men/women. The problem is, the ratio of men/women doing the subjects an oil company needs is about 90/10. The result is any woman doing engineering in Norway, no matter how retarded, gets offered a job in Statoil. Perhaps not coincidentally, Norway is short of good engineers, or at least ones willing to go into (and stay in) the oil business.

  2. Only problem is it’s not true in any objective sense, it just has (Stephen Colbert’s) truthiness. It appears true to those people who want their prejudices confirmed.

    He’s an arse, and has probably lived with arsey expats for so long that it’s probably incurable.

    He asks a reasonable question about whether there should be boardroom quotas for women, and answers with generalizations about all women which could just as easily apply to most men.

    ‘Quite often they like bringing up their children and all sorts of other things.’ Like what – shopping and spas? Does he know any women apart from spoiled wives of rich expats? And the only men he probably knows are married to their work.

    Maternity leave – yeah, yeah – confirm your prejudices. In my experience it’s good and bad – nuanced like most things. It has allowed experienced and talented women to keep on contributing to a company and have children. Unlikely to have happened without the legislation.

  3. A friend of mine was the manufacturing manager at a small subsidiary of a large PLC. He had a phenomenally productive and reliable workforce comprised entirely of women.
    Women over 40, that is, with grown up children.

  4. Murray describes the reported opinions of Lord Browne as “snide” and without foundation.

    Mine’s the bumper irony bucket, with a large side of irony.

  5. I am assuming that this is the Simon Murray, formerly of Jardine-Matheson of Hong Kong and an alumnus of the French Foreign Legion Para Regt?

    Tim adds: Indeed.

  6. However most women would prefer to be appointed on their merits – not as the result of a positive discrimation law.

    Plus, most women – and men for that matter – would not really be of use in a traditional boardroom until after their child bearing years.

    The new techologies think rather differently and they have a better and flatter maagement structure. None of this command and control rubbish.

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