Quotas are all well and good but they should be aspirational, something to aim for and not legally binding.
EU commissioners are due to debate proposals that would force quotas for women on corporate boards.
EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding is in favour of the proposals to make it mandatory for companies to reserve 40% of seats for women.
The problem with legally binding quotas for employees of any sort, from the lowliest employees to the highest level of government, is that they are exclusionary. The quota criteria, whether that is gender, race, ability or anything thing else, becomes paramount. If someone doesn’t fit into the criteria that is irrlelavent to doing the job, then they cannot have the job no matter how good at it they would be.
Quotas should be something to aim for. Instead of forcing companies to have 40% disabled people or 25% from ethnic minotities or 50% women, the reason behind the low turnout should be looked at. If a sector decides it needs more women, it should discover why are there so few women currently in their industry and then steps taken to encourage more woment to join. Whether that’s the image, education or whatever that puts off a dempgraphic from entering an indusrty.
By forcing quotas on institutions you get good people refuse positions because they otherwise they will upset the legally required rartio. You get resentment, where someone gets a job just because they are disabled or whatever.
Require companies and instiutions to try to attract more diverse applicants to positions, but don’t restrict filling a position to the second best just because they’ll be another tick in a box.