An illogical explanation from the Minister for Women


Minister for Women, Julie Anne Genter is furiously trying to explain away her racist, sexist and ageist remarks about, ‘old, white men’ needing to ‘move on’ so that more diverse people can have their jobs. The problem with her explanation is that it simply does not add up. Her comments are contradictory and she has simply dug her hole even deeper

I said that around 81 per cent of board members are men. The vast majority of them are white, and in their 60s and 70s. And I said with a rueful smile “Some of them should move on and make room for new talent and diversity.”

Adding the ‘rueful smile’ does not improve what she said one little bit. Bearing in mind that ‘diversity’ is actually a code word for women and non-white people let me demonstrate…

I said that around 81 percent of board members are women. The vast majority of them are brown and in their 60s and 70s. And I said with a rueful smile “Some of them should move on and make room for new talent and white men.”  

Yes, it is still a sexist, ageist and racist comment no matter what the expression on her face was.

Now I need to be clear. I strongly believe that older, white men should be on boards. I just also believe that people from other demographics should also be too; particularly women, young people, and people from other ethnicities are also massively under-represented at present.

So you believe in racial and gender quotas then, not people being chosen only on their merit?

I agree with Simon Bridges that older men have a lot to contribute and there will always be, and should always be, a place for them in leadership roles.

What a condescending comment. I can almost visualise her patting Bob Jones on the head, saying there, there, don’t worry Bob I am not going to force you out. You can still be of some use you know and there will be some places for relics like you in my brave new world.

Bob Jones would no doubt tell Genter that white men are in the majority not because of their skin colour or age but because they earned their positions. They put in the time and the effort and made the sacrifices required to get there. In today’s equal society anyone prepared to put in the same effort, time and sacrifice can earn those positions but people like Genter want shortcuts.

But right now the reality is that many groups in our society aren’t as well represented. Women, young people, and many other groups of society are visibly missing from leadership roles in business.

It is up to them then, to make the sacrifices required and put in the time and effort if that is what they want.

I agree that board roles should go to the most qualified people. But do we honestly believe that the only qualified people are mostly male, mostly white, and mostly older? Or is the reality that inertia and unconscious bias means we tend to appoint people who look us and think like us?

There is growing evidence about the importance of diversity for the success of businesses. A diversity of views and experiences helps avoid the pitfalls of groupthink and it help businesses tap into new ideas and markets.

A diversity of ideas perhaps but a diversity of skin colour? Don’t be ridiculous. Skin colour has nothing to do with ability or experience. As for age, experienced people are usually older people. It might be nice to have more women for a female perspective but that will naturally happen if enough women truly want those roles. If there are not that many women in those roles currently I suggest it is more likely because women have other priorities, rather than because there is some grand conspiracy to keep them out.

If we accept that we need more diverse boards then we also have to acknowledge the mathematical reality that there will be fewer places for men on them.

No, we don’t accept that at all. Merit-based appointments mean that age, sex and skin colour are unimportant. There can be huge diversity within a group of white men. This identity politics idea that white men are one homogenous group is false and totally ignores the many different cultures and languages of people who have white skin.

If Genter truly believed what she said about the role going to the best person for the job then she wouldn’t have also said that old white men should move on to make way for others.

If an old white man is the best person for the job then why on earth should he lose his job? Merit is the ONLY thing that should be considered and if others want an old, white man’s role then they should put in the hard yards and earn it.

I am what identity politics would label a woman of colour and I never want to be given a role because of my skin colour or sex. I earn the role or I don’t want it. I don’t buy into all this victimhood nonsense preached by the left. It is the racism of low expectations to give me a role over a white person simply because I am more ‘diverse’ because of my gender and skin colour.

I don’t think that there should even be a Ministry for Women. It is waste of money that achieves nothing positive. The only way to improve it I suggest would be to put someone like Bob Jones in charge of it. As he is an experienced and successful businessman I am sure that he would promptly decide that it was an ineffective and unnecessary waste of time and taxpayer money and would close it.


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