Quotas Only Help One Type of Woman to Progress

Sheryl Sandberg
Photograph: Eric Risberg/AP

If you’re a senior woman in Silicon Valley then 2017 is shaping up to be a lucrative year. The New York Times reports that recruiters have been wooing women in the sector – with some senior women turning down up to 20 board invitations. More and more companies are now choosing to publish their diversity figures, and if the numbers stay the same each year it starts to get a little embarrassing. So in a bid to keep their clients happy, recruiters are finally actively searching for female candidates.

A good thing, right? On the one hand this is a step forward – tech companies in the US have just 15% women at board level compared with the Fortune 500’s average of 22%. And for the talented women of Silicon Valley who fought their way up in these firms (or more commonly left, started their own businesses and then were feted) it must be nice to finally receive the recognition they deserve. But if tech thinks it can solve its diversity problem by telling board-level recruiters to “make sure there’s a woman on the shortlist”, then they’re about to fall into the “golden skirt” trap...

To read the full article by Harriet Minter, visit The Guardian.

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