Women Are Making Incredible Strides in the Workplace without the Help of Quotas

  • From 2016 to 2019, women’s portion of corporate board seats increased from 15 to 20 percent
  • Since the early 2000s, women have outpaced men in education, earning the majority of bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees.
  • In 2019, women comprised the majority of the college-educated workforce for the first time ever.  
  • Women’s wages are growing faster than men’s.
  • Between 2014 and 2019, the number of women-owned firms increased by 21 percent, compared to 9 percent for all firms. 

Firms Should Focus on Profit, Not Gender Diversity

  • Firms should be free to select candidates they believe are most qualified and best suited for positions of leadership.
  • Some argue that greater gender diversity on boards will lead to higher profits, but if this were true, firms would choose gender-diverse boards for the sake of their own self interest. 
  • Evidence from Europe shows that quotas can result in less-experienced boards, which threaten firms. 

Quotas Fail to Recognize the Real Root of Workplace Disparities

  • Quotas wrongly rely on the premise that workplace disparities today are primarily the result of persistent systemic sexism. 
  • In reality, the choices that women make throughout their careers affect their trajectories. 
  • Companies should respect women’s individual merits and preferences without tokenism. 

Quotas, while well-intentioned, do more harm than good. 

Click here to read the full policy focus and learn more about gender board quotas.