The other day I attended an event in Brussels. In a networking town like this, and Washington DC, that is nothing unusual. It was an industry event, so people representing their companies working with public affairs and in IT and Internet in general. So relatively ”new” industries. That isn’t anything exceptional either. No what was so exceptional was that of the maybe 50 people present four (4) were women. Of which one woman was married to one of the guys attending the event.
Yes, you read correct – out of 50 people, 3 were women working in the industry. And this is a fairly normal room in this town.
I find the figures remarkable and the situation so wrong I can’t begin to explain. And probably shouldn’t because, to quote President Reagan “You can’t print what I think.” But I still don’t want legislation remedying this.
Why don’t I want legislation to deal with this unbalance? First of all, affirmative action is discrimination, it departs from the principle that equal rights are always right. Affirmative actions leads to polarization, collectivization, and identity politics. Should increasingly educated women, all over the world, which on our own merits, sometimes against all odds, made it through tough educations be discarded in a future where men find it increasingly difficult to keep up? Because, one must see that affirmative action goes both ways.
These irrelevant criteria – gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, the list is endless, which helps individuals to advance their careers, will also be the defining criteria should this individual fall. Individual skills won’t matter, these criteria will still define the individual and spill over on the group as such, i.e. a woman gets on in her career to through affirmative action, if she fails ALL women become incompetent. Affirmative action also suppose that individuals are exchangeable which clearly we are not. So, in my case, as long as we have a woman on our team, we’re fine. Does that even begin to sound right to you?
Finally, there is the minor detail about property and private ownership, a privately owned company, indeed any company shouldn’t be required to hire any one else than the person they believe can do the job.
Still, 3 professional women in a room of 50 professionals seems, well – unbalanced.