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Sex Quotas at the Wall Street Journal


The Wall Street Journal, which ought to know better, has put together a “Women in the Economy” Executive Task Force, and recently held a “Women in the Economy” conference that was reported on in today’s Journal. As in the past, these folks seem not to have heard of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which makes it illegal for employers to engage in discrimination because of sex. Ignoring that little problem, the task force’s working groups included these recommendations:

  • “Hold senior managers accountable by tying promotion and compensation to meeting diversity goals and requiring regular reports to the board.”  “[T]his group advised setting diversity targets and holding the senior executives’ feet to the fire . . .”  “[E]xecutives whose ‘pay or promotions are at risk’ are more likely to change.”
  • “Post jobs regularly and ensure a diverse candidate slate.  Hold regular succession-planning reviews and make managers accountable.”
  • “Require a diverse slate of candidates, and include women directors on the nominating committee.”  “Make gender diversity nonnegotiable.”
  • “Find at least one female candidate for every technical job.  Reward the C-suite for retaining and promoting women.” 
  • “Government should be a role model for hiring, committing to 30% women at the top and reporting on progress.”

It cannot be argued with a straight face that these recommendations are anything but a call for companies (and the government) to set and enforce quotas on the basis of sex.


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