All-female boardrooms carry the same risks as all-male ones

·1 min read
<span>Photograph: Emily Whitfield-Wicks/PA</span>
Photograph: Emily Whitfield-Wicks/PA

There are two compelling arguments in favour of business diversity (London Stock Exchange poised to list first company with all-female board, 25 October).

The first is that groups of people, with different expertise, experience, mindsets and beliefs will see and know more than homogenous groups, thereby making better decisions.

The second is the argument for social justice: that it is wrong as well as wasteful to discriminate against swathes of the population.

Neither of these perspectives is helped by an all-female boardroom, which carries all the same risks as an all-male boardroom. Your article appears to suggest that the business world as a whole is improved by the large number of highly qualified women at Atrato Onsite Energy.

But it is not the business world as a whole that will hire employees, or determine strategy, or make procurement decisions, or reward the company’s directors. All of those choices will be made by a homogenous group – one that would be stronger and smarter if it were more diverse.
Prof Margaret Heffernan
University of Bath

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