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Tories Set Race and Gender Quotas For Public Bodies

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The Tory government has demanded that 50 per cent of all 5,500 public appointments in Britain go to women, and 14 per cent to ethnic minorities.

Constitution minister Chris Skidmore unveiled the targets, which the government wants to see met by 2022, as part of the Cabinet Office’s 10-point Diversity Action Plan on Thursday.

The new quotas, drawn up to engineer the demographics of public bodies like the Forestry Commission and institutions such as the British Museum to reflect the general population, replace commitments made in 2013 by the Tory/Liberal Democrat coalition pressing for 50 per cent of new appointees to be female.

As a result of the previous targets, the proportion of public appointments going to women grew from 34 per cent in 2013/2014 to 49 per cent in 2016/17.

Of the five and a half thousand public appointees currently in post across large institutions and public bodies, 43 per cent are women and 10 per cent are from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Mr Skidmore said that while he welcomed the soaring numbers of female appointees since the first targets were put in place, “there’s more we need to do across all aspects of diversity.”

Launching the Diversity Action Plan, which he said “will make public appointments even more open and accessible to all”, the constitution minister said:

“We need diverse ideas and perspectives at the helm of our public bodies, so it is vital that public appointees truly reflect the society they serve.”

Breitbart London has previously reported instances in which the Tory government has made this assertion about diversity, as part of its drive to reduce the number of white men across British institutions.

In its Diversity Action Plan, for example, the Cabinet Office claims: “Inclusive and diverse public boards are more effective, better able to understand their customers and stakeholders, and benefit from fresh perspectives, new ideas, vigorous challenge and broad experience.”

But, after more than a decade of research into the effects of diversity on teams’ problem-solving abilities, business experts Alison Reynolds and David Lewis have concluded that it is cognitive diversity, not identity-based diversity, which improves a group’s performance.

“Received wisdom is that the more diverse the teams in terms of age, ethnicity, and gender, the more creative and productive they are likely to be,” they wrote in Harvard Business Review earlier this year.

“But having run the execution exercise around the world more than 100 times over the last 12 years, we have found no correlation between this type of diversity and performance.”

Explaining that cognitive diversity “has been defined as differences in perspective or information processing styles”, Reynolds and Lewis said their research showed “significant correlation between high cognitive diversity and high performance”.

But cognitive diversity, they found, “is not predicted by factors such as gender, ethnicity, or age”.

In a piece published earlier this week revealing that increasing diversity on boards can reduce performance, Ali Akyol, a corporate governance expert at the University of Melbourne, called government regulations aimed at increasing gender diversity “frictions” likely to make company outcomes worse.

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