Monday, 2 August 2010


The press release last week of the four new strategic directors for Brighton and Hove Council struck me as odd as all four were men.

I have been a strong believer in the benefits of diversity in creating a strong team and whilst I have no doubt the four guys were selected for their individual merits I doubt if they’ll prove to be a compelling “team”.

The point is diversity leads to creativity and creativity overturns the traditional and outworn. Besides which surely a council would want to be vaguely representative of its voters’ interests or the other 50% as it were.

Tom Peters, who is one of the more stimulating management thinkers of our times has a strong view about why, possibly, all of the appointments should have been women:

“It is my fact based conviction that women’s increasing power – with their leadership skills and purchasing power – is the strongest and most dynamic force in the American Economy today – this is even bigger than the internet.”

Women are bigger than the internet….. but not in Brighton and Hove they aren’t.

But then, look around the boardrooms of Britain – the supermarkets, banks and insurance companies - and women are a rarity.

Let’s face it business is still a boys game and however liberally minded you are seems likely to remain so. Talking of which it’s not just business - only 7 out of 57 Lib Dem MPs are women.

So Brighton and Hove may have got it wrong but they are in good (male) company.

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