Are We Bored with Women on Boards?

I was one of the lucky few to get tickets to the November 15, 2013 Munk debate at Roy Thomson Hall on The End of Men, with Maureen Dowd, Camille Paglia, Hana Rosin, and Caitlin Moran, all arguing about whether men have become “obsolete.” Three thousand tickets sold out in mere hours. Three blocks away, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) extended the deadline for submissions to its investigation of increasing women on boards and senior management. It received seven submissions in 11 weeks.

What gives?

Women on boards

On the one hand, we seem to be more interested in being entertained by a “phony” issue of the purported decline of men, rather than the “real” issue of the under-representation of women in senior executive and director roles. To be sure, there is evidence that boys are doing worse than girls on many measures of success — schooling, employment, wages, health — and that girls are overtaking boys in traditional male fields of law, medicine, accounting, and even engineering. The structural downsizing and outsourcing of North American manufacturing jobs has led to real decline in blue collar, unionized work — jobs that boys with high school educations could have counted on to carry them through life.

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