Is discriminating against anyone on the grounds of age, race or gender ever okay?
Women’s Minister Julie Anne Genter says old white men need to “move on” from company boards to help close the gender pay gap.
Speaking to students at Christchurch’s Cobham Intermediate School on Thursday, Genter said the private sector needed to address the low level of female representation on New Zealand company boards if more businesses were to be led by women.
About 85 per cent of board members were male, and many were “old white men in their 60s”.
Some of them need to move on and allow for diversity and new talent,” she said, later clarifying she had “no problem with old white men” on company boards generally. . .
I wouldn’t say 60 is old. Even if it is, ageism, racism and sexism isn’t a good look in a Minister who is supposed to be working towards equality.
It’s worse from someone whose party’s values include :
Engage respectfully, without personal attacks
Actively respect cultural and individual diversity and celebrate difference
Enable participation with dignity and challenge oppression
Encourage new voices and cherish wisdom
Diversity on boards does have benefits.
But a Minister ought to be able to make the case for that without disparaging anyone on the grounds of their age, race or gender.
If discrimination against people on the basis of such factors is wrong for the young, those whose skins aren’t white and/or are women it’s wrong for everyone else too.
If Genter can’t help women up without pulling, and putting, men down, she’s in the wrong job.
If misogyny is a problem misandry is not the solution.