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News Article

Flaws in Queensland’s affirmative action plan
Thursday, October 6, 2016

Margaret Thatcher was Britain’s first woman PM – but rejected quotas for women

Britain's first woman Prime Minister would have been deeply concerned by yesterday's media release announcing the Queensland government's new policy of a 50% quota for women on all government boards by 2020. 

"I would hate a person to ask me a question, 'Are you a quota woman or are you a merit woman?'" she once told a journalist.  "I would like the assessment (of whatever I did) to be because I was the right person for the job.  It didn’t matter as a man or as a woman.  I had the right qualities for the job.  I had the right beliefs, the right principles.  I wasn’t a quota."

FamilyVoice research officer Ros Phillips said Mrs Thatcher was not the only high achieving woman to hold this view.  "German Chancellor Angela Merkel would strongly agree with Mrs Thatcher," she said.

"The Palaszczuk government’s new policy would undermine respect for women by implying they do not have the ability to achieve in management without an artificially imposed quota system," Ros Phillips said.  "It is counter-productive and fundamentally flawed."


  • Government and society

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