The Rise Of Gender Quotas

Grind for October 5th, 2018
“Hope is not a resting place but a starting point – a cactus, not a cushion.”

– H Jackson Brown, Jr.

He Had It Coming

The Headline

FDA raids Juul headquarters

The Grind

The FDA last week conducted a surprise inspection of e-cigarette maker Juul’s headquarters in San Francisco, seizing over 1,000 pages of documents related to sales and marketing.

In April, the FDA criticized Juul for marketing its products to teenagers and gave it 60 days to change its marketing strategies. In September, the agency announced a massive vaping prevention campaign that will target 10 million adolescents who already use e-cigarettes or who are open to trying them.

The Details

Juul claims it never intended its advertisements to appeal to teens, but the company’s success runs suspiciously parallel to teen usage.

Surveys suggest that up to 20% of high school students use e-cigarettes – a figure FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb refers to as an “epidemic.”

Juul currently makes up more than 70% of the $2.5 billion e-cigarette market, and its sales are increasing every day. Juul sold 16.2 million of its devices in 2017, and 2.2 million the year before.

The FDA’s major concern with teen use is that high amounts of nicotine can be harmful to the developing adolescent brain.

“E-cigs have become an almost ubiquitous – and dangerous – trend among teens. The disturbing and accelerating trajectory of use we’re seeing in youth, and the resulting path to addiction, must end. It’s simply not tolerable,” said Gottlieb. “We are very concerned that we could be addicting a whole generation of young people…We only have a narrow window of opportunity to address it.”

A Bad Idea

The Headline

New California law imposes “gender quota” on corporate boards

The Grind

California on Sunday became the first state to impose a “gender quota” on corporate boards.

The controversial bill, which applies to all companies headquartered in California – even if they are incorporated in another state – requires publicly held companies to hire corporate directors based on gender.

Companies will be required to have at least one female board member by the end of the year. By the end of 2021, five-member boards must have at least two women and larger boards must have at least three.

Companies who fail to obey the law will face a $100,000 fine for the first violation and $300,000 fine for the second.

The Details

Supporters say the bill is necessary to diversity corporate boards in California. Opponents insist the bill is unconstitutional and degrading towards women.

SB 826 is “unconstitutional because it favors one element of a diverse workforce over all others,” argues California Chamber of Commerce spokesperson Chris Micheli. “Gender is an important aspect of board diversity, but the state should not elevate this element over all aspects of diversity.”

In my opinion, the women currently serving on corporate boards are there because they earned it. Think how they will feel meeting another female director – wondering if she is actually qualified or if she was just hired to fit a quota. The same thing goes for male coworkers, who will automatically look down on her.

The quota also threatens to tarnish the achievements of women who already hold respected positions in California corporations.

The bill will almost certainly be defeated in court before it takes effect.

Did you know… Leonardo Da Vinci loved animals so much that he used to buy caged animals at the market just to set them free.