Sporting boards and gender equality

The application of very crude metrics

A chara, – Sporting organisations such as Tug of War Ireland, Pitch and Putt Ireland and Snooker Ireland may lose whatever minimal Government funding they are in receipt of unless they reach a target of 40 per cent women on their boards (“Sports bodies ‘must appoint more women’”, January 27th). Meanwhile, the Baton Twirling Sport Association of Ireland and the Camogie Association will continue to receive government funding, even though their boards include far less than 40 per cent males. Which is absolutely reasonable, as just like, say, Snooker Ireland, this is reflective of the gender breakdown of the participants in their sport.

This would all just be silly and vaguely amusing, except that it is indicative of a broader trend in gender “equality” policy. Namely the application of very crude metrics, often as here consisting of one percentage figure with no context, analysis or background, to determine if seemingly random “targets” which have no apparent relation to reality are being met.

This is not rocket science by any means, but it is also not amenable to simply waving a magic figure (which always seems to be 40 per cent, no matter the circumstances) around just because it is easy for lazy people to measure. – Is mise,