The case against gender quotas – a view from Hungary

By Judit Iglodi-Csato, Vice-Chair, British Chamber of Commerce in Hungary 


Gender diversity, forced quotas for women in leadership, positive discrimination ... these are all hot topics in corporate discussions and debates.

It might be controversial, but I don’t believe in gender quotas, I don’t believe in forced equality. For the mere fact is that I believe in equality, and as such...

The fact that one happens to be born with a certain set of dna by no means dictates that a person is more (or less) able to be successful in a role or to be a better leader than the other. Women and men tend to – but not always – hold different qualities and abilities.

We are observed as being more emotionally driven, our soft skills work on a wider scale, we can be more talkative, engaging and other than in years gone by collecting the essential fuits and veggies to support the tribe’s needs, we operate the quintessential grapevine that hold teams – as well as big societies – together.

Men, on the other hand, can often better focus on one single thing, see longer perspectives, weigh consequences better, protect and provoke in order to win and by that move forward successfully. They hunt, capture, achieve and compete. A highly recommended good read on the topic is Harari’s Homo Sapiens (and Homo Deus, as well).

So shall we force this or that potential benefit on a society or on an organisation?

Organisations which tend to thrive, all allow their people to be themselves and get the best out of them by inspiring and promoting the right behaviours, attitudes and values fit for their purposes. As long as their leaders recognise these and can relate to them, as long as they are integral figures who people can learn from, turn to for advise and look up to, it does not matter if the person is a Sidney or a Sydney...

I believe in equality, being measured by our achievements our values and how we act on them, I believe, we shall all be treated and respected the same as long as we earn and deserve that respect. And this is exactly why I don’t believe that an only men or only women team can be better than a diverse one, irrespective of whether we are talking about corporations large or small, governments or a circle of friends.

Women shall be respected for who they are, just like men are. We shall be treated the same, no matter if we had pink or blue blankets in our cribs...

For more about the British Chamber of Commerce in Hungary, visit


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