We agree that quotas, women-only shortlists and any other positive action (not to be confused with positive discrimination) will work in helping to counteract past discrimination and break unhelpful stereotyping. What are government and the business community afraid of?
They rename quotas and women-only shortlists as "positive action" as a way of avoiding the term positive discrimination. They don't want to think of themselves as discriminating, when that is exactly what they are doing by imposing quotas and shortlists.
The article itself is fairly stock standard. But I was interested that so many of the Guardian's readers argued against the idea of forcing equal numbers in business (the first eleven comments were unsupportive of the quotas idea). Maybe feminism really is faltering at ground level.
The first of the pro-feminist comments was also interesting:
Blaming emancipation for women to family break ups is so absurd that you can compare it with those who believe that the end of apartheid has brought more crime in South Africa. If family does break up because women want to be treated like equal human beings, then I say to hell with familiy harmony, where women are just like kettle. Human dignity is more important than anything else in this world.
This is evidence of how seriously a political world view is taken by some people. The commenter, "Shalone," is willing to sacrifice the family if it's thought to represent an advance in equality and human dignity.
That's why it's so important for a society to think through such morally charged concepts like equality and human dignity carefully. If they are wrongly defined, then they will be applied in destructive ways, as they are by Shalone.