Many campaigners advocate an “add women and stir” approach to fixing corporate governance. But this ignores the broader role of particular types of masculine business culture.
In the wake of the most recent economic crash, popular analysts looked at the gender of those involved in corporate governance and asked whether the recession would have happened if there were more women in senior corporate and banking management roles. The press blamed “macho masculinity” and testosterone-fuelled recklessness for the financial collapse. On one level this was positive as it represented a shift away from the media’s traditional focus on bad apples when it looks at corporate malfeasance and crime. Unfortunately, rather than pursuing this line of inquiry and considering what it is about companies (bad barrels) or the structuring of capitalism (bad orchards) that encourages the group performance of “macho masculin