If you are like me (and I know you wish you were) you have been following the HP scandal closely. The fact that the board hired PI's to steal personal phone records of private individuals was (to say the least) alarming.
Naturally, there has been plenty of blather about what this all means and how it could have happened, but one thing I have not heard much about is the role of the giant elephant in the corner no one wants to acknowledge: affirmative action.
Patty Dunn was the "chair" of HP and was behind the decisions for the PI's to steal the private phone records. What were her credentials you might ask? Well, she has a BA in journalism (what kind of jackass gets a fake degree like scribbling anyway?) and married her way up the finance ladder.
Congolmerate blog makes this comment:
For this post, I am interested in focusing on another potential "lesson from HP," raised by one of my colleagues at dinner last night. This colleague has had extensive experience as an affirmative action officer at a major university and as as an organizational scholar. She wondered whether the events at HP might be related to the fact that women were in charge. Of course, the investigations were spearheaded by Patricia Dunn, and one of the principal officers in charge of the investigations was General Counsel Ann Baskins.
Gender might figure into this story in several ways. For example, women who are outsiders to the clubby world of corporate directors may rely too much on formal procedures and not enough on informal mechanisms. Women leaders may feel the need to be overly tough or results-oriented to overcome stereotypes of weakness in a way that men don't.
Or, it could be that Dunn was promoted to a position well above her skill level, intelligence and experience to appease affirmative action requirements.
Something to think about.
Paging Vox Day...paging Mr. Vox Day.