In her column last Friday (“It’s time for more Ms. Managers,” Feb. 25), Kathryn Olivarius praised quotas as a means of breaking the glass ceiling for women. While I am sympathetic to the cause of advancing female managers, quotas don’t just “seem un-American” — they are un-American.
Equality of opportunity is the American way. To be sure, truth be told, the phrase itself can be deceptive: not all opportunities are equal. Nevertheless, the role of government is to maximize individual liberty, not achieve equality of outcome. Fighting alleged gender inequality requires common sense, not the sledgehammers of government intervention.
What’s more, Olivarius mistakenly argues that the enforcement of quotas would “not damage the meritocracy.” If this statement is true, why aren’t there quotas in professional basketball to promote the recruitment of short people?
Companies and basketball teams alike play to win. Arguments in favor of female managers should reflect profit maximization over notions of fairness. If women leaders are important to the success of a company — and I agree with the many who have suggested that they are — they don’t need quotas to get ahead.
The writer is a senior in Pierson College.