Kevin Roberts, Executive Chairman at Saatchi & Saatchi, was first sent on leave and then resigned after he made some comments about gender equality in his company. Although women are underrepresented in the company’s management, Roberts doesn’t want to bother with the subject anymore. He was quoted as saying: ‘The fucking debate is all over.’
If we were to take Roberts’ words at face level, we would probably ignite with righteous, politically correct indignation. But if we were to read a bit further, we would discover there’s more to his words than would initially appear.
For what does he really say? That there is indeed a difference between men and women. And that in his company, women tend to choose to remain on the work floor and produce instead of managing people and issues. Roberts says that in his experience, men are more driven by fame, power and money than women. Women want to connect and co-operate, which in our fast-changing world might actually be more valuable than that old yearning for status that has possessed men since dinosaurs roamed the earth. According to Roberts.
Roberts isn’t talking about silly women unable to cope with the demands of being in management, but about silly men stuck in the Stone Age
That changes things dramatically. Roberts isn’t talking about silly women unable to cope with the demands of being in management, but about silly men stuck in the Stone Age. And now it’s up to us to determine which of the two sexes is likely to own the future.
Many people react hysterically to the idea that maybe women and men are not equal after all. And so Roberts was expelled like a naughty schoolboy. At this very moment, he’s probably sitting at home, wondering what exactly he said that was so awful.
Dumbo! As the head honcho of an ad agency, he should have realized that many people are unwilling to think outside of the box and that he should have stuck to politically acceptable comments.
Not that they would have added anything useful to the discussion…