Gillian Merron - a good appointment
Gillian Merron’s gender ought to be entirely irrelevant. She has been appointed to her new position as CEO of the Board of Deputies on merit and through open competition. Instead of commenting on her gender, reaction to her appointment should be focused on her wide experience of government and politics. But given the fact that it remains so rare for a woman to hold a major communal post, it is understandable that much of the reaction has indeed been about her gender. And it is to the Board’s credit that it has set an example for others to follow. Ms Merron’s appointment makes much sense and we wish her well in the job. Once she starts, she will be judged not on her sex but on what she achieves. But she does have to be careful. Before she has even taken up her post there have already been comments about the ‘left-leaning’ Board leadership, with Ms Merron a former Labour minister, Public Affairs Director Phil Rosenberg standing for Labour in this month’s local elections, and President Vivian Wineman. Actions are what counts, and she and the team around her will have to show that no such bias exists.