Don't get Simon Murray wrong, he loves the pregnant ladies. They really rev his engine, but they don't belong in the boardroom.
Take the issue of gender quotas in British boardrooms, which are being threatened in an attempt to increase the number of women at the top. Murray is not a supporter. “Women in the boardroom? Terrific,” he says. “Why not? Always welcome. But why make a special case out of it? Why tell everybody you’ve got to have X number of women in the boardroom? Women are quite as intelligent as men. They have a tendency not to be so involved quite often and they’re not so ambitious in business as men because they’ve better things to do. Quite often they like bringing up their children and all sorts of other things.
“All these things have unintended consequences. Pregnant ladies have nine months off. Do you think that means that when I rush out, what I’m absolutely desperate to have is young women who are about to get married in my company, and that I really need them on board because I know they’re going to get pregnant and they’re going to go off for nine months?”