There's a letter in this week's THE, from 50 Cambridge academics, which may interest some readers. It's about the "gender gap" in academic promotions. The basic message (which I am no doubt crudifying) is that the current criteria (formal and practical) for promotion, let's say from Reader to Professor, are too much framed in terms of research publication and research grants, and not enough in terms of teaching, administration, and various other forms of service -- and that this tends to dis-favour women applicants.
I'm hugely pleased that this is all getting a good public airing. And it also raises some interesting questions about how promotions work, or dont, outside areas where there are measurable targets/archievments.
I mean I can see that in commercial selling it might seem fairly simple. Rewards and/or promotion presumably correlate more or less directly with profits achieved. Though even there, there must be some tricky areas. No one wants to promote the guys whose vast sales figures were achieved by terrorising old ladies out of their life savings -- nor those whose only achievement was to clinch the final deal after months of hard work by others (one suspects there could be a gender gap there).
But it's inevitably harder when a whole series of value judgements are at stake, and however hard HR departments might try, cases can't be reduced to box-ticking.