This is a double edged sword
On the one hand I totally disagree with the quota system, my first and primary reaction, and on the other hand I can see that a quota system has its merits.
Against the quota system
I believe that those that get to the Boardroom get there on merit and that alone. Given the changes in transparency and the rigour of the systems now required as set out in Best Practice, the cronyism approach is less likely to occur than in the past decades. Therefore Boards will be better populated naturally by all diversity groups who can bring value to the role.
In favour of the quota system
Change does not come easy, and force is one way to make it happen this decade.
Where change needs to occur
Change in attitude is necessary at three levels, Chairman, nominations committee and search firms. The risk appetite benchmark needs to be lowered and a greater pool of applicants of all abilities need to be considered. I believe that candidates that match 80% of the profile should still be considered as sometimes the profile is too definitive to allow for the changes stipulated in best practice.