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Top JPMorgan exec: Gender quotas are bad for women in business

Women are still underrepresented in the corporate boardroom, and they only hold a scant 4 percent of CEO positions in Fortune 500 companies.

According to JPMorgan Asset Management CEO Mary Callahan Erdoes, though, quotas are not the way to achieve a more balanced gender ratio.

Setting legal quotas is a strategy that several European countries, including Germany and Norway, are using to get more women in the boardroom. It's also a strategy that Erdoes "fundamentally disagrees with," she tells CNBC.

Mary Callahan Erdoes
David A. Grogan | CNBC
Mary Callahan Erdoes

"I think any minority that gets to a position of power or gets added to a board because of a quota doesn't want to be there," Erdoes says.

"You don't want to be there because of a quota. You want to be there because you earned the right to get there."

She isn't the only one put off by the idea of gender quotas. As The Washington Post reports, many American businesswomen believe that quotas could lead to women being perceived as "token" board members, rather than having attained the position solely by merit.

That being said, "quotas are often an important way to get something jump-started … to get people to realize that there is an issue at hand," Erdoes notes. "Maybe for short periods of time it's a good thing to have, but it is not the long-term answer to the problem."