Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Do Men's Egos Generate Unbusinesslike Behaviours?

According to Christine Lagarde, France's Finance Minister and a Lawyer with some 30 years experience, men's egos make them more prone to taking decisions personally and humiliating people.

In an interview on US ABC network in Washington this week, Lagarde was quoted as saying that in the main, women in such positions of power behave in a slightly different manner.

Mrs. Lagarde said that women inject less libido and less testosterone into the equation. From her experience she said: "it helps in the sense that we don't necessary project our own egos into cutting a deal, putting our point across, convincing people, reducing them to a partner that has lost in the process".

Named the 12th Most Influential Women in the World by Forbes Magazine in 2005, I'm inclined to believe she knows what she is talking about, although there is always the risk of overgeneralising about such matters.

What do you think? We all know women in power who are just as bullish as the boys, and men who use more humanitarian approaches to get results

(The article from the London Telegraph went on to say that Mrs Lagarde is noted for her self-control. She gets up at 6am every day for a yoga session and does not drink alcohol, smoke or eat meat. She took a huge salary cut when she left her law firm to join the government. Sounds like a good role-model although I'm not too sure about the meat and alcohol!)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Taking A Stand Against Sexual Harassment

Whether or not you agree with the way Kristy Fraser-Kirk has gone about her $37m punitive claim against David Jones, nonetheless it is difficult not to admire her courage for taking such a stand.

The case will no doubt change the course and status of sexual harassment cases in Australia.

Her approach of pledging to give the payment to a charity for harassment victims and the wiliness of Harmers Workplace Lawyers to take on the case as a pro-bono also are to be applauded.

Kristy will no doubt have a difficult and challenging time ahead of her as the course of the claim proceeds.

She deserves our full support.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Women Working Want Flexible Hours

New research released today by the University of Queensland on Perceptions of Work/Life Balance found that the main thing working women want is flexible hours - no surprises there!

Paid maternity leave, employer-provided or subsidised childcare and being able to bring children to work were appreciated, but not rated highly. Then you read the sample and discover that they were 1700 childcare workers and dental assistants and that "most of women surveyed did not have small children"! So much for the validity of those results.

Surely the bottom line is that women (and men for that matter) crave flexible work hours but the challenge always has being how on earth do you manage the expectations of your employer and earn enough money to live comfortably if you are reducing your hours of work?

The financial crisis has meant that many people have been forced to take reduced hours and reduced income. It will be interesting to see how many of them decide to go back to full-time work when that option is presented again. I wonder if they discover the forced reduced hours is actually a blessing in disguise. Do I really need that expensive holiday, car, updated TV etc or is having more time for things outside work of more valuable to me?

It will interesting to track the outcome as the economy and consumer confidence improves.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Why Women Mean Business

Just when I thought the GFC (global financial crisis) would put women's issues on the back burner, there has been a major ground swell on the impact that woman have on the bottom line.

In their latest book, Why Women Mean Business, Avivah Wittenberg-Cox and Alison Maitland put forward a very credible case that having women in senior roles actually increases the profitablity of organisations. It's now longer a women's issue - it's now a business issue as to why women should have more say in business.

A study by Catalyst Research of the Fortune 500 companies in 2007 found that companies with the highest proportion of women in their senior teams significantly outperform those with the lowest proportion on both return on equity which was 35.1% higher, and total shareholder return at 34% higher.

Now that sounds like a sound business case to me.