Clara Zetkin and International Women’s Day

My PP book will be published on March 8 - International Women's Day.  So it was with particular interest that I read in Richard Evans' magisterial account of the C19, The Pursuit of Power, that IWD was founded in Copenhagen in 1910, by Clara Zetkin. Zetkin was obviously a powerhouse.  She was born in Saxony, daughter of a German schoolmaster and his highly educated French wife.  She travelled for a while around Europe with the Russian revolutionary Ossip Zetkin, and later married an artist 18 years younger than she.  Back in Germany she took over a feminist magazine, renamed it Die Gleichheit (Equality), and took its circulation up to 125,000 by 1914.  That's…
Read More

Convergence and difference: Brenda Barnes and cancer rates

My eye was caught recently by obituaries of Brenda Barnes.  She was obviously a remarkable woman: third of seven daughters of a pipe fitter who started as a nightshift mail sorter in Chicago and rose to be CEO of Pepsicola. In 1997 Barnes resigned, choosing to focus on her three children - sparking a major debate on worklife balance on the one hand, and whether she had 'betrayed' the cause on the other (just as Anne-Marie Slaughter did 15 or so years later). Barnes had cracked the glass ceiling once (and in this case the metaphor is apt;  though in general I prefer to focus on levels below these top…
Read More

Social mobility, occupational maturity and an early pay gap

The Social Mobility Commission's report on the influence of social class on professional progression deservedly got wide coverage.   It moves the debate along from looking only at entry into different professions, to show how people from different social origins do or do not make progress and are or are not rewarded once they have been working for a while.  The analysis shows that those who come themselves from the lower social classes earn on average £6800 less - 17% - than their peers who themselves originate from the professional classes. The class gap is bigger for men than for women.  But the report points out that there is a double…
Read More

Basic incomes surface in Davos – no longer marginal

Back in Aug 2014 I wrote a post on the idea of a citizen's income.  The idea of guaranteeing a basic income is PP-relevant because it would help people - especially women -  move in and out of formal employment without looking like deviant marginals. I said: The CI has been around for a long time. It has generally been dismissed as either cranky or ok in theory but unworkable. But when it was first being discussed 20 or so years ago, the labour market was very different..... As a political sell, it’s a tough one. Many will have an instinctive reaction against the unconditional something-for-nothing proposal....But as Iain Duncan…
Read More

Reduced working hours: linking the PP to inequality and to climate change

The primary conclusion of The Paula Principle  is that women's competences stand a chance of being fully recognised only if men's work and career patterns change to a more 'mosaic' model.  Central to this is the need for us to recognise that careers, at whatever level, should not require people to work full time or continuously (hence the mosaic image of different pieces put together in a variety of patterns, rather than a vertical career ladder). In this post I want to make the link between this and two items: a. new analysis from the Institute for Fiscal Studies which shows how inequalities in incomes have been increased because lower-wage men increasingly…
Read More

Sapiens and sapientiae

Yuval Noah Harari's Sapiens is great read.  Harari apparently was trundling along as a rather specialised mediaeval historian when he was asked to teach a course on world history and this caused him to break out of his boundaries in no uncertain terms.  One review describes it as a 'starburst', which I like, but it's a starburst with humour as well as dazzle. There's no way I'm going to summarise the context or direction of the book.  I just want to pick up on Harari's account of the positive aspects of nomadic foraging over the settled life of the pastoralist. Foraging apparently gave you a much more varied diet - you ate…
Read More

Hillary and Montaigne

I just came across the blog below, which I wrote over a year ago, and for some reason failed to post.  The first part reads so sadly in the light of what eventually happened - though I doubt even the perspicacious Dejevsky foresaw how her prediction would be fulfilled....   Readers may know that the fifth 'PP' factor is positive choice:  women actively choosing not to go on up the career ladder, even though they (probably/possibly) could.  By 'positive' I mean that the choice is, to any reasonable eye, not constrained, e.g. by grumpy partner's unwillingness to do more childcare, but is the product of 'free will'.  I argue that this…
Read More

The Econocrats

The previous post started with Trollope's commentary on how the finance system worked in the C19.  In a wholly unplanned segue, this one deals with how economics is taught and practised now.  To their immense credit, a group of students have got together to produce a detailed, evidence-based critique of the discipline: The Econocracy: the perils of leaving economics to the experts. Rethinking Economics is a movement which questions the assumptions on which most contemporary economics courses are based.  To be more precise, it challenges the fact that most economics courses never question their own, neo-classical, assumptions: that people behave as rational knowledgeable agents seeking to optimise their own advantage, and…
Read More

Trollope, crossover and convergence

I've just read a fascinating piece by John Pemberton in the London Review of Books, on Anthony Trollope and his attitude to women writers.  I remember my mother being an avid reader of Trollope, but I didn't pay much attention to him until she pointed out to me that The Way We Live Now had a lot to say about finance capitalism and how the financial sector operated (this was about 20 years ago, after Big Bang but before Big Crash).  The mix of unreliable dealings, systemic instability and prejudice still seems fairly applicable to how the sector works. Pemberton makes two major points which relate directly to the Paula Principle.  The…
Read More

Equal Pay Day; and an appeal

Yesterday the Fawcett Society reminded us: "Thursday 10th November 2016 is Equal Pay Day (EPD). This means that women are effectively working for free from 10th November to the end of the calendar year, because on average they earn less than men. EPD is calculated using the mean full time gender pay gap , which is currently 13.9%." In Paris there were reports that a day earlier women downed tools for a couple of hours at the end of the day, reflecting the fact that the pay gap is a fraction bigger in France.  I believe that they returned to work the  next day, however. Now for the good news:…
Read More

Clara Zetkin and International Women’s Day

My PP book will be published on March 8 - International Women's Day.  So it was with particular interest that I read in Richard Evans' magisterial account of the C19, The Pursuit of Power, that IWD was founded in Copenhagen in 1910, by Clara Zetkin. Zetkin was obviously a powerhouse.  She was born in Saxony, daughter of a German schoolmaster and his highly educated French wife.  She travelled for a while around Europe with the Russian revolutionary Ossip Zetkin, and later married an artist 18 years younger than she.  Back in Germany she took over a feminist magazine, renamed it Die Gleichheit (Equality), and took its circulation up to 125,000 by 1914.  That's…
Read More

Convergence and difference: Brenda Barnes and cancer rates

My eye was caught recently by obituaries of Brenda Barnes.  She was obviously a remarkable woman: third of seven daughters of a pipe fitter who started as a nightshift mail sorter in Chicago and rose to be CEO of Pepsicola. In 1997 Barnes resigned, choosing to focus on her three children - sparking a major debate on worklife balance on the one hand, and whether she had 'betrayed' the cause on the other (just as Anne-Marie Slaughter did 15 or so years later). Barnes had cracked the glass ceiling once (and in this case the metaphor is apt;  though in general I prefer to focus on levels below these top…
Read More

Social mobility, occupational maturity and an early pay gap

The Social Mobility Commission's report on the influence of social class on professional progression deservedly got wide coverage.   It moves the debate along from looking only at entry into different professions, to show how people from different social origins do or do not make progress and are or are not rewarded once they have been working for a while.  The analysis shows that those who come themselves from the lower social classes earn on average £6800 less - 17% - than their peers who themselves originate from the professional classes. The class gap is bigger for men than for women.  But the report points out that there is a double…
Read More

Basic incomes surface in Davos – no longer marginal

Back in Aug 2014 I wrote a post on the idea of a citizen's income.  The idea of guaranteeing a basic income is PP-relevant because it would help people - especially women -  move in and out of formal employment without looking like deviant marginals. I said: The CI has been around for a long time. It has generally been dismissed as either cranky or ok in theory but unworkable. But when it was first being discussed 20 or so years ago, the labour market was very different..... As a political sell, it’s a tough one. Many will have an instinctive reaction against the unconditional something-for-nothing proposal....But as Iain Duncan…
Read More

Reduced working hours: linking the PP to inequality and to climate change

The primary conclusion of The Paula Principle  is that women's competences stand a chance of being fully recognised only if men's work and career patterns change to a more 'mosaic' model.  Central to this is the need for us to recognise that careers, at whatever level, should not require people to work full time or continuously (hence the mosaic image of different pieces put together in a variety of patterns, rather than a vertical career ladder). In this post I want to make the link between this and two items: a. new analysis from the Institute for Fiscal Studies which shows how inequalities in incomes have been increased because lower-wage men increasingly…
Read More

Sapiens and sapientiae

Yuval Noah Harari's Sapiens is great read.  Harari apparently was trundling along as a rather specialised mediaeval historian when he was asked to teach a course on world history and this caused him to break out of his boundaries in no uncertain terms.  One review describes it as a 'starburst', which I like, but it's a starburst with humour as well as dazzle. There's no way I'm going to summarise the context or direction of the book.  I just want to pick up on Harari's account of the positive aspects of nomadic foraging over the settled life of the pastoralist. Foraging apparently gave you a much more varied diet - you ate…
Read More

Hillary and Montaigne

I just came across the blog below, which I wrote over a year ago, and for some reason failed to post.  The first part reads so sadly in the light of what eventually happened - though I doubt even the perspicacious Dejevsky foresaw how her prediction would be fulfilled....   Readers may know that the fifth 'PP' factor is positive choice:  women actively choosing not to go on up the career ladder, even though they (probably/possibly) could.  By 'positive' I mean that the choice is, to any reasonable eye, not constrained, e.g. by grumpy partner's unwillingness to do more childcare, but is the product of 'free will'.  I argue that this…
Read More

The Econocrats

The previous post started with Trollope's commentary on how the finance system worked in the C19.  In a wholly unplanned segue, this one deals with how economics is taught and practised now.  To their immense credit, a group of students have got together to produce a detailed, evidence-based critique of the discipline: The Econocracy: the perils of leaving economics to the experts. Rethinking Economics is a movement which questions the assumptions on which most contemporary economics courses are based.  To be more precise, it challenges the fact that most economics courses never question their own, neo-classical, assumptions: that people behave as rational knowledgeable agents seeking to optimise their own advantage, and…
Read More

Trollope, crossover and convergence

I've just read a fascinating piece by John Pemberton in the London Review of Books, on Anthony Trollope and his attitude to women writers.  I remember my mother being an avid reader of Trollope, but I didn't pay much attention to him until she pointed out to me that The Way We Live Now had a lot to say about finance capitalism and how the financial sector operated (this was about 20 years ago, after Big Bang but before Big Crash).  The mix of unreliable dealings, systemic instability and prejudice still seems fairly applicable to how the sector works. Pemberton makes two major points which relate directly to the Paula Principle.  The…
Read More

Equal Pay Day; and an appeal

Yesterday the Fawcett Society reminded us: "Thursday 10th November 2016 is Equal Pay Day (EPD). This means that women are effectively working for free from 10th November to the end of the calendar year, because on average they earn less than men. EPD is calculated using the mean full time gender pay gap , which is currently 13.9%." In Paris there were reports that a day earlier women downed tools for a couple of hours at the end of the day, reflecting the fact that the pay gap is a fraction bigger in France.  I believe that they returned to work the  next day, however. Now for the good news:…
Read More

Clara Zetkin and International Women’s Day

My PP book will be published on March 8 - International Women's Day.  So it was with particular interest that I read in Richard Evans' magisterial account of the C19, The Pursuit of Power, that IWD was founded in Copenhagen in 1910, by Clara Zetkin. Zetkin was obviously a powerhouse.  She was born in Saxony, daughter of a German schoolmaster and his highly educated French wife.  She travelled for a while around Europe with the Russian revolutionary Ossip Zetkin, and later married an artist 18 years younger than she.  Back in Germany she took over a feminist magazine, renamed it Die Gleichheit (Equality), and took its circulation up to 125,000 by 1914.  That's…
Read More

Convergence and difference: Brenda Barnes and cancer rates

My eye was caught recently by obituaries of Brenda Barnes.  She was obviously a remarkable woman: third of seven daughters of a pipe fitter who started as a nightshift mail sorter in Chicago and rose to be CEO of Pepsicola. In 1997 Barnes resigned, choosing to focus on her three children - sparking a major debate on worklife balance on the one hand, and whether she had 'betrayed' the cause on the other (just as Anne-Marie Slaughter did 15 or so years later). Barnes had cracked the glass ceiling once (and in this case the metaphor is apt;  though in general I prefer to focus on levels below these top…
Read More

Social mobility, occupational maturity and an early pay gap

The Social Mobility Commission's report on the influence of social class on professional progression deservedly got wide coverage.   It moves the debate along from looking only at entry into different professions, to show how people from different social origins do or do not make progress and are or are not rewarded once they have been working for a while.  The analysis shows that those who come themselves from the lower social classes earn on average £6800 less - 17% - than their peers who themselves originate from the professional classes. The class gap is bigger for men than for women.  But the report points out that there is a double…
Read More

Basic incomes surface in Davos – no longer marginal

Back in Aug 2014 I wrote a post on the idea of a citizen's income.  The idea of guaranteeing a basic income is PP-relevant because it would help people - especially women -  move in and out of formal employment without looking like deviant marginals. I said: The CI has been around for a long time. It has generally been dismissed as either cranky or ok in theory but unworkable. But when it was first being discussed 20 or so years ago, the labour market was very different..... As a political sell, it’s a tough one. Many will have an instinctive reaction against the unconditional something-for-nothing proposal....But as Iain Duncan…
Read More

Reduced working hours: linking the PP to inequality and to climate change

The primary conclusion of The Paula Principle  is that women's competences stand a chance of being fully recognised only if men's work and career patterns change to a more 'mosaic' model.  Central to this is the need for us to recognise that careers, at whatever level, should not require people to work full time or continuously (hence the mosaic image of different pieces put together in a variety of patterns, rather than a vertical career ladder). In this post I want to make the link between this and two items: a. new analysis from the Institute for Fiscal Studies which shows how inequalities in incomes have been increased because lower-wage men increasingly…
Read More

Sapiens and sapientiae

Yuval Noah Harari's Sapiens is great read.  Harari apparently was trundling along as a rather specialised mediaeval historian when he was asked to teach a course on world history and this caused him to break out of his boundaries in no uncertain terms.  One review describes it as a 'starburst', which I like, but it's a starburst with humour as well as dazzle. There's no way I'm going to summarise the context or direction of the book.  I just want to pick up on Harari's account of the positive aspects of nomadic foraging over the settled life of the pastoralist. Foraging apparently gave you a much more varied diet - you ate…
Read More

Hillary and Montaigne

I just came across the blog below, which I wrote over a year ago, and for some reason failed to post.  The first part reads so sadly in the light of what eventually happened - though I doubt even the perspicacious Dejevsky foresaw how her prediction would be fulfilled....   Readers may know that the fifth 'PP' factor is positive choice:  women actively choosing not to go on up the career ladder, even though they (probably/possibly) could.  By 'positive' I mean that the choice is, to any reasonable eye, not constrained, e.g. by grumpy partner's unwillingness to do more childcare, but is the product of 'free will'.  I argue that this…
Read More

The Econocrats

The previous post started with Trollope's commentary on how the finance system worked in the C19.  In a wholly unplanned segue, this one deals with how economics is taught and practised now.  To their immense credit, a group of students have got together to produce a detailed, evidence-based critique of the discipline: The Econocracy: the perils of leaving economics to the experts. Rethinking Economics is a movement which questions the assumptions on which most contemporary economics courses are based.  To be more precise, it challenges the fact that most economics courses never question their own, neo-classical, assumptions: that people behave as rational knowledgeable agents seeking to optimise their own advantage, and…
Read More

Trollope, crossover and convergence

I've just read a fascinating piece by John Pemberton in the London Review of Books, on Anthony Trollope and his attitude to women writers.  I remember my mother being an avid reader of Trollope, but I didn't pay much attention to him until she pointed out to me that The Way We Live Now had a lot to say about finance capitalism and how the financial sector operated (this was about 20 years ago, after Big Bang but before Big Crash).  The mix of unreliable dealings, systemic instability and prejudice still seems fairly applicable to how the sector works. Pemberton makes two major points which relate directly to the Paula Principle.  The…
Read More

Equal Pay Day; and an appeal

Yesterday the Fawcett Society reminded us: "Thursday 10th November 2016 is Equal Pay Day (EPD). This means that women are effectively working for free from 10th November to the end of the calendar year, because on average they earn less than men. EPD is calculated using the mean full time gender pay gap , which is currently 13.9%." In Paris there were reports that a day earlier women downed tools for a couple of hours at the end of the day, reflecting the fact that the pay gap is a fraction bigger in France.  I believe that they returned to work the  next day, however. Now for the good news:…
Read More

Clara Zetkin and International Women’s Day

My PP book will be published on March 8 - International Women's Day.  So it was with particular interest that I read in Richard Evans' magisterial account of the C19, The Pursuit of Power, that IWD was founded in Copenhagen in 1910, by Clara Zetkin. Zetkin was obviously a powerhouse.  She was born in Saxony, daughter of a German schoolmaster and his highly educated French wife.  She travelled for a while around Europe with the Russian revolutionary Ossip Zetkin, and later married an artist 18 years younger than she.  Back in Germany she took over a feminist magazine, renamed it Die Gleichheit (Equality), and took its circulation up to 125,000 by 1914.  That's…
Read More

Convergence and difference: Brenda Barnes and cancer rates

My eye was caught recently by obituaries of Brenda Barnes.  She was obviously a remarkable woman: third of seven daughters of a pipe fitter who started as a nightshift mail sorter in Chicago and rose to be CEO of Pepsicola. In 1997 Barnes resigned, choosing to focus on her three children - sparking a major debate on worklife balance on the one hand, and whether she had 'betrayed' the cause on the other (just as Anne-Marie Slaughter did 15 or so years later). Barnes had cracked the glass ceiling once (and in this case the metaphor is apt;  though in general I prefer to focus on levels below these top…
Read More

Social mobility, occupational maturity and an early pay gap

The Social Mobility Commission's report on the influence of social class on professional progression deservedly got wide coverage.   It moves the debate along from looking only at entry into different professions, to show how people from different social origins do or do not make progress and are or are not rewarded once they have been working for a while.  The analysis shows that those who come themselves from the lower social classes earn on average £6800 less - 17% - than their peers who themselves originate from the professional classes. The class gap is bigger for men than for women.  But the report points out that there is a double…
Read More

Basic incomes surface in Davos – no longer marginal

Back in Aug 2014 I wrote a post on the idea of a citizen's income.  The idea of guaranteeing a basic income is PP-relevant because it would help people - especially women -  move in and out of formal employment without looking like deviant marginals. I said: The CI has been around for a long time. It has generally been dismissed as either cranky or ok in theory but unworkable. But when it was first being discussed 20 or so years ago, the labour market was very different..... As a political sell, it’s a tough one. Many will have an instinctive reaction against the unconditional something-for-nothing proposal....But as Iain Duncan…
Read More

Reduced working hours: linking the PP to inequality and to climate change

The primary conclusion of The Paula Principle  is that women's competences stand a chance of being fully recognised only if men's work and career patterns change to a more 'mosaic' model.  Central to this is the need for us to recognise that careers, at whatever level, should not require people to work full time or continuously (hence the mosaic image of different pieces put together in a variety of patterns, rather than a vertical career ladder). In this post I want to make the link between this and two items: a. new analysis from the Institute for Fiscal Studies which shows how inequalities in incomes have been increased because lower-wage men increasingly…
Read More

Sapiens and sapientiae

Yuval Noah Harari's Sapiens is great read.  Harari apparently was trundling along as a rather specialised mediaeval historian when he was asked to teach a course on world history and this caused him to break out of his boundaries in no uncertain terms.  One review describes it as a 'starburst', which I like, but it's a starburst with humour as well as dazzle. There's no way I'm going to summarise the context or direction of the book.  I just want to pick up on Harari's account of the positive aspects of nomadic foraging over the settled life of the pastoralist. Foraging apparently gave you a much more varied diet - you ate…
Read More

Hillary and Montaigne

I just came across the blog below, which I wrote over a year ago, and for some reason failed to post.  The first part reads so sadly in the light of what eventually happened - though I doubt even the perspicacious Dejevsky foresaw how her prediction would be fulfilled....   Readers may know that the fifth 'PP' factor is positive choice:  women actively choosing not to go on up the career ladder, even though they (probably/possibly) could.  By 'positive' I mean that the choice is, to any reasonable eye, not constrained, e.g. by grumpy partner's unwillingness to do more childcare, but is the product of 'free will'.  I argue that this…
Read More

The Econocrats

The previous post started with Trollope's commentary on how the finance system worked in the C19.  In a wholly unplanned segue, this one deals with how economics is taught and practised now.  To their immense credit, a group of students have got together to produce a detailed, evidence-based critique of the discipline: The Econocracy: the perils of leaving economics to the experts. Rethinking Economics is a movement which questions the assumptions on which most contemporary economics courses are based.  To be more precise, it challenges the fact that most economics courses never question their own, neo-classical, assumptions: that people behave as rational knowledgeable agents seeking to optimise their own advantage, and…
Read More

Trollope, crossover and convergence

I've just read a fascinating piece by John Pemberton in the London Review of Books, on Anthony Trollope and his attitude to women writers.  I remember my mother being an avid reader of Trollope, but I didn't pay much attention to him until she pointed out to me that The Way We Live Now had a lot to say about finance capitalism and how the financial sector operated (this was about 20 years ago, after Big Bang but before Big Crash).  The mix of unreliable dealings, systemic instability and prejudice still seems fairly applicable to how the sector works. Pemberton makes two major points which relate directly to the Paula Principle.  The…
Read More

Equal Pay Day; and an appeal

Yesterday the Fawcett Society reminded us: "Thursday 10th November 2016 is Equal Pay Day (EPD). This means that women are effectively working for free from 10th November to the end of the calendar year, because on average they earn less than men. EPD is calculated using the mean full time gender pay gap , which is currently 13.9%." In Paris there were reports that a day earlier women downed tools for a couple of hours at the end of the day, reflecting the fact that the pay gap is a fraction bigger in France.  I believe that they returned to work the  next day, however. Now for the good news:…
Read More

Clara Zetkin and International Women’s Day

My PP book will be published on March 8 - International Women's Day.  So it was with particular interest that I read in Richard Evans' magisterial account of the C19, The Pursuit of Power, that IWD was founded in Copenhagen in 1910, by Clara Zetkin. Zetkin was obviously a powerhouse.  She was born in Saxony, daughter of a German schoolmaster and his highly educated French wife.  She travelled for a while around Europe with the Russian revolutionary Ossip Zetkin, and later married an artist 18 years younger than she.  Back in Germany she took over a feminist magazine, renamed it Die Gleichheit (Equality), and took its circulation up to 125,000 by 1914.  That's…
Read More

Convergence and difference: Brenda Barnes and cancer rates

My eye was caught recently by obituaries of Brenda Barnes.  She was obviously a remarkable woman: third of seven daughters of a pipe fitter who started as a nightshift mail sorter in Chicago and rose to be CEO of Pepsicola. In 1997 Barnes resigned, choosing to focus on her three children - sparking a major debate on worklife balance on the one hand, and whether she had 'betrayed' the cause on the other (just as Anne-Marie Slaughter did 15 or so years later). Barnes had cracked the glass ceiling once (and in this case the metaphor is apt;  though in general I prefer to focus on levels below these top…
Read More

Social mobility, occupational maturity and an early pay gap

The Social Mobility Commission's report on the influence of social class on professional progression deservedly got wide coverage.   It moves the debate along from looking only at entry into different professions, to show how people from different social origins do or do not make progress and are or are not rewarded once they have been working for a while.  The analysis shows that those who come themselves from the lower social classes earn on average £6800 less - 17% - than their peers who themselves originate from the professional classes. The class gap is bigger for men than for women.  But the report points out that there is a double…
Read More

Basic incomes surface in Davos – no longer marginal

Back in Aug 2014 I wrote a post on the idea of a citizen's income.  The idea of guaranteeing a basic income is PP-relevant because it would help people - especially women -  move in and out of formal employment without looking like deviant marginals. I said: The CI has been around for a long time. It has generally been dismissed as either cranky or ok in theory but unworkable. But when it was first being discussed 20 or so years ago, the labour market was very different..... As a political sell, it’s a tough one. Many will have an instinctive reaction against the unconditional something-for-nothing proposal....But as Iain Duncan…
Read More

Reduced working hours: linking the PP to inequality and to climate change

The primary conclusion of The Paula Principle  is that women's competences stand a chance of being fully recognised only if men's work and career patterns change to a more 'mosaic' model.  Central to this is the need for us to recognise that careers, at whatever level, should not require people to work full time or continuously (hence the mosaic image of different pieces put together in a variety of patterns, rather than a vertical career ladder). In this post I want to make the link between this and two items: a. new analysis from the Institute for Fiscal Studies which shows how inequalities in incomes have been increased because lower-wage men increasingly…
Read More

Sapiens and sapientiae

Yuval Noah Harari's Sapiens is great read.  Harari apparently was trundling along as a rather specialised mediaeval historian when he was asked to teach a course on world history and this caused him to break out of his boundaries in no uncertain terms.  One review describes it as a 'starburst', which I like, but it's a starburst with humour as well as dazzle. There's no way I'm going to summarise the context or direction of the book.  I just want to pick up on Harari's account of the positive aspects of nomadic foraging over the settled life of the pastoralist. Foraging apparently gave you a much more varied diet - you ate…
Read More

Hillary and Montaigne

I just came across the blog below, which I wrote over a year ago, and for some reason failed to post.  The first part reads so sadly in the light of what eventually happened - though I doubt even the perspicacious Dejevsky foresaw how her prediction would be fulfilled....   Readers may know that the fifth 'PP' factor is positive choice:  women actively choosing not to go on up the career ladder, even though they (probably/possibly) could.  By 'positive' I mean that the choice is, to any reasonable eye, not constrained, e.g. by grumpy partner's unwillingness to do more childcare, but is the product of 'free will'.  I argue that this…
Read More

The Econocrats

The previous post started with Trollope's commentary on how the finance system worked in the C19.  In a wholly unplanned segue, this one deals with how economics is taught and practised now.  To their immense credit, a group of students have got together to produce a detailed, evidence-based critique of the discipline: The Econocracy: the perils of leaving economics to the experts. Rethinking Economics is a movement which questions the assumptions on which most contemporary economics courses are based.  To be more precise, it challenges the fact that most economics courses never question their own, neo-classical, assumptions: that people behave as rational knowledgeable agents seeking to optimise their own advantage, and…
Read More

Trollope, crossover and convergence

I've just read a fascinating piece by John Pemberton in the London Review of Books, on Anthony Trollope and his attitude to women writers.  I remember my mother being an avid reader of Trollope, but I didn't pay much attention to him until she pointed out to me that The Way We Live Now had a lot to say about finance capitalism and how the financial sector operated (this was about 20 years ago, after Big Bang but before Big Crash).  The mix of unreliable dealings, systemic instability and prejudice still seems fairly applicable to how the sector works. Pemberton makes two major points which relate directly to the Paula Principle.  The…
Read More

Equal Pay Day; and an appeal

Yesterday the Fawcett Society reminded us: "Thursday 10th November 2016 is Equal Pay Day (EPD). This means that women are effectively working for free from 10th November to the end of the calendar year, because on average they earn less than men. EPD is calculated using the mean full time gender pay gap , which is currently 13.9%." In Paris there were reports that a day earlier women downed tools for a couple of hours at the end of the day, reflecting the fact that the pay gap is a fraction bigger in France.  I believe that they returned to work the  next day, however. Now for the good news:…
Read More

Clara Zetkin and International Women’s Day

My PP book will be published on March 8 - International Women's Day.  So it was with particular interest that I read in Richard Evans' magisterial account of the C19, The Pursuit of Power, that IWD was founded in Copenhagen in 1910, by Clara Zetkin. Zetkin was obviously a powerhouse.  She was born in Saxony, daughter of a German schoolmaster and his highly educated French wife.  She travelled for a while around Europe with the Russian revolutionary Ossip Zetkin, and later married an artist 18 years younger than she.  Back in Germany she took over a feminist magazine, renamed it Die Gleichheit (Equality), and took its circulation up to 125,000 by 1914.  That's…
Read More

Convergence and difference: Brenda Barnes and cancer rates

My eye was caught recently by obituaries of Brenda Barnes.  She was obviously a remarkable woman: third of seven daughters of a pipe fitter who started as a nightshift mail sorter in Chicago and rose to be CEO of Pepsicola. In 1997 Barnes resigned, choosing to focus on her three children - sparking a major debate on worklife balance on the one hand, and whether she had 'betrayed' the cause on the other (just as Anne-Marie Slaughter did 15 or so years later). Barnes had cracked the glass ceiling once (and in this case the metaphor is apt;  though in general I prefer to focus on levels below these top…
Read More

Social mobility, occupational maturity and an early pay gap

The Social Mobility Commission's report on the influence of social class on professional progression deservedly got wide coverage.   It moves the debate along from looking only at entry into different professions, to show how people from different social origins do or do not make progress and are or are not rewarded once they have been working for a while.  The analysis shows that those who come themselves from the lower social classes earn on average £6800 less - 17% - than their peers who themselves originate from the professional classes. The class gap is bigger for men than for women.  But the report points out that there is a double…
Read More

Basic incomes surface in Davos – no longer marginal

Back in Aug 2014 I wrote a post on the idea of a citizen's income.  The idea of guaranteeing a basic income is PP-relevant because it would help people - especially women -  move in and out of formal employment without looking like deviant marginals. I said: The CI has been around for a long time. It has generally been dismissed as either cranky or ok in theory but unworkable. But when it was first being discussed 20 or so years ago, the labour market was very different..... As a political sell, it’s a tough one. Many will have an instinctive reaction against the unconditional something-for-nothing proposal....But as Iain Duncan…
Read More

Reduced working hours: linking the PP to inequality and to climate change

The primary conclusion of The Paula Principle  is that women's competences stand a chance of being fully recognised only if men's work and career patterns change to a more 'mosaic' model.  Central to this is the need for us to recognise that careers, at whatever level, should not require people to work full time or continuously (hence the mosaic image of different pieces put together in a variety of patterns, rather than a vertical career ladder). In this post I want to make the link between this and two items: a. new analysis from the Institute for Fiscal Studies which shows how inequalities in incomes have been increased because lower-wage men increasingly…
Read More

Sapiens and sapientiae

Yuval Noah Harari's Sapiens is great read.  Harari apparently was trundling along as a rather specialised mediaeval historian when he was asked to teach a course on world history and this caused him to break out of his boundaries in no uncertain terms.  One review describes it as a 'starburst', which I like, but it's a starburst with humour as well as dazzle. There's no way I'm going to summarise the context or direction of the book.  I just want to pick up on Harari's account of the positive aspects of nomadic foraging over the settled life of the pastoralist. Foraging apparently gave you a much more varied diet - you ate…
Read More

Hillary and Montaigne

I just came across the blog below, which I wrote over a year ago, and for some reason failed to post.  The first part reads so sadly in the light of what eventually happened - though I doubt even the perspicacious Dejevsky foresaw how her prediction would be fulfilled....   Readers may know that the fifth 'PP' factor is positive choice:  women actively choosing not to go on up the career ladder, even though they (probably/possibly) could.  By 'positive' I mean that the choice is, to any reasonable eye, not constrained, e.g. by grumpy partner's unwillingness to do more childcare, but is the product of 'free will'.  I argue that this…
Read More

The Econocrats

The previous post started with Trollope's commentary on how the finance system worked in the C19.  In a wholly unplanned segue, this one deals with how economics is taught and practised now.  To their immense credit, a group of students have got together to produce a detailed, evidence-based critique of the discipline: The Econocracy: the perils of leaving economics to the experts. Rethinking Economics is a movement which questions the assumptions on which most contemporary economics courses are based.  To be more precise, it challenges the fact that most economics courses never question their own, neo-classical, assumptions: that people behave as rational knowledgeable agents seeking to optimise their own advantage, and…
Read More

Trollope, crossover and convergence

I've just read a fascinating piece by John Pemberton in the London Review of Books, on Anthony Trollope and his attitude to women writers.  I remember my mother being an avid reader of Trollope, but I didn't pay much attention to him until she pointed out to me that The Way We Live Now had a lot to say about finance capitalism and how the financial sector operated (this was about 20 years ago, after Big Bang but before Big Crash).  The mix of unreliable dealings, systemic instability and prejudice still seems fairly applicable to how the sector works. Pemberton makes two major points which relate directly to the Paula Principle.  The…
Read More

Equal Pay Day; and an appeal

Yesterday the Fawcett Society reminded us: "Thursday 10th November 2016 is Equal Pay Day (EPD). This means that women are effectively working for free from 10th November to the end of the calendar year, because on average they earn less than men. EPD is calculated using the mean full time gender pay gap , which is currently 13.9%." In Paris there were reports that a day earlier women downed tools for a couple of hours at the end of the day, reflecting the fact that the pay gap is a fraction bigger in France.  I believe that they returned to work the  next day, however. Now for the good news:…
Read More

Clara Zetkin and International Women’s Day

My PP book will be published on March 8 - International Women's Day.  So it was with particular interest that I read in Richard Evans' magisterial account of the C19, The Pursuit of Power, that IWD was founded in Copenhagen in 1910, by Clara Zetkin. Zetkin was obviously a powerhouse.  She was born in Saxony, daughter of a German schoolmaster and his highly educated French wife.  She travelled for a while around Europe with the Russian revolutionary Ossip Zetkin, and later married an artist 18 years younger than she.  Back in Germany she took over a feminist magazine, renamed it Die Gleichheit (Equality), and took its circulation up to 125,000 by 1914.  That's…
Read More

Convergence and difference: Brenda Barnes and cancer rates

My eye was caught recently by obituaries of Brenda Barnes.  She was obviously a remarkable woman: third of seven daughters of a pipe fitter who started as a nightshift mail sorter in Chicago and rose to be CEO of Pepsicola. In 1997 Barnes resigned, choosing to focus on her three children - sparking a major debate on worklife balance on the one hand, and whether she had 'betrayed' the cause on the other (just as Anne-Marie Slaughter did 15 or so years later). Barnes had cracked the glass ceiling once (and in this case the metaphor is apt;  though in general I prefer to focus on levels below these top…
Read More

Social mobility, occupational maturity and an early pay gap

The Social Mobility Commission's report on the influence of social class on professional progression deservedly got wide coverage.   It moves the debate along from looking only at entry into different professions, to show how people from different social origins do or do not make progress and are or are not rewarded once they have been working for a while.  The analysis shows that those who come themselves from the lower social classes earn on average £6800 less - 17% - than their peers who themselves originate from the professional classes. The class gap is bigger for men than for women.  But the report points out that there is a double…
Read More

Basic incomes surface in Davos – no longer marginal

Back in Aug 2014 I wrote a post on the idea of a citizen's income.  The idea of guaranteeing a basic income is PP-relevant because it would help people - especially women -  move in and out of formal employment without looking like deviant marginals. I said: The CI has been around for a long time. It has generally been dismissed as either cranky or ok in theory but unworkable. But when it was first being discussed 20 or so years ago, the labour market was very different..... As a political sell, it’s a tough one. Many will have an instinctive reaction against the unconditional something-for-nothing proposal....But as Iain Duncan…
Read More

Reduced working hours: linking the PP to inequality and to climate change

The primary conclusion of The Paula Principle  is that women's competences stand a chance of being fully recognised only if men's work and career patterns change to a more 'mosaic' model.  Central to this is the need for us to recognise that careers, at whatever level, should not require people to work full time or continuously (hence the mosaic image of different pieces put together in a variety of patterns, rather than a vertical career ladder). In this post I want to make the link between this and two items: a. new analysis from the Institute for Fiscal Studies which shows how inequalities in incomes have been increased because lower-wage men increasingly…
Read More

Sapiens and sapientiae

Yuval Noah Harari's Sapiens is great read.  Harari apparently was trundling along as a rather specialised mediaeval historian when he was asked to teach a course on world history and this caused him to break out of his boundaries in no uncertain terms.  One review describes it as a 'starburst', which I like, but it's a starburst with humour as well as dazzle. There's no way I'm going to summarise the context or direction of the book.  I just want to pick up on Harari's account of the positive aspects of nomadic foraging over the settled life of the pastoralist. Foraging apparently gave you a much more varied diet - you ate…
Read More

Hillary and Montaigne

I just came across the blog below, which I wrote over a year ago, and for some reason failed to post.  The first part reads so sadly in the light of what eventually happened - though I doubt even the perspicacious Dejevsky foresaw how her prediction would be fulfilled....   Readers may know that the fifth 'PP' factor is positive choice:  women actively choosing not to go on up the career ladder, even though they (probably/possibly) could.  By 'positive' I mean that the choice is, to any reasonable eye, not constrained, e.g. by grumpy partner's unwillingness to do more childcare, but is the product of 'free will'.  I argue that this…
Read More

The Econocrats

The previous post started with Trollope's commentary on how the finance system worked in the C19.  In a wholly unplanned segue, this one deals with how economics is taught and practised now.  To their immense credit, a group of students have got together to produce a detailed, evidence-based critique of the discipline: The Econocracy: the perils of leaving economics to the experts. Rethinking Economics is a movement which questions the assumptions on which most contemporary economics courses are based.  To be more precise, it challenges the fact that most economics courses never question their own, neo-classical, assumptions: that people behave as rational knowledgeable agents seeking to optimise their own advantage, and…
Read More

Trollope, crossover and convergence

I've just read a fascinating piece by John Pemberton in the London Review of Books, on Anthony Trollope and his attitude to women writers.  I remember my mother being an avid reader of Trollope, but I didn't pay much attention to him until she pointed out to me that The Way We Live Now had a lot to say about finance capitalism and how the financial sector operated (this was about 20 years ago, after Big Bang but before Big Crash).  The mix of unreliable dealings, systemic instability and prejudice still seems fairly applicable to how the sector works. Pemberton makes two major points which relate directly to the Paula Principle.  The…
Read More

Equal Pay Day; and an appeal

Yesterday the Fawcett Society reminded us: "Thursday 10th November 2016 is Equal Pay Day (EPD). This means that women are effectively working for free from 10th November to the end of the calendar year, because on average they earn less than men. EPD is calculated using the mean full time gender pay gap , which is currently 13.9%." In Paris there were reports that a day earlier women downed tools for a couple of hours at the end of the day, reflecting the fact that the pay gap is a fraction bigger in France.  I believe that they returned to work the  next day, however. Now for the good news:…
Read More

Clara Zetkin and International Women’s Day

My PP book will be published on March 8 - International Women's Day.  So it was with particular interest that I read in Richard Evans' magisterial account of the C19, The Pursuit of Power, that IWD was founded in Copenhagen in 1910, by Clara Zetkin. Zetkin was obviously a powerhouse.  She was born in Saxony, daughter of a German schoolmaster and his highly educated French wife.  She travelled for a while around Europe with the Russian revolutionary Ossip Zetkin, and later married an artist 18 years younger than she.  Back in Germany she took over a feminist magazine, renamed it Die Gleichheit (Equality), and took its circulation up to 125,000 by 1914.  That's…
Read More

Convergence and difference: Brenda Barnes and cancer rates

My eye was caught recently by obituaries of Brenda Barnes.  She was obviously a remarkable woman: third of seven daughters of a pipe fitter who started as a nightshift mail sorter in Chicago and rose to be CEO of Pepsicola. In 1997 Barnes resigned, choosing to focus on her three children - sparking a major debate on worklife balance on the one hand, and whether she had 'betrayed' the cause on the other (just as Anne-Marie Slaughter did 15 or so years later). Barnes had cracked the glass ceiling once (and in this case the metaphor is apt;  though in general I prefer to focus on levels below these top…
Read More

Social mobility, occupational maturity and an early pay gap

The Social Mobility Commission's report on the influence of social class on professional progression deservedly got wide coverage.   It moves the debate along from looking only at entry into different professions, to show how people from different social origins do or do not make progress and are or are not rewarded once they have been working for a while.  The analysis shows that those who come themselves from the lower social classes earn on average £6800 less - 17% - than their peers who themselves originate from the professional classes. The class gap is bigger for men than for women.  But the report points out that there is a double…
Read More

Basic incomes surface in Davos – no longer marginal

Back in Aug 2014 I wrote a post on the idea of a citizen's income.  The idea of guaranteeing a basic income is PP-relevant because it would help people - especially women -  move in and out of formal employment without looking like deviant marginals. I said: The CI has been around for a long time. It has generally been dismissed as either cranky or ok in theory but unworkable. But when it was first being discussed 20 or so years ago, the labour market was very different..... As a political sell, it’s a tough one. Many will have an instinctive reaction against the unconditional something-for-nothing proposal....But as Iain Duncan…
Read More

Reduced working hours: linking the PP to inequality and to climate change

The primary conclusion of The Paula Principle  is that women's competences stand a chance of being fully recognised only if men's work and career patterns change to a more 'mosaic' model.  Central to this is the need for us to recognise that careers, at whatever level, should not require people to work full time or continuously (hence the mosaic image of different pieces put together in a variety of patterns, rather than a vertical career ladder). In this post I want to make the link between this and two items: a. new analysis from the Institute for Fiscal Studies which shows how inequalities in incomes have been increased because lower-wage men increasingly…
Read More

Sapiens and sapientiae

Yuval Noah Harari's Sapiens is great read.  Harari apparently was trundling along as a rather specialised mediaeval historian when he was asked to teach a course on world history and this caused him to break out of his boundaries in no uncertain terms.  One review describes it as a 'starburst', which I like, but it's a starburst with humour as well as dazzle. There's no way I'm going to summarise the context or direction of the book.  I just want to pick up on Harari's account of the positive aspects of nomadic foraging over the settled life of the pastoralist. Foraging apparently gave you a much more varied diet - you ate…
Read More

Hillary and Montaigne

I just came across the blog below, which I wrote over a year ago, and for some reason failed to post.  The first part reads so sadly in the light of what eventually happened - though I doubt even the perspicacious Dejevsky foresaw how her prediction would be fulfilled....   Readers may know that the fifth 'PP' factor is positive choice:  women actively choosing not to go on up the career ladder, even though they (probably/possibly) could.  By 'positive' I mean that the choice is, to any reasonable eye, not constrained, e.g. by grumpy partner's unwillingness to do more childcare, but is the product of 'free will'.  I argue that this…
Read More

The Econocrats

The previous post started with Trollope's commentary on how the finance system worked in the C19.  In a wholly unplanned segue, this one deals with how economics is taught and practised now.  To their immense credit, a group of students have got together to produce a detailed, evidence-based critique of the discipline: The Econocracy: the perils of leaving economics to the experts. Rethinking Economics is a movement which questions the assumptions on which most contemporary economics courses are based.  To be more precise, it challenges the fact that most economics courses never question their own, neo-classical, assumptions: that people behave as rational knowledgeable agents seeking to optimise their own advantage, and…
Read More

Trollope, crossover and convergence

I've just read a fascinating piece by John Pemberton in the London Review of Books, on Anthony Trollope and his attitude to women writers.  I remember my mother being an avid reader of Trollope, but I didn't pay much attention to him until she pointed out to me that The Way We Live Now had a lot to say about finance capitalism and how the financial sector operated (this was about 20 years ago, after Big Bang but before Big Crash).  The mix of unreliable dealings, systemic instability and prejudice still seems fairly applicable to how the sector works. Pemberton makes two major points which relate directly to the Paula Principle.  The…
Read More

Equal Pay Day; and an appeal

Yesterday the Fawcett Society reminded us: "Thursday 10th November 2016 is Equal Pay Day (EPD). This means that women are effectively working for free from 10th November to the end of the calendar year, because on average they earn less than men. EPD is calculated using the mean full time gender pay gap , which is currently 13.9%." In Paris there were reports that a day earlier women downed tools for a couple of hours at the end of the day, reflecting the fact that the pay gap is a fraction bigger in France.  I believe that they returned to work the  next day, however. Now for the good news:…
Read More

Clara Zetkin and International Women’s Day

My PP book will be published on March 8 - International Women's Day.  So it was with particular interest that I read in Richard Evans' magisterial account of the C19, The Pursuit of Power, that IWD was founded in Copenhagen in 1910, by Clara Zetkin. Zetkin was obviously a powerhouse.  She was born in Saxony, daughter of a German schoolmaster and his highly educated French wife.  She travelled for a while around Europe with the Russian revolutionary Ossip Zetkin, and later married an artist 18 years younger than she.  Back in Germany she took over a feminist magazine, renamed it Die Gleichheit (Equality), and took its circulation up to 125,000 by 1914.  That's…
Read More

Convergence and difference: Brenda Barnes and cancer rates

My eye was caught recently by obituaries of Brenda Barnes.  She was obviously a remarkable woman: third of seven daughters of a pipe fitter who started as a nightshift mail sorter in Chicago and rose to be CEO of Pepsicola. In 1997 Barnes resigned, choosing to focus on her three children - sparking a major debate on worklife balance on the one hand, and whether she had 'betrayed' the cause on the other (just as Anne-Marie Slaughter did 15 or so years later). Barnes had cracked the glass ceiling once (and in this case the metaphor is apt;  though in general I prefer to focus on levels below these top…
Read More

Social mobility, occupational maturity and an early pay gap

The Social Mobility Commission's report on the influence of social class on professional progression deservedly got wide coverage.   It moves the debate along from looking only at entry into different professions, to show how people from different social origins do or do not make progress and are or are not rewarded once they have been working for a while.  The analysis shows that those who come themselves from the lower social classes earn on average £6800 less - 17% - than their peers who themselves originate from the professional classes. The class gap is bigger for men than for women.  But the report points out that there is a double…
Read More

Basic incomes surface in Davos – no longer marginal

Back in Aug 2014 I wrote a post on the idea of a citizen's income.  The idea of guaranteeing a basic income is PP-relevant because it would help people - especially women -  move in and out of formal employment without looking like deviant marginals. I said: The CI has been around for a long time. It has generally been dismissed as either cranky or ok in theory but unworkable. But when it was first being discussed 20 or so years ago, the labour market was very different..... As a political sell, it’s a tough one. Many will have an instinctive reaction against the unconditional something-for-nothing proposal....But as Iain Duncan…
Read More

Reduced working hours: linking the PP to inequality and to climate change

The primary conclusion of The Paula Principle  is that women's competences stand a chance of being fully recognised only if men's work and career patterns change to a more 'mosaic' model.  Central to this is the need for us to recognise that careers, at whatever level, should not require people to work full time or continuously (hence the mosaic image of different pieces put together in a variety of patterns, rather than a vertical career ladder). In this post I want to make the link between this and two items: a. new analysis from the Institute for Fiscal Studies which shows how inequalities in incomes have been increased because lower-wage men increasingly…
Read More

Sapiens and sapientiae

Yuval Noah Harari's Sapiens is great read.  Harari apparently was trundling along as a rather specialised mediaeval historian when he was asked to teach a course on world history and this caused him to break out of his boundaries in no uncertain terms.  One review describes it as a 'starburst', which I like, but it's a starburst with humour as well as dazzle. There's no way I'm going to summarise the context or direction of the book.  I just want to pick up on Harari's account of the positive aspects of nomadic foraging over the settled life of the pastoralist. Foraging apparently gave you a much more varied diet - you ate…
Read More

Hillary and Montaigne

I just came across the blog below, which I wrote over a year ago, and for some reason failed to post.  The first part reads so sadly in the light of what eventually happened - though I doubt even the perspicacious Dejevsky foresaw how her prediction would be fulfilled....   Readers may know that the fifth 'PP' factor is positive choice:  women actively choosing not to go on up the career ladder, even though they (probably/possibly) could.  By 'positive' I mean that the choice is, to any reasonable eye, not constrained, e.g. by grumpy partner's unwillingness to do more childcare, but is the product of 'free will'.  I argue that this…
Read More

The Econocrats

The previous post started with Trollope's commentary on how the finance system worked in the C19.  In a wholly unplanned segue, this one deals with how economics is taught and practised now.  To their immense credit, a group of students have got together to produce a detailed, evidence-based critique of the discipline: The Econocracy: the perils of leaving economics to the experts. Rethinking Economics is a movement which questions the assumptions on which most contemporary economics courses are based.  To be more precise, it challenges the fact that most economics courses never question their own, neo-classical, assumptions: that people behave as rational knowledgeable agents seeking to optimise their own advantage, and…
Read More

Trollope, crossover and convergence

I've just read a fascinating piece by John Pemberton in the London Review of Books, on Anthony Trollope and his attitude to women writers.  I remember my mother being an avid reader of Trollope, but I didn't pay much attention to him until she pointed out to me that The Way We Live Now had a lot to say about finance capitalism and how the financial sector operated (this was about 20 years ago, after Big Bang but before Big Crash).  The mix of unreliable dealings, systemic instability and prejudice still seems fairly applicable to how the sector works. Pemberton makes two major points which relate directly to the Paula Principle.  The…
Read More

Equal Pay Day; and an appeal

Yesterday the Fawcett Society reminded us: "Thursday 10th November 2016 is Equal Pay Day (EPD). This means that women are effectively working for free from 10th November to the end of the calendar year, because on average they earn less than men. EPD is calculated using the mean full time gender pay gap , which is currently 13.9%." In Paris there were reports that a day earlier women downed tools for a couple of hours at the end of the day, reflecting the fact that the pay gap is a fraction bigger in France.  I believe that they returned to work the  next day, however. Now for the good news:…
Read More

Clara Zetkin and International Women’s Day

My PP book will be published on March 8 - International Women's Day.  So it was with particular interest that I read in Richard Evans' magisterial account of the C19, The Pursuit of Power, that IWD was founded in Copenhagen in 1910, by Clara Zetkin. Zetkin was obviously a powerhouse.  She was born in Saxony, daughter of a German schoolmaster and his highly educated French wife.  She travelled for a while around Europe with the Russian revolutionary Ossip Zetkin, and later married an artist 18 years younger than she.  Back in Germany she took over a feminist magazine, renamed it Die Gleichheit (Equality), and took its circulation up to 125,000 by 1914.  That's…
Read More

Convergence and difference: Brenda Barnes and cancer rates

My eye was caught recently by obituaries of Brenda Barnes.  She was obviously a remarkable woman: third of seven daughters of a pipe fitter who started as a nightshift mail sorter in Chicago and rose to be CEO of Pepsicola. In 1997 Barnes resigned, choosing to focus on her three children - sparking a major debate on worklife balance on the one hand, and whether she had 'betrayed' the cause on the other (just as Anne-Marie Slaughter did 15 or so years later). Barnes had cracked the glass ceiling once (and in this case the metaphor is apt;  though in general I prefer to focus on levels below these top…
Read More

Social mobility, occupational maturity and an early pay gap

The Social Mobility Commission's report on the influence of social class on professional progression deservedly got wide coverage.   It moves the debate along from looking only at entry into different professions, to show how people from different social origins do or do not make progress and are or are not rewarded once they have been working for a while.  The analysis shows that those who come themselves from the lower social classes earn on average £6800 less - 17% - than their peers who themselves originate from the professional classes. The class gap is bigger for men than for women.  But the report points out that there is a double…
Read More

Basic incomes surface in Davos – no longer marginal

Back in Aug 2014 I wrote a post on the idea of a citizen's income.  The idea of guaranteeing a basic income is PP-relevant because it would help people - especially women -  move in and out of formal employment without looking like deviant marginals. I said: The CI has been around for a long time. It has generally been dismissed as either cranky or ok in theory but unworkable. But when it was first being discussed 20 or so years ago, the labour market was very different..... As a political sell, it’s a tough one. Many will have an instinctive reaction against the unconditional something-for-nothing proposal....But as Iain Duncan…
Read More

Reduced working hours: linking the PP to inequality and to climate change

The primary conclusion of The Paula Principle  is that women's competences stand a chance of being fully recognised only if men's work and career patterns change to a more 'mosaic' model.  Central to this is the need for us to recognise that careers, at whatever level, should not require people to work full time or continuously (hence the mosaic image of different pieces put together in a variety of patterns, rather than a vertical career ladder). In this post I want to make the link between this and two items: a. new analysis from the Institute for Fiscal Studies which shows how inequalities in incomes have been increased because lower-wage men increasingly…
Read More

Sapiens and sapientiae

Yuval Noah Harari's Sapiens is great read.  Harari apparently was trundling along as a rather specialised mediaeval historian when he was asked to teach a course on world history and this caused him to break out of his boundaries in no uncertain terms.  One review describes it as a 'starburst', which I like, but it's a starburst with humour as well as dazzle. There's no way I'm going to summarise the context or direction of the book.  I just want to pick up on Harari's account of the positive aspects of nomadic foraging over the settled life of the pastoralist. Foraging apparently gave you a much more varied diet - you ate…
Read More

Hillary and Montaigne

I just came across the blog below, which I wrote over a year ago, and for some reason failed to post.  The first part reads so sadly in the light of what eventually happened - though I doubt even the perspicacious Dejevsky foresaw how her prediction would be fulfilled....   Readers may know that the fifth 'PP' factor is positive choice:  women actively choosing not to go on up the career ladder, even though they (probably/possibly) could.  By 'positive' I mean that the choice is, to any reasonable eye, not constrained, e.g. by grumpy partner's unwillingness to do more childcare, but is the product of 'free will'.  I argue that this…
Read More

The Econocrats

The previous post started with Trollope's commentary on how the finance system worked in the C19.  In a wholly unplanned segue, this one deals with how economics is taught and practised now.  To their immense credit, a group of students have got together to produce a detailed, evidence-based critique of the discipline: The Econocracy: the perils of leaving economics to the experts. Rethinking Economics is a movement which questions the assumptions on which most contemporary economics courses are based.  To be more precise, it challenges the fact that most economics courses never question their own, neo-classical, assumptions: that people behave as rational knowledgeable agents seeking to optimise their own advantage, and…
Read More

Trollope, crossover and convergence

I've just read a fascinating piece by John Pemberton in the London Review of Books, on Anthony Trollope and his attitude to women writers.  I remember my mother being an avid reader of Trollope, but I didn't pay much attention to him until she pointed out to me that The Way We Live Now had a lot to say about finance capitalism and how the financial sector operated (this was about 20 years ago, after Big Bang but before Big Crash).  The mix of unreliable dealings, systemic instability and prejudice still seems fairly applicable to how the sector works. Pemberton makes two major points which relate directly to the Paula Principle.  The…
Read More

Equal Pay Day; and an appeal

Yesterday the Fawcett Society reminded us: "Thursday 10th November 2016 is Equal Pay Day (EPD). This means that women are effectively working for free from 10th November to the end of the calendar year, because on average they earn less than men. EPD is calculated using the mean full time gender pay gap , which is currently 13.9%." In Paris there were reports that a day earlier women downed tools for a couple of hours at the end of the day, reflecting the fact that the pay gap is a fraction bigger in France.  I believe that they returned to work the  next day, however. Now for the good news:…
Read More