Jo Swinson, reverse convergence and PP Factors 3 & 5

"Just because a man would do it doesn't make it the right thing to do." These are Jo Swindon's words in explaining why she has decided not to run for the leadership of the Liberal Democrats.  I think her decision is a brave and important one. I'm not a Lib Dem supporter, but my understanding is that Jo was the frontrunner for the leadership.  She has a strong track record of commitment to equalities, so in one sense it's sad that she won't be leading the party, on this as well as on other issues.  But I applaud her for coming to the decision, and for explaining it as she…
Read More

Progression and quality of work

The week got off to a brisk start with a Resolution Foundation/CBI conference on the future of the labour market.  Three panel sessions, packed with a mix of analysis and practitioner input (how I wish that academics would learn from think tanks about how to get information across effectively...). A central theme was about the quality of work.  Partly this was because Matthew Taylor was one of the contributors.  Extensively trailing his forthcoming report on the gig economy, he told us that the primary focus will be on this theme of the quality of work, recognising that measuring quality is much more difficult and contentious than measuring quantity.  So although…
Read More

Imag(in)ing career trajectories

There's been quite a lot of comment recently on the topic of older people working.  Several major businesses - Aviva, Boots, the Coop and others - have got together to see what they can do to increase the numbers of over-50s in the workforce, and to encourage people to carry on working beyond the official pension age.  Aviva's Andy Briggs is the government's business champion for older workers, and he wants to see UK companies increasing the numbers of over-50s in the workforce from 9m to over 10m in the next five years. The arguments are quite familiar, and have been made for some time.  On the defensive side, an…
Read More

Contender for PP champion

I sometimes speculate on which country exemplifies the Paula Principle at its most powerful.  The most obvious contenders are Japan and, especially, Korea.  In both countries, women are very highly educated, to degree level and beyond, and yet the gender pay gap remains very large. The case of Korea is particularly striking, as women are well represented in science and engineering, so their careers are not as constrained by subject choice as they are elsewhere.  (Role models may be a slightly tricky issue there, with their first female president having been removed on charges of corruption.) But now there's another possible champion.  Step forward Saudi Arabia.  The country now has…
Read More

Ambassadors for women at work

I find myself in the unlikely company of Ivana Trump and Jim Yong Kim. The 'US first daughter' and the president of the WB wrote a joint piece yesterday in the Financial Times on the enormous dividends which would flow from greater  economic participation by women. They point to better board level decision making; higher productivity; and more household spending on food, education and health.   They identify blocks to realising these benefits:  lower access to finance; legislative constraints, for example on land ownership ; and narrower occupational options. I'll sign up to all of that.  A broad consensus is clearly emerging.... Two other PP-relevant newspaper items caught my eye.  A Sunday…
Read More

LRB’s power pieces

Two excellent PP-relevant pieces in a recent issue of the London Review of Books. One is a review by David Runciman of a book on Theresa May which sums up her trajectory to power in a way that really helped me get a fix on the PM's outlook and attitude.  Especially telling is the contrast he draws between May and David Cameron, at several points in their political careers.  Cameron is ...all posh-boy charm and insouciance, flying by the seat of his pants with the aid of his network of well-connected chums.  May is earnest and diligent, apparently less opportunistic and more willing to assess things on their merits. And…
Read More

Late Fragments and careers

I've just finished Kate Gross's intensively poignant Late Fragments.  Kate died of cancer in 2014, aged 36, and wrote the book as a memoir for her little twin boys.  She manages a wonderful balance between huge sadness for the life, and family, that she is leaving and affirmation that even the short spell she had left to live was something to appreciate and enjoy - not by doing a bucket list of activity but just in itself. Kate was highly ambitious.  She had been Private Secretary to Tony Blair in No 10 Downing St, and was running a high profile NGO called the Africa Government Initiative when the cancer struck.  She…
Read More

Gender pay – and careers – gap

The media are alive with the sound of commentary on the regulations that come into play today, requiring companies with over 250 employees to report on gender and pay.   Amongst the central requirements are information on mean and median pay and bonuses for men and women. But it's important that the requirements also include the duty to report on the proportions of  women and men at four different pay bands - quartiles - in the organisation.  This is at least a start on giving a profile to careers and progression, and not only to money.  It's this focus on careers - occupational progression over time, at whatever level and…
Read More

Cousin conversations

My Scottish grandmother had 8 grandchildren.  As kids we assembled annually in Auchenblae and enjoyed swimming in the North Sea south of Aberdeen.  I say 'enjoyed' , and I think we genuinely did, though a trip there last summer and a dipping of toe into  water makes me wonder how. Growing up we went our own ways, but Grannie's funeral - decades ago now - brought us together again as adults.  Ever since we've met from time to time, and last Sunday some of us had lunch together.  It was just after the PP's publication, and so there was a bit of backchat on the book.  Without breaching family confidentiality…
Read More

Comments: selections from a Guardian thread

Well, the PP was finally published last week, and we had a nice launch at Waterstone's in Gower St.  The Scribe PR team (i.e. Sarah) have been doing a great promotion job.  At the weekend we had a piece published on the Guardian/Observer website.  It provoked some excellent comments - of course the abusive ones were removed, but there was a good mixture of thoughtful and critical responses, including a number of relevant personal experiences.  A sample below: From FelonMarmer, on the Peter Principle: "one of the major aspects to incompetence is the failure to recognise competence in others - so once someone who is incompetent is put into a…
Read More

Jo Swinson, reverse convergence and PP Factors 3 & 5

"Just because a man would do it doesn't make it the right thing to do." These are Jo Swindon's words in explaining why she has decided not to run for the leadership of the Liberal Democrats.  I think her decision is a brave and important one. I'm not a Lib Dem supporter, but my understanding is that Jo was the frontrunner for the leadership.  She has a strong track record of commitment to equalities, so in one sense it's sad that she won't be leading the party, on this as well as on other issues.  But I applaud her for coming to the decision, and for explaining it as she…
Read More

Progression and quality of work

The week got off to a brisk start with a Resolution Foundation/CBI conference on the future of the labour market.  Three panel sessions, packed with a mix of analysis and practitioner input (how I wish that academics would learn from think tanks about how to get information across effectively...). A central theme was about the quality of work.  Partly this was because Matthew Taylor was one of the contributors.  Extensively trailing his forthcoming report on the gig economy, he told us that the primary focus will be on this theme of the quality of work, recognising that measuring quality is much more difficult and contentious than measuring quantity.  So although…
Read More

Imag(in)ing career trajectories

There's been quite a lot of comment recently on the topic of older people working.  Several major businesses - Aviva, Boots, the Coop and others - have got together to see what they can do to increase the numbers of over-50s in the workforce, and to encourage people to carry on working beyond the official pension age.  Aviva's Andy Briggs is the government's business champion for older workers, and he wants to see UK companies increasing the numbers of over-50s in the workforce from 9m to over 10m in the next five years. The arguments are quite familiar, and have been made for some time.  On the defensive side, an…
Read More

Contender for PP champion

I sometimes speculate on which country exemplifies the Paula Principle at its most powerful.  The most obvious contenders are Japan and, especially, Korea.  In both countries, women are very highly educated, to degree level and beyond, and yet the gender pay gap remains very large. The case of Korea is particularly striking, as women are well represented in science and engineering, so their careers are not as constrained by subject choice as they are elsewhere.  (Role models may be a slightly tricky issue there, with their first female president having been removed on charges of corruption.) But now there's another possible champion.  Step forward Saudi Arabia.  The country now has…
Read More

Ambassadors for women at work

I find myself in the unlikely company of Ivana Trump and Jim Yong Kim. The 'US first daughter' and the president of the WB wrote a joint piece yesterday in the Financial Times on the enormous dividends which would flow from greater  economic participation by women. They point to better board level decision making; higher productivity; and more household spending on food, education and health.   They identify blocks to realising these benefits:  lower access to finance; legislative constraints, for example on land ownership ; and narrower occupational options. I'll sign up to all of that.  A broad consensus is clearly emerging.... Two other PP-relevant newspaper items caught my eye.  A Sunday…
Read More

LRB’s power pieces

Two excellent PP-relevant pieces in a recent issue of the London Review of Books. One is a review by David Runciman of a book on Theresa May which sums up her trajectory to power in a way that really helped me get a fix on the PM's outlook and attitude.  Especially telling is the contrast he draws between May and David Cameron, at several points in their political careers.  Cameron is ...all posh-boy charm and insouciance, flying by the seat of his pants with the aid of his network of well-connected chums.  May is earnest and diligent, apparently less opportunistic and more willing to assess things on their merits. And…
Read More

Late Fragments and careers

I've just finished Kate Gross's intensively poignant Late Fragments.  Kate died of cancer in 2014, aged 36, and wrote the book as a memoir for her little twin boys.  She manages a wonderful balance between huge sadness for the life, and family, that she is leaving and affirmation that even the short spell she had left to live was something to appreciate and enjoy - not by doing a bucket list of activity but just in itself. Kate was highly ambitious.  She had been Private Secretary to Tony Blair in No 10 Downing St, and was running a high profile NGO called the Africa Government Initiative when the cancer struck.  She…
Read More

Gender pay – and careers – gap

The media are alive with the sound of commentary on the regulations that come into play today, requiring companies with over 250 employees to report on gender and pay.   Amongst the central requirements are information on mean and median pay and bonuses for men and women. But it's important that the requirements also include the duty to report on the proportions of  women and men at four different pay bands - quartiles - in the organisation.  This is at least a start on giving a profile to careers and progression, and not only to money.  It's this focus on careers - occupational progression over time, at whatever level and…
Read More

Cousin conversations

My Scottish grandmother had 8 grandchildren.  As kids we assembled annually in Auchenblae and enjoyed swimming in the North Sea south of Aberdeen.  I say 'enjoyed' , and I think we genuinely did, though a trip there last summer and a dipping of toe into  water makes me wonder how. Growing up we went our own ways, but Grannie's funeral - decades ago now - brought us together again as adults.  Ever since we've met from time to time, and last Sunday some of us had lunch together.  It was just after the PP's publication, and so there was a bit of backchat on the book.  Without breaching family confidentiality…
Read More

Comments: selections from a Guardian thread

Well, the PP was finally published last week, and we had a nice launch at Waterstone's in Gower St.  The Scribe PR team (i.e. Sarah) have been doing a great promotion job.  At the weekend we had a piece published on the Guardian/Observer website.  It provoked some excellent comments - of course the abusive ones were removed, but there was a good mixture of thoughtful and critical responses, including a number of relevant personal experiences.  A sample below: From FelonMarmer, on the Peter Principle: "one of the major aspects to incompetence is the failure to recognise competence in others - so once someone who is incompetent is put into a…
Read More

Jo Swinson, reverse convergence and PP Factors 3 & 5

"Just because a man would do it doesn't make it the right thing to do." These are Jo Swindon's words in explaining why she has decided not to run for the leadership of the Liberal Democrats.  I think her decision is a brave and important one. I'm not a Lib Dem supporter, but my understanding is that Jo was the frontrunner for the leadership.  She has a strong track record of commitment to equalities, so in one sense it's sad that she won't be leading the party, on this as well as on other issues.  But I applaud her for coming to the decision, and for explaining it as she…
Read More

Progression and quality of work

The week got off to a brisk start with a Resolution Foundation/CBI conference on the future of the labour market.  Three panel sessions, packed with a mix of analysis and practitioner input (how I wish that academics would learn from think tanks about how to get information across effectively...). A central theme was about the quality of work.  Partly this was because Matthew Taylor was one of the contributors.  Extensively trailing his forthcoming report on the gig economy, he told us that the primary focus will be on this theme of the quality of work, recognising that measuring quality is much more difficult and contentious than measuring quantity.  So although…
Read More

Imag(in)ing career trajectories

There's been quite a lot of comment recently on the topic of older people working.  Several major businesses - Aviva, Boots, the Coop and others - have got together to see what they can do to increase the numbers of over-50s in the workforce, and to encourage people to carry on working beyond the official pension age.  Aviva's Andy Briggs is the government's business champion for older workers, and he wants to see UK companies increasing the numbers of over-50s in the workforce from 9m to over 10m in the next five years. The arguments are quite familiar, and have been made for some time.  On the defensive side, an…
Read More

Contender for PP champion

I sometimes speculate on which country exemplifies the Paula Principle at its most powerful.  The most obvious contenders are Japan and, especially, Korea.  In both countries, women are very highly educated, to degree level and beyond, and yet the gender pay gap remains very large. The case of Korea is particularly striking, as women are well represented in science and engineering, so their careers are not as constrained by subject choice as they are elsewhere.  (Role models may be a slightly tricky issue there, with their first female president having been removed on charges of corruption.) But now there's another possible champion.  Step forward Saudi Arabia.  The country now has…
Read More

Ambassadors for women at work

I find myself in the unlikely company of Ivana Trump and Jim Yong Kim. The 'US first daughter' and the president of the WB wrote a joint piece yesterday in the Financial Times on the enormous dividends which would flow from greater  economic participation by women. They point to better board level decision making; higher productivity; and more household spending on food, education and health.   They identify blocks to realising these benefits:  lower access to finance; legislative constraints, for example on land ownership ; and narrower occupational options. I'll sign up to all of that.  A broad consensus is clearly emerging.... Two other PP-relevant newspaper items caught my eye.  A Sunday…
Read More

LRB’s power pieces

Two excellent PP-relevant pieces in a recent issue of the London Review of Books. One is a review by David Runciman of a book on Theresa May which sums up her trajectory to power in a way that really helped me get a fix on the PM's outlook and attitude.  Especially telling is the contrast he draws between May and David Cameron, at several points in their political careers.  Cameron is ...all posh-boy charm and insouciance, flying by the seat of his pants with the aid of his network of well-connected chums.  May is earnest and diligent, apparently less opportunistic and more willing to assess things on their merits. And…
Read More

Late Fragments and careers

I've just finished Kate Gross's intensively poignant Late Fragments.  Kate died of cancer in 2014, aged 36, and wrote the book as a memoir for her little twin boys.  She manages a wonderful balance between huge sadness for the life, and family, that she is leaving and affirmation that even the short spell she had left to live was something to appreciate and enjoy - not by doing a bucket list of activity but just in itself. Kate was highly ambitious.  She had been Private Secretary to Tony Blair in No 10 Downing St, and was running a high profile NGO called the Africa Government Initiative when the cancer struck.  She…
Read More

Gender pay – and careers – gap

The media are alive with the sound of commentary on the regulations that come into play today, requiring companies with over 250 employees to report on gender and pay.   Amongst the central requirements are information on mean and median pay and bonuses for men and women. But it's important that the requirements also include the duty to report on the proportions of  women and men at four different pay bands - quartiles - in the organisation.  This is at least a start on giving a profile to careers and progression, and not only to money.  It's this focus on careers - occupational progression over time, at whatever level and…
Read More

Cousin conversations

My Scottish grandmother had 8 grandchildren.  As kids we assembled annually in Auchenblae and enjoyed swimming in the North Sea south of Aberdeen.  I say 'enjoyed' , and I think we genuinely did, though a trip there last summer and a dipping of toe into  water makes me wonder how. Growing up we went our own ways, but Grannie's funeral - decades ago now - brought us together again as adults.  Ever since we've met from time to time, and last Sunday some of us had lunch together.  It was just after the PP's publication, and so there was a bit of backchat on the book.  Without breaching family confidentiality…
Read More

Comments: selections from a Guardian thread

Well, the PP was finally published last week, and we had a nice launch at Waterstone's in Gower St.  The Scribe PR team (i.e. Sarah) have been doing a great promotion job.  At the weekend we had a piece published on the Guardian/Observer website.  It provoked some excellent comments - of course the abusive ones were removed, but there was a good mixture of thoughtful and critical responses, including a number of relevant personal experiences.  A sample below: From FelonMarmer, on the Peter Principle: "one of the major aspects to incompetence is the failure to recognise competence in others - so once someone who is incompetent is put into a…
Read More

Jo Swinson, reverse convergence and PP Factors 3 & 5

"Just because a man would do it doesn't make it the right thing to do." These are Jo Swindon's words in explaining why she has decided not to run for the leadership of the Liberal Democrats.  I think her decision is a brave and important one. I'm not a Lib Dem supporter, but my understanding is that Jo was the frontrunner for the leadership.  She has a strong track record of commitment to equalities, so in one sense it's sad that she won't be leading the party, on this as well as on other issues.  But I applaud her for coming to the decision, and for explaining it as she…
Read More

Progression and quality of work

The week got off to a brisk start with a Resolution Foundation/CBI conference on the future of the labour market.  Three panel sessions, packed with a mix of analysis and practitioner input (how I wish that academics would learn from think tanks about how to get information across effectively...). A central theme was about the quality of work.  Partly this was because Matthew Taylor was one of the contributors.  Extensively trailing his forthcoming report on the gig economy, he told us that the primary focus will be on this theme of the quality of work, recognising that measuring quality is much more difficult and contentious than measuring quantity.  So although…
Read More

Imag(in)ing career trajectories

There's been quite a lot of comment recently on the topic of older people working.  Several major businesses - Aviva, Boots, the Coop and others - have got together to see what they can do to increase the numbers of over-50s in the workforce, and to encourage people to carry on working beyond the official pension age.  Aviva's Andy Briggs is the government's business champion for older workers, and he wants to see UK companies increasing the numbers of over-50s in the workforce from 9m to over 10m in the next five years. The arguments are quite familiar, and have been made for some time.  On the defensive side, an…
Read More

Contender for PP champion

I sometimes speculate on which country exemplifies the Paula Principle at its most powerful.  The most obvious contenders are Japan and, especially, Korea.  In both countries, women are very highly educated, to degree level and beyond, and yet the gender pay gap remains very large. The case of Korea is particularly striking, as women are well represented in science and engineering, so their careers are not as constrained by subject choice as they are elsewhere.  (Role models may be a slightly tricky issue there, with their first female president having been removed on charges of corruption.) But now there's another possible champion.  Step forward Saudi Arabia.  The country now has…
Read More

Ambassadors for women at work

I find myself in the unlikely company of Ivana Trump and Jim Yong Kim. The 'US first daughter' and the president of the WB wrote a joint piece yesterday in the Financial Times on the enormous dividends which would flow from greater  economic participation by women. They point to better board level decision making; higher productivity; and more household spending on food, education and health.   They identify blocks to realising these benefits:  lower access to finance; legislative constraints, for example on land ownership ; and narrower occupational options. I'll sign up to all of that.  A broad consensus is clearly emerging.... Two other PP-relevant newspaper items caught my eye.  A Sunday…
Read More

LRB’s power pieces

Two excellent PP-relevant pieces in a recent issue of the London Review of Books. One is a review by David Runciman of a book on Theresa May which sums up her trajectory to power in a way that really helped me get a fix on the PM's outlook and attitude.  Especially telling is the contrast he draws between May and David Cameron, at several points in their political careers.  Cameron is ...all posh-boy charm and insouciance, flying by the seat of his pants with the aid of his network of well-connected chums.  May is earnest and diligent, apparently less opportunistic and more willing to assess things on their merits. And…
Read More

Late Fragments and careers

I've just finished Kate Gross's intensively poignant Late Fragments.  Kate died of cancer in 2014, aged 36, and wrote the book as a memoir for her little twin boys.  She manages a wonderful balance between huge sadness for the life, and family, that she is leaving and affirmation that even the short spell she had left to live was something to appreciate and enjoy - not by doing a bucket list of activity but just in itself. Kate was highly ambitious.  She had been Private Secretary to Tony Blair in No 10 Downing St, and was running a high profile NGO called the Africa Government Initiative when the cancer struck.  She…
Read More

Gender pay – and careers – gap

The media are alive with the sound of commentary on the regulations that come into play today, requiring companies with over 250 employees to report on gender and pay.   Amongst the central requirements are information on mean and median pay and bonuses for men and women. But it's important that the requirements also include the duty to report on the proportions of  women and men at four different pay bands - quartiles - in the organisation.  This is at least a start on giving a profile to careers and progression, and not only to money.  It's this focus on careers - occupational progression over time, at whatever level and…
Read More

Cousin conversations

My Scottish grandmother had 8 grandchildren.  As kids we assembled annually in Auchenblae and enjoyed swimming in the North Sea south of Aberdeen.  I say 'enjoyed' , and I think we genuinely did, though a trip there last summer and a dipping of toe into  water makes me wonder how. Growing up we went our own ways, but Grannie's funeral - decades ago now - brought us together again as adults.  Ever since we've met from time to time, and last Sunday some of us had lunch together.  It was just after the PP's publication, and so there was a bit of backchat on the book.  Without breaching family confidentiality…
Read More

Comments: selections from a Guardian thread

Well, the PP was finally published last week, and we had a nice launch at Waterstone's in Gower St.  The Scribe PR team (i.e. Sarah) have been doing a great promotion job.  At the weekend we had a piece published on the Guardian/Observer website.  It provoked some excellent comments - of course the abusive ones were removed, but there was a good mixture of thoughtful and critical responses, including a number of relevant personal experiences.  A sample below: From FelonMarmer, on the Peter Principle: "one of the major aspects to incompetence is the failure to recognise competence in others - so once someone who is incompetent is put into a…
Read More

Jo Swinson, reverse convergence and PP Factors 3 & 5

"Just because a man would do it doesn't make it the right thing to do." These are Jo Swindon's words in explaining why she has decided not to run for the leadership of the Liberal Democrats.  I think her decision is a brave and important one. I'm not a Lib Dem supporter, but my understanding is that Jo was the frontrunner for the leadership.  She has a strong track record of commitment to equalities, so in one sense it's sad that she won't be leading the party, on this as well as on other issues.  But I applaud her for coming to the decision, and for explaining it as she…
Read More

Progression and quality of work

The week got off to a brisk start with a Resolution Foundation/CBI conference on the future of the labour market.  Three panel sessions, packed with a mix of analysis and practitioner input (how I wish that academics would learn from think tanks about how to get information across effectively...). A central theme was about the quality of work.  Partly this was because Matthew Taylor was one of the contributors.  Extensively trailing his forthcoming report on the gig economy, he told us that the primary focus will be on this theme of the quality of work, recognising that measuring quality is much more difficult and contentious than measuring quantity.  So although…
Read More

Imag(in)ing career trajectories

There's been quite a lot of comment recently on the topic of older people working.  Several major businesses - Aviva, Boots, the Coop and others - have got together to see what they can do to increase the numbers of over-50s in the workforce, and to encourage people to carry on working beyond the official pension age.  Aviva's Andy Briggs is the government's business champion for older workers, and he wants to see UK companies increasing the numbers of over-50s in the workforce from 9m to over 10m in the next five years. The arguments are quite familiar, and have been made for some time.  On the defensive side, an…
Read More

Contender for PP champion

I sometimes speculate on which country exemplifies the Paula Principle at its most powerful.  The most obvious contenders are Japan and, especially, Korea.  In both countries, women are very highly educated, to degree level and beyond, and yet the gender pay gap remains very large. The case of Korea is particularly striking, as women are well represented in science and engineering, so their careers are not as constrained by subject choice as they are elsewhere.  (Role models may be a slightly tricky issue there, with their first female president having been removed on charges of corruption.) But now there's another possible champion.  Step forward Saudi Arabia.  The country now has…
Read More

Ambassadors for women at work

I find myself in the unlikely company of Ivana Trump and Jim Yong Kim. The 'US first daughter' and the president of the WB wrote a joint piece yesterday in the Financial Times on the enormous dividends which would flow from greater  economic participation by women. They point to better board level decision making; higher productivity; and more household spending on food, education and health.   They identify blocks to realising these benefits:  lower access to finance; legislative constraints, for example on land ownership ; and narrower occupational options. I'll sign up to all of that.  A broad consensus is clearly emerging.... Two other PP-relevant newspaper items caught my eye.  A Sunday…
Read More

LRB’s power pieces

Two excellent PP-relevant pieces in a recent issue of the London Review of Books. One is a review by David Runciman of a book on Theresa May which sums up her trajectory to power in a way that really helped me get a fix on the PM's outlook and attitude.  Especially telling is the contrast he draws between May and David Cameron, at several points in their political careers.  Cameron is ...all posh-boy charm and insouciance, flying by the seat of his pants with the aid of his network of well-connected chums.  May is earnest and diligent, apparently less opportunistic and more willing to assess things on their merits. And…
Read More

Late Fragments and careers

I've just finished Kate Gross's intensively poignant Late Fragments.  Kate died of cancer in 2014, aged 36, and wrote the book as a memoir for her little twin boys.  She manages a wonderful balance between huge sadness for the life, and family, that she is leaving and affirmation that even the short spell she had left to live was something to appreciate and enjoy - not by doing a bucket list of activity but just in itself. Kate was highly ambitious.  She had been Private Secretary to Tony Blair in No 10 Downing St, and was running a high profile NGO called the Africa Government Initiative when the cancer struck.  She…
Read More

Gender pay – and careers – gap

The media are alive with the sound of commentary on the regulations that come into play today, requiring companies with over 250 employees to report on gender and pay.   Amongst the central requirements are information on mean and median pay and bonuses for men and women. But it's important that the requirements also include the duty to report on the proportions of  women and men at four different pay bands - quartiles - in the organisation.  This is at least a start on giving a profile to careers and progression, and not only to money.  It's this focus on careers - occupational progression over time, at whatever level and…
Read More

Cousin conversations

My Scottish grandmother had 8 grandchildren.  As kids we assembled annually in Auchenblae and enjoyed swimming in the North Sea south of Aberdeen.  I say 'enjoyed' , and I think we genuinely did, though a trip there last summer and a dipping of toe into  water makes me wonder how. Growing up we went our own ways, but Grannie's funeral - decades ago now - brought us together again as adults.  Ever since we've met from time to time, and last Sunday some of us had lunch together.  It was just after the PP's publication, and so there was a bit of backchat on the book.  Without breaching family confidentiality…
Read More

Comments: selections from a Guardian thread

Well, the PP was finally published last week, and we had a nice launch at Waterstone's in Gower St.  The Scribe PR team (i.e. Sarah) have been doing a great promotion job.  At the weekend we had a piece published on the Guardian/Observer website.  It provoked some excellent comments - of course the abusive ones were removed, but there was a good mixture of thoughtful and critical responses, including a number of relevant personal experiences.  A sample below: From FelonMarmer, on the Peter Principle: "one of the major aspects to incompetence is the failure to recognise competence in others - so once someone who is incompetent is put into a…
Read More

Jo Swinson, reverse convergence and PP Factors 3 & 5

"Just because a man would do it doesn't make it the right thing to do." These are Jo Swindon's words in explaining why she has decided not to run for the leadership of the Liberal Democrats.  I think her decision is a brave and important one. I'm not a Lib Dem supporter, but my understanding is that Jo was the frontrunner for the leadership.  She has a strong track record of commitment to equalities, so in one sense it's sad that she won't be leading the party, on this as well as on other issues.  But I applaud her for coming to the decision, and for explaining it as she…
Read More

Progression and quality of work

The week got off to a brisk start with a Resolution Foundation/CBI conference on the future of the labour market.  Three panel sessions, packed with a mix of analysis and practitioner input (how I wish that academics would learn from think tanks about how to get information across effectively...). A central theme was about the quality of work.  Partly this was because Matthew Taylor was one of the contributors.  Extensively trailing his forthcoming report on the gig economy, he told us that the primary focus will be on this theme of the quality of work, recognising that measuring quality is much more difficult and contentious than measuring quantity.  So although…
Read More

Imag(in)ing career trajectories

There's been quite a lot of comment recently on the topic of older people working.  Several major businesses - Aviva, Boots, the Coop and others - have got together to see what they can do to increase the numbers of over-50s in the workforce, and to encourage people to carry on working beyond the official pension age.  Aviva's Andy Briggs is the government's business champion for older workers, and he wants to see UK companies increasing the numbers of over-50s in the workforce from 9m to over 10m in the next five years. The arguments are quite familiar, and have been made for some time.  On the defensive side, an…
Read More

Contender for PP champion

I sometimes speculate on which country exemplifies the Paula Principle at its most powerful.  The most obvious contenders are Japan and, especially, Korea.  In both countries, women are very highly educated, to degree level and beyond, and yet the gender pay gap remains very large. The case of Korea is particularly striking, as women are well represented in science and engineering, so their careers are not as constrained by subject choice as they are elsewhere.  (Role models may be a slightly tricky issue there, with their first female president having been removed on charges of corruption.) But now there's another possible champion.  Step forward Saudi Arabia.  The country now has…
Read More

Ambassadors for women at work

I find myself in the unlikely company of Ivana Trump and Jim Yong Kim. The 'US first daughter' and the president of the WB wrote a joint piece yesterday in the Financial Times on the enormous dividends which would flow from greater  economic participation by women. They point to better board level decision making; higher productivity; and more household spending on food, education and health.   They identify blocks to realising these benefits:  lower access to finance; legislative constraints, for example on land ownership ; and narrower occupational options. I'll sign up to all of that.  A broad consensus is clearly emerging.... Two other PP-relevant newspaper items caught my eye.  A Sunday…
Read More

LRB’s power pieces

Two excellent PP-relevant pieces in a recent issue of the London Review of Books. One is a review by David Runciman of a book on Theresa May which sums up her trajectory to power in a way that really helped me get a fix on the PM's outlook and attitude.  Especially telling is the contrast he draws between May and David Cameron, at several points in their political careers.  Cameron is ...all posh-boy charm and insouciance, flying by the seat of his pants with the aid of his network of well-connected chums.  May is earnest and diligent, apparently less opportunistic and more willing to assess things on their merits. And…
Read More

Late Fragments and careers

I've just finished Kate Gross's intensively poignant Late Fragments.  Kate died of cancer in 2014, aged 36, and wrote the book as a memoir for her little twin boys.  She manages a wonderful balance between huge sadness for the life, and family, that she is leaving and affirmation that even the short spell she had left to live was something to appreciate and enjoy - not by doing a bucket list of activity but just in itself. Kate was highly ambitious.  She had been Private Secretary to Tony Blair in No 10 Downing St, and was running a high profile NGO called the Africa Government Initiative when the cancer struck.  She…
Read More

Gender pay – and careers – gap

The media are alive with the sound of commentary on the regulations that come into play today, requiring companies with over 250 employees to report on gender and pay.   Amongst the central requirements are information on mean and median pay and bonuses for men and women. But it's important that the requirements also include the duty to report on the proportions of  women and men at four different pay bands - quartiles - in the organisation.  This is at least a start on giving a profile to careers and progression, and not only to money.  It's this focus on careers - occupational progression over time, at whatever level and…
Read More

Cousin conversations

My Scottish grandmother had 8 grandchildren.  As kids we assembled annually in Auchenblae and enjoyed swimming in the North Sea south of Aberdeen.  I say 'enjoyed' , and I think we genuinely did, though a trip there last summer and a dipping of toe into  water makes me wonder how. Growing up we went our own ways, but Grannie's funeral - decades ago now - brought us together again as adults.  Ever since we've met from time to time, and last Sunday some of us had lunch together.  It was just after the PP's publication, and so there was a bit of backchat on the book.  Without breaching family confidentiality…
Read More

Comments: selections from a Guardian thread

Well, the PP was finally published last week, and we had a nice launch at Waterstone's in Gower St.  The Scribe PR team (i.e. Sarah) have been doing a great promotion job.  At the weekend we had a piece published on the Guardian/Observer website.  It provoked some excellent comments - of course the abusive ones were removed, but there was a good mixture of thoughtful and critical responses, including a number of relevant personal experiences.  A sample below: From FelonMarmer, on the Peter Principle: "one of the major aspects to incompetence is the failure to recognise competence in others - so once someone who is incompetent is put into a…
Read More

Jo Swinson, reverse convergence and PP Factors 3 & 5

"Just because a man would do it doesn't make it the right thing to do." These are Jo Swindon's words in explaining why she has decided not to run for the leadership of the Liberal Democrats.  I think her decision is a brave and important one. I'm not a Lib Dem supporter, but my understanding is that Jo was the frontrunner for the leadership.  She has a strong track record of commitment to equalities, so in one sense it's sad that she won't be leading the party, on this as well as on other issues.  But I applaud her for coming to the decision, and for explaining it as she…
Read More

Progression and quality of work

The week got off to a brisk start with a Resolution Foundation/CBI conference on the future of the labour market.  Three panel sessions, packed with a mix of analysis and practitioner input (how I wish that academics would learn from think tanks about how to get information across effectively...). A central theme was about the quality of work.  Partly this was because Matthew Taylor was one of the contributors.  Extensively trailing his forthcoming report on the gig economy, he told us that the primary focus will be on this theme of the quality of work, recognising that measuring quality is much more difficult and contentious than measuring quantity.  So although…
Read More

Imag(in)ing career trajectories

There's been quite a lot of comment recently on the topic of older people working.  Several major businesses - Aviva, Boots, the Coop and others - have got together to see what they can do to increase the numbers of over-50s in the workforce, and to encourage people to carry on working beyond the official pension age.  Aviva's Andy Briggs is the government's business champion for older workers, and he wants to see UK companies increasing the numbers of over-50s in the workforce from 9m to over 10m in the next five years. The arguments are quite familiar, and have been made for some time.  On the defensive side, an…
Read More

Contender for PP champion

I sometimes speculate on which country exemplifies the Paula Principle at its most powerful.  The most obvious contenders are Japan and, especially, Korea.  In both countries, women are very highly educated, to degree level and beyond, and yet the gender pay gap remains very large. The case of Korea is particularly striking, as women are well represented in science and engineering, so their careers are not as constrained by subject choice as they are elsewhere.  (Role models may be a slightly tricky issue there, with their first female president having been removed on charges of corruption.) But now there's another possible champion.  Step forward Saudi Arabia.  The country now has…
Read More

Ambassadors for women at work

I find myself in the unlikely company of Ivana Trump and Jim Yong Kim. The 'US first daughter' and the president of the WB wrote a joint piece yesterday in the Financial Times on the enormous dividends which would flow from greater  economic participation by women. They point to better board level decision making; higher productivity; and more household spending on food, education and health.   They identify blocks to realising these benefits:  lower access to finance; legislative constraints, for example on land ownership ; and narrower occupational options. I'll sign up to all of that.  A broad consensus is clearly emerging.... Two other PP-relevant newspaper items caught my eye.  A Sunday…
Read More

LRB’s power pieces

Two excellent PP-relevant pieces in a recent issue of the London Review of Books. One is a review by David Runciman of a book on Theresa May which sums up her trajectory to power in a way that really helped me get a fix on the PM's outlook and attitude.  Especially telling is the contrast he draws between May and David Cameron, at several points in their political careers.  Cameron is ...all posh-boy charm and insouciance, flying by the seat of his pants with the aid of his network of well-connected chums.  May is earnest and diligent, apparently less opportunistic and more willing to assess things on their merits. And…
Read More

Late Fragments and careers

I've just finished Kate Gross's intensively poignant Late Fragments.  Kate died of cancer in 2014, aged 36, and wrote the book as a memoir for her little twin boys.  She manages a wonderful balance between huge sadness for the life, and family, that she is leaving and affirmation that even the short spell she had left to live was something to appreciate and enjoy - not by doing a bucket list of activity but just in itself. Kate was highly ambitious.  She had been Private Secretary to Tony Blair in No 10 Downing St, and was running a high profile NGO called the Africa Government Initiative when the cancer struck.  She…
Read More

Gender pay – and careers – gap

The media are alive with the sound of commentary on the regulations that come into play today, requiring companies with over 250 employees to report on gender and pay.   Amongst the central requirements are information on mean and median pay and bonuses for men and women. But it's important that the requirements also include the duty to report on the proportions of  women and men at four different pay bands - quartiles - in the organisation.  This is at least a start on giving a profile to careers and progression, and not only to money.  It's this focus on careers - occupational progression over time, at whatever level and…
Read More

Cousin conversations

My Scottish grandmother had 8 grandchildren.  As kids we assembled annually in Auchenblae and enjoyed swimming in the North Sea south of Aberdeen.  I say 'enjoyed' , and I think we genuinely did, though a trip there last summer and a dipping of toe into  water makes me wonder how. Growing up we went our own ways, but Grannie's funeral - decades ago now - brought us together again as adults.  Ever since we've met from time to time, and last Sunday some of us had lunch together.  It was just after the PP's publication, and so there was a bit of backchat on the book.  Without breaching family confidentiality…
Read More

Comments: selections from a Guardian thread

Well, the PP was finally published last week, and we had a nice launch at Waterstone's in Gower St.  The Scribe PR team (i.e. Sarah) have been doing a great promotion job.  At the weekend we had a piece published on the Guardian/Observer website.  It provoked some excellent comments - of course the abusive ones were removed, but there was a good mixture of thoughtful and critical responses, including a number of relevant personal experiences.  A sample below: From FelonMarmer, on the Peter Principle: "one of the major aspects to incompetence is the failure to recognise competence in others - so once someone who is incompetent is put into a…
Read More

Jo Swinson, reverse convergence and PP Factors 3 & 5

"Just because a man would do it doesn't make it the right thing to do." These are Jo Swindon's words in explaining why she has decided not to run for the leadership of the Liberal Democrats.  I think her decision is a brave and important one. I'm not a Lib Dem supporter, but my understanding is that Jo was the frontrunner for the leadership.  She has a strong track record of commitment to equalities, so in one sense it's sad that she won't be leading the party, on this as well as on other issues.  But I applaud her for coming to the decision, and for explaining it as she…
Read More

Progression and quality of work

The week got off to a brisk start with a Resolution Foundation/CBI conference on the future of the labour market.  Three panel sessions, packed with a mix of analysis and practitioner input (how I wish that academics would learn from think tanks about how to get information across effectively...). A central theme was about the quality of work.  Partly this was because Matthew Taylor was one of the contributors.  Extensively trailing his forthcoming report on the gig economy, he told us that the primary focus will be on this theme of the quality of work, recognising that measuring quality is much more difficult and contentious than measuring quantity.  So although…
Read More

Imag(in)ing career trajectories

There's been quite a lot of comment recently on the topic of older people working.  Several major businesses - Aviva, Boots, the Coop and others - have got together to see what they can do to increase the numbers of over-50s in the workforce, and to encourage people to carry on working beyond the official pension age.  Aviva's Andy Briggs is the government's business champion for older workers, and he wants to see UK companies increasing the numbers of over-50s in the workforce from 9m to over 10m in the next five years. The arguments are quite familiar, and have been made for some time.  On the defensive side, an…
Read More

Contender for PP champion

I sometimes speculate on which country exemplifies the Paula Principle at its most powerful.  The most obvious contenders are Japan and, especially, Korea.  In both countries, women are very highly educated, to degree level and beyond, and yet the gender pay gap remains very large. The case of Korea is particularly striking, as women are well represented in science and engineering, so their careers are not as constrained by subject choice as they are elsewhere.  (Role models may be a slightly tricky issue there, with their first female president having been removed on charges of corruption.) But now there's another possible champion.  Step forward Saudi Arabia.  The country now has…
Read More

Ambassadors for women at work

I find myself in the unlikely company of Ivana Trump and Jim Yong Kim. The 'US first daughter' and the president of the WB wrote a joint piece yesterday in the Financial Times on the enormous dividends which would flow from greater  economic participation by women. They point to better board level decision making; higher productivity; and more household spending on food, education and health.   They identify blocks to realising these benefits:  lower access to finance; legislative constraints, for example on land ownership ; and narrower occupational options. I'll sign up to all of that.  A broad consensus is clearly emerging.... Two other PP-relevant newspaper items caught my eye.  A Sunday…
Read More

LRB’s power pieces

Two excellent PP-relevant pieces in a recent issue of the London Review of Books. One is a review by David Runciman of a book on Theresa May which sums up her trajectory to power in a way that really helped me get a fix on the PM's outlook and attitude.  Especially telling is the contrast he draws between May and David Cameron, at several points in their political careers.  Cameron is ...all posh-boy charm and insouciance, flying by the seat of his pants with the aid of his network of well-connected chums.  May is earnest and diligent, apparently less opportunistic and more willing to assess things on their merits. And…
Read More

Late Fragments and careers

I've just finished Kate Gross's intensively poignant Late Fragments.  Kate died of cancer in 2014, aged 36, and wrote the book as a memoir for her little twin boys.  She manages a wonderful balance between huge sadness for the life, and family, that she is leaving and affirmation that even the short spell she had left to live was something to appreciate and enjoy - not by doing a bucket list of activity but just in itself. Kate was highly ambitious.  She had been Private Secretary to Tony Blair in No 10 Downing St, and was running a high profile NGO called the Africa Government Initiative when the cancer struck.  She…
Read More

Gender pay – and careers – gap

The media are alive with the sound of commentary on the regulations that come into play today, requiring companies with over 250 employees to report on gender and pay.   Amongst the central requirements are information on mean and median pay and bonuses for men and women. But it's important that the requirements also include the duty to report on the proportions of  women and men at four different pay bands - quartiles - in the organisation.  This is at least a start on giving a profile to careers and progression, and not only to money.  It's this focus on careers - occupational progression over time, at whatever level and…
Read More

Cousin conversations

My Scottish grandmother had 8 grandchildren.  As kids we assembled annually in Auchenblae and enjoyed swimming in the North Sea south of Aberdeen.  I say 'enjoyed' , and I think we genuinely did, though a trip there last summer and a dipping of toe into  water makes me wonder how. Growing up we went our own ways, but Grannie's funeral - decades ago now - brought us together again as adults.  Ever since we've met from time to time, and last Sunday some of us had lunch together.  It was just after the PP's publication, and so there was a bit of backchat on the book.  Without breaching family confidentiality…
Read More

Comments: selections from a Guardian thread

Well, the PP was finally published last week, and we had a nice launch at Waterstone's in Gower St.  The Scribe PR team (i.e. Sarah) have been doing a great promotion job.  At the weekend we had a piece published on the Guardian/Observer website.  It provoked some excellent comments - of course the abusive ones were removed, but there was a good mixture of thoughtful and critical responses, including a number of relevant personal experiences.  A sample below: From FelonMarmer, on the Peter Principle: "one of the major aspects to incompetence is the failure to recognise competence in others - so once someone who is incompetent is put into a…
Read More

Jo Swinson, reverse convergence and PP Factors 3 & 5

"Just because a man would do it doesn't make it the right thing to do." These are Jo Swindon's words in explaining why she has decided not to run for the leadership of the Liberal Democrats.  I think her decision is a brave and important one. I'm not a Lib Dem supporter, but my understanding is that Jo was the frontrunner for the leadership.  She has a strong track record of commitment to equalities, so in one sense it's sad that she won't be leading the party, on this as well as on other issues.  But I applaud her for coming to the decision, and for explaining it as she…
Read More

Progression and quality of work

The week got off to a brisk start with a Resolution Foundation/CBI conference on the future of the labour market.  Three panel sessions, packed with a mix of analysis and practitioner input (how I wish that academics would learn from think tanks about how to get information across effectively...). A central theme was about the quality of work.  Partly this was because Matthew Taylor was one of the contributors.  Extensively trailing his forthcoming report on the gig economy, he told us that the primary focus will be on this theme of the quality of work, recognising that measuring quality is much more difficult and contentious than measuring quantity.  So although…
Read More

Imag(in)ing career trajectories

There's been quite a lot of comment recently on the topic of older people working.  Several major businesses - Aviva, Boots, the Coop and others - have got together to see what they can do to increase the numbers of over-50s in the workforce, and to encourage people to carry on working beyond the official pension age.  Aviva's Andy Briggs is the government's business champion for older workers, and he wants to see UK companies increasing the numbers of over-50s in the workforce from 9m to over 10m in the next five years. The arguments are quite familiar, and have been made for some time.  On the defensive side, an…
Read More

Contender for PP champion

I sometimes speculate on which country exemplifies the Paula Principle at its most powerful.  The most obvious contenders are Japan and, especially, Korea.  In both countries, women are very highly educated, to degree level and beyond, and yet the gender pay gap remains very large. The case of Korea is particularly striking, as women are well represented in science and engineering, so their careers are not as constrained by subject choice as they are elsewhere.  (Role models may be a slightly tricky issue there, with their first female president having been removed on charges of corruption.) But now there's another possible champion.  Step forward Saudi Arabia.  The country now has…
Read More

Ambassadors for women at work

I find myself in the unlikely company of Ivana Trump and Jim Yong Kim. The 'US first daughter' and the president of the WB wrote a joint piece yesterday in the Financial Times on the enormous dividends which would flow from greater  economic participation by women. They point to better board level decision making; higher productivity; and more household spending on food, education and health.   They identify blocks to realising these benefits:  lower access to finance; legislative constraints, for example on land ownership ; and narrower occupational options. I'll sign up to all of that.  A broad consensus is clearly emerging.... Two other PP-relevant newspaper items caught my eye.  A Sunday…
Read More

LRB’s power pieces

Two excellent PP-relevant pieces in a recent issue of the London Review of Books. One is a review by David Runciman of a book on Theresa May which sums up her trajectory to power in a way that really helped me get a fix on the PM's outlook and attitude.  Especially telling is the contrast he draws between May and David Cameron, at several points in their political careers.  Cameron is ...all posh-boy charm and insouciance, flying by the seat of his pants with the aid of his network of well-connected chums.  May is earnest and diligent, apparently less opportunistic and more willing to assess things on their merits. And…
Read More

Late Fragments and careers

I've just finished Kate Gross's intensively poignant Late Fragments.  Kate died of cancer in 2014, aged 36, and wrote the book as a memoir for her little twin boys.  She manages a wonderful balance between huge sadness for the life, and family, that she is leaving and affirmation that even the short spell she had left to live was something to appreciate and enjoy - not by doing a bucket list of activity but just in itself. Kate was highly ambitious.  She had been Private Secretary to Tony Blair in No 10 Downing St, and was running a high profile NGO called the Africa Government Initiative when the cancer struck.  She…
Read More

Gender pay – and careers – gap

The media are alive with the sound of commentary on the regulations that come into play today, requiring companies with over 250 employees to report on gender and pay.   Amongst the central requirements are information on mean and median pay and bonuses for men and women. But it's important that the requirements also include the duty to report on the proportions of  women and men at four different pay bands - quartiles - in the organisation.  This is at least a start on giving a profile to careers and progression, and not only to money.  It's this focus on careers - occupational progression over time, at whatever level and…
Read More

Cousin conversations

My Scottish grandmother had 8 grandchildren.  As kids we assembled annually in Auchenblae and enjoyed swimming in the North Sea south of Aberdeen.  I say 'enjoyed' , and I think we genuinely did, though a trip there last summer and a dipping of toe into  water makes me wonder how. Growing up we went our own ways, but Grannie's funeral - decades ago now - brought us together again as adults.  Ever since we've met from time to time, and last Sunday some of us had lunch together.  It was just after the PP's publication, and so there was a bit of backchat on the book.  Without breaching family confidentiality…
Read More

Comments: selections from a Guardian thread

Well, the PP was finally published last week, and we had a nice launch at Waterstone's in Gower St.  The Scribe PR team (i.e. Sarah) have been doing a great promotion job.  At the weekend we had a piece published on the Guardian/Observer website.  It provoked some excellent comments - of course the abusive ones were removed, but there was a good mixture of thoughtful and critical responses, including a number of relevant personal experiences.  A sample below: From FelonMarmer, on the Peter Principle: "one of the major aspects to incompetence is the failure to recognise competence in others - so once someone who is incompetent is put into a…
Read More

Jo Swinson, reverse convergence and PP Factors 3 & 5

"Just because a man would do it doesn't make it the right thing to do." These are Jo Swindon's words in explaining why she has decided not to run for the leadership of the Liberal Democrats.  I think her decision is a brave and important one. I'm not a Lib Dem supporter, but my understanding is that Jo was the frontrunner for the leadership.  She has a strong track record of commitment to equalities, so in one sense it's sad that she won't be leading the party, on this as well as on other issues.  But I applaud her for coming to the decision, and for explaining it as she…
Read More

Progression and quality of work

The week got off to a brisk start with a Resolution Foundation/CBI conference on the future of the labour market.  Three panel sessions, packed with a mix of analysis and practitioner input (how I wish that academics would learn from think tanks about how to get information across effectively...). A central theme was about the quality of work.  Partly this was because Matthew Taylor was one of the contributors.  Extensively trailing his forthcoming report on the gig economy, he told us that the primary focus will be on this theme of the quality of work, recognising that measuring quality is much more difficult and contentious than measuring quantity.  So although…
Read More

Imag(in)ing career trajectories

There's been quite a lot of comment recently on the topic of older people working.  Several major businesses - Aviva, Boots, the Coop and others - have got together to see what they can do to increase the numbers of over-50s in the workforce, and to encourage people to carry on working beyond the official pension age.  Aviva's Andy Briggs is the government's business champion for older workers, and he wants to see UK companies increasing the numbers of over-50s in the workforce from 9m to over 10m in the next five years. The arguments are quite familiar, and have been made for some time.  On the defensive side, an…
Read More

Contender for PP champion

I sometimes speculate on which country exemplifies the Paula Principle at its most powerful.  The most obvious contenders are Japan and, especially, Korea.  In both countries, women are very highly educated, to degree level and beyond, and yet the gender pay gap remains very large. The case of Korea is particularly striking, as women are well represented in science and engineering, so their careers are not as constrained by subject choice as they are elsewhere.  (Role models may be a slightly tricky issue there, with their first female president having been removed on charges of corruption.) But now there's another possible champion.  Step forward Saudi Arabia.  The country now has…
Read More

Ambassadors for women at work

I find myself in the unlikely company of Ivana Trump and Jim Yong Kim. The 'US first daughter' and the president of the WB wrote a joint piece yesterday in the Financial Times on the enormous dividends which would flow from greater  economic participation by women. They point to better board level decision making; higher productivity; and more household spending on food, education and health.   They identify blocks to realising these benefits:  lower access to finance; legislative constraints, for example on land ownership ; and narrower occupational options. I'll sign up to all of that.  A broad consensus is clearly emerging.... Two other PP-relevant newspaper items caught my eye.  A Sunday…
Read More

LRB’s power pieces

Two excellent PP-relevant pieces in a recent issue of the London Review of Books. One is a review by David Runciman of a book on Theresa May which sums up her trajectory to power in a way that really helped me get a fix on the PM's outlook and attitude.  Especially telling is the contrast he draws between May and David Cameron, at several points in their political careers.  Cameron is ...all posh-boy charm and insouciance, flying by the seat of his pants with the aid of his network of well-connected chums.  May is earnest and diligent, apparently less opportunistic and more willing to assess things on their merits. And…
Read More

Late Fragments and careers

I've just finished Kate Gross's intensively poignant Late Fragments.  Kate died of cancer in 2014, aged 36, and wrote the book as a memoir for her little twin boys.  She manages a wonderful balance between huge sadness for the life, and family, that she is leaving and affirmation that even the short spell she had left to live was something to appreciate and enjoy - not by doing a bucket list of activity but just in itself. Kate was highly ambitious.  She had been Private Secretary to Tony Blair in No 10 Downing St, and was running a high profile NGO called the Africa Government Initiative when the cancer struck.  She…
Read More

Gender pay – and careers – gap

The media are alive with the sound of commentary on the regulations that come into play today, requiring companies with over 250 employees to report on gender and pay.   Amongst the central requirements are information on mean and median pay and bonuses for men and women. But it's important that the requirements also include the duty to report on the proportions of  women and men at four different pay bands - quartiles - in the organisation.  This is at least a start on giving a profile to careers and progression, and not only to money.  It's this focus on careers - occupational progression over time, at whatever level and…
Read More

Cousin conversations

My Scottish grandmother had 8 grandchildren.  As kids we assembled annually in Auchenblae and enjoyed swimming in the North Sea south of Aberdeen.  I say 'enjoyed' , and I think we genuinely did, though a trip there last summer and a dipping of toe into  water makes me wonder how. Growing up we went our own ways, but Grannie's funeral - decades ago now - brought us together again as adults.  Ever since we've met from time to time, and last Sunday some of us had lunch together.  It was just after the PP's publication, and so there was a bit of backchat on the book.  Without breaching family confidentiality…
Read More

Comments: selections from a Guardian thread

Well, the PP was finally published last week, and we had a nice launch at Waterstone's in Gower St.  The Scribe PR team (i.e. Sarah) have been doing a great promotion job.  At the weekend we had a piece published on the Guardian/Observer website.  It provoked some excellent comments - of course the abusive ones were removed, but there was a good mixture of thoughtful and critical responses, including a number of relevant personal experiences.  A sample below: From FelonMarmer, on the Peter Principle: "one of the major aspects to incompetence is the failure to recognise competence in others - so once someone who is incompetent is put into a…
Read More