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

Queen of carbon

Mildred Dresselhaus died recently.  I'm afraid I'd never heard of her - a comment on my scientific literacy - but she was a great chemist, known among academics as the queen of carbon.  According to the Financial Times'  obituary, she helped to lay the foundations for nanotechnology, and published 1700 scientific papers as well as eight books.  That's some record for someone born into a poor Polish immigrant family, who went on to have four children herself. Dresselhaus received the $1million Kavli prize in nanoscience in 2012, and in 2014 the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honour in the US. So, a remarkable women, who also worked hard to…
Read More

Going Dutch?

I've said before - many times - that we need to rethink our approach to part-time work.  This is increasingly obvious in the light of the changing nature of employment generally, and not only in relation to the PP.   Included in this rethinking should be proposals for new ways of classifying part-timers.  The simplistic binary division into full-time and part-time has to go if women's careers and competences are to get a fair shout. In the last chapter of the PP book I suggest that we might restrict 'part-time' to work that is 8 hours a week or less, i.e. that is genuinely marginal.  This may be a step…
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

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

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

Working hours again: UK and US

The recent IFS report on the gender pay gap attracted huge coverage - top of the news, and all over the front pages.  It's the first of a series the Institute is doing on this issue, which is excellent news;  I look forward to seeing what comes out. The report does an excellent job in distinguishing between the various types of wage gap, in two major respects.  First, it shows the need to distinguish different groups according to the hours they work.  Obviously, the hourly difference is far smaller than the weekly difference, since women work fewer hours: it shrinks from 36% to 19%.  It shrinks further, to 16%, for…
Read More

An update on the PP

New Year's Day, and the chance to take stock on the Paula Principle.  I finished the book a year ago but still haven't managed to find a publisher.  I'll have in any case to update it (once I finish what I'm currently doing, a report for Unesco on the state of play on adult learning across the world), partly because some of the statistics need it but also because some of the debate on gender issues has moved on.  I still don't claim to be a gender specialist, but writing the book has meant that my eye is caught by gender items in the media, and this has prompted some…
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

Queen of carbon

Mildred Dresselhaus died recently.  I'm afraid I'd never heard of her - a comment on my scientific literacy - but she was a great chemist, known among academics as the queen of carbon.  According to the Financial Times'  obituary, she helped to lay the foundations for nanotechnology, and published 1700 scientific papers as well as eight books.  That's some record for someone born into a poor Polish immigrant family, who went on to have four children herself. Dresselhaus received the $1million Kavli prize in nanoscience in 2012, and in 2014 the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honour in the US. So, a remarkable women, who also worked hard to…
Read More

Going Dutch?

I've said before - many times - that we need to rethink our approach to part-time work.  This is increasingly obvious in the light of the changing nature of employment generally, and not only in relation to the PP.   Included in this rethinking should be proposals for new ways of classifying part-timers.  The simplistic binary division into full-time and part-time has to go if women's careers and competences are to get a fair shout. In the last chapter of the PP book I suggest that we might restrict 'part-time' to work that is 8 hours a week or less, i.e. that is genuinely marginal.  This may be a step…
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

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

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

Working hours again: UK and US

The recent IFS report on the gender pay gap attracted huge coverage - top of the news, and all over the front pages.  It's the first of a series the Institute is doing on this issue, which is excellent news;  I look forward to seeing what comes out. The report does an excellent job in distinguishing between the various types of wage gap, in two major respects.  First, it shows the need to distinguish different groups according to the hours they work.  Obviously, the hourly difference is far smaller than the weekly difference, since women work fewer hours: it shrinks from 36% to 19%.  It shrinks further, to 16%, for…
Read More

An update on the PP

New Year's Day, and the chance to take stock on the Paula Principle.  I finished the book a year ago but still haven't managed to find a publisher.  I'll have in any case to update it (once I finish what I'm currently doing, a report for Unesco on the state of play on adult learning across the world), partly because some of the statistics need it but also because some of the debate on gender issues has moved on.  I still don't claim to be a gender specialist, but writing the book has meant that my eye is caught by gender items in the media, and this has prompted some…
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

Queen of carbon

Mildred Dresselhaus died recently.  I'm afraid I'd never heard of her - a comment on my scientific literacy - but she was a great chemist, known among academics as the queen of carbon.  According to the Financial Times'  obituary, she helped to lay the foundations for nanotechnology, and published 1700 scientific papers as well as eight books.  That's some record for someone born into a poor Polish immigrant family, who went on to have four children herself. Dresselhaus received the $1million Kavli prize in nanoscience in 2012, and in 2014 the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honour in the US. So, a remarkable women, who also worked hard to…
Read More

Going Dutch?

I've said before - many times - that we need to rethink our approach to part-time work.  This is increasingly obvious in the light of the changing nature of employment generally, and not only in relation to the PP.   Included in this rethinking should be proposals for new ways of classifying part-timers.  The simplistic binary division into full-time and part-time has to go if women's careers and competences are to get a fair shout. In the last chapter of the PP book I suggest that we might restrict 'part-time' to work that is 8 hours a week or less, i.e. that is genuinely marginal.  This may be a step…
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

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

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

Working hours again: UK and US

The recent IFS report on the gender pay gap attracted huge coverage - top of the news, and all over the front pages.  It's the first of a series the Institute is doing on this issue, which is excellent news;  I look forward to seeing what comes out. The report does an excellent job in distinguishing between the various types of wage gap, in two major respects.  First, it shows the need to distinguish different groups according to the hours they work.  Obviously, the hourly difference is far smaller than the weekly difference, since women work fewer hours: it shrinks from 36% to 19%.  It shrinks further, to 16%, for…
Read More

An update on the PP

New Year's Day, and the chance to take stock on the Paula Principle.  I finished the book a year ago but still haven't managed to find a publisher.  I'll have in any case to update it (once I finish what I'm currently doing, a report for Unesco on the state of play on adult learning across the world), partly because some of the statistics need it but also because some of the debate on gender issues has moved on.  I still don't claim to be a gender specialist, but writing the book has meant that my eye is caught by gender items in the media, and this has prompted some…
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

Queen of carbon

Mildred Dresselhaus died recently.  I'm afraid I'd never heard of her - a comment on my scientific literacy - but she was a great chemist, known among academics as the queen of carbon.  According to the Financial Times'  obituary, she helped to lay the foundations for nanotechnology, and published 1700 scientific papers as well as eight books.  That's some record for someone born into a poor Polish immigrant family, who went on to have four children herself. Dresselhaus received the $1million Kavli prize in nanoscience in 2012, and in 2014 the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honour in the US. So, a remarkable women, who also worked hard to…
Read More

Going Dutch?

I've said before - many times - that we need to rethink our approach to part-time work.  This is increasingly obvious in the light of the changing nature of employment generally, and not only in relation to the PP.   Included in this rethinking should be proposals for new ways of classifying part-timers.  The simplistic binary division into full-time and part-time has to go if women's careers and competences are to get a fair shout. In the last chapter of the PP book I suggest that we might restrict 'part-time' to work that is 8 hours a week or less, i.e. that is genuinely marginal.  This may be a step…
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

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

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

Working hours again: UK and US

The recent IFS report on the gender pay gap attracted huge coverage - top of the news, and all over the front pages.  It's the first of a series the Institute is doing on this issue, which is excellent news;  I look forward to seeing what comes out. The report does an excellent job in distinguishing between the various types of wage gap, in two major respects.  First, it shows the need to distinguish different groups according to the hours they work.  Obviously, the hourly difference is far smaller than the weekly difference, since women work fewer hours: it shrinks from 36% to 19%.  It shrinks further, to 16%, for…
Read More

An update on the PP

New Year's Day, and the chance to take stock on the Paula Principle.  I finished the book a year ago but still haven't managed to find a publisher.  I'll have in any case to update it (once I finish what I'm currently doing, a report for Unesco on the state of play on adult learning across the world), partly because some of the statistics need it but also because some of the debate on gender issues has moved on.  I still don't claim to be a gender specialist, but writing the book has meant that my eye is caught by gender items in the media, and this has prompted some…
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

Queen of carbon

Mildred Dresselhaus died recently.  I'm afraid I'd never heard of her - a comment on my scientific literacy - but she was a great chemist, known among academics as the queen of carbon.  According to the Financial Times'  obituary, she helped to lay the foundations for nanotechnology, and published 1700 scientific papers as well as eight books.  That's some record for someone born into a poor Polish immigrant family, who went on to have four children herself. Dresselhaus received the $1million Kavli prize in nanoscience in 2012, and in 2014 the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honour in the US. So, a remarkable women, who also worked hard to…
Read More

Going Dutch?

I've said before - many times - that we need to rethink our approach to part-time work.  This is increasingly obvious in the light of the changing nature of employment generally, and not only in relation to the PP.   Included in this rethinking should be proposals for new ways of classifying part-timers.  The simplistic binary division into full-time and part-time has to go if women's careers and competences are to get a fair shout. In the last chapter of the PP book I suggest that we might restrict 'part-time' to work that is 8 hours a week or less, i.e. that is genuinely marginal.  This may be a step…
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

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

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

Working hours again: UK and US

The recent IFS report on the gender pay gap attracted huge coverage - top of the news, and all over the front pages.  It's the first of a series the Institute is doing on this issue, which is excellent news;  I look forward to seeing what comes out. The report does an excellent job in distinguishing between the various types of wage gap, in two major respects.  First, it shows the need to distinguish different groups according to the hours they work.  Obviously, the hourly difference is far smaller than the weekly difference, since women work fewer hours: it shrinks from 36% to 19%.  It shrinks further, to 16%, for…
Read More

An update on the PP

New Year's Day, and the chance to take stock on the Paula Principle.  I finished the book a year ago but still haven't managed to find a publisher.  I'll have in any case to update it (once I finish what I'm currently doing, a report for Unesco on the state of play on adult learning across the world), partly because some of the statistics need it but also because some of the debate on gender issues has moved on.  I still don't claim to be a gender specialist, but writing the book has meant that my eye is caught by gender items in the media, and this has prompted some…
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

Queen of carbon

Mildred Dresselhaus died recently.  I'm afraid I'd never heard of her - a comment on my scientific literacy - but she was a great chemist, known among academics as the queen of carbon.  According to the Financial Times'  obituary, she helped to lay the foundations for nanotechnology, and published 1700 scientific papers as well as eight books.  That's some record for someone born into a poor Polish immigrant family, who went on to have four children herself. Dresselhaus received the $1million Kavli prize in nanoscience in 2012, and in 2014 the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honour in the US. So, a remarkable women, who also worked hard to…
Read More

Going Dutch?

I've said before - many times - that we need to rethink our approach to part-time work.  This is increasingly obvious in the light of the changing nature of employment generally, and not only in relation to the PP.   Included in this rethinking should be proposals for new ways of classifying part-timers.  The simplistic binary division into full-time and part-time has to go if women's careers and competences are to get a fair shout. In the last chapter of the PP book I suggest that we might restrict 'part-time' to work that is 8 hours a week or less, i.e. that is genuinely marginal.  This may be a step…
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

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

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

Working hours again: UK and US

The recent IFS report on the gender pay gap attracted huge coverage - top of the news, and all over the front pages.  It's the first of a series the Institute is doing on this issue, which is excellent news;  I look forward to seeing what comes out. The report does an excellent job in distinguishing between the various types of wage gap, in two major respects.  First, it shows the need to distinguish different groups according to the hours they work.  Obviously, the hourly difference is far smaller than the weekly difference, since women work fewer hours: it shrinks from 36% to 19%.  It shrinks further, to 16%, for…
Read More

An update on the PP

New Year's Day, and the chance to take stock on the Paula Principle.  I finished the book a year ago but still haven't managed to find a publisher.  I'll have in any case to update it (once I finish what I'm currently doing, a report for Unesco on the state of play on adult learning across the world), partly because some of the statistics need it but also because some of the debate on gender issues has moved on.  I still don't claim to be a gender specialist, but writing the book has meant that my eye is caught by gender items in the media, and this has prompted some…
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

Queen of carbon

Mildred Dresselhaus died recently.  I'm afraid I'd never heard of her - a comment on my scientific literacy - but she was a great chemist, known among academics as the queen of carbon.  According to the Financial Times'  obituary, she helped to lay the foundations for nanotechnology, and published 1700 scientific papers as well as eight books.  That's some record for someone born into a poor Polish immigrant family, who went on to have four children herself. Dresselhaus received the $1million Kavli prize in nanoscience in 2012, and in 2014 the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honour in the US. So, a remarkable women, who also worked hard to…
Read More

Going Dutch?

I've said before - many times - that we need to rethink our approach to part-time work.  This is increasingly obvious in the light of the changing nature of employment generally, and not only in relation to the PP.   Included in this rethinking should be proposals for new ways of classifying part-timers.  The simplistic binary division into full-time and part-time has to go if women's careers and competences are to get a fair shout. In the last chapter of the PP book I suggest that we might restrict 'part-time' to work that is 8 hours a week or less, i.e. that is genuinely marginal.  This may be a step…
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

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

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

Working hours again: UK and US

The recent IFS report on the gender pay gap attracted huge coverage - top of the news, and all over the front pages.  It's the first of a series the Institute is doing on this issue, which is excellent news;  I look forward to seeing what comes out. The report does an excellent job in distinguishing between the various types of wage gap, in two major respects.  First, it shows the need to distinguish different groups according to the hours they work.  Obviously, the hourly difference is far smaller than the weekly difference, since women work fewer hours: it shrinks from 36% to 19%.  It shrinks further, to 16%, for…
Read More

An update on the PP

New Year's Day, and the chance to take stock on the Paula Principle.  I finished the book a year ago but still haven't managed to find a publisher.  I'll have in any case to update it (once I finish what I'm currently doing, a report for Unesco on the state of play on adult learning across the world), partly because some of the statistics need it but also because some of the debate on gender issues has moved on.  I still don't claim to be a gender specialist, but writing the book has meant that my eye is caught by gender items in the media, and this has prompted some…
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

Queen of carbon

Mildred Dresselhaus died recently.  I'm afraid I'd never heard of her - a comment on my scientific literacy - but she was a great chemist, known among academics as the queen of carbon.  According to the Financial Times'  obituary, she helped to lay the foundations for nanotechnology, and published 1700 scientific papers as well as eight books.  That's some record for someone born into a poor Polish immigrant family, who went on to have four children herself. Dresselhaus received the $1million Kavli prize in nanoscience in 2012, and in 2014 the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honour in the US. So, a remarkable women, who also worked hard to…
Read More

Going Dutch?

I've said before - many times - that we need to rethink our approach to part-time work.  This is increasingly obvious in the light of the changing nature of employment generally, and not only in relation to the PP.   Included in this rethinking should be proposals for new ways of classifying part-timers.  The simplistic binary division into full-time and part-time has to go if women's careers and competences are to get a fair shout. In the last chapter of the PP book I suggest that we might restrict 'part-time' to work that is 8 hours a week or less, i.e. that is genuinely marginal.  This may be a step…
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

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

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

Working hours again: UK and US

The recent IFS report on the gender pay gap attracted huge coverage - top of the news, and all over the front pages.  It's the first of a series the Institute is doing on this issue, which is excellent news;  I look forward to seeing what comes out. The report does an excellent job in distinguishing between the various types of wage gap, in two major respects.  First, it shows the need to distinguish different groups according to the hours they work.  Obviously, the hourly difference is far smaller than the weekly difference, since women work fewer hours: it shrinks from 36% to 19%.  It shrinks further, to 16%, for…
Read More

An update on the PP

New Year's Day, and the chance to take stock on the Paula Principle.  I finished the book a year ago but still haven't managed to find a publisher.  I'll have in any case to update it (once I finish what I'm currently doing, a report for Unesco on the state of play on adult learning across the world), partly because some of the statistics need it but also because some of the debate on gender issues has moved on.  I still don't claim to be a gender specialist, but writing the book has meant that my eye is caught by gender items in the media, and this has prompted some…
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

Queen of carbon

Mildred Dresselhaus died recently.  I'm afraid I'd never heard of her - a comment on my scientific literacy - but she was a great chemist, known among academics as the queen of carbon.  According to the Financial Times'  obituary, she helped to lay the foundations for nanotechnology, and published 1700 scientific papers as well as eight books.  That's some record for someone born into a poor Polish immigrant family, who went on to have four children herself. Dresselhaus received the $1million Kavli prize in nanoscience in 2012, and in 2014 the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honour in the US. So, a remarkable women, who also worked hard to…
Read More

Going Dutch?

I've said before - many times - that we need to rethink our approach to part-time work.  This is increasingly obvious in the light of the changing nature of employment generally, and not only in relation to the PP.   Included in this rethinking should be proposals for new ways of classifying part-timers.  The simplistic binary division into full-time and part-time has to go if women's careers and competences are to get a fair shout. In the last chapter of the PP book I suggest that we might restrict 'part-time' to work that is 8 hours a week or less, i.e. that is genuinely marginal.  This may be a step…
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

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

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

Working hours again: UK and US

The recent IFS report on the gender pay gap attracted huge coverage - top of the news, and all over the front pages.  It's the first of a series the Institute is doing on this issue, which is excellent news;  I look forward to seeing what comes out. The report does an excellent job in distinguishing between the various types of wage gap, in two major respects.  First, it shows the need to distinguish different groups according to the hours they work.  Obviously, the hourly difference is far smaller than the weekly difference, since women work fewer hours: it shrinks from 36% to 19%.  It shrinks further, to 16%, for…
Read More

An update on the PP

New Year's Day, and the chance to take stock on the Paula Principle.  I finished the book a year ago but still haven't managed to find a publisher.  I'll have in any case to update it (once I finish what I'm currently doing, a report for Unesco on the state of play on adult learning across the world), partly because some of the statistics need it but also because some of the debate on gender issues has moved on.  I still don't claim to be a gender specialist, but writing the book has meant that my eye is caught by gender items in the media, and this has prompted some…
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

Queen of carbon

Mildred Dresselhaus died recently.  I'm afraid I'd never heard of her - a comment on my scientific literacy - but she was a great chemist, known among academics as the queen of carbon.  According to the Financial Times'  obituary, she helped to lay the foundations for nanotechnology, and published 1700 scientific papers as well as eight books.  That's some record for someone born into a poor Polish immigrant family, who went on to have four children herself. Dresselhaus received the $1million Kavli prize in nanoscience in 2012, and in 2014 the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honour in the US. So, a remarkable women, who also worked hard to…
Read More

Going Dutch?

I've said before - many times - that we need to rethink our approach to part-time work.  This is increasingly obvious in the light of the changing nature of employment generally, and not only in relation to the PP.   Included in this rethinking should be proposals for new ways of classifying part-timers.  The simplistic binary division into full-time and part-time has to go if women's careers and competences are to get a fair shout. In the last chapter of the PP book I suggest that we might restrict 'part-time' to work that is 8 hours a week or less, i.e. that is genuinely marginal.  This may be a step…
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

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

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

Working hours again: UK and US

The recent IFS report on the gender pay gap attracted huge coverage - top of the news, and all over the front pages.  It's the first of a series the Institute is doing on this issue, which is excellent news;  I look forward to seeing what comes out. The report does an excellent job in distinguishing between the various types of wage gap, in two major respects.  First, it shows the need to distinguish different groups according to the hours they work.  Obviously, the hourly difference is far smaller than the weekly difference, since women work fewer hours: it shrinks from 36% to 19%.  It shrinks further, to 16%, for…
Read More

An update on the PP

New Year's Day, and the chance to take stock on the Paula Principle.  I finished the book a year ago but still haven't managed to find a publisher.  I'll have in any case to update it (once I finish what I'm currently doing, a report for Unesco on the state of play on adult learning across the world), partly because some of the statistics need it but also because some of the debate on gender issues has moved on.  I still don't claim to be a gender specialist, but writing the book has meant that my eye is caught by gender items in the media, and this has prompted some…
Read More