Working time and careers

At the TUC conference last week, the General Secretary Frances O'Grady offered a striking  comparison, between the C19 struggle for the 8-hour day and what she sees as the equivalent struggle in this century - for a 4-day working week.  Some commentators felt that her ambition was a little modest, as she put the target date for achievement only as the end of the century.  But I think O'Grady is absolutely right to bring the issue of working time centre stage.  (I'm anyway a fan of hers for showing such leadership on the People's Vote, but that's another issue.  Well, actually, only partly another issue as the EU provides the…
Read More

Payback!

It's 10 years since the Lehman Brothers crash, and all that that brought with it. On Friday   I'm going to see the Lehman Trilogy at the National Theatre , to see how a quality dramatisation of events can shed new light on what happened.  I'm not sure how good it will be for my blood pressure, but I'm looking forward to it in any case. In this post I want to draw attention to another literary work - Payback, by Margaret Atwood.  This was published exactly at the time the world was crashing into financial chaos, and its subtitle is stunningly prescient: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth.  I found it a simply…
Read More

Japan doctoring figures: a taste of things to come?

Japan, along with Korea, is the outstanding example of a country where the Paula Principle is powerfully at work. Japanese women are very highly educated, with one of the highest rates of female university graduation in all OECD countries, nearing 50%; and yet the gender pay gap is also one of the highest, at around 30%. The main reasons for this are well known. Very long working hours and lack of affordable chidcare are two, but what really marks Japan out is a domestic culture that makes them solely responsible for child- and eldercare, and a corporate culture that remains very traditionally hierarchical and male. Women are discouraged from climbing…
Read More

Summer clearout

Accumulated cuttings from my desk on Paula-related issues: 1. 'City urged to close gender boys gap'. (FT) A Commons Treasury Committee argues that financial services companies should overhaul their remuneration policies to tackle the 'alpha male' culture. The GPG (Gender Pay Gap) requirements have certainly illustrated dramatically how the gap for bonuses is generally far bigger than for salaries. Whether the alpha male culture exists is another matter; personally I think it does, but Cordelia Fine, whose work I respect, advises us to be a bit cautious on this. 2. 'Oprah inspires women investors everywhere'. (FT) Very few of the people featured as financial investors in the papers are women.…
Read More

Working hours, productivity – and gender

A really interesting paper by Briony Harris from the World Economic Forum shows how reducing working hours can lead to increased productivity.  The first point that struck me is that the will-writing company that forms the initial case study employs 200 people - just how many wills do Kiwis need written?  The second, more significant, point is that the company simply chopped a day off the staff's working week without reducing pay or conditions and got the same results from them, with far higher levels of job satisfaction and staff commitment. The paper goes on to look at the relationship between working hours and productivity across a whole range of countries.  It notes…
Read More

Musings from a graduation ceremony

My daughter graduated earlier this week and I did the proud father bit.  The ceremony was good - enough pomp but not too much, brisk enough to keep things moving but not rushing, and a nice musical interlude to freshen us up for further applause. As the lines of gowns edged their way forward and then marched across the platform to be gently biffed on the head with the ceremonial hat, I looked down the lists of graduates by subject.  I could hardly have asked for a more striking confirmation of one component of the Paula Principle thesis:  the increasingly superior educational performance of women.  In all but one subject,…
Read More

Gender Medicine and doctor competences

I've just finished Gender Medicine by Marek Glezerman.  It's packed with interesting facts about differences between male and female physiologies, from the specific and minor to the more general and challenging.  For example, because over millions of years child-raising developed greater motor skills most women have a far wider range of movement in their thumb joint - but they pay the price of being more likely to get arthritis in their thumbs (I'm not suggesting that that's minor - a friend just visited for whom this is a real problem). Heart disease is generally thought to affect men more.  But this is true only to the fourth of fifth decade.  Once…
Read More

Choice (PP5) and The Writer

I have to admit that neither I nor the group I went with got much out of the Almeida's production of a new play, The Writer.  There are big issues of power and gender there, and interesting transgression of the boundaries between different roles of author, director, audience and assistants, but I found the second half dreary and clumsy.   Which puts me out of line with most of the critics, but there you are. There was, however, one scene which captured completely the essence of Paula Principle Factor 5 - positive choice.  The eponymous writer clashes with her boyfriend over whether she should sign the contract for a large fee…
Read More

Investing differently

For better or worse - almost wholly better - I live close to a number of friends with similar outlooks.  You might say we're very bubbly in Tufnell Park. But one  consequence of this convergence of tastes is that I find myself drowning in journals that are recirculated on to me.  I already buy a daily paper and subscribe to the LRB and Prospect;  so when friends kindly drop other journals through the door I pick them up with a mixture of gratitude and despondency.  How can I get to read the books I want to when the mags pile up so? Anyway, that's how I came to be skimming…
Read More

The RPG: stretching the pay gap

Today is the deadline for public sector organisations to file their reports under the Gender Pay Gap reporting initiative.  Private sector companies have a week longer to do it, and a lot have left it to the last minute - or perhaps don't intend to do it at all, though Rebecca Hilsenrath, the chief exec of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, has been issuing some stern warnings. GPG reporting will, I think, prove to be a big step forward.  It will provide a wealth of information for us to chew over, and since it's pitched at organisational level it should allow real debate of what needs to be done…
Read More

Working time and careers

At the TUC conference last week, the General Secretary Frances O'Grady offered a striking  comparison, between the C19 struggle for the 8-hour day and what she sees as the equivalent struggle in this century - for a 4-day working week.  Some commentators felt that her ambition was a little modest, as she put the target date for achievement only as the end of the century.  But I think O'Grady is absolutely right to bring the issue of working time centre stage.  (I'm anyway a fan of hers for showing such leadership on the People's Vote, but that's another issue.  Well, actually, only partly another issue as the EU provides the…
Read More

Payback!

It's 10 years since the Lehman Brothers crash, and all that that brought with it. On Friday   I'm going to see the Lehman Trilogy at the National Theatre , to see how a quality dramatisation of events can shed new light on what happened.  I'm not sure how good it will be for my blood pressure, but I'm looking forward to it in any case. In this post I want to draw attention to another literary work - Payback, by Margaret Atwood.  This was published exactly at the time the world was crashing into financial chaos, and its subtitle is stunningly prescient: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth.  I found it a simply…
Read More

Japan doctoring figures: a taste of things to come?

Japan, along with Korea, is the outstanding example of a country where the Paula Principle is powerfully at work. Japanese women are very highly educated, with one of the highest rates of female university graduation in all OECD countries, nearing 50%; and yet the gender pay gap is also one of the highest, at around 30%. The main reasons for this are well known. Very long working hours and lack of affordable chidcare are two, but what really marks Japan out is a domestic culture that makes them solely responsible for child- and eldercare, and a corporate culture that remains very traditionally hierarchical and male. Women are discouraged from climbing…
Read More

Summer clearout

Accumulated cuttings from my desk on Paula-related issues: 1. 'City urged to close gender boys gap'. (FT) A Commons Treasury Committee argues that financial services companies should overhaul their remuneration policies to tackle the 'alpha male' culture. The GPG (Gender Pay Gap) requirements have certainly illustrated dramatically how the gap for bonuses is generally far bigger than for salaries. Whether the alpha male culture exists is another matter; personally I think it does, but Cordelia Fine, whose work I respect, advises us to be a bit cautious on this. 2. 'Oprah inspires women investors everywhere'. (FT) Very few of the people featured as financial investors in the papers are women.…
Read More

Working hours, productivity – and gender

A really interesting paper by Briony Harris from the World Economic Forum shows how reducing working hours can lead to increased productivity.  The first point that struck me is that the will-writing company that forms the initial case study employs 200 people - just how many wills do Kiwis need written?  The second, more significant, point is that the company simply chopped a day off the staff's working week without reducing pay or conditions and got the same results from them, with far higher levels of job satisfaction and staff commitment. The paper goes on to look at the relationship between working hours and productivity across a whole range of countries.  It notes…
Read More

Musings from a graduation ceremony

My daughter graduated earlier this week and I did the proud father bit.  The ceremony was good - enough pomp but not too much, brisk enough to keep things moving but not rushing, and a nice musical interlude to freshen us up for further applause. As the lines of gowns edged their way forward and then marched across the platform to be gently biffed on the head with the ceremonial hat, I looked down the lists of graduates by subject.  I could hardly have asked for a more striking confirmation of one component of the Paula Principle thesis:  the increasingly superior educational performance of women.  In all but one subject,…
Read More

Gender Medicine and doctor competences

I've just finished Gender Medicine by Marek Glezerman.  It's packed with interesting facts about differences between male and female physiologies, from the specific and minor to the more general and challenging.  For example, because over millions of years child-raising developed greater motor skills most women have a far wider range of movement in their thumb joint - but they pay the price of being more likely to get arthritis in their thumbs (I'm not suggesting that that's minor - a friend just visited for whom this is a real problem). Heart disease is generally thought to affect men more.  But this is true only to the fourth of fifth decade.  Once…
Read More

Choice (PP5) and The Writer

I have to admit that neither I nor the group I went with got much out of the Almeida's production of a new play, The Writer.  There are big issues of power and gender there, and interesting transgression of the boundaries between different roles of author, director, audience and assistants, but I found the second half dreary and clumsy.   Which puts me out of line with most of the critics, but there you are. There was, however, one scene which captured completely the essence of Paula Principle Factor 5 - positive choice.  The eponymous writer clashes with her boyfriend over whether she should sign the contract for a large fee…
Read More

Investing differently

For better or worse - almost wholly better - I live close to a number of friends with similar outlooks.  You might say we're very bubbly in Tufnell Park. But one  consequence of this convergence of tastes is that I find myself drowning in journals that are recirculated on to me.  I already buy a daily paper and subscribe to the LRB and Prospect;  so when friends kindly drop other journals through the door I pick them up with a mixture of gratitude and despondency.  How can I get to read the books I want to when the mags pile up so? Anyway, that's how I came to be skimming…
Read More

The RPG: stretching the pay gap

Today is the deadline for public sector organisations to file their reports under the Gender Pay Gap reporting initiative.  Private sector companies have a week longer to do it, and a lot have left it to the last minute - or perhaps don't intend to do it at all, though Rebecca Hilsenrath, the chief exec of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, has been issuing some stern warnings. GPG reporting will, I think, prove to be a big step forward.  It will provide a wealth of information for us to chew over, and since it's pitched at organisational level it should allow real debate of what needs to be done…
Read More

Working time and careers

At the TUC conference last week, the General Secretary Frances O'Grady offered a striking  comparison, between the C19 struggle for the 8-hour day and what she sees as the equivalent struggle in this century - for a 4-day working week.  Some commentators felt that her ambition was a little modest, as she put the target date for achievement only as the end of the century.  But I think O'Grady is absolutely right to bring the issue of working time centre stage.  (I'm anyway a fan of hers for showing such leadership on the People's Vote, but that's another issue.  Well, actually, only partly another issue as the EU provides the…
Read More

Payback!

It's 10 years since the Lehman Brothers crash, and all that that brought with it. On Friday   I'm going to see the Lehman Trilogy at the National Theatre , to see how a quality dramatisation of events can shed new light on what happened.  I'm not sure how good it will be for my blood pressure, but I'm looking forward to it in any case. In this post I want to draw attention to another literary work - Payback, by Margaret Atwood.  This was published exactly at the time the world was crashing into financial chaos, and its subtitle is stunningly prescient: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth.  I found it a simply…
Read More

Japan doctoring figures: a taste of things to come?

Japan, along with Korea, is the outstanding example of a country where the Paula Principle is powerfully at work. Japanese women are very highly educated, with one of the highest rates of female university graduation in all OECD countries, nearing 50%; and yet the gender pay gap is also one of the highest, at around 30%. The main reasons for this are well known. Very long working hours and lack of affordable chidcare are two, but what really marks Japan out is a domestic culture that makes them solely responsible for child- and eldercare, and a corporate culture that remains very traditionally hierarchical and male. Women are discouraged from climbing…
Read More

Summer clearout

Accumulated cuttings from my desk on Paula-related issues: 1. 'City urged to close gender boys gap'. (FT) A Commons Treasury Committee argues that financial services companies should overhaul their remuneration policies to tackle the 'alpha male' culture. The GPG (Gender Pay Gap) requirements have certainly illustrated dramatically how the gap for bonuses is generally far bigger than for salaries. Whether the alpha male culture exists is another matter; personally I think it does, but Cordelia Fine, whose work I respect, advises us to be a bit cautious on this. 2. 'Oprah inspires women investors everywhere'. (FT) Very few of the people featured as financial investors in the papers are women.…
Read More

Working hours, productivity – and gender

A really interesting paper by Briony Harris from the World Economic Forum shows how reducing working hours can lead to increased productivity.  The first point that struck me is that the will-writing company that forms the initial case study employs 200 people - just how many wills do Kiwis need written?  The second, more significant, point is that the company simply chopped a day off the staff's working week without reducing pay or conditions and got the same results from them, with far higher levels of job satisfaction and staff commitment. The paper goes on to look at the relationship between working hours and productivity across a whole range of countries.  It notes…
Read More

Musings from a graduation ceremony

My daughter graduated earlier this week and I did the proud father bit.  The ceremony was good - enough pomp but not too much, brisk enough to keep things moving but not rushing, and a nice musical interlude to freshen us up for further applause. As the lines of gowns edged their way forward and then marched across the platform to be gently biffed on the head with the ceremonial hat, I looked down the lists of graduates by subject.  I could hardly have asked for a more striking confirmation of one component of the Paula Principle thesis:  the increasingly superior educational performance of women.  In all but one subject,…
Read More

Gender Medicine and doctor competences

I've just finished Gender Medicine by Marek Glezerman.  It's packed with interesting facts about differences between male and female physiologies, from the specific and minor to the more general and challenging.  For example, because over millions of years child-raising developed greater motor skills most women have a far wider range of movement in their thumb joint - but they pay the price of being more likely to get arthritis in their thumbs (I'm not suggesting that that's minor - a friend just visited for whom this is a real problem). Heart disease is generally thought to affect men more.  But this is true only to the fourth of fifth decade.  Once…
Read More

Choice (PP5) and The Writer

I have to admit that neither I nor the group I went with got much out of the Almeida's production of a new play, The Writer.  There are big issues of power and gender there, and interesting transgression of the boundaries between different roles of author, director, audience and assistants, but I found the second half dreary and clumsy.   Which puts me out of line with most of the critics, but there you are. There was, however, one scene which captured completely the essence of Paula Principle Factor 5 - positive choice.  The eponymous writer clashes with her boyfriend over whether she should sign the contract for a large fee…
Read More

Investing differently

For better or worse - almost wholly better - I live close to a number of friends with similar outlooks.  You might say we're very bubbly in Tufnell Park. But one  consequence of this convergence of tastes is that I find myself drowning in journals that are recirculated on to me.  I already buy a daily paper and subscribe to the LRB and Prospect;  so when friends kindly drop other journals through the door I pick them up with a mixture of gratitude and despondency.  How can I get to read the books I want to when the mags pile up so? Anyway, that's how I came to be skimming…
Read More

The RPG: stretching the pay gap

Today is the deadline for public sector organisations to file their reports under the Gender Pay Gap reporting initiative.  Private sector companies have a week longer to do it, and a lot have left it to the last minute - or perhaps don't intend to do it at all, though Rebecca Hilsenrath, the chief exec of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, has been issuing some stern warnings. GPG reporting will, I think, prove to be a big step forward.  It will provide a wealth of information for us to chew over, and since it's pitched at organisational level it should allow real debate of what needs to be done…
Read More

Working time and careers

At the TUC conference last week, the General Secretary Frances O'Grady offered a striking  comparison, between the C19 struggle for the 8-hour day and what she sees as the equivalent struggle in this century - for a 4-day working week.  Some commentators felt that her ambition was a little modest, as she put the target date for achievement only as the end of the century.  But I think O'Grady is absolutely right to bring the issue of working time centre stage.  (I'm anyway a fan of hers for showing such leadership on the People's Vote, but that's another issue.  Well, actually, only partly another issue as the EU provides the…
Read More

Payback!

It's 10 years since the Lehman Brothers crash, and all that that brought with it. On Friday   I'm going to see the Lehman Trilogy at the National Theatre , to see how a quality dramatisation of events can shed new light on what happened.  I'm not sure how good it will be for my blood pressure, but I'm looking forward to it in any case. In this post I want to draw attention to another literary work - Payback, by Margaret Atwood.  This was published exactly at the time the world was crashing into financial chaos, and its subtitle is stunningly prescient: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth.  I found it a simply…
Read More

Japan doctoring figures: a taste of things to come?

Japan, along with Korea, is the outstanding example of a country where the Paula Principle is powerfully at work. Japanese women are very highly educated, with one of the highest rates of female university graduation in all OECD countries, nearing 50%; and yet the gender pay gap is also one of the highest, at around 30%. The main reasons for this are well known. Very long working hours and lack of affordable chidcare are two, but what really marks Japan out is a domestic culture that makes them solely responsible for child- and eldercare, and a corporate culture that remains very traditionally hierarchical and male. Women are discouraged from climbing…
Read More

Summer clearout

Accumulated cuttings from my desk on Paula-related issues: 1. 'City urged to close gender boys gap'. (FT) A Commons Treasury Committee argues that financial services companies should overhaul their remuneration policies to tackle the 'alpha male' culture. The GPG (Gender Pay Gap) requirements have certainly illustrated dramatically how the gap for bonuses is generally far bigger than for salaries. Whether the alpha male culture exists is another matter; personally I think it does, but Cordelia Fine, whose work I respect, advises us to be a bit cautious on this. 2. 'Oprah inspires women investors everywhere'. (FT) Very few of the people featured as financial investors in the papers are women.…
Read More

Working hours, productivity – and gender

A really interesting paper by Briony Harris from the World Economic Forum shows how reducing working hours can lead to increased productivity.  The first point that struck me is that the will-writing company that forms the initial case study employs 200 people - just how many wills do Kiwis need written?  The second, more significant, point is that the company simply chopped a day off the staff's working week without reducing pay or conditions and got the same results from them, with far higher levels of job satisfaction and staff commitment. The paper goes on to look at the relationship between working hours and productivity across a whole range of countries.  It notes…
Read More

Musings from a graduation ceremony

My daughter graduated earlier this week and I did the proud father bit.  The ceremony was good - enough pomp but not too much, brisk enough to keep things moving but not rushing, and a nice musical interlude to freshen us up for further applause. As the lines of gowns edged their way forward and then marched across the platform to be gently biffed on the head with the ceremonial hat, I looked down the lists of graduates by subject.  I could hardly have asked for a more striking confirmation of one component of the Paula Principle thesis:  the increasingly superior educational performance of women.  In all but one subject,…
Read More

Gender Medicine and doctor competences

I've just finished Gender Medicine by Marek Glezerman.  It's packed with interesting facts about differences between male and female physiologies, from the specific and minor to the more general and challenging.  For example, because over millions of years child-raising developed greater motor skills most women have a far wider range of movement in their thumb joint - but they pay the price of being more likely to get arthritis in their thumbs (I'm not suggesting that that's minor - a friend just visited for whom this is a real problem). Heart disease is generally thought to affect men more.  But this is true only to the fourth of fifth decade.  Once…
Read More

Choice (PP5) and The Writer

I have to admit that neither I nor the group I went with got much out of the Almeida's production of a new play, The Writer.  There are big issues of power and gender there, and interesting transgression of the boundaries between different roles of author, director, audience and assistants, but I found the second half dreary and clumsy.   Which puts me out of line with most of the critics, but there you are. There was, however, one scene which captured completely the essence of Paula Principle Factor 5 - positive choice.  The eponymous writer clashes with her boyfriend over whether she should sign the contract for a large fee…
Read More

Investing differently

For better or worse - almost wholly better - I live close to a number of friends with similar outlooks.  You might say we're very bubbly in Tufnell Park. But one  consequence of this convergence of tastes is that I find myself drowning in journals that are recirculated on to me.  I already buy a daily paper and subscribe to the LRB and Prospect;  so when friends kindly drop other journals through the door I pick them up with a mixture of gratitude and despondency.  How can I get to read the books I want to when the mags pile up so? Anyway, that's how I came to be skimming…
Read More

The RPG: stretching the pay gap

Today is the deadline for public sector organisations to file their reports under the Gender Pay Gap reporting initiative.  Private sector companies have a week longer to do it, and a lot have left it to the last minute - or perhaps don't intend to do it at all, though Rebecca Hilsenrath, the chief exec of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, has been issuing some stern warnings. GPG reporting will, I think, prove to be a big step forward.  It will provide a wealth of information for us to chew over, and since it's pitched at organisational level it should allow real debate of what needs to be done…
Read More

Working time and careers

At the TUC conference last week, the General Secretary Frances O'Grady offered a striking  comparison, between the C19 struggle for the 8-hour day and what she sees as the equivalent struggle in this century - for a 4-day working week.  Some commentators felt that her ambition was a little modest, as she put the target date for achievement only as the end of the century.  But I think O'Grady is absolutely right to bring the issue of working time centre stage.  (I'm anyway a fan of hers for showing such leadership on the People's Vote, but that's another issue.  Well, actually, only partly another issue as the EU provides the…
Read More

Payback!

It's 10 years since the Lehman Brothers crash, and all that that brought with it. On Friday   I'm going to see the Lehman Trilogy at the National Theatre , to see how a quality dramatisation of events can shed new light on what happened.  I'm not sure how good it will be for my blood pressure, but I'm looking forward to it in any case. In this post I want to draw attention to another literary work - Payback, by Margaret Atwood.  This was published exactly at the time the world was crashing into financial chaos, and its subtitle is stunningly prescient: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth.  I found it a simply…
Read More

Japan doctoring figures: a taste of things to come?

Japan, along with Korea, is the outstanding example of a country where the Paula Principle is powerfully at work. Japanese women are very highly educated, with one of the highest rates of female university graduation in all OECD countries, nearing 50%; and yet the gender pay gap is also one of the highest, at around 30%. The main reasons for this are well known. Very long working hours and lack of affordable chidcare are two, but what really marks Japan out is a domestic culture that makes them solely responsible for child- and eldercare, and a corporate culture that remains very traditionally hierarchical and male. Women are discouraged from climbing…
Read More

Summer clearout

Accumulated cuttings from my desk on Paula-related issues: 1. 'City urged to close gender boys gap'. (FT) A Commons Treasury Committee argues that financial services companies should overhaul their remuneration policies to tackle the 'alpha male' culture. The GPG (Gender Pay Gap) requirements have certainly illustrated dramatically how the gap for bonuses is generally far bigger than for salaries. Whether the alpha male culture exists is another matter; personally I think it does, but Cordelia Fine, whose work I respect, advises us to be a bit cautious on this. 2. 'Oprah inspires women investors everywhere'. (FT) Very few of the people featured as financial investors in the papers are women.…
Read More

Working hours, productivity – and gender

A really interesting paper by Briony Harris from the World Economic Forum shows how reducing working hours can lead to increased productivity.  The first point that struck me is that the will-writing company that forms the initial case study employs 200 people - just how many wills do Kiwis need written?  The second, more significant, point is that the company simply chopped a day off the staff's working week without reducing pay or conditions and got the same results from them, with far higher levels of job satisfaction and staff commitment. The paper goes on to look at the relationship between working hours and productivity across a whole range of countries.  It notes…
Read More

Musings from a graduation ceremony

My daughter graduated earlier this week and I did the proud father bit.  The ceremony was good - enough pomp but not too much, brisk enough to keep things moving but not rushing, and a nice musical interlude to freshen us up for further applause. As the lines of gowns edged their way forward and then marched across the platform to be gently biffed on the head with the ceremonial hat, I looked down the lists of graduates by subject.  I could hardly have asked for a more striking confirmation of one component of the Paula Principle thesis:  the increasingly superior educational performance of women.  In all but one subject,…
Read More

Gender Medicine and doctor competences

I've just finished Gender Medicine by Marek Glezerman.  It's packed with interesting facts about differences between male and female physiologies, from the specific and minor to the more general and challenging.  For example, because over millions of years child-raising developed greater motor skills most women have a far wider range of movement in their thumb joint - but they pay the price of being more likely to get arthritis in their thumbs (I'm not suggesting that that's minor - a friend just visited for whom this is a real problem). Heart disease is generally thought to affect men more.  But this is true only to the fourth of fifth decade.  Once…
Read More

Choice (PP5) and The Writer

I have to admit that neither I nor the group I went with got much out of the Almeida's production of a new play, The Writer.  There are big issues of power and gender there, and interesting transgression of the boundaries between different roles of author, director, audience and assistants, but I found the second half dreary and clumsy.   Which puts me out of line with most of the critics, but there you are. There was, however, one scene which captured completely the essence of Paula Principle Factor 5 - positive choice.  The eponymous writer clashes with her boyfriend over whether she should sign the contract for a large fee…
Read More

Investing differently

For better or worse - almost wholly better - I live close to a number of friends with similar outlooks.  You might say we're very bubbly in Tufnell Park. But one  consequence of this convergence of tastes is that I find myself drowning in journals that are recirculated on to me.  I already buy a daily paper and subscribe to the LRB and Prospect;  so when friends kindly drop other journals through the door I pick them up with a mixture of gratitude and despondency.  How can I get to read the books I want to when the mags pile up so? Anyway, that's how I came to be skimming…
Read More

The RPG: stretching the pay gap

Today is the deadline for public sector organisations to file their reports under the Gender Pay Gap reporting initiative.  Private sector companies have a week longer to do it, and a lot have left it to the last minute - or perhaps don't intend to do it at all, though Rebecca Hilsenrath, the chief exec of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, has been issuing some stern warnings. GPG reporting will, I think, prove to be a big step forward.  It will provide a wealth of information for us to chew over, and since it's pitched at organisational level it should allow real debate of what needs to be done…
Read More

Working time and careers

At the TUC conference last week, the General Secretary Frances O'Grady offered a striking  comparison, between the C19 struggle for the 8-hour day and what she sees as the equivalent struggle in this century - for a 4-day working week.  Some commentators felt that her ambition was a little modest, as she put the target date for achievement only as the end of the century.  But I think O'Grady is absolutely right to bring the issue of working time centre stage.  (I'm anyway a fan of hers for showing such leadership on the People's Vote, but that's another issue.  Well, actually, only partly another issue as the EU provides the…
Read More

Payback!

It's 10 years since the Lehman Brothers crash, and all that that brought with it. On Friday   I'm going to see the Lehman Trilogy at the National Theatre , to see how a quality dramatisation of events can shed new light on what happened.  I'm not sure how good it will be for my blood pressure, but I'm looking forward to it in any case. In this post I want to draw attention to another literary work - Payback, by Margaret Atwood.  This was published exactly at the time the world was crashing into financial chaos, and its subtitle is stunningly prescient: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth.  I found it a simply…
Read More

Japan doctoring figures: a taste of things to come?

Japan, along with Korea, is the outstanding example of a country where the Paula Principle is powerfully at work. Japanese women are very highly educated, with one of the highest rates of female university graduation in all OECD countries, nearing 50%; and yet the gender pay gap is also one of the highest, at around 30%. The main reasons for this are well known. Very long working hours and lack of affordable chidcare are two, but what really marks Japan out is a domestic culture that makes them solely responsible for child- and eldercare, and a corporate culture that remains very traditionally hierarchical and male. Women are discouraged from climbing…
Read More

Summer clearout

Accumulated cuttings from my desk on Paula-related issues: 1. 'City urged to close gender boys gap'. (FT) A Commons Treasury Committee argues that financial services companies should overhaul their remuneration policies to tackle the 'alpha male' culture. The GPG (Gender Pay Gap) requirements have certainly illustrated dramatically how the gap for bonuses is generally far bigger than for salaries. Whether the alpha male culture exists is another matter; personally I think it does, but Cordelia Fine, whose work I respect, advises us to be a bit cautious on this. 2. 'Oprah inspires women investors everywhere'. (FT) Very few of the people featured as financial investors in the papers are women.…
Read More

Working hours, productivity – and gender

A really interesting paper by Briony Harris from the World Economic Forum shows how reducing working hours can lead to increased productivity.  The first point that struck me is that the will-writing company that forms the initial case study employs 200 people - just how many wills do Kiwis need written?  The second, more significant, point is that the company simply chopped a day off the staff's working week without reducing pay or conditions and got the same results from them, with far higher levels of job satisfaction and staff commitment. The paper goes on to look at the relationship between working hours and productivity across a whole range of countries.  It notes…
Read More

Musings from a graduation ceremony

My daughter graduated earlier this week and I did the proud father bit.  The ceremony was good - enough pomp but not too much, brisk enough to keep things moving but not rushing, and a nice musical interlude to freshen us up for further applause. As the lines of gowns edged their way forward and then marched across the platform to be gently biffed on the head with the ceremonial hat, I looked down the lists of graduates by subject.  I could hardly have asked for a more striking confirmation of one component of the Paula Principle thesis:  the increasingly superior educational performance of women.  In all but one subject,…
Read More

Gender Medicine and doctor competences

I've just finished Gender Medicine by Marek Glezerman.  It's packed with interesting facts about differences between male and female physiologies, from the specific and minor to the more general and challenging.  For example, because over millions of years child-raising developed greater motor skills most women have a far wider range of movement in their thumb joint - but they pay the price of being more likely to get arthritis in their thumbs (I'm not suggesting that that's minor - a friend just visited for whom this is a real problem). Heart disease is generally thought to affect men more.  But this is true only to the fourth of fifth decade.  Once…
Read More

Choice (PP5) and The Writer

I have to admit that neither I nor the group I went with got much out of the Almeida's production of a new play, The Writer.  There are big issues of power and gender there, and interesting transgression of the boundaries between different roles of author, director, audience and assistants, but I found the second half dreary and clumsy.   Which puts me out of line with most of the critics, but there you are. There was, however, one scene which captured completely the essence of Paula Principle Factor 5 - positive choice.  The eponymous writer clashes with her boyfriend over whether she should sign the contract for a large fee…
Read More

Investing differently

For better or worse - almost wholly better - I live close to a number of friends with similar outlooks.  You might say we're very bubbly in Tufnell Park. But one  consequence of this convergence of tastes is that I find myself drowning in journals that are recirculated on to me.  I already buy a daily paper and subscribe to the LRB and Prospect;  so when friends kindly drop other journals through the door I pick them up with a mixture of gratitude and despondency.  How can I get to read the books I want to when the mags pile up so? Anyway, that's how I came to be skimming…
Read More

The RPG: stretching the pay gap

Today is the deadline for public sector organisations to file their reports under the Gender Pay Gap reporting initiative.  Private sector companies have a week longer to do it, and a lot have left it to the last minute - or perhaps don't intend to do it at all, though Rebecca Hilsenrath, the chief exec of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, has been issuing some stern warnings. GPG reporting will, I think, prove to be a big step forward.  It will provide a wealth of information for us to chew over, and since it's pitched at organisational level it should allow real debate of what needs to be done…
Read More

Working time and careers

At the TUC conference last week, the General Secretary Frances O'Grady offered a striking  comparison, between the C19 struggle for the 8-hour day and what she sees as the equivalent struggle in this century - for a 4-day working week.  Some commentators felt that her ambition was a little modest, as she put the target date for achievement only as the end of the century.  But I think O'Grady is absolutely right to bring the issue of working time centre stage.  (I'm anyway a fan of hers for showing such leadership on the People's Vote, but that's another issue.  Well, actually, only partly another issue as the EU provides the…
Read More

Payback!

It's 10 years since the Lehman Brothers crash, and all that that brought with it. On Friday   I'm going to see the Lehman Trilogy at the National Theatre , to see how a quality dramatisation of events can shed new light on what happened.  I'm not sure how good it will be for my blood pressure, but I'm looking forward to it in any case. In this post I want to draw attention to another literary work - Payback, by Margaret Atwood.  This was published exactly at the time the world was crashing into financial chaos, and its subtitle is stunningly prescient: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth.  I found it a simply…
Read More

Japan doctoring figures: a taste of things to come?

Japan, along with Korea, is the outstanding example of a country where the Paula Principle is powerfully at work. Japanese women are very highly educated, with one of the highest rates of female university graduation in all OECD countries, nearing 50%; and yet the gender pay gap is also one of the highest, at around 30%. The main reasons for this are well known. Very long working hours and lack of affordable chidcare are two, but what really marks Japan out is a domestic culture that makes them solely responsible for child- and eldercare, and a corporate culture that remains very traditionally hierarchical and male. Women are discouraged from climbing…
Read More

Summer clearout

Accumulated cuttings from my desk on Paula-related issues: 1. 'City urged to close gender boys gap'. (FT) A Commons Treasury Committee argues that financial services companies should overhaul their remuneration policies to tackle the 'alpha male' culture. The GPG (Gender Pay Gap) requirements have certainly illustrated dramatically how the gap for bonuses is generally far bigger than for salaries. Whether the alpha male culture exists is another matter; personally I think it does, but Cordelia Fine, whose work I respect, advises us to be a bit cautious on this. 2. 'Oprah inspires women investors everywhere'. (FT) Very few of the people featured as financial investors in the papers are women.…
Read More

Working hours, productivity – and gender

A really interesting paper by Briony Harris from the World Economic Forum shows how reducing working hours can lead to increased productivity.  The first point that struck me is that the will-writing company that forms the initial case study employs 200 people - just how many wills do Kiwis need written?  The second, more significant, point is that the company simply chopped a day off the staff's working week without reducing pay or conditions and got the same results from them, with far higher levels of job satisfaction and staff commitment. The paper goes on to look at the relationship between working hours and productivity across a whole range of countries.  It notes…
Read More

Musings from a graduation ceremony

My daughter graduated earlier this week and I did the proud father bit.  The ceremony was good - enough pomp but not too much, brisk enough to keep things moving but not rushing, and a nice musical interlude to freshen us up for further applause. As the lines of gowns edged their way forward and then marched across the platform to be gently biffed on the head with the ceremonial hat, I looked down the lists of graduates by subject.  I could hardly have asked for a more striking confirmation of one component of the Paula Principle thesis:  the increasingly superior educational performance of women.  In all but one subject,…
Read More

Gender Medicine and doctor competences

I've just finished Gender Medicine by Marek Glezerman.  It's packed with interesting facts about differences between male and female physiologies, from the specific and minor to the more general and challenging.  For example, because over millions of years child-raising developed greater motor skills most women have a far wider range of movement in their thumb joint - but they pay the price of being more likely to get arthritis in their thumbs (I'm not suggesting that that's minor - a friend just visited for whom this is a real problem). Heart disease is generally thought to affect men more.  But this is true only to the fourth of fifth decade.  Once…
Read More

Choice (PP5) and The Writer

I have to admit that neither I nor the group I went with got much out of the Almeida's production of a new play, The Writer.  There are big issues of power and gender there, and interesting transgression of the boundaries between different roles of author, director, audience and assistants, but I found the second half dreary and clumsy.   Which puts me out of line with most of the critics, but there you are. There was, however, one scene which captured completely the essence of Paula Principle Factor 5 - positive choice.  The eponymous writer clashes with her boyfriend over whether she should sign the contract for a large fee…
Read More

Investing differently

For better or worse - almost wholly better - I live close to a number of friends with similar outlooks.  You might say we're very bubbly in Tufnell Park. But one  consequence of this convergence of tastes is that I find myself drowning in journals that are recirculated on to me.  I already buy a daily paper and subscribe to the LRB and Prospect;  so when friends kindly drop other journals through the door I pick them up with a mixture of gratitude and despondency.  How can I get to read the books I want to when the mags pile up so? Anyway, that's how I came to be skimming…
Read More

The RPG: stretching the pay gap

Today is the deadline for public sector organisations to file their reports under the Gender Pay Gap reporting initiative.  Private sector companies have a week longer to do it, and a lot have left it to the last minute - or perhaps don't intend to do it at all, though Rebecca Hilsenrath, the chief exec of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, has been issuing some stern warnings. GPG reporting will, I think, prove to be a big step forward.  It will provide a wealth of information for us to chew over, and since it's pitched at organisational level it should allow real debate of what needs to be done…
Read More

Working time and careers

At the TUC conference last week, the General Secretary Frances O'Grady offered a striking  comparison, between the C19 struggle for the 8-hour day and what she sees as the equivalent struggle in this century - for a 4-day working week.  Some commentators felt that her ambition was a little modest, as she put the target date for achievement only as the end of the century.  But I think O'Grady is absolutely right to bring the issue of working time centre stage.  (I'm anyway a fan of hers for showing such leadership on the People's Vote, but that's another issue.  Well, actually, only partly another issue as the EU provides the…
Read More

Payback!

It's 10 years since the Lehman Brothers crash, and all that that brought with it. On Friday   I'm going to see the Lehman Trilogy at the National Theatre , to see how a quality dramatisation of events can shed new light on what happened.  I'm not sure how good it will be for my blood pressure, but I'm looking forward to it in any case. In this post I want to draw attention to another literary work - Payback, by Margaret Atwood.  This was published exactly at the time the world was crashing into financial chaos, and its subtitle is stunningly prescient: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth.  I found it a simply…
Read More

Japan doctoring figures: a taste of things to come?

Japan, along with Korea, is the outstanding example of a country where the Paula Principle is powerfully at work. Japanese women are very highly educated, with one of the highest rates of female university graduation in all OECD countries, nearing 50%; and yet the gender pay gap is also one of the highest, at around 30%. The main reasons for this are well known. Very long working hours and lack of affordable chidcare are two, but what really marks Japan out is a domestic culture that makes them solely responsible for child- and eldercare, and a corporate culture that remains very traditionally hierarchical and male. Women are discouraged from climbing…
Read More

Summer clearout

Accumulated cuttings from my desk on Paula-related issues: 1. 'City urged to close gender boys gap'. (FT) A Commons Treasury Committee argues that financial services companies should overhaul their remuneration policies to tackle the 'alpha male' culture. The GPG (Gender Pay Gap) requirements have certainly illustrated dramatically how the gap for bonuses is generally far bigger than for salaries. Whether the alpha male culture exists is another matter; personally I think it does, but Cordelia Fine, whose work I respect, advises us to be a bit cautious on this. 2. 'Oprah inspires women investors everywhere'. (FT) Very few of the people featured as financial investors in the papers are women.…
Read More

Working hours, productivity – and gender

A really interesting paper by Briony Harris from the World Economic Forum shows how reducing working hours can lead to increased productivity.  The first point that struck me is that the will-writing company that forms the initial case study employs 200 people - just how many wills do Kiwis need written?  The second, more significant, point is that the company simply chopped a day off the staff's working week without reducing pay or conditions and got the same results from them, with far higher levels of job satisfaction and staff commitment. The paper goes on to look at the relationship between working hours and productivity across a whole range of countries.  It notes…
Read More

Musings from a graduation ceremony

My daughter graduated earlier this week and I did the proud father bit.  The ceremony was good - enough pomp but not too much, brisk enough to keep things moving but not rushing, and a nice musical interlude to freshen us up for further applause. As the lines of gowns edged their way forward and then marched across the platform to be gently biffed on the head with the ceremonial hat, I looked down the lists of graduates by subject.  I could hardly have asked for a more striking confirmation of one component of the Paula Principle thesis:  the increasingly superior educational performance of women.  In all but one subject,…
Read More

Gender Medicine and doctor competences

I've just finished Gender Medicine by Marek Glezerman.  It's packed with interesting facts about differences between male and female physiologies, from the specific and minor to the more general and challenging.  For example, because over millions of years child-raising developed greater motor skills most women have a far wider range of movement in their thumb joint - but they pay the price of being more likely to get arthritis in their thumbs (I'm not suggesting that that's minor - a friend just visited for whom this is a real problem). Heart disease is generally thought to affect men more.  But this is true only to the fourth of fifth decade.  Once…
Read More

Choice (PP5) and The Writer

I have to admit that neither I nor the group I went with got much out of the Almeida's production of a new play, The Writer.  There are big issues of power and gender there, and interesting transgression of the boundaries between different roles of author, director, audience and assistants, but I found the second half dreary and clumsy.   Which puts me out of line with most of the critics, but there you are. There was, however, one scene which captured completely the essence of Paula Principle Factor 5 - positive choice.  The eponymous writer clashes with her boyfriend over whether she should sign the contract for a large fee…
Read More

Investing differently

For better or worse - almost wholly better - I live close to a number of friends with similar outlooks.  You might say we're very bubbly in Tufnell Park. But one  consequence of this convergence of tastes is that I find myself drowning in journals that are recirculated on to me.  I already buy a daily paper and subscribe to the LRB and Prospect;  so when friends kindly drop other journals through the door I pick them up with a mixture of gratitude and despondency.  How can I get to read the books I want to when the mags pile up so? Anyway, that's how I came to be skimming…
Read More

The RPG: stretching the pay gap

Today is the deadline for public sector organisations to file their reports under the Gender Pay Gap reporting initiative.  Private sector companies have a week longer to do it, and a lot have left it to the last minute - or perhaps don't intend to do it at all, though Rebecca Hilsenrath, the chief exec of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, has been issuing some stern warnings. GPG reporting will, I think, prove to be a big step forward.  It will provide a wealth of information for us to chew over, and since it's pitched at organisational level it should allow real debate of what needs to be done…
Read More

Working time and careers

At the TUC conference last week, the General Secretary Frances O'Grady offered a striking  comparison, between the C19 struggle for the 8-hour day and what she sees as the equivalent struggle in this century - for a 4-day working week.  Some commentators felt that her ambition was a little modest, as she put the target date for achievement only as the end of the century.  But I think O'Grady is absolutely right to bring the issue of working time centre stage.  (I'm anyway a fan of hers for showing such leadership on the People's Vote, but that's another issue.  Well, actually, only partly another issue as the EU provides the…
Read More

Payback!

It's 10 years since the Lehman Brothers crash, and all that that brought with it. On Friday   I'm going to see the Lehman Trilogy at the National Theatre , to see how a quality dramatisation of events can shed new light on what happened.  I'm not sure how good it will be for my blood pressure, but I'm looking forward to it in any case. In this post I want to draw attention to another literary work - Payback, by Margaret Atwood.  This was published exactly at the time the world was crashing into financial chaos, and its subtitle is stunningly prescient: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth.  I found it a simply…
Read More

Japan doctoring figures: a taste of things to come?

Japan, along with Korea, is the outstanding example of a country where the Paula Principle is powerfully at work. Japanese women are very highly educated, with one of the highest rates of female university graduation in all OECD countries, nearing 50%; and yet the gender pay gap is also one of the highest, at around 30%. The main reasons for this are well known. Very long working hours and lack of affordable chidcare are two, but what really marks Japan out is a domestic culture that makes them solely responsible for child- and eldercare, and a corporate culture that remains very traditionally hierarchical and male. Women are discouraged from climbing…
Read More

Summer clearout

Accumulated cuttings from my desk on Paula-related issues: 1. 'City urged to close gender boys gap'. (FT) A Commons Treasury Committee argues that financial services companies should overhaul their remuneration policies to tackle the 'alpha male' culture. The GPG (Gender Pay Gap) requirements have certainly illustrated dramatically how the gap for bonuses is generally far bigger than for salaries. Whether the alpha male culture exists is another matter; personally I think it does, but Cordelia Fine, whose work I respect, advises us to be a bit cautious on this. 2. 'Oprah inspires women investors everywhere'. (FT) Very few of the people featured as financial investors in the papers are women.…
Read More

Working hours, productivity – and gender

A really interesting paper by Briony Harris from the World Economic Forum shows how reducing working hours can lead to increased productivity.  The first point that struck me is that the will-writing company that forms the initial case study employs 200 people - just how many wills do Kiwis need written?  The second, more significant, point is that the company simply chopped a day off the staff's working week without reducing pay or conditions and got the same results from them, with far higher levels of job satisfaction and staff commitment. The paper goes on to look at the relationship between working hours and productivity across a whole range of countries.  It notes…
Read More

Musings from a graduation ceremony

My daughter graduated earlier this week and I did the proud father bit.  The ceremony was good - enough pomp but not too much, brisk enough to keep things moving but not rushing, and a nice musical interlude to freshen us up for further applause. As the lines of gowns edged their way forward and then marched across the platform to be gently biffed on the head with the ceremonial hat, I looked down the lists of graduates by subject.  I could hardly have asked for a more striking confirmation of one component of the Paula Principle thesis:  the increasingly superior educational performance of women.  In all but one subject,…
Read More

Gender Medicine and doctor competences

I've just finished Gender Medicine by Marek Glezerman.  It's packed with interesting facts about differences between male and female physiologies, from the specific and minor to the more general and challenging.  For example, because over millions of years child-raising developed greater motor skills most women have a far wider range of movement in their thumb joint - but they pay the price of being more likely to get arthritis in their thumbs (I'm not suggesting that that's minor - a friend just visited for whom this is a real problem). Heart disease is generally thought to affect men more.  But this is true only to the fourth of fifth decade.  Once…
Read More

Choice (PP5) and The Writer

I have to admit that neither I nor the group I went with got much out of the Almeida's production of a new play, The Writer.  There are big issues of power and gender there, and interesting transgression of the boundaries between different roles of author, director, audience and assistants, but I found the second half dreary and clumsy.   Which puts me out of line with most of the critics, but there you are. There was, however, one scene which captured completely the essence of Paula Principle Factor 5 - positive choice.  The eponymous writer clashes with her boyfriend over whether she should sign the contract for a large fee…
Read More

Investing differently

For better or worse - almost wholly better - I live close to a number of friends with similar outlooks.  You might say we're very bubbly in Tufnell Park. But one  consequence of this convergence of tastes is that I find myself drowning in journals that are recirculated on to me.  I already buy a daily paper and subscribe to the LRB and Prospect;  so when friends kindly drop other journals through the door I pick them up with a mixture of gratitude and despondency.  How can I get to read the books I want to when the mags pile up so? Anyway, that's how I came to be skimming…
Read More

The RPG: stretching the pay gap

Today is the deadline for public sector organisations to file their reports under the Gender Pay Gap reporting initiative.  Private sector companies have a week longer to do it, and a lot have left it to the last minute - or perhaps don't intend to do it at all, though Rebecca Hilsenrath, the chief exec of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, has been issuing some stern warnings. GPG reporting will, I think, prove to be a big step forward.  It will provide a wealth of information for us to chew over, and since it's pitched at organisational level it should allow real debate of what needs to be done…
Read More

Working time and careers

At the TUC conference last week, the General Secretary Frances O'Grady offered a striking  comparison, between the C19 struggle for the 8-hour day and what she sees as the equivalent struggle in this century - for a 4-day working week.  Some commentators felt that her ambition was a little modest, as she put the target date for achievement only as the end of the century.  But I think O'Grady is absolutely right to bring the issue of working time centre stage.  (I'm anyway a fan of hers for showing such leadership on the People's Vote, but that's another issue.  Well, actually, only partly another issue as the EU provides the…
Read More

Payback!

It's 10 years since the Lehman Brothers crash, and all that that brought with it. On Friday   I'm going to see the Lehman Trilogy at the National Theatre , to see how a quality dramatisation of events can shed new light on what happened.  I'm not sure how good it will be for my blood pressure, but I'm looking forward to it in any case. In this post I want to draw attention to another literary work - Payback, by Margaret Atwood.  This was published exactly at the time the world was crashing into financial chaos, and its subtitle is stunningly prescient: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth.  I found it a simply…
Read More

Japan doctoring figures: a taste of things to come?

Japan, along with Korea, is the outstanding example of a country where the Paula Principle is powerfully at work. Japanese women are very highly educated, with one of the highest rates of female university graduation in all OECD countries, nearing 50%; and yet the gender pay gap is also one of the highest, at around 30%. The main reasons for this are well known. Very long working hours and lack of affordable chidcare are two, but what really marks Japan out is a domestic culture that makes them solely responsible for child- and eldercare, and a corporate culture that remains very traditionally hierarchical and male. Women are discouraged from climbing…
Read More

Summer clearout

Accumulated cuttings from my desk on Paula-related issues: 1. 'City urged to close gender boys gap'. (FT) A Commons Treasury Committee argues that financial services companies should overhaul their remuneration policies to tackle the 'alpha male' culture. The GPG (Gender Pay Gap) requirements have certainly illustrated dramatically how the gap for bonuses is generally far bigger than for salaries. Whether the alpha male culture exists is another matter; personally I think it does, but Cordelia Fine, whose work I respect, advises us to be a bit cautious on this. 2. 'Oprah inspires women investors everywhere'. (FT) Very few of the people featured as financial investors in the papers are women.…
Read More

Working hours, productivity – and gender

A really interesting paper by Briony Harris from the World Economic Forum shows how reducing working hours can lead to increased productivity.  The first point that struck me is that the will-writing company that forms the initial case study employs 200 people - just how many wills do Kiwis need written?  The second, more significant, point is that the company simply chopped a day off the staff's working week without reducing pay or conditions and got the same results from them, with far higher levels of job satisfaction and staff commitment. The paper goes on to look at the relationship between working hours and productivity across a whole range of countries.  It notes…
Read More

Musings from a graduation ceremony

My daughter graduated earlier this week and I did the proud father bit.  The ceremony was good - enough pomp but not too much, brisk enough to keep things moving but not rushing, and a nice musical interlude to freshen us up for further applause. As the lines of gowns edged their way forward and then marched across the platform to be gently biffed on the head with the ceremonial hat, I looked down the lists of graduates by subject.  I could hardly have asked for a more striking confirmation of one component of the Paula Principle thesis:  the increasingly superior educational performance of women.  In all but one subject,…
Read More

Gender Medicine and doctor competences

I've just finished Gender Medicine by Marek Glezerman.  It's packed with interesting facts about differences between male and female physiologies, from the specific and minor to the more general and challenging.  For example, because over millions of years child-raising developed greater motor skills most women have a far wider range of movement in their thumb joint - but they pay the price of being more likely to get arthritis in their thumbs (I'm not suggesting that that's minor - a friend just visited for whom this is a real problem). Heart disease is generally thought to affect men more.  But this is true only to the fourth of fifth decade.  Once…
Read More

Choice (PP5) and The Writer

I have to admit that neither I nor the group I went with got much out of the Almeida's production of a new play, The Writer.  There are big issues of power and gender there, and interesting transgression of the boundaries between different roles of author, director, audience and assistants, but I found the second half dreary and clumsy.   Which puts me out of line with most of the critics, but there you are. There was, however, one scene which captured completely the essence of Paula Principle Factor 5 - positive choice.  The eponymous writer clashes with her boyfriend over whether she should sign the contract for a large fee…
Read More

Investing differently

For better or worse - almost wholly better - I live close to a number of friends with similar outlooks.  You might say we're very bubbly in Tufnell Park. But one  consequence of this convergence of tastes is that I find myself drowning in journals that are recirculated on to me.  I already buy a daily paper and subscribe to the LRB and Prospect;  so when friends kindly drop other journals through the door I pick them up with a mixture of gratitude and despondency.  How can I get to read the books I want to when the mags pile up so? Anyway, that's how I came to be skimming…
Read More

The RPG: stretching the pay gap

Today is the deadline for public sector organisations to file their reports under the Gender Pay Gap reporting initiative.  Private sector companies have a week longer to do it, and a lot have left it to the last minute - or perhaps don't intend to do it at all, though Rebecca Hilsenrath, the chief exec of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, has been issuing some stern warnings. GPG reporting will, I think, prove to be a big step forward.  It will provide a wealth of information for us to chew over, and since it's pitched at organisational level it should allow real debate of what needs to be done…
Read More