Thursday, 26 February 2009

Quick hit: Diversity deficit at the Jobs Summit

From yesterday's Herald:
Community groups and some small business sectors are upset that they have been left off the invitation list for Prime Minister John Key's Jobs Summit in Manukau on Friday.

The guest list, released on Monday night, includes only three people from the community sector: Auckland City Missioner Diane Robertson, Salvation Army social services director Campbell Roberts and a policy adviser for the disability group DPA, Wendi Wicks.

Instead, 118 of the 194 invited are from the business sector - mostly from big businesses (62) and finance (22), but including 30 from smaller businesses and sector groups and four from state-owned enterprises.

The rest are from central and local government, education and training organisations, unions, iwi groups and a handful of academics and researchers.

The list includes 165 men and just 30 women. At least 20 are Maori, but only two are known to be of part-Pacific Island heritage: Rick Fala of the tap maker Methven and NZ Super Fund chief executive Adrian Orr.

Fletcher Building chief executive Jonathan Ling will be the sole flagbearer for the Asian community.

Click through for the full article.

Thirty women out of nearly 200 attendees? That's around 15% (even less than the National caucus). Sheesh! I guess at least they are low on all types of people outside Pakeha men, so the deficit itself is somewhat even handed?

Bowler hat tipped in the direction of Tumeke.

17 comments:

Brett Dale said...

What is wrong with Pakeha men?

If a conference was full of Maori woman, would you complain? I wouldn't.

Julie said...

If it was a conference aiming to tackle the effects of a possible recession on all New Zealanders, then yes I would have concerns that those present might not have all the information, experiences and concerns necessary.

Julie said...

I haven't put that very well, but my brain is a bit sore this afternoon. I'll try to come back and explain properly, probably tomorrow at this rate.

reddeath26 said...

@Brett Dale-
You are missing the point. I don't believe they are trying to say that pakeha men are bad. But rather by having mostly pakeha men it does not allow for all groups to have their fair say. What applies to pakeha males may not be applicable to say Maori woman.

Anonymous said...

Actually all that is being requested is a fair representation of society. We all know that views and ideas vary and opposite sex often look at issues from different angles enriching debate and thought. So come on you our there! you all have mothers, some have wives and daughters how about showing some consideration for their input.

Anonymous said...

Why do we look at it as females, males, whites, maoris etc and look at it as the people who have the know-how to make a positive change.

I'm sick of this group mentality. From what I hear, every participant was chosen for their merits rather than their sex or what colour they are.

reddeath26 said...

"I'm sick of this group mentality. From what I hear, every participant was chosen for their merits rather than their sex or what colour they are."
If we only address one demographic then the odds are the results will be extremely ethnocentric. Different cultures and groups will have different needs and wants.

This group mentality is all about addressing the differences between various groups and cultures.

Anonymous said...

And not outcome then? So you would sacrifice possible success in order to balance out the sexes/races?

What about the terribly low numbers of homosexuals attending. Surely they should be represented in one way or another.

This economic crisis is more serious than you seem to understand. It's not the time to play 50/50 to fulfil some PC agenda. It's the best people for the job time.

Anna said...

Anon, why do you assume that the best people for the job will necessarily be Pakeha and male? Isn't it possible that Maori and women might have some valuable input?

I'd venture that trying to determine the economic future of the country without tangata whenua input contradicts any meaningful reading of the Treaty.

It's worth noting that whenever there's a recession, social services (which are largely staffed by women) carry the can. You ignore that sort of expertise at your peril.

Mary-Lou said...

I assume the best people for the job are there regardless of their skin colour and sex. Plus, you guys always complain that rich white men control the system anyway, so it's a shoo in that they will be over-represented at this summit.

Lucy said...

I assume the best people for the job are there regardless of their skin colour and sex. Plus, you guys always complain that rich white men control the system anyway, so it's a shoo in that they will be over-represented at this summit.

Which is why, of course, no Labour MPs were invited despite them a) having been in government for the previous 9 years and b) having invited National to a similar summit they held when in government. Because they couldn't *possibly* have anything to contribute. Or look at this another way: only one Asian was invited. Asians make up way more than 0.5% of the population, and are heavily involved in the business community. Their experiences and input were ignored, too.

It's only safe to assume that "the best people for the job" were invited if you assume the government can do no wrong. Which, um, I'm sure I don't need to go into the fallacy there.

Mary-Lou said...

Or because Labour showed disdain to business for many years...thought about that?

Again I reiterate, it's about results and the best people for the job. Although the suggestions so far are a little off colour!

stargazer said...

mary-lou that's crap. labour reduced the business tax rates, increased depreciation rates, brought in the R&D tax credit, made changes to provisional tax payments dates & allowed alignment of provisional tax to GST. nz has been consistently ranked 2nd in terms of ease of doing business during the term of the labour government, and there was constant engagement with business.

again, how about you take the trouble to do some research and inform yourself before make ignorant/deliberately incorrect comments here.

reddeath26 said...

"This economic crisis is more serious than you seem to understand. It's not the time to play 50/50 to fulfil some PC agenda. It's the best people for the job time."
There are several different cultural groups in New Zealand. You need to understand that differences in culture attribute a lot to whether a plan will succeed or not. When discussing things such as employment levels you can not simply have input from one cultural (or very few) perspective/s. It is not about being 50/50 but rather about producing outcomes which are applicable for the whole population. Not just one or two cultures.

Mary-Lou said...

yeah right stargazer... hence why business were relieved and confidence shot up (despite a recession) as soon as Labour lost the election. Shows how little about business you know :>

stargazer said...

mary-lou, i'm a chartered accountant. i'd say i know a fair bit about business and our tax laws, and all the positive changes made by the labour government. business had a very good deal under labour, pity they were unable to recognise it.

so what are your business qualifications?

Anna said...

The behaviour of some businesses, especially questionable lending practices and speculation, have a lot do with the fact we're going through a recession right now. Business confidence is very high in a speculative phase - that's what expands the bubble and eventually causes the crash - so business confidence is a dubious measure of anything, really. Given that the US automotive industry and several major UK banks are currently requesting vast taxpayer bail outs, consulting business is a bit ironic. Not everyone involved in a business is an expert.