Monday, 11 July 2011

and he's gone

i know i'm a bit late for this post, but never mind. i have to say i'm very glad to see that alisdair thompson is no longer in a position to make public statements for the EMA. of course he can still make public statements, but they won't mean as much.

i am actually an employer in a voluntary capacity, being on the board of a couple of NGOs. one of these is a women's organisation, and i know that we need support as employers. the EMA should be an option for us, but until now, i really haven't felt that they are - given that their public positions and lobbying haven't been consistent with good employment policy. an employer's organisation that advocates the youth wage or that won't take more concrete actions for equality in the work place is not one that i can justify giving money to. especially from an NGO that is working to improve the lives of people in this community. to belong to that organisation in its current state is to betray the very people our organisation serves. i'm pretty sure that the rest of the board agrees with me on this.

the sacking of mr thompson is a big step but still not good enough. if this organisation really wants to represent employers, it needs to make itself accessible to all types of organisations. i don't believe it's accessable to NGOs in the way it currently operates, but NGOs employ a considerable number of staff. chambers of commerce actually do tend to be a lot better, and have managed to do some progressive things. perhaps EMA could look to them for some ideas on how to actually serve the needs of their community.

on another note, there has been some great writing on the whole alisdair thompson thing from various bloggers, but also in the MSM. there was a good piece by denise irvine in the waikato times yesterday, but i can't find it online. this there's also this one from mai chen, which is very good. and not just because it happens to mention my sister!! who is absolutely as awesome as mai chen thinks she is:

My concern is that stereotyping may stop you from hiring the best staff. New Zealand is a small country.

I had a call some years back from a law professor who asked if I would hire her top student. Despite a stellar academic record, and a formidable work ethic, no one would hire this lawyer because she was Muslim, wore a hijab and prayed five times a day facing Mecca. The woman interviewed well, so I hired her and found she was the best law clerk I had ever had.

please ignore my bias and read the whole thing - it's worth it!

then there is this article about the low number of women on nz boards:

Korn/Ferry surveyed the top 100 boards by market capitalisation in Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia China, and New Zealand, finding 65% of New Zealand boards had no women directors compared to 29% in Asia-Pacific leader Australia. In Singapore, 59% of boards had no women members, 57% in India, 56% in Malaysia, 43% in Hong Kong and 39% in China.

The news gets even worse, with the Asia-Pacific region lagging Europe and America, an imbalance report author Alicia Yi describes as "stark".

the difference in figures for asia can be explained by the low wages there, making it much more affordable to hire domestic staff for housework & child-rearing. also the cheaper & greater variety of food, making takeaways and eating out a much more affordable option. these are not things that we want to be emulating.

however, there is no reason we should be lagging behind australia, europe & america. many of these countries have government policies that help to improve equality, particularly in europe. as usual, our government is not prepared to look at these. although i will be impressed if they do something about removing secrecy re wages as was mentioned not too long ago. or even ask companies to report on gender payrates within their organisations.

finally, i'm currently awaiting brian edwards' defense of john ansell. based on past form, i'm sure it will be forthcoming.

1 comment:

Moz said...

Forgive me if I kinda like the discrimination against talented immigrants and others. When I had a couple of commercial properties in NZ I was hiring architects and engineers from Iran and Pakistan as building managers. Huge win for me - smart people, knew way more about how the place worked than I did, astonishingly grateful for the job. Oddly enough, whenever one found a more relevant job they had a friend lined up who wanted to come and work for me... I think I gave "local work experience" to about 15 people over the years.