Men still dominate managerial positions. The excuses are running out

New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveals that management of Australian businesses is dominated by men to an extent that far outweighs the level of men and women in the total workforce. Given the increased number of women staying in the workforce through their 20s and 30s, the reasons for such a disparity are quickly fading.

In no industry is the share of male managers less than the share of male employees. In some cases the disparity is huge. In the healthcare sector, men account for just 22% of all employees, but for 56% of all managers. Just under half of all employees in the real estate services industry are men, but they make up just over three-quarters of the managers.

Even in the retail industry – which is one of the few where a majority of workers are women – big business managers are more likely to be men than across all industries.

Did business leaders just pledge not to violate the most basic equal pay principle, & we’re happy about it?

Last week, 122 Australian business leaders publicly committed to closing the gender pay gap in like-for-like roles within their organisations. To support others to do the same, Male Champions of Change released an accompanying resource, the Closing the Gender Pay Gap Report . According to the press release, it offers a step-by-step guide to ensure “equal pay for equal work”.

The Diversity Council’s “sex discrimination” category, however, accounts for lots of different kinds of sex discrimination, including pregnancy, passing over women for promotions or not interviewing them for top jobs in the first place — not just like-for-like pay differences.

It’s a myth peddlars would much prefer it if we didn’t broaden the debate and tackle all those other thorny issues, like the undervaluing of women’s work, or the fact that women shoulder the lion’s share of caring responsibilities. You know, the kinds of things that legal precedent can’t necessarily tackle, but where culture and structural change is needed.

The 2030 goal to see world free from legislation that discriminates against women

There is a movement afoot. People all across the globe are vocally and visibly opposing laws that for too long have kept women from justice. The notorious ‘marry your rapist’ laws are toppling, because of citizen activism, government action, UN Women coordination and global voices speaking out.

Despite some progress in the last few years, it is estimated that 90% of countries around the world still have at least one discriminatory law in their legal frameworks. This includes laws protecting perpetrators of rape from prosecution if they are married or if they marry the victim, like Amina. Laws banning female genital mutilation or child marriage that are not enforced. Laws that don’t protect survivors of violence who pursue court action.

Earlier this year, the Roadmap for Substantive Equality: 2030 (Roadmap) was launched. The Roadmap is a UN Women initiative which focuses on repealing or amending discriminatory laws, and supports the implementation of national laws to advance human rights and gender equality.

Sofia Vergara’s embryo court battle with ex takes bizarre turn

THE battle over Sofia Vergara’s embryos took an extraordinary turn Tuesday — when a right-to-live lawsuit was filed on behalf of the fertilised eggs against their mum.

In an April 2015 op-ed in the New York Times, Loeb outlined why he wants to protect the embryos — and potentially implant them in a surrogate.

“A woman is entitled to bring a pregnancy to term even if the man objects,” Loeb wrote.

“Shouldn’t a man who is willing to take on all parental responsibilities be similarly entitled to bring his embryos to term even if the woman objects?”

He says he had asked Vergara to let him have the embryos, offered to pay all the expenses and raise the two girls himself.

She would have no parental responsibility and would be declared an egg donor, but the actress refused, he said.

No choice to walk away: When the domestic abuser is your child

In NSW, domestic violence incidents involving juvenile offenders make up about 5 per cent of the total incidents reported, but anecdotal evidence suggests most parents will only engage authorities in desperation and as a last resort.

Last year’s Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence found about two-thirds of juvenile offenders were male, and 80 per cent of victims were their mothers.

Adolescent psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg says he is concerned about a connection between violence against mothers and a broader trend of growing disrespect among young males.

Sexual harassment and the sharing economy: the dark side of working for strangers

And while corporate scandals continue to make headlines – most recently involving a Google engineer’s memo criticizing diversity initiatives – there has been minimal scrutiny of the harassment, abuse and discrimination the tech products have enabled by connecting strangers through the internet. That includes sexual assaults of Uber drivers and food deliverers, physical attacks and racist abuse by Airbnb hosts, and violent threats on Twitter, Facebook and dating apps.

In the same way that female engineers and startup founders struggle to report harassment for fear of retaliation or lost funding, gig economy workers are in precarious positions when they are victimized, since they aren’t classified as employees.

Though sexual harassment is not a new problem, online platforms have enabled methods of abuse that were not possible before, in some cases helping turn people into abusers.

Franks, the law professor, said sites like Facebook and Twitter attracted “opportunistic harassers”, by rewarding impulsive behavior and making it easy for them to inflict serious damage on victims with just a few clicks.

The notion that platforms are not responsible or liable for the actions of their users, including criminal behavior, extends across Silicon Valley.

More of us could work in part-time roles if they were designed better

The roles for nearly half the participants I studied, and across all industries, had not been changed at all when moving to part-time. Performance targets and workload remained the same; only the pay had changed.

The employees had reduced their hours by getting rid of non-urgent tasks such as networking and meetings, and delegating work to team members. . . .

Understanding how to redesign full-time roles to part-time helps debunk some of the myths that existed in some organisations. These myths included that program director and partnership roles could not be done part-time. My study found that part-time can be easier at more senior levels, because of the higher autonomy and less urgent, unpredictable work.

Having part-time roles available means more people can participate in the workforce. Given the economic benefits of this, and the increasing demand from younger and older workers for these sorts of roles, organisations will be left behind if they don’t accommodate well designed part-time arrangements.

INDIA – 10-year-old girl delivered by caesarean section, and another case emerges

The news travelled around the world: the child refused an abortion by both a district court in Chandigarh and the Supreme Court of India, in both cases on the grounds that abortion was too risky at 28 weeks and then again at 32 weeks, was delivered by c-section last week and will be kept in hospital for some 10 days. Although the hospital was reported to say that the child and the 2.2kg premature infant were both “doing fine”, the facts are other: The girl was put through major surgery. She was told a large stone had to be removed from her stomach. How will she feel when she is old enough to know better? Her abusive uncle is in prison. Her parents are shattered from the discovery of the abuse, the publicity the story generated and two failed court cases in which the girl’s interests were the least important item on the agenda and the facts about the safety of abortion at 28 weeks of pregnancy were absent.

The statistics on the scale of sexual abuse of children in India speak for themselves. The BBC reports that according to UNICEF and Indian government data:

> A child under 16 is raped every 155 minutes, a child under 10 every 13 hours

> More than 10,000 children were raped in 2015

> 240 million women living in India were married before they turned 18

> 53.22% of children who participated in a government study reported some form of sexual abuse

> 50% of abusers are known to the child or are “persons in trust and care-givers”.

Sweden’s Prostitution Solution: Why Hasn’t Anyone Tried This Before?

In a centuries deep sea of clichés despairing that ‘prostitution will always be with us’, one country’s success stands out as a solitary beacon lighting the way. In just five years Sweden has dramatically reduced the number of its women in prostitution. In the capital city of Stockholm the number of women in street prostitution has been reduced by two thirds, and the number of johns has been reduced by 80%. There are other major Swedish cities where street prostitution has all but disappeared.

In addition, the number of foreign women now being trafficked into Sweden for sex is nil. The Swedish government estimates that in the last few years only 200 to 400 women and girls have been annually sex trafficked into Sweden, a figure that’s negligible compared to the 15,000 to 17,000 females yearly sex trafficked into neighboring Finland. No other country, nor any other social experiment, has come anywhere near Sweden’s promising results.

Sweden’s Groundbreaking 1999 Legislation

In 1999, after years of research and study, Sweden passed legislation that a) criminalizes the buying of sex, and b) decriminalizes the selling of sex. The novel rationale behind this legislation is clearly stated in the government’s literature on the law:

“In Sweden prostitution is regarded as an aspect of male violence against women and children. It is officially acknowledged as a form of exploitation of women and children and constitutes a significant social problem… gender equality will remain unattainable so long as men buy, sell and exploit women and children by prostituting them.”

In the state of Victoria, Australia, where a system of legalized, regulated brothels was established, there was such an explosion in the number of brothels that it immediately overwhelmed the system’s ability to regulate them, and just as quickly these brothels became a mire of organized crime, corruption, and related crimes. In addition, surveys of the prostitutes working under systems of legalization and regulation find that the prostitutes themselves continue to feel coerced, forced, and unsafe in the business.