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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Racism at work

Racism in the workplace can be direct or subtle, it can be conscious or unwitting. It might come from your boss, your co-workers or be built into the way your organisation works. The TUC (Trade Union Congress) says that racism occurs when somebody is treated differently to their colleagues because of their race or ethnic origin. Some common examples are when someone is called names, overlooked for promotion, denied training, overtime or other benefits. They may be offered unpopular shifts, shouted at, bullied, selected for redundancy or denied holiday entitlement. It can lead to a loss of confidence, stress, humiliation, insomnia, low morale, anxiety, sickness and poor work performance. It is not just the employee who suffers; it can lead to disharmony in the workplace, unhappy workers, reduced output and profits and high levels of staff sickness. If found guilty of race discrimination, damages are unlimited. It is unlawful to discriminate against any worker on racial grounds; the Race Relations Act of 1976 makes it…

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Time to kick the gender gap into touch

Recently, after France had crashed out of the World Cup and England’s performance was too painful to watch, I was sent an e-mail by a firm of management consultants. What was going wrong, it said, was that the teams’ managers were acting just like men. If only they had behaved more like women and been consensual and caring, they might have persuaded their players to kick the ball into the back of the net rather more often. Footballing mishaps are the latest in a series of catastrophes to be blamed on a surfeit of maleness. When Lehman Brothers went bust, lots of people said that if it had been Lehman Sisters things might have turned out differently. The same point is now being made about BP: if women had been in charge, safety might have been a bigger priority and the planet might have been cared for rather better. Much of this is total twaddle, especially for football and banking. At BP the female touch…

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Breaking news

Prisoners stripped of right to watch TV. Bangladesh factory collapse: Primark to pay compensation. Building collapse death toll approaches 1,300. The end of the free upgrade: the great airline business upgrade auction is ready for take-off. Unsold premium seats to be auctioned online. Every child in England and Wales to get annual flu vaccine. Sainsbury's denies CEO Justin King is set to depart. Zuckerberg takes salary of $1 as Sorrell cuts pay by £100k. Mercedes-Benz promotes Andrew Mallery to top UK marketing role. Manning Gottlieb retains DWP enrolment brief. Darren Khan leaves Bauer Media. ** STANDARD CHARTERED BANK The international banking group appointed Michael Kruse in San Francisco as a managing director and head of the Technology, Media & Telecoms group for North America. Kruse joins the bank after working for 12 years at JPMorgan Chase & Co. ** CREDIT SUISSE Andres Luther, co-head of corporate communications at Credit Suisse, will leave the Swiss bank to join consultancy Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Counselors as a partner at the start…

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Financial focus

Today’s Markets: European stocks seen mixed Asian Markets: Stocks inch up on hopes of global stimulus Italy: Economists encouraged by new government France: Hollande plans U-turn over key business levies USA: S&P and Moody’s reach settlement for allegedly misleading USA: GDP growth forecast falls short Cyprus: Bank of Cyprus turns cash to equity Iceland: Centre-right parties look for a coalition and an end to austerity China: Industrial companies in dramatic slowdown Currencies: Dollar Index falls ahead of US spending data Energy: Crude falls for a second day on China & US data Commodities: Gold & Silver back in demand Property: London prices back to boom-year levels

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Friday financial focus

-UK: Cheap funds for lenders to help SMEs -Germany: Merkel breaks rank over ECB interest rates -Spain: Unemployment hits record highs -Spain: PM likely to turn away from austerity -Currencies: Yen gains after BoJ maintains stance -Energy: Crude’s slip might be short lived -Commodities: Gold headed for best week since October 2011 -Property: UK homeowner confidence surges Focus on: Japan’s challenge to overcome deflation Asia Overnight: Hong Kong shares surge Hong Kong shares rose to their highest since mid-March on Friday, stretching gains for the week, as a recovery in physical commodity prices helped magnify earnings-driven strength in Chinese financial and energy majors. Mainland China markets ended a choppy morning session slightly lower as bourse volumes stayed anemic, heading for a fourth weekly loss in five ahead of an extended Labour Day holiday. China stock markets will be closed April 29 through May 1. Today’s Markets: European markets seen trimming gains European shares are set to fall today following more than 4% gains during a…

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Breaking news

US accuses Bashar al-Assad's Syrian regime of using sarin. Boston suspects planned to bomb Times Square next. Accountancy firms 'use knowledge of Treasury to help rich avoid tax' – MPs Iron Maiden beer doubles demand at family brewery. Dare has appointed Leigh Thomas, the managing director of Saatchi & Saatchi, to the role of chief executive, replacing Lee Leggett. Nokia has parted company with its vice president of global brand strategy and marketing creation Steven Overman. MORGAN STANLEY WEALTH MANAGEMENT The largest U.S. brokerage, majority owned by Morgan Stanley , has bolstered its adviser force in California and Florida with two veteran hires from rival firms. The new additions, who moved to Morgan Stanley in April, came from Deutsche Bank and Bank of America Corp's Merrill Lynch. CITIGROUP INC The bank appointed Rick McIntire as its global head of base metal sales in London. McIntire, who was previously with UBS, will join in mid-July. The company also hired Dylan Morgan as the co-head of base…

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Breaking news

Borussia Dortmund drive home German dominance. At least 113 dead after factory supplying Primark collapses in Bangladesh. David Cameron recruits Boris’s brother for Number 10. Britain to learn triple-dip recession fate today. Virgin Media reports last quarterly pre-tax profits of £161.6m. Nigel Long and Paul Gardener take stake in Beta. Facebook sets up marketing advisory board. Proximity poaches Havas EHS' Amanda Arthur WELLS FARGO & CO The company's U.S. brokerage has expanded its adviser footprint in four states with new hires from rival firms Morgan Stanley Wealth Management and Edward Jones. STANDARD CHARTERED BANK The banking group appointed Alvaro Patron as head of global corporate sales, financial markets. Patron, who joins from Citigroup, will be based in Singapore. METLIFE INC The largest U.S. life insurer appointed Kirstie Traas, who was previously with Zurich Financial Services, as head of operations based in its Brighton office. STATE STREET CORP The world's No. 2 stand-alone custody bank appointed Markus Steiner as head of its state street global services…

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Thatcher: een goede vrouwelijke baas?

‘Ik denk niet dat er een vrouw minister president zal worden in mijn leven.’ Margaret Thatcher 1973. Het recente overlijden van Margaret Thatcher, de eerste vrouwelijke minister president van Engeland, heeft het onderwerp van vrouwelijke topmanagers nieuw leven ingeblazen. Het is een gegeven dat je zowel mannen als vrouwen goede of slechte managers kunnen zijn. Hun kunnen is niet zo zeer afhankelijk van een paar chromosomen, maar van hun gedrag. Veel presentatoren riepen de laatste tijd dat als er meer vrouwen aan het roer van de banken stonden, we de recente financiële crisis niet hadden hoeven mee te maken. Hierbij wordt toegevoegd dat de in het algemeen empatischere instelling van vrouwen, het kantoor een positievere plek om te in werken kan maken. Terug naar Thatcher. Haar recente biografie onthult dat één van haar adviseurs haar beschuldigde van het pesten van zwakkere collega’s en het misbruiken van haar senioriteit, en dit alles binnen slecht 2jaar na haar aankomst op Downing Street. In een serieuze memo, die…

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Thatcher: A good female boss?

“I don't think there will be a woman prime minister in my lifetime.” Margaret Thatcher 1973. The recent death of Margaret Thatcher, Britain's first female prime minister, thrust the matter of women bosses into the spotlight. It is a given that you can get good or bad bosses of either sex, and their ability has little to do with their chromosomes, but rather the way they behave. Many commentators have suggested that if more women ran banking, we would not have had to endure the recent financial collapse and that their generally more empathetic nature can make the workplace a more nurturing and positive place to work. Back to Mrs Thatcher. Her recent biography reveals that she was condemned by one of her closest advisers, within two years of arriving at No 10, for bullying weaker colleagues and abusing her seniority. In a searing memo, which foresaw many of the weaknesses which led to her downfall nearly a decade later, Sir John Hoskyns warned Thatcher…

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Midweek financial focus

-Global Economy: Weak PMI figures point to tough times -UK: Osborne barely dents deficit in last financial year -UK: Pensions crushed by low interest rates -China: Manufacturing slows in April -Cyprus: UK Cypriots meet with Treasury -Currencies: Euro near 2-week low ahead of German data -Energy: WTI crude climbs as US stockpiles decline -Commodities: Gold gains after biggest weekly fall -Property: London new-builds increase sharply Today’s Markets: European stocks to consolidate last session’s gains European stocks are seen opening flat to higher today, consolidating the previous session's gains after continued strong earnings and hopes for further monetary easing buoyed stocks in the United States and Asia overnight. Asia Overnight: Nikkei surges to near 5-year high Japan's Nikkei share average climbed to its highest level in nearly five years on Wednesday on robust US company earnings and as the yen resumed its downward slide towards 100 to the dollar. The benchmark Nikkei has surged 58% and the yen has weakened 24% versus the dollar since mid-November,…

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