If the world were 100 people

If the world’s population were represented by just 100 people, where would they live and who the earth would look like?

A move that I found helps to visualize the structure of population and true situation in the world. The movie will surprise you!  

It is much easier to imagine when someone tells you that 18 from100 have no access to clean water and 14 can’t read; only 7 have upper secondary education and 6 people own 59% of the entire wealth of the community.

See the movie here:

http://www.miniature-earth.com/me_english.htm

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Firms lead by women are more profitable

This report, witten by Annu Kotiranta, Anne Kovalainen, Petri Rouvinen has been published by the Finnish Business and Policy Forum. This should inspire our shareholders when they chose a CEO…


 

the summary of the report states that less than a tenth of the CEOs of Finnish firms and less than a fourth of the corporate board members are women. From a social standpoint more women are desired in top management, but should firms’ owners  be concerned with women’s role in top management? Since hard facts have been in short supply, study seeks to an answer the question by applying scientific research methods.

Surprisingly results indicate that a company led by a female CEO is on average slightly more than a percentage point – in practice about ten per cent – more profitable than a corresponding company led by a male CEO. This observation holds even after taking into account size differences and a number other factors possibly affecting profit ability. The share of female board members also has a similar positive impact.

If and when Finland seeks to increase the share of women in top management, these endeavours should not be hindered because of concerns about private firms’ profitability – quite the contrary, in fact.

Sportswear industry and working conditions

As the clock ticks down to the Beijing Olympics, workers producing for the international sportswear companies that spend millions on Olympic and athletic sponsorship deals are still working excessive hours and paid poverty wages,according to a damning new report, “Clearing the Hurdles, Steps to improving working conditions in the global sportswear industry”, from Play Fair 2008 (PF08).

 

Based on interviews with over 300 sportswear workers in China, India, Thailand and Indonesia, Clearing the Hurdles shows that violations of worker rights is still the sportswear industry norm – including in workplaces producing for adidas, sponsor of the Beijing and London Games and numerous national Olympic teams.

“Workers making the goods sold by brand leaders such as Adidas, Asics, New Balance, Nike, and Puma are still earning poverty wages despite the fact that company profits are soaring into the hundreds of millions, sometimes even billions of dollars,” said Neil Kearney, general secretary of the ITGLWF (International Textile Garment and Leather Workers Federation), one of the organizations coordinating the Play Fair 2008 campaign in the lead up to the Beijing Games.

 

Play Fair’s report lifts the lid on Yue Yuen, the little known Hong Kong manufacturer that produces one-sixth of the world’s sports shoes and counts brands such as Adidas, Nike and New Balance among its most important clients. Says one worker at a Yue Yuen factory producing for New Balance in Dongguan, China, “I am exhausted to death now. The two of us have to glue 120 pairs of shoes

every hour…. We are working without rest and are always afraid of not working fast enough to supply soles to the next production line… We are tired and dirty.” The report also sheds light on the conditions of workers stitching soccer balls in Thailand, India and China. At Joyful Long factory in China’s Pearl River Delta, which supplies adidas, Nike, Umbro and Fila, overtime can reach 232 hours per month while average wages are almost half the legal minimum.

 

For years key sportswear brands have argued that they can’t raise wages singlehandedly but according to the report  collectively they can.  These companies control the sportswear and sports shoe markets; by acting together and really leading the sector on wages and other key issues an end to the misery these workers endure is possible. Clearing the Hurdles identifies low wages; abuse of short-term contracts and other forms of precarious employment; violations of freedom of association; and the right to collective bargaining, and factory closures due to industry restructuring as the four key issues the sportswear industry must act upon. PF08 has invited industry leaders

to participate in a June meeting in Hong Kong to discuss their follow up to Play Fair’s proposals.

 

 

Full report: http://www.ituc-csi.org/IMG/pdf/hurdles/Clearing_the_Hurdles.pdf

What do new technologies mean for the European labour market?

There is no doubt that technological improvement is an important factor for changes in different labour markets. This is true both for the quantitative development of employment as well as for the qualitative development of skilled labour force. The extent to which new technologies lead to more jobsand better working conditions is, however, a subject of debate. On the one hand, new technologies – such as modern IT – have often been called ‘job killers’, causing unemployment growth. On the other hand, technological innovation is considered a means to improve the competitiveness of the European economy and offers new economic markets with new job opportunities. With new IT technologies work can be organised much more effectively with fewer workers involved and as a consequence the demands on the higher qualifications labour at nearly all job levels are required. And result is that mostly unqualified, older and young people in European countries have reduced access to the labour markets.

 

Due to IT technologies in highly skilled occupational groups there is evidence that the increasing demands for further qualification as well as lifelong learning have become an integral part of the individual commitment on the job. In lower-qualified occupational groups the workers depend verymuch on the learning opportunities provided by the companies. The question for public

policy remains how institutions can maximise opportunities and minimise risk in different

working environments.

 

More about this subject you can read in attached study provided By ETAG:Interactions between new technologies and the job market, flexicurity and training/vocational training”

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/stoa/publications/studies/stoa23_en.pdf

Shortage of qualified kindergarten teachers in Finland can increase inequality between families.

 A recent survey by the Association of Kindergarten Teachers in Finland reveals that the shortage of qualified kindergarten teachers is becoming increasingly acute. Almost a quarter of child day-care centre directors report serious difficulties in finding qualified candidates, even for permanent jobs. It is feared that a deterioration of day-care services will negatively influence the employment of mothers of small children and increase inequality between families.”                                                                   

Statistics Finland /www.stat.fi

In Finland mothernity leave is nine months, so most of the children who go to day care are nine months old. There are day care centres which are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. There are several units at a centre, one for the kids from 9 months old to three years old  and one  for   the ones from 3 to 6 years old and one unit, s.c. preschool unit for the children from 6 to 7 years old. All 6 year old children can go to pre-school. Some centres have also a unit for children who are over 7 years old.

One of the main aims of publicly organised childcare has been to balance out differences in children’s social background, as well as to offer parents the opportunity to take up studies and participate in the labour market regardless of their income level or geographical location. In Finland, the high employment rate of women (67.3%) is associated with the full-time working culture. Finland’s gender employment gap is the narrowest (3.9%) among the 27 EU Member States. The affordable and high-quality public day-care service has been a major factor enabling the high full-time employment rates of Finnish women. However, it is feared that a lack of day-care services will negatively influence the employment of mothers of small children and increase inequality between families.

Main problems in the sector of day-care services in Finland are: acute shortage of kindergarten teachers, poor working conditions and management shortcomings.. Low pay, stressful working conditions, insufficient resources and temporary employment relationships have acted as a disincentive to kindergarten teacher graduates, who prefer to pursue their careers elsewhere or continue studying to become school teachers. According to  “www.stat. fi” educational structure of day-care staff: previously ,50% of day-care staff were qualified kindergarten teachers, whereas today this proportion has dropped to 30%. The remainder of the staff are childminders, who are usually trained as kindergarten practical nurses but lack teacher training. Directors of day-care sectors are responsible for two or three different day-care facilities. This has led to situations where directors’ job descriptions have been too broadly defined, thus leading to many problems and confusion in relation to their responsibilities in the daily work of the day-care centres.

In order to improve today´s situation in the field of day-care Finnish Government has to pay more attention to working conditions, salary level and provide more educational possibilities for kindergarten practical nurses.  To my mind is possible to create specialized educational programs where experienced practical nurses can study for a higher degree and then practice and continue working in the same day-care center where they were before.  It is also necessary for each individual facility in a day-care center to have its own director in order to decrease pressure on managers.