We live in a world where economics is valued. People in business get paid more than in most other professions. Yet business fails to recognise the talents of women. Repeatedly. Only 2 per cent of the ASX200 CEOs are female.
I’m old. I’m a baby boomer and was an expert in Affirmative Action in its early days. Affirmative Action is of course an oxymoron. Here in Australia we had no such thing as mandated affirmative targets for women in business or any kind of mandated action much at all.
Recent research by The Reibey institute in Australia showed that ASX500 companies with more women directors make more money for shareholders. Return on Equity was 9.2 per cent versus an average 4.5 per cent. Those with no women on boards made a measly return of 0.5 per cent.
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In the movie Horrible Bosses, the three bosses are characterised as The Psycho, The Maneater and The Tool. As bad as they sound, I’ve had worse. Three in particular stand out. I’m going to call them Cruel Boss, Angry Boss and Scaredycat Boss.
None of my horrible bosses were good bosses by any stretch. Yet years down the track, I feel like thanking them. That’s not to say I was happy working for them. I was miserable, and that misery often followed me home.
But through pain comes resilience. Through resilience comes strength. Through strength comes resolve. And through resolve comes the determination never to be the sort of person who abuses power relationships in the workplace.
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One of the worst features of the old industrial relations system was the so-called “go away money”.
This was the practice of employers paying amounts, usually in the order of $5,000 - $10,000, but sometimes much higher, to employees making an unfair dismissal claim.
It was a particular burden for small businesses who could not afford expensive HR managers, or the legal and time costs of defending a claim, no matter the merits.
It has now become clear that the old practices have returned.
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