Gender parity issue at Amazon – Is it that bad?

3 Apr

Amazon has recently been claimed of discriminating women employees in terms of pay. The 2015 compensation review states that women earn $0.1 less than men for every dollar in the same work position at Amazon.

The imbalance

Gender imbalance has recently caused a stir among the employees of Amazon and they have raised their voice against it. The investors of Amazon got worried because of the rebel and have asked Amazon to present a detailed report on this issue. They wanted Amazon to mention their policies on reducing the pay gap between men and women workers at Amazon.

The workforce

Amazon’s global workforce consists of 39% female. One fourth of these women are managers. Amazon claims that they practice equity at all levels.

The investors along with Arjuna Capital and Baldwin Brothers submitted proposal at the shareholder’s meeting asking Amazon to disclose.

The proposal

The proposal they presented shows that a particular group of software developers at Amazon earned $10,000 less salary a year than men with the same designation. But Amazon ruled out their claim stating that the guidelines on which the proposal was based was too vague.

The Securities and Exchange Commission didn’t agree with Amazon and asked them not to withhold the proposal. Instead, it urged Amazon to act according to the proposal. Now, all we can do is wait and see how Amazon approaches and solves this problem.

Rise of unemployment in Brazil – Will it ever stop?

3 Apr

Recession has hit Brazil. It is expected that more than 2 million Brazilians are likely to lose their unemployment benefits by June this year. Millions of Brazilians have participated in street demonstrations and many have lined up in front of an employment agency in downtown Sao Paulo, Brazil earlier this month. This shows that support for President Dilma Rousseff is declining. Apart from losing unemployment benefits, other reasons for discontent include corruption scandal at Petrobras, a state oil company.

Stats don’t lie…

Economists predict that the recession will continue throughout the year and this will increase the unemployment rate from 9% to 10%. According to a report from the Labor Ministry, it is predicted that between February and June 492,000 benefits will be running out every month. About one third of unemployed Brazilians have been jobless for more than six months. This was never the case for the last 10 years.

Fabio Lorusso, a 30 year old public relations professional lost his job due to recession in July last year. He was even cut off his unemployment benefits since December. Now he lives with his parents. This is a common scenario that is found in most houses of Brazil. Many people, like Fabio, blame the Petrobras scandal for this situation.

Still far away…

Brazil has now 200 million population of which 9 million are unemployed. About 2.5 million people who are currently living on unemployment benefits will soon be unemployed. Economists predict that it will take years for the current jobless situation to reverse. The economy of Brazil will be stable no earlier than in 2019.

The downturn of Brazilian employment situation started in early 2014. Since then 1.5 million people had lost jobs and companies still continue to dismiss 100,000 workers every month. The situation is alarming.The Labor minister Miguel Rossetto has assured that soon the recovery phase of this unemployment situation will begin. The fiscal deficit is already more than 10% of GDP last year.

That’s why the government is unable to extend the benefits. The unemployment benefit was cut in order to lower government spending. Economists are concerned that if the current situation is not revived within this year then people will start to use up their savings and so move towards poverty.

People Power a user’s guide to democracy in the UK

3 Apr

by Dan Jellinek.
Publisher: Corgi Press/Transworld.

As protestors around the world risk their lives in pursuit of democracy, in the UK the word has never seemed so tarnished. Surveys regularly show our politicians are not liked, not trusted and not wanted. Voter turnout is shockingly low, and episodes such as the MPs’ expenses scandal simply seem to confirm the widely-held opinion that public officials are all as bad as each other.

On the other hand, most people also recognize the truth of Churchill’s famous statement: “Democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time”. Deep down, many of us do feel lucky to live with freedoms that billions of others worldwide would give anything to enjoy. But still, so many of us do not value, trust or engage with our system. What is the answer?

Part of the cure must be to better understand the disease: to understand how our democracy works, with all its strengths and weaknesses, achievements and flaws. This is the concept behind my new book People power: a user’s guide to democracy in the UK.

It is a book aimed at helping people think more deeply about our political system: how it has developed, how it works, and the part you could play in shaping it and improving it. What is a political party, and why should you join one? Can anyone stand for election? How does the House of Lords work? What power does the monarchy have? The style is direct, clear and accessible, packed with stories, facts and ideas to make people stop, think, and understand.

Illustrated by Harry Venning (Clare in the Community), People power: a user’s guide to democracy in the UK has a mission to galvanise and engage people in a positive way. The book is strictly neutral and non-partisan. It is critical where criticism is due, but it also shows people the value of what they have, and how they can help improve it.

People Power: A user’s guide to democracy in the UK is out now in paperback (5 June), published by Corgi Press/Transworld.
Find it in your local bookshop or library, with this book number:
ISBN-13: 978-0593070505

What they are saying about People power:

An excellent introduction
Tam Dalyell, Father of the House, 2001-05

The more we know how to change things, the more we know how to make things better. And this book is an important tool in the toolbox
Caroline Lucas MP

This book is well-informed and clearly written – read it for an accurate and empowering understanding of how our democracy works, or could work
Professor Gerry Stoker, Director of the Centre for Citizenship, Globalization and Governance, University of Southampton

A ground-up account of the democratic process in the UK… identifies some of the problems with the dream of digital democracy which arguing that the power is still ours
Philip Maughan New Statesman – NS Recommends

Highly readable and fascinating… an enjoyable narrative… These and many more revelations transform what sounds like an unpromising subject into an unexpected page-turner. Jellinek deserves huge credit for this.
Chris Moncrieff, Northern Echo

Not a book for political nerds, although even they may find some new nuggets of information within. Instead he is writing for members of the general public. This a book that I would warmly recommend.
Mary Reid, Liberal Democrat Voice

Amid the general climate of cynicism about party politics, he sees an appetite for active citizenship, empowered by the internet as well as the ballot box.
Law Society Gazette