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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

One week ago, Forbes.com released its annual World’s 100 Most Powerful Women List. Forbes discusses the ranking method on the report’s front page:

Forbes’ Power Women list isn’t about celebrity or popularity; it’s about influence. Queen Rania of Jordan (No. 76), for instance, is perhaps the most listened-to woman in the Middle East; her Twitter feed has 600,000 followers.

In assembling the list, Forbes looked for women who run countries, big companies or influential nonprofits. Their rankings are a combination of two scores: visibility–by press mentions–and the size of the organization or country these women lead.

Forbes also released a video on why Angela Merkel, Sheila Bair, and Indra Nooyi are at the top of the list.

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I’ve been able to catch up on my blogs today, and wanted to put together some interesting, if topically disparate, posts that I came across:

Web 2.0 applications are coming, going, and denting companies’ reputations. See “Losing Face,” about how British Airways and Virgin Atlantic were dinged by their employee’s posts on Facebook, and then read about how blogging is going (has gone) mainstream in “Oh, Grow Up” from the Economist.

Businessweek‘s Management IQ blog has a post titled “The Gender Pay Gap: Still Alive at the Top, Too” where they quote a recent report saying that women execs make 85% of their male counterparts.

Research from Cornell about the 40-hour workweek was recently released: “Forty Hours Doesn’t Work for Everyone: Examining Employee Preferences for Work Hours”. From the summary:

Current economic conditions have caused many employers to reduce employees’ work hours—a trend that will likely continue if the economy worsens. Yet research on work hours is limited, as most studies in this area have focused on the effects of employees’ working in excess of a 40-hour work week. This report seeks to specifically examine the effect of “hours mismatch,” which is defined as the mismatch between the number of hours the employee desires to work and the actual number of hours worked. Based on a study of 1,032 individuals, the results show that hours mismatch is an important predictor of attitudinal outcomes, including life satisfaction, work-family conflict, job stress, and intent to turn over.

In other news, we have a new president! Merchandise, sporting Obama’s portrait, has been big business, but apparently a nanoscale portrait of our 44th president has been created as well. If you want to learn more about what’s going on during the presidential transition, then go to change.gov, the first-ever American presidential transition website. If you’d like a little sordid history about the 2008 Presidential Campaign, head over to Newsweek, where they’re doing a seven-part series on “Secrets of the 2008 Campaign”. Read all about how both McCain and Obama’s computer networks were hacked, and what you get for a $150,000 shopping spree.

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BailoutSleuth is a new journalistic blog that’s keeping track of the shady dealings behind the Wall Street bailout package, by investigating how the money is doled out and who is compensated by the deal.  It’s pretty disturbing how this supposedly transparent process is already being circumvented, as portions of publicly-released documents are being blacked out so the public doesn’t know how much government-hired contractors from the private sector are paid.

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This week’s edition of Newsweek has a special section titled “Women & Leadership” which features 11 interviews with women in leadership positions.  The list is pretty varied and includes Tyra Banks, Barbara Walters, and Dara Torres.  They have also made available footage featuring Sarah Palin speaking at a form on women in leadership that Newsweek hosted in March 2008.  Topics include then-presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton and motherhood’s intersection with politics.

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The cover story from the latest edition of Newsweek, “From Seneca Falls to . . . Sarah Palin?”, is an interesting and insightful piece on whether or not women voters will be swayed by McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin as his VP candidate.  Since there’s been so much talk about it recently, especially on the campus, I thought I’d offer this up since it’s been one of the more well-written and thought-out pieces I’ve come across.

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In this week’s issue of Time, Bill Gates has written a piece arguing for the mainstreaming of creative capitalism.  Since his introduction of the idea at the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier this year (see the YouTube video here) Gates has been strengthening his case for creative capitalism, which is an effort to focus the attention of businesses on problems facing the billions of humans suffering from poverty and helping to alleviate them.  Gates’ Time article draws two methods of getting companies to sign on to a creative capitalist agenda:

  1. That “the poorest two-thirds of the world’s population has some $5 trillion in purchasing power.”  Companies can benefit financially from serving this population, and have done so.  Examples of these are Safaricom, a cell phone company in Kenya that charges by the second so that it’s an affordable service; and Grameen Bank, Muhammad Yunus’ microlending institution.
  2. Where there is no tangible or foreseeable financial benefit, governments and nonprofits need to create a financial benefit through intangible incentives.  It can be as simple as governments and nonprofits can recognize these companies’ efforts through publicizing their good deeds, or as complex as offering creative motivations such as the FDA’s fast-tracking a pharmaceutical company’s drug at the same time they’re introducing a new treatment for a neglected disease such as malaria.

Creative capitalism has been generating quite a bit of buzz since its introduction.  It’s even generated a blog that featured debate on the topic by some of the leading thinkers in economics, which will be published in book form by Simon & Schuster in late 2008.

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If you haven’t seen this already (it’s from August 2007), then now’s the time to check out Forbes Magazine’s wonderful report on The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women, available here.

I came across this while looking at the other lists that Forbes has online, which I was browsing thanks to April Dubrow, student worker in the SOM Library.  April forwarded me another of their list, the Forbes Fictional 15, a list lampooning Forbes’ compilation lists.  The Fictional 15 is a compilation of the top fictitious characters.  Check it out here, as well as their list of 25 Largest Fictional Companies, available here.

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