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Archive for the ‘Principled Leadership’ Category

“Domestic Violence: Your Coworker’s Dark Secret” is a Fortune online article that blew my mind.  First, I was surprised to see that someone in the established media was willing to take on the subject; Second, it’s a well-written, well-researched, and heart-rending article that captivated my attention.  From the article:

Now a small but growing group of CEOs is saying that it’s time for corporate America to confront the issue head-on. Domestic violence affects the bottom line, they say. It threatens workplace safety. As an HR issue, it’s much more volatile and potentially dangerous than drug addiction or alcoholism.

“I’d like to see more done about this,” says Thomas J. Wilson, CEO of Allstate, one of the CEOs who sees it as a major issue affecting employees, customers, or both. At Verizon Wireless, which handled about 100 abuse cases internally in the past year and roughly 225 more through its employee-assistance programs, “the numbers speak for themselves,” says Martha Delehanty, vice president of human resources. “This is an issue we must address.”

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In a study of three large companies spanning 39 states, 10% of workers who responded to survey questions said, “Right now I am going through this,” says Anne O’Leary-Kelly, a management professor who conducted the study.

The article gives stark portrayals of the women who have faced spousal abuse, and seen it spill over into their work lives.  More heartening, however, are the workplaces that have taken the initiative and responded to this blatant disrespect for human lives with an outpouring of support for the abused.

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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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The United Nations, International Labour Organization, and Cornell University’s ILR school have collaborated on “Green Jobs: Toward Sustainable Work in a Low-Carbon World”, which was released today. It’s billed as “the first comprehensive study of the ‘green economy’ and its impact on the work world” and features some interesting findings, as well as taking the argument beyond going “green” for the environment’s sake and using this as a platform to address economic inequalities. From Cornell’s press release:

Optimistic findings in the report include:

  • green jobs could grow by the millions by 2040
  • billions are being spent this decade to retrofit buildings, creating jobs
  • “clean tech” investment shot up 60 percent from 2006 to 2007, to $148 billion
  • renewable energy jobs – now at 2.3 million — are expanding rapidly

Formidable challenges to advancing the green economy are also cited:

  • only a tiny portion of work worldwide can be described as green
  • many “green jobs” may be “dirty, dangerous and difficult”
  • energy research spending is down for government and the private sector
  • green employment does not have a foothold in most developing countries, home to 80 percent of the world’s workers.

The report goes on to state:

There is nothing intrinsically fair or just about either the process of becoming green or the end result . . . . The issue is not simply about the transition itself, but what follows the transition – the goal being a new mode of production and consumption that allows for greater social inclusion, equity, and opportunity.

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