September 26, 2014
'Imposed Ignorance': Public Forum on Federal Science Policy
"Carol Goar of the Toronto Star will be moderating a public forum on the topic of 'Imposed Ignorance': On what evidence does Ottawa base its policies?' The distinguished panel members leading the discussion are Munir Sheikh, former Chief Statistician of Canada; Mel Cappe, former Clerk of the Privy Council and a member of the Order of Canada; and J. David Hulchanski, Professor of Social Work at U of T, and a respected critic of the federal government's decision to abolish the long-form census."
When: September 30, 2014 at 6PM
Where: University of Toronto, in the Campbell Conference Facility of the Munk School of Global Affairs
Please see the flyer linked here (2 pages, PDF) for more details and information about registration.
Research for a Fairer World Ends
"The closing of NSI [North-South Institute]constitutes the jettisoning of a critically important tool of Canadian leadership internationally, exercised not through Canadian military or economic might, but rather through our capacity to generate and globally disseminate knowledge and best-practice alternatives. In 2011, 2012 and 2013, NSI was internationally recognized as the world's leading development policy think-tank with an annual budget of less than $3-million."
The Globe and Mail, September 22, 2014: "North-South Institute: We've lost a Canadian asset," by Paul Martin, Joe Clark, Ed Broadbent and Joseph Ingram
"The Board of Directors of The North-South Institute (NSI) has made the challenging decision to close its doors."
"Since 1976 when NSI took up its mission, 'Research for a Fairer World,' the Institute has not only provided evidence-based policy research, but has contributed to the capacity development of a significant number of today's leading southern research organizations. These partners are making important contributions to the development of policies and programs in their own countries."
The North-South Institute, September 2014: "The North-South Institute Announces Closure"
Everybody Knows... CEOs Earn Too Much
"People all around the world are broadly unaware of how wide the pay gap is, and they are almost universally of the opinion that CEOs should be paid much, much less, according to a new study from Harvard Business School. According to the survey data, people in the US think that the ideal pay gap between an unskilled worker and a CEO is 6.9 -- or 50 times less than the real gap."
"Pay underestimation and support for a much lower ratio cut across political beliefs and socioeconomic status"
Quartz, September 23, 2014: "People worldwide think CEOs should make a tiny fraction of what they do," by Max Nisen
"Rumblings of discontent about executive wages, the 1%, and wealth gaps know no borders. And neither does fierce debate about income inequality in general. But until now, it's been relatively unclear how much people think CEOs should really make compared to other workers on a global scale."
HBR Blog Network, September 23, 2014: "CEOs Get Paid Too Much, According to Pretty Much Everyone in the World," by Gretchen Gavett
First National Study on Canada's Sex Industry
"Researchers from around the world are in Ottawa this week to hear findings from the first national study on Canada's sex industry that seriously undermine the bill's assumptions that most people who sell sex are victims and those who buy sex are fiends. While the study is unlikely to influence the new legislation, it provides rare insight into the lives of Canadians who buy and sex sell. It also adds to the body of evidence available for the inevitable Charter challenge."
"'Sex workers are average Canadians. They're Caucasian, in their 30s and 40s, and have education and training outside of high school. Most of them don't feel exploited, they don't see buyers as oppressors,' the study's lead author Cecilia Benoit, a researcher at the Centre for Addictions Research of British Columbia, told Maclean's. 'They're not weird, unusual people. They are people trying to do the best they can with the tools they have to live their lives.'"
"The five-year study began in 2011 and is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Researchers interviewed 218 sex workers, 1,252 clients, 30 spouses or intimate partners of sex workers, 61 managers of escort or massage businesses, and 80 law enforcement officials. The interviewees were from six cities: St. John's, N.L., Montreal, Kitchener, Ont., Fort McMurray, Alta., and Victoria."
Macleans, September 22, 2014: "First national study sheds new light on sex work in Canada," by Rachel Browne
"The ultimate goal of the project is to broaden the knowledge base relative to the sexual service industry in Canada and to produce knowledge that can usefully inform policies and practices aimed at improving the safety and health of all involved in the industry. This paper is a first step in fulfilling that mandate. But in order for us to reach our goal of broadening the knowledge base, we need to engage a wide network of collaborators (people in the industry, policy makers, providers of health and social services, and the community at large)in the process of reflecting on and understanding the emerging picture of the Canadian sex industry."
Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Institute of Gender & Health, September 22, 2014: "Gender, Violence and Health: Contexts of vulnerabilities, resiliencies and care among people in the sex industry," by Cecilia Benoit, Chris Atchison, Lauren Casey, Mikael Jansson, Bill McCarthy, Rachel Phillips, Bill Reimer, Dan Reist and Frances M. Shaver (26 pages, PDF)
Women in Film: A Study of Discrimination and Stereotyping
"The first-ever global study on female characters in popular films, launched today, reveals deep-seated discrimination and pervasive stereotyping of women and girls by the international film industry. The study was commissioned by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, with support from UN Women and The Rockefeller Foundation and conducted by Stacy L. Smith (PhD) and her research team at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California."
"The investigation analyses popular films across the most profitable countries and territories internationally, including: Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Russia, South Korea, United States, United Kingdom, as well as UK-US collaborations."
UNWomen, September 22, 2014: "Press release: Global film industry perpetuates discrimination against women"
"Women the world over face stark disparities in health, finance, education, politics, and other arenas. Persistent gender inequality may threaten economic growth and/or social progress. At the most micro level, discrimination impedes girls and women from achieving their individual hopes and dreams. Through its Millennium Development Goals, the United Nations has championed an increase in equality for women and girls across different sectors by 2015. Despite a push to promote females worldwide, one example of where progress remains stagnant is the U.S. film industry."
Read the executive summary of the research here (16 pages, PDF).
Gena Davis Institute on Gender in the Media, September 22, 2014: "Gender Bias Without Borders"
Why Aren't Women Advancing At Work? Ask a Transgender Person.
"Trans people are bringing entirely new ways of approaching the discussion [of gender bias in the workplace]. Because trans people are now staying in the same careers (and sometimes the very same jobs) after they change genders, they are uniquely qualified to discuss the difference between how men and women experience the workplace. Their experience is as close to the scientific method as we can get: By isolating and manipulating gender as a variable and holding all other variables -- skill, career, personality, talent -- constant, these individuals reveal exactly the way one's outward appearance of gender affects day-to-day interactions. If we truly want to understand women at work, we should listen carefully to trans men and trans women: They can tell us more about gender in the workplace than just about anyone."
"Ben Barres is a biologist at Stanford who lived and worked as Barbara Barres until he was in his forties. For most of his career, he experienced bias, but didn't give much weight to it -- seeing incidents as discrete events. (When he solved a tough math problem, for example, a professor said, 'You must have had your boyfriend solve it.') When he became Ben, however, he immediately noticed a difference in his everyday experience: 'People who don't know I am transgendered treat me with much more respect,' he says. He was more carefully listened to and his authority less frequently questioned. He stopped being interrupted in meetings. At one conference, another scientist said, 'Ben gave a great seminar today -- but then his work is so much better than his sister's.' (The scientist didn't know Ben and Barbara were the same person.) 'This is why women are not breaking into academic jobs at any appreciable rate,' he wrote in response to Larry Summers's famous gaffe implying women were less innately capable at the hard sciences. 'Not childcare. Not family responsibilities,' he says. 'I have had the thought a million times: I am taken more seriously."
Click here to continue reading.
New Republic, August 28, 2014: "Why Aren't Women Advancing At Work? Ask a Transgender Person.," by Jessica Nordell
CTV News, September 1, 2014: "Transgender woman says community faces employment discrimination," by Clare Clancy
The Globe and Mail, September 5, 2014:"Performance review or personality critique? For female employees, it can go either way," by Erin Anderssen
Fortune, August 26, 214: "The abrasiveness trap: High-achieving men and women are described differently in reviews," by Kieran Snyder
The Globe and Mail, May 1, 2014: "Men think they're better leaders, but this study suggests no one else does," by Erin Anderssen
Journal of Applied Psychology, April 28, 2014: "Gender and Perceptions of Leadership Effectiveness: A Meta-Analysis of Contextual Moderators," Samantha C. Paustian-Underdahl, Lisa Slattery Walker, and David J. Woehr (18 pages, PDF)
Age Eclipsing Gender as Canada's Major Income Gap
"A sobering new report being released Tuesday [September 23, 2014] by the Conference Board of Canada says the income gap between older and younger workers has expanded massively since 1980s, leaving today's twentysomethings the first generation of Canadians to be worse off than their parents."
The Globe and Mail, September 23, 2014: "Age eclipsing gender as Canada's major income gap, report warns," by Barrie McKenna
The Conference Board of Canada, September 2014: "The Bucks Stop Here: Trends in Income Inequality Between Generations," by Vijay Gill, James Knowles, and David Stewart-Patterson
"Organizations must understand generational differences in work styles and preferences to drive their competitive edge in what will become a more competitive labour market, according to new research from The Conference Board of Canada."
"The report, Workplace Preferences of Millennials and Gen X: Attracting and Retaining the 2020 Workforce, reveals similarities as well as differences between these two generations of workers and offers suggestions on how organizations could improve their ability to attract and retain employees in both groups. Gen X is only about two-thirds the size of the Boomer generation, and by 2020, Millennials will represent the largest cohort of working Canadians."
The Conference Board of Canada, September 9, 2014: "Canadian Organizations Need to Separate Facts from Stereotypes to Capitalize on Future Workforce"
The Conference Board of Canada, June 2014: "Workplace Preferences of Millennials and Gen X: Attracting and Retaining the 2020 Workforce," by Naoko Hawkins, Jane Vellone, and Ruth Wright
Note: The University of Toronto community has access to these publications via The Conference Board of Canada e-library. Click here to find out how to create an account.
Patient Violence Prevention
"'This study is contributing to knowledge about how we can develop [patient violence] prevention,' said Judith Arnetz, a researcher with the Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit who led the study. 'This is a project that is very much in collaboration with hospital stakeholders, and that means both labour and management.'"
"'Compared with workers in other industries, hospital workers have high rates of non-fatal workplace assault injuries,' Arnetz and her colleagues write in the Journal of Advanced Nursing."
The Globe and Mail, September 23, 2014: "Study tracks assaults by patients to try to prevent injury to hospital workers," by Shereen Lehman
Journal of Advanced Nursing, September 23 2014: "Understanding patient-to-worker violence in hospitals: a qualitative analysis of documented incident reports," by Judith E. Arnetz [abstract] (full text is available for the University of Toronto community and other libraries that purchase Wiley Online)
Complete Guide to Flexible Work
"There's a pervasive 'ideal worker bias' toward long hours, a presence in the office, and undervaluing family life, which has historically benefitted men. That means mothers that take flex time lose out on pay and promotions, and that men who do so are sometimes seen as less masculine and see careers suffer as well."
"So when approaching a manager to request flexible work, emphasize the productivity motivation, that flexible workers face fewer interruptions, avoid commuting, and better adapt their hours to particular business needs and their own peaks of productivity."
"Cali Ressler, a former Best Buy HR executive who helped create the company's pioneering flexible work program with Jody Thompson (which has since ended), said managers want to hear about outcomes."
Quartz, September 22, 2014: "The complete guide to flexible work that doesn't kill your career." by Max Nisen
Canada's Love of Small Business Does the Larger Economy Little Good
"Small may be beautiful, but not when it gets to the point of infatuation. We love small businesses. Governments heap rewards on the small. We offer them lower tax rates, more generous R&D tax credits and better capital-gains treatment. And now Ottawa is poised to give small businesses a break on employment insurance as well."
"Unfortunately, our love of the small isn't doing the larger economy any good. It may even be causing harm by creating a perverse disincentive for small companies to grow."
"Larger companies, and particularly fast-growing ones, are more competitive, invest more, offer better wages and benefits and are more likely to become exporters. And when they do that, they become job-creation machines."
"Put simply: Growing companies, not small ones, drive economic growth."
The Globe and Mail, September 21, 2014: "Canada's love of small business does the larger economy little good," by Barrie McKenna
Deloitte, 2014: "The future of productivity: Smart exporting for Canadian companies"
Deloitte, 2013: "The future of productivity: A wake-up call for Canadian companies"
Minimum Wage for Tipped Workers
"The federal minimum cash wage for tipped workers has been frozen at $2.13 per hour for 23 years, and now represents less than a third of the federal minimum wage ($7.25 per hour) -- its lowest share on record. The inadequate tipped minimum wage is particularly detrimental to women, who represent two-thirds of tipped workers nationally. Increasing wages for the predominately female workers at the bottom of the pay scale can reduce poverty and help close the wage gap."
National Women's Law Centre, September 2014: "States with Equal Minimum Wages for Tipped Workers Have Smaller Wage Gaps for Women Overall and Lower Poverty Rates for Tipped Workers," by Katherine Gallagher Robbins, Julie Vogtman and Joan Entmacher (4 pages, PDF)
National Women's Law Centre Blog, September 4, 2014: "Five Reasons to Raise the Minimum Wage for Tipped Workers," Julie Vogtman and Katherine Gallagher Robbins
"For the millions of workers who rely on tips, the federal tipped minimum wage is grossly inadequate, according to new research from the Economic Policy Institute. The federal sub minimum wage for tipped workers, or the 'tipped minimum wage,' is currently set at $2.13 an hour and, unlike the minimum wage, has not been increased since 1991. The erosion in value of the tipped minimum wage has led to drastically different economic conditions for tipped workers compared to the overall workforce."
Economic Policy Institute, July 10, 2014: "Twenty Three Years and Still Waiting for Change: Why It's Time to Give Tipped Workers the Regular Minimum Wage," by Sylvia A. Allegretto and David Cooper (27 pages, PDF)
Green Energy Alternatives and Climate Change Summit
"The shift to clean energy is producing huge economic gains, but Canada risks being left behind if the federal government doesn't get on board, a new report warns."
"That's the message from energy and climate think tank Clean Energy Canada, which paints a picture of a world increasingly embracing -- and investing in -- green energy alternatives."
The Globe and Mail, September 22, 2014: "Canada risks being left behind as green energy takes off," by Richard Blackwell
Clean Energy Canada, September 21, 2014: "Tracking the Energy Revolution Builds On Wave of Hope"
Download the PDF (19 pages) version of Tracking the Energy Revolution here
Climate Change Summit
The New York Times, September 21, 2014: "Taking a Call for Climate Change to the Streets," by Lisa W. Foderaro
Quartz, September 22, 2014: "China's carbon emissions have hit a new record, but it's the next few years that matter most," Lily Kuo
UN Climate Summit 2014 [website]
Smart Inclusive Cities: Collaborative Technologies Are Transforming Immigrant Integration
"For disadvantaged and diverse populations, accessing city services through a smartphone can help overcome language or literacy barriers and thus increase interactions with city officials. For those with language needs, smartphones allow language training to be accessed anywhere and at any time. More broadly, cities have begun mining the rich datasets that smartphones collect, to help attune services to the needs of their whole population. A new crop of social and civic apps offer new tools to penetrate hard-to-reach populations, including newly arrived and transient groups."
Migration Policy Institute, September 2014: "Smart Inclusive Cities: How New Apps, Big Data, and Collaborative Technologies Are Transforming Immigrant Integration," by Meghan Benton
The Best Places to Live
"NOT New York nor Paris nor Tokyo. Urbanites in Britain's former dominions should count themselves lucky, according to data from the Economist Intelligence Unit, our corporate cousin."
"Its annual 'liveability index' puts eight of the ten most comfortable places in Australia, Canada or New Zealand. The index crunches 30 factors related to things like safety, healthcare, educational resources, infrastructure and environment in 140 cities."
The Economist, August 19, 2014: "The best places to live: A data-driven ranking of the most liveable cities," by G.S., K.N.C. and G.D
The Economist, August 2014: "A Summary of the Liveability Ranking and Overview" (14 pages, PDF)
OECD Employment Outlook 2014
"Unemployment will remain well above its pre-crisis levels next year in most OECD countries, despite modest declines over the rest of 2014 and in 2015, according to a new OECD report."
"The [2014 Employment] Outlook also analyses the impact of the crisis on wages. It finds that real wage growth has come to a virtual standstill since 2009 and wages actually fell in a number of countries by between 2% and 5% a year on average, including in Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Spain."
"This slowdown has been fairly evenly spread across the earnings distribution. However, slower real wage growth, and cuts in wages in some cases, result in real hardship for low-paid workers, the report warns."
OECD Newsroom, September 3, 2014: "Jobs recovery to remain weak in 2015, says OECD"
"The 2014 edition of the OECD Employment Outlook reviews recent labour market trends and short-term prospects in OECD and key emerging economies. It zooms in on how the crisis has affected earnings, provides country comparisons of job quality, examines the causes and consequences of non-regular employment, and estimates the impact of qualifications and skills on labour market outcomes."
· Read the executive summary online
· Browse our data visualisation
· Consult detailed country highlights
OECD, September 3, 2014: "OECD Employment Outlook 2014" (294 pages, PDF)
Book of the Week
Voices at Work: Continuity and Change in the Common Law World, edited by Alan Bogg and Tonia Novitz. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2014. 481 p. ISBN 9780199683130
This book features a chapter by Sara Slinn and Anthony Forsyth entitled "Promoting Worker Voice through Good Faith Bargaining Laws: The Canadian and Australian Experience".
From the publisher: "This edited collection is the culmination of a comparative project on Voices at Work funded by the Leverhulme Trust 2010 - 2013. The book aims to shed light on the problematic concept of worker 'voice' by tracking its evolution and its complex interactions with various forms of law. Contributors to the volume identify the scope for continuity of legal approaches to voice and the potential for change in a sample of industrialised English speaking common law countries, namely Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK, and USA. These countries, facing broadly similar regulatory dilemmas, have often sought to borrow and adapt certain legal mechanisms from one another. The variance in the outcomes of any attempts at 'borrowing' seems to demonstrate that, despite apparent membership of a 'common law' family, there are significant differences between industrial systems and constitutional traditions, thereby casting doubt on the notion that there are definitive legal solutions which can be applied through transplantation. Instead, it seems worth studying the diverse possibilities for worker voice offered in divergent contexts, not only through traditional forms of labour law, but also such disciplines as competition law, human rights law, international law and public law. In this way, the comparative study highlights a rich multiplicity of institutions and locations of worker voice, configured in a variety of ways across the English-speaking common law world."
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