International news: world must equip women

• Minister for Women Margaret Jay told a United Nations special session on gender equality in New York last week that world leaders must improve women’s choices and opportunities in education and training. “We must equip women to play a full and equal part in the 21st century economy by lifelong learning programmes which include the new technologies and the new skills.” At the conference, the minister launched a report of the UK’s work done to improve women’s lives worldwide through its development work.

Good relations with manager keep staff in jobs

• A Gallup survey carried out in the US confirms that employees tend to stay in jobs where they are supervised by empathetic bosses. According the poll, employees’ length of tenure is determined by the nature of their relationships with their bosses. Charles O’Reilly, a visiting professor at Harvard Business School, told the New York Times, “It’s taken a tight labour market for employers to think through the social contract they are striking with people. When job opportunities are plentiful, people with crummy bosses leave.”

Anti-bias moves welcomed – with provisos

• The European Union’s economic and social committee said it “broadly welcomes” the European Commission’s package of anti-discrimination measures but has set out six areas for change. It says that in the framework directive on equal treatment in employment and occupation that employers should be liable for harassment only in situations which are clearly under the employer’s control and where the employer knows about the harassment and has allowed the harassment to continue. And it suggests that more effort should be given to researching and developing the benefits which equality of opportunity can bring to business.

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