Monthly Archives: June 2019

‘Why are Asian women’s feet so small?’ Discrimination rife in Aussie workplaces

Financial Review Business Summit Jason Pellegrino, MD Google , . Wednesday 8th March 2017 AFR photo Louie Douvis .
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Ming Long, who until recently was group executive fund manager of $2.5 million Investa Office Fund.28th July 2016.Photo: Steven Siewert

“Why are Asian women’s feet so small? So they can stand closer to the sink!” a male employee joked with his Asian colleague, then got angry when she didn’t like it.

“Why are you so uptight?” he asked. “You’re misconstruing what I’m saying.”

She replied: “That’s not it, it’s just that I want to be treated with respect.”

Explicit bias, racist and sexist comments and offensive “jokes” are rife in corporate , according to a report from Diversity Council and the University of Sydney Business School, which asked 230 culturally diverse businesswomen (defined broadly in the report as someone with a non-Anglo Saxon background) about their experiences in the workplace. Women told to ‘move overseas’

The tale above was one of many similar stories featured in the report, Cracking the Glass-Cultural Ceiling: Future Proofing Your Business in the 21st Century. The report found only 12 per cent of culturally diverse women surveyed strongly agreed they had the same opportunities in their workplace as anyone else with commensurate ability and experience.

Some women said “well-meaning” mentors had recommended they move overseas where their “difference” would be viewed as an asset rather than a liability. “They see you as three strikes and you’re out – a woman, a woman with children, and a woman with an accent,” a respondent said.

Male Anglo-Celtic leaders preferred and selected people who dressed, looked and sounded like themselves. “It’s like a voting system that doesn’t work because, well, look who’s voting,” another respondent said.

Muslim women also reported discrimination and intolerance. “Stereotypes about Muslim women result in them being written off as leadership material,” a respondent said. “They see a hijab and think I must be subjugated and I’m submissive and passive and therefore not able to lead.” Not valued

The report found that, while 88 per cent of culturally diverse female talent surveyed planned to advance to a very senior role, only one in 10 strongly agreed that their leadership traits were recognised or that their opinions were valued and respected.

Further, 26 per cent said cultural barriers in the workplace had caused them to scale back at work, including reducing their ambitions and working fewer hours. And 60 per cent of culturally diverse female executives and 79 per cent of senior managers surveyed were considering leaving their employers in the next year.

The report suggests raising awareness about common gendered cultural stereotypes, that leaders and colleagues commit to understanding different cultures, and ensure that unconscious bias training considers this. In the same way companies are setting and reporting on gender-based targets, the report suggests they also report publicly on cultural diversity inclusion and outcomes.

The number of culturally diverse women in ASX100 and ASX200 companies is minuscule. Only 2 per cent of ASX directors are culturally diverse women. In 2015, there were fewer than 25 female ASX200 senior executives, chief executives or chief financial officers, and 10 or less women in each of these positions in ASX100. The numbers of culturally diverse women in these categories were even smaller. Time for quotas?

AMP Capital Funds Management and DCA board member Ming Long, who participated in the research, told Fairfax Media it was time for gender-based quotas, noting they had worked in Sweden. “The case for quotas is getting much stronger because we’re not seeing the pace of change we need for women and, when it comes to ethnic women, we’re still in the dark ages.”

Ms Long said given women were making the bulk of purchasing decisions, it made sense to have more women, including women of non-Anglo saxon backgrounds, on boards.

The report notes that the n “multicultural market” has an estimated purchasing power of more than $75 billion a year, while the global buying power of women is estimated to reach $40 trillion by 2018.

“I’d love to challenge leaders to actually speak to ethnic women they have in their business, get to know them and earn their trust, ” Ms Long said. “They’ve probably been overlooked for leadership. Please, look beyond gender and ethnicity. You might actually find there’s a gem in your midst.”

Google, Aurecon, the Commonwealth Bank and Deloitte also supported the research. Google had to face hard questions following the anti-diversity memo from one of its US-based engineers James Damore.

Google and New Zealand managing director Jason Pellegrino said: “We strive to create an environment where everyone can feel comfortable bringing their best selves to work, so they can be more innovative, creative, and inspired.”

Female ASX leaders with non-Anglo-Celtic cultural origins make up:

??? 15 of all 1482 chief executives

??? 44 of all 2327 senior executives

??? 188 of all 7491 directors

??? 55 of all 1350 chief financial officers.

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The incredible shrinking sharemarket

A strange thing has been happening on the world’s stockmarkets over the past couple of decades: Despite all of the hype and headlines (mostly justified) about the great new IPOs (new sharemarket listings) here and overseas, the number of public companies has actually been falling.
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Just recently, The Economist reported that in 1996 there were 7322 companies listed on the US bourses; a number which had fallen to only 3671 earlier this year. That’s near enough to a clean halving of companies on those exchanges.

And that’s in the world’s premier capital market. If your business relies on listing fees, brokerage and assorted services, as the NYSE and NASDAQ does, that’s a seriously unwelcome decline.

But the decline has some more important side effects for investors. And not just in the United States. Indeed, one of the biggest recent n IPOs wasn’t on the ASX at all – the tech superstar Atlassian bypassed us altogether and listed directly on the NASDAQ exchange.

Part of the answer is the rise of private equity firms. Not only in number, but in ability to raise previously unimagined amounts of capital.

Put simply, companies – large and small – just don’t need to go public in the same way they once did. And that can present a problem for investors.

Traditionally, small companies either get larger, go broke or get bought out. Which is fine, as long as the flow of new companies continues.

But when our brewers, our food companies, our miners and our financial services businesses are being bought out by bigger local and international rivals – and corporate raiders – without being replaced, that shrinks the pool of potential investments.

Lastly, think about the newest high-profile businesses. They are, by their very nature, winner-takes-most companies. Amazon doesn’t leave much room for other online retailers. There aren’t many other social networks after Facebook. The increasing concentration of market power within many industries makes it harder to compete – and leaves fewer options for investors.

Lest this be only a story of gloom, remember that the world’s stockmarkets have become much, much bigger – in terms of the aggregate value of all listed companies – over the last 20 years.

So while the number of options available to us is receding, the opportunity to earn attractive returns hasn’t taken a commensurate fall. Foolish takeaway

But it does change the nature of investing to a degree, in two important ways. With fewer small companies, those with the time and inclination may need to work a little harder to find the real potential winners. Companies like Webjet, Integrated Research and Corporate Travel Management.

And if you don’t have the resources or interest, find the large companies that are destined to become larger, because they’re increasingly dominating growing industries. Locally, that might be Ramsay Healthcare and Cochlear and, increasingly, you’ll need to look globally, to the likes of Google and Facebook. To the winners go the (increasingly globalised) spoils.

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Scott Phillips is the Motley Fool’s director of research. You can follow Scott on Twitter @TMFScottP. The Motley Fool’s purpose is to educate, amuse and enrich investors. [email protected]苏州夜总会招聘

How Ainsley ticked off her travel ???bucket list’ in free accommodation

Ainsley Micallef doesn’t have a fairy godmother, but listening to her travel stories you might think that she does. The 40-year-old recently returned to after spending 12 months in Mexico, Guatemala and Costa Rica; a “bucket list” trip where she lived in a succession of deluxe homes.
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“I stayed in gated estates with pools, gyms and tennis courts, beachfront luxury apartments with rooftop pools, resort-style homes and penthouses,” says Micallef. As an international housesitter, this accommodation didn’t cost her a cent.

House sitting within is booming as people try to save money on living expenses, but online sites also list opportunities to live in other people’s homes overseas. Savvy travellers can create an online profile and connect with home owners in desired travel locations, offering home and pet care in exchange for free accommodation.

Brisbane’s Sue Pearse did just that and has been house sitting in different countries ever since. “We always knew we wanted to travel full-time. We just didn’t know how we were going to fund it,” she says. That changed when she read about international house sitting on a travel blog, and she and husband Dave decided to try it out. She describes the nomadic life they’ve created as “one continuous bucket list tick”.

Particularly close to Pearse’s heart is a three-month stint in a 350-year-old converted barn in the Brittany region of France. Having always wanted to live in a French community they both jumped at the opportunity. “We certainly pinched ourselves … Every day we commented ‘Oh my god, I can’t believe this is the life we have’. It completely fulfilled every dream we had of being in another culture.”

Their house sitting responsibilities were minimal – taking care of a low-maintenance cat and keeping an eye on the place. The rest of their time was spent driving a hired Fiat throughout the region, and getting to know their new neighbours.

For Pearse, making these social connections greatly enriched the travel experience. “Straight away we were getting invitations to lunch and dinner. We were busy!” she says. Socialising with new friends helped them learn more about the culture: “Little things that you don’t know if you’re just there for a day or two.”

This was also the case for Micallef, who made so many friends in the Mexican beachside town of Playa Del Carmen that she sees it as a second home. “I was considered a local in Playa Del Carmen and plan to go back there. I created an amazing group of friends.” Part of this was thanks to the welcoming attitude of home owners, who introduced her to friends and even let her use their bikes and car to get around. Related: A guide to a rent-free lifeRelated: The psychology of house sittingRelated: Awkward house sitting moments

While house sitters reap obvious benefits, the advantages do go both ways. Home owners can engage with house sitters via email or Skype to receive updates on their home and pets, and there’s the added bonus of having someone on site if problems arise. Pearse says she and her husband have repaired fences after a storm, and sorted out a water leak that might have otherwise caused extensive damage to the home.

It’s taking these responsibilities seriously that helps build a good reputation. “I’m very quick to say if you don’t like animals – don’t do it!” Micallef says. “It’s a reciprocal arrangement that needs to put the animals first.”

For those happy to meet these obligations and looking for affordable travel, Pearse has nothing but encouragement for potential house sitters. “I’d say just do it. Read other people’s blogs ??? I’ve got a blog. Every day I’m learning about a new couple or single people who are doing it; people with children are doing it. It’s not just for retired people. Go with your style, go with your heart.”

Inside eclectic retreat of artist David Bromley, just up for sale

An important piece of advice agents give vendors about presenting their house for open for inspections is, remove all autobiographical and personality pieces (photographs etc) and minimise clutter.
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Yet this is exactly what you hope artist David Bromley and his wife Yuge haven’t done in marketing their rambling Hepburn Springs country home near Daylesford.

You want to (respectfully) snoop through the private digs of the most eclectic and inventive artistic couple in ??? who have parlayed their taste, idiosyncratic collector impulses and boundless creativity in all zones of the fine arts into a fascinating commercial empire, Bromley & Co ??? to see if the story holds up on the domestic front?

It so does.

Every wall, surface and incidental space of the former Wyuna Guest House that rambles through big, high-ceilinged period rooms that mutate spatially in and out of each other, are so fully furnished and appointed with paintings by David and other artists, with objects both precious and utilitarian, and so much engaging detail, that it becomes a never-ending aesthetic and Bromley-style biographical adventure.

“It’s got heaps going on,” Hocking Stuart agent Nathan Skewes says. “Everywhere you look, there is another nook.”

The room tally of four to seven bedrooms ??? depending on how you configure rooms ??? also includes four or five bathrooms or bathing pavilions, an out-the-back, semi-detached manager/teenager accommodation option, an undercover barbecue room and a laundry in which the walls, cabinetry and ceilings are decorated by David Bromley.

As part of the built fabric these daubings will stay with the house when the private sale, expected to fetch $1.7 million, is concluded. Related: Bromley brings energy to cutting-edge developmentRelated: A tree change could keep property dream aliveRelated: Best places to buy affordable art

Bromley’s recognisable line-drawn nudes on gaily-patterned canvases, and his Enid Blyton-style paintings of children; his bronze or resin sculptures of giant rabbits, pigs and more gambolling children, have made him a household name and an artist n interior designers love to display in their own houses.

Bought unseen off the internet only a few years ago when the Bromleys decided they’d done their time in Byron Bay and wanted to return to the richer cultural feeding grounds in the south, their family weekender marks the first time the substantial old weatherboard in the 2200 square metre garden has been used as a private home.

It was built in the late 1880s in the heyday of Hepburn as a Victorian spa resort and was later a nursing home. Yuge Bromley says that when the couple actually got to see it in the flesh, “we loved it – we’re tinkerers and we knew we could add our touches to it”.

Without doing what most people taking possession of a period building usually do, and gutting and modernising it out of all recognition, the couple did their interior design thing, their way.

They introduced interesting colour effects (lime green kitchen benches), unexpected room connections – a main “family bedroom” that steps through a huge wood framed circle into a dressing room; quirky inventions, hanging racks made of copper plumbing pipes, and wallpaper made of blown up, black and white images of 1960s rock stars.

“We never set out to reconfigure places. David says ‘there is always a good reason why places were built the way they were’. So what we do instead,” Yuge says, “is add our touch on top of the character that’s already there.”

Having recently installed an exceptional glass mosaic wall that will stay in the outdoor bathing pavilion, the restless creatives and their two young children are selling to move into another house they own locally.

“We realised there was nothing else we could add to the house and we need to keep doing things,” Yuge says.

Mr Skewes says although the house has only come onto the market this week, there is already good interest. It’s certainly an usual proposition, even in a town increasingly popular with wealthy Melburnians taking to it as an alternative retreat destination to the Mornington Peninsula.

The agent can see huge scope for the old Bromley house as “a fantastic holiday rental for group accommodation – hen’s parties, that sort of thing”.


Twiggy, here’s how we can get the Bledisloe Cup back

This is where a mere journalist tries to give a successful billionaire gratuitous investment advice: Mr Forrest, if you really want to help rugby union in Western , don’t throw scores of millions of dollars at the Western Force.
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Andrew Forrest offered the n Rugby Union $50 million to keep the WA franchise in the Super Rugby competition next year. It was a very generous offer, a passionate expression of support for the WA team. The excuse used by the ARU for rejecting the fortune – that the offer was “late”, as if the lockout laws were in force at the ARU boardroom – was lame.

Now “Twiggy” is promising to set up an alternative international competition for the Force This is an extraordinary development, a gesture of Russian oligarch proportions.

It’s a bit like ‘if you won’t let my kids play with you, I’ll hire some other kids who will’.

Twiggy’s “IPL of rugby” would be a second-rate competition without the first-rate sides – i.e. the Kiwis.

There is a not-unreasonable argument that the Super Rugby competition has become more than a little silly in trying to expand to five nations, that it could do better with a two-tier promotion-and-relegation structure. All the n franchises would be in second division at present, but with the hope of making first grade.

But a quick $50 million or $100 million for either a rebel competition or the ARU won’t really help WA or n rugby.

Mr Forrest, you didn’t become a multi-billionaire with a quick cash splash. Some of your earlier, er, “less fortunate” ventures were a bit like that.

You made the very big time by building Fortescue up from zilch. It took time, including some very difficult times, to finally get there.

So it is with n rugby right now. The game they play in heaven is going through hell here. Short-termism and petty fiefdoms have let it down. Those problems can’t be fixed quickly.

You’d be fooling yourself to think n rugby has anywhere near the depth required to be consistently competitive with the very best. One close test every few years does not a Bledisloe Cup make.

Money is certainly needed, but as a long-term investment in the game. Instead of taking money from the kids and amateurs, the professionals have to put money back into the base of the game. In mining terminology, there’s a lot of survey work required, vast mapping and sampling and a comprehensive drilling program before the gold can be mined.

Specifically, rugby has to peg out the kids. It’s been losing them to claim jumpers from other codes. They have to be fought for.

Here’s one simple investment that would eventually pay off more than a “rugby IPL”:

I’m a little rusty but back in the day when coaching junior rugby, only the relatively few elite private primary schools played competitive sport against each other. The state schools, the Catholic schools, did not. That seems not to have changed.

Change it. You can’t rely on parents taking their children to rugby instead of myriad other activities. You have to take the rugby to them. And you have to take it to the children who don’t have the parental support necessary to play any club sport.

(On a sideline once, I met a bloke who said his job was headmaster of a school that had being expelled from another school as its entrance requirement. He said 90-something per cent of his pupils had never played team sport.)

Provide the development officers to coach and organise mixed-team Walla-rugby (touch) competitions that run all winter. Provide the buses and the insurance and the grounds. Capture their sweet little hearts with the unbridled joy of running with and passing a rugby ball, of banding together against a common foe, of competing, of learning to win and lose.

The schools and teachers would love it – someone else taking the kids off their hands. Heavens, they let in AFL types just for catch-and-kick stuff. For reliable, regular, very professionally organised, wonderfully healthy sport for all shapes, sizes, skills and sexes – they’re yours and off to the staff room. The better teachers will want to be part of it themselves.

And the kids, oh, the kids more than love it. I’ve seen it happen twice in primary schools. Unfortunately they were just one-off tournaments, one a knock-out tackle comp, the other a half-day touch festival.

After a few weeks training, the mixed Walla-rugby team went so very close to winning the school a new TV. It was huge, as was the cheer squad.

As for the boys’ rugby, I’d like to tell you a little north shore Catholic school, with a core of club rugby boys bolstered by classmates quickly converted from soccer and Aussie Rules, overcame the odds of drawing a much larger school from rugby league heartland as their first opponents.

But they didn’t. They weren’t disgraced. They were certainly tackled. They were bruised and scraped. They never stopped. They scored tries, but not enough. And with red and green frogs all round after the game, they were happy. They’d all played rugby together. And not all of the heathens stayed with soccer thereafter.

Invest $50 million in rugby by making it cheap and welcoming for primary school boys and girls to play. Make junior club rugby much cheaper than the other codes. Ensure the highest standards of sportsmanship. Make it the game of choice.

Do that and rugby will grow, even in the hard-core AFL states. It will take years, but it would win Bledisloe Cups. Get enough cattle, enough enthusiasm, it will happen.

It’s called long-term thinking, the sort of thing that’s required to find an ore body, prove it up, and eventually mine it.

It’s not going out and buying a team or competition. Leave that to the Russians.