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14 December 2021
Britain: BT publishes a company-wide Manifesto setting new inclusion targets
On 01 December, the UK telecommunications group unveiled its new plan of attack for ‘accelerating growth through tech that is responsible, inclusive and sustainable’ for the next ten years. Built on three axes namely, responsibility, inclusion, and sustainability, this programme includes a plan to have as many women as men in the company by 2030 (50/50 gender split). Again by 2030, BT, which did not provide figures on the group’s current gender split across its 100,000 employees, also aims to have 25% of...
9 December 2021
Britain: toolkit published on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the recruitment process
Called Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the job interview process: Toolkit for employers, careers advisers and hiring platforms, this information document distributed in November was produced by the Institute for Employment Studies (IES, UK based centre of research and consultancy in employment policy and human resource issues) in partnership with the University of Sussex Business School. The guide aims to demystify relevant new technologies and inform employers about the processes involved with these new...
18 November 2021
Great Britain: Marks & Spencer offering employees individual pronoun badges
Employees at the UK supermarket chain, Marks & Spencer (M&S), can choose to wear a badge specifying the personal pronouns with which they wish to be identified. M&S that recently revealed this information in a LinkedIn post, said that employees can opt to wear “whichever combination of pronouns” they choose. In office settings where badges aren’t used, employees are encouraged to specify their preferred pronouns in their email signatures. David Parke, Food PR Manager in Croydon, UK, posted a...
15 November 2021
United Kingdom: law firm Stephenson Harwood launches electric car scheme for staff
In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from next year, as encouraged by the draft resolution from the COP26 climate change summit, UK-headquartered law firm Stephenson Harwood has announced that it will offer an electric car leasing scheme to 550 employees in London. The law firm, which employs 1,100 people across the globe, says the “benefit” announced at the start of November will be offered via a “salary sacrifice” model, whereby staff can opt to reduce their salary in exchange for a non-cash...
10 November 2021
Great Britain: government looks to further improve female representation in the upper rungs of FTSE companies
On 01 November, the UK government announced the establishment of a new five-year review called the FTSE Women Leaders Review. The overall ambition of the review is to increase female representation at the top of large stock-market listed companies. Specific targets are expected to be disclosed shortly, along with the name of the person responsible for steering the review. “UK business has taken great strides when it comes to gender diversity at board level, underlining the success of the government’s voluntary...
4 November 2021
UN: draft Treaty on corporate accountability for human rights violations still stalled
Continuing the process launched in 2014, the open-ended intergovernmental working group under the aegis of the UN met in Geneva, between 25-29 October for a 7th session of negotiations to establish a legally binding instrument regulating the activities of companies with regard to human rights. While the United States re-joined the process in 2021, after President Trump pulled the US out three years previously, the text remains blocked by the wait-and-see attitude of major players like the European Union. Crucial...
2 November 2021
Netherlands: Ikea introduces paid leave for transgender employees undergoing a gender transition program
Ikea has reached a one-year ‘inclusive’ collective bargaining agreement with the FNV trade union (01 October 2021 – 31 August 2022), which is designed to reduce differences between employees within the company. In it, the Swedish home furniture and furnishings retail chain has notably decided to provide paid leave for transgender people seeking to change gender. These employees will be able to take 24 weeks of leave over a 10-year period for medical and non-medical treatment. Ikea is the first business...
28 October 2021
Great Britain: retail sector calls for a law to prevent all forms of abuse in subcontracting activities
Tesco supermarkets, John Lewis and Primark stores, online retailer Asos, insurance company Aviva, food multinational Mondelez (owns Cadbury), Mars, Twinings, Unilever, and Microsoft are among the 36 companies that wrote to the UK government on 22 October calling for a law that would require companies to verify that their subcontracting chains respect human rights and the environment.
27 October 2021
Leaders of 26 major companies commit to eliminating gender inequality by 2030
On 18 October at the opening of the Women’s Forum 2021 in Milan and ahead of the 30-31 October G20 summit to be held in Rome, 26 leaders of major corporations signed a ‘zero gap’ pact. Through this pact, the leaders of companies such as Gucci, BNP Paribas, Engie, Enel, Publicis, and Microsoft have committed to eliminating gender inequality by 2030 and to ‘putting women at the heart of the economy.’ According to the think tank’s barometer, women represent 52% of the world’s workforce, yet...
21 October 2021
China: the war against overworking laid bare on a massive spreadsheet
Since 12 October a spreadsheet, accessible via the Tencent QQ messenger platform has been making waves across the Chinese social networks. Along the columns are detailed the names of companies, their location, their precise working hours with clocking in and out times, the number of days worked, the length meal breaks, and available rest days, etc. In short, it provides a comprehensive overview of work patterns with data that has been populated in real time on an anonymous basis by Chinese tech industry employees,...