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The motherhood penalty; Stevens hard to impress; US$2.5 tln not enough; Draghi creates a cash problem; household budgets; capital vs democracy; solar grunt; Dilbert & more

The motherhood penalty; Stevens hard to impress; US$2.5 tln not enough; Draghi creates a cash problem; household budgets; capital vs democracy; solar grunt; Dilbert & more

Here's my edition of Top 10 links from around the Internet today.

We have a Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule for Top 10. Bernard will be back with his version this Wednesday. We will have another guest posting on Friday.

As always, we welcome your additions in the comments below or via email to

See all previous Top 10s here.

1. Motherhood penalty / Fatherhood bonus
Today's NY Times has a useful review of a key gender pay issue. It challenges old-fashioned notions about parenthood.

“Employers read fathers as more stable and committed to their work; they have a family to provide for, so they’re less likely to be flaky,” Ms. Budig said.

“That is the opposite of how parenthood by women is interpreted by employers. The conventional story is they work less and they’re more distractible when on the job.”

Despite our country having had women Prime Ministers, Supreme Court judges, head of state, these old fashioned views linger even here.

I doubt regulation ['affirmative action'] will fix anything. In fact that is likely to undermine confidence in leadership. The solution will come from attitude changes when successful women leaders push themselves forward. We have some great examples in New Zealand, but they are 'undiscovered'. Why is that? And why the continuing discrepancies when in fact most HR people are women?

Here is Claire Cain Miller:

One of the worst career moves a woman can make is to have children. Mothers are less likely to be hired for jobs, to be perceived as competent at work or to be paid as much as their male colleagues with the same qualifications.

For men, meanwhile, having a child is good for their careers. They are more likely to be hired than childless men, and tend to be paid more after they have children.

These differences persist even after controlling for factors like the hours people work, the types of jobs they choose and the salaries of their spouses. So the disparity is not because mothers actually become less productive employees and fathers work harder when they become parents — but because employers expect them to.

The data about the motherhood penalty and the fatherhood bonus present a clear-cut look at American culture’s ambiguous feelings about gender and work. Even in the age of “Lean In,” when women with children run Fortune 500 companies and head the Federal Reserve, traditional notions about fathers as breadwinners and mothers as caregivers remain deeply ingrained. Employers, it seems, have not yet caught up to the fact that women can be both mothers and valuable employees.

2. New champion?
We don't impress the Aussies, but we do impress the Europeans. Last Wednesday, RBA governor Glenn Stevens gave a speech in Adelaide explaining his recent no-change policy rate decision. He talked up the virtues of Australia's 'modest growth' - and he mentioned New Zealand. He sees our 'progress' only as a consequence of "the task of re-building much of their second largest city [as it] gets into full swing".

Actually, as we know, it is a much broader story than that. We will get our own update to Q2 economic growth next week and it is unlikely the line in the chart Stevens highlighted below will slip. Our story is about dairy and meat and China as much as Christchurch. As such it won't be until Q4 or even 2015 that the sinking dairy prices come to bear on our GDP and the GDP-per-capita.

But Stevens' chart is interesting all the same. It helps put our economic performance into perspective - although some people as far away from here as you can get got their analysis a bit twisted, I think: 

Could the meat and dairy superpower finally displace Australia as the reigning rich-world growth champion? 

3. "Eating our seed corn"
Credit growth in the US has been expanding at about $1 tln per year over the past five years. Over the past year its been growing at about double that rate. That is a lot, helped along by 'massive' Fed interventions.

But Bill Gross points out, that is nowhere near enough.

He thinks it should be growing at at least $2.5 tln per year just to hold its own and twice that level to get it out of the doldrums.

Gross's star has dimmed a lot since he fired Mohammad El-Erain - and his funds haven't been doing very well - but his views are interesting all the same.

A credit-based financial economy (as opposed to pure cash) depends on an ever-expanding outstanding level of credit for its survival. Without additional credit, interest on previously issued liabilities cannot be paid absent the sale of existing assets, which in turn would lead to a vicious cycle of debt deflation, recession and ultimately depression. It is this expansion of private and public market credit which the Fed and the BOE have successfully engineered over the past five years, while their contemporaries (the ECB and BOJ) have until now failed, at least in terms of stimulating economic growth.

Put simply, if credit needs to expand at 4.5% per year, then the private and public sectors in combination must create approximately $2.5 trillion of additional debt per year to pay for outstanding interest. They are underachieving that target in the U.S., which is the reason why GDP growth struggles at 2% real or lower and nominal GDP growth seems capped at 4.5% or lower. Credit creation is essential for economic growth in a finance-based economy such as ours. Without it, growth stagnates or withers. Its velocity/turnover is critical as well.

4. What to do with the cash
Mario Draghi's latest stimulus program creates a big problem for bankers. Mark Gilbert explains:

So you're a European bank with some loans on your balance sheet that you made to companies not too long ago. The loans are of good quality, paying interest at the rates that prevailed in recent years. The European Central Bank would like you to bundle those loans into a shiny new asset-backed bond, which it will purchase from you (provided it isn't a sausage stuffed with derivatives, in ECB President Mario Draghi's evocative term). In return, you will have a pocket full of fresh cash.

What exactly you will do with that cash, though, is problematic at best. The ECB wants you to find new borrowers eager for money to invest in their businesses, so they will start hiring from Europe's army of unemployed young adults. It’s probable, though, that your new loans will either be riskier than the ones you offloaded to the ECB, or at much lower interest rates, or (more likely) both, with corporate borrowing costs at record lows.

5. A recent history of household budgets
From 2000 to 2008 New Zealanders went on a borrowing splurge. It was substantial. Households took on $106 billion in new debt in those 9 years. Since then we have been more restrained; in the subsequent six years household debt has increased 'only' $33 billion.

The period of exceptional debt growth coincided with the raising of the top tax rate to 39c (and maybe we caught the housing bug to shelter from that policy change).

But the pace could not be sustained. The GFC intervened, and households deleveraged. They started saving more than the spent.

The ratio of household debt levels to household deposit levels in 2000 was 175%. By 2008 that had grown to 195%. By 2014 it had fallen back to 158%. On that score, we are better off now than we were in 2000.

It's a trend that is notable mainly because it happened. But the level of net saving has been far less than the level of net borrowing that preceded it. We have a legacy of debt and the consequences that flow from it.

Remarkably, now we are in balance on a month-by-month basis.

Over the past year new savings have equalled new borrowing. The banking system hasn't needed to fund any extra offshore, although it still needs to service what was built up prior to 2008.

6. An independent Scotland?
Scotland is about to vote on independence. That is a huge opportunity for the country, a huge risk for the "United Kingdom", and a likely spur for other regions, especially in Europe, to also seek to break away. Starting a new wave of instability in Europe is entirely possible. A lot is riding on the September 18 (September 19 in New Zealand) vote.

Anatole Kaletsky thinks there could be "costs to the world" in a 'yes' vote. Here is a sampler of his opinion:

Until this week almost nobody outside Scotland took very seriously the possibility that Europe’s most stable and durable nation, the only big country on earth not to have suffered invasion, revolution or civil war at any time in the past 268 years, might soon be wiped off the map. It now seems quite conceivable, however, that the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will cease to exist after the referendum on Scottish independence to be held on September 18.

The problems would begin immediately after the referendum, since a vote for independence victory would probably trigger a rebellion against David Cameron by right-wing members of his own party, whose historic name is the “Conservative and Unionist Party.” Another reason to expect mutiny is ironically that Conservatives would to win elections in England easily in the future, after Scotland’s Labour members of Parliament are permanently gone from Westminster. This confidence would, in turn, allow party activists to opt for a leader more in line with their own euro-skeptical and right-wing views than the moderate Cameron.

... political instability looks like becoming a permanent fact of life in Britain unless the unionists can win the Scottish referendum by a decisive margin. Since such a clean-cut outcome now looks unlikely, the volatility this week in sterling and other British assets is probably a portent of things to come.

7. Nagging doubt
OK, I admit it. I came late to the global warming narrative. The key for me was insurance. That is, if I was an insurance company would I take a lower premium rate because AGW isn't going to happen? I doubt it.

I came to this position despite my own observations that little seems to actually changing in the climate I experience. Sea levels aren't rising that I can see (over 50+ years), the seasons come and go as they always have, sometimes wetter, sometimes drier. And temperatures don't seem warmer or colder to me. Still "other people" have convincing argument. Even Bjorn Lomberg has said his review of the data shows that climate change is real too.

But then comes along Matt Ridley, an author whose books I really admire, with a simple observation. 

This is all that's left of the global-warming emergency the U.N. declared in its first report on the subject in 1990. The U.N. no longer claims that there will be dangerous or rapid climate change in the next two decades. Last September, between the second and final draft of its fifth assessment report, the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change quietly downgraded the warming it expected in the 30 years following 1995, to about 0.5 degrees Celsius from 0.7 (or, in Fahrenheit, to about 0.9 degrees, from 1.3).

Even that is likely to be too high. The climate-research establishment has finally admitted openly what skeptic scientists have been saying for nearly a decade: Global warming has stopped since shortly before this century began.

First the climate-research establishment denied that a pause existed, noting that if there was a pause, it would invalidate their theories. Now they say there is a pause (or "hiatus"), but that it doesn't after all invalidate their theories.

Alas, their explanations have made their predicament worse by implying that man-made climate change is so slow and tentative that it can be easily overwhelmed by natural variation in temperature—a possibility that they had previously all but ruled out.

However, I am going to go on making personal decisions on the basis that AGW will likely cause future trouble and do my bit to mitigate. Because even if it doesn't turn out the shrill way some think, my actions won't make it worse (I hope). Yes, I know. We run a lot of climate related stuff on But personally, I am not 100% convinced. I'm still a sceptic at some level. (I distrust prothletising certainty, of any stripe.)

8. New fees, new transaction clipping
In 2013, according to Google's "Our Mobile Planet", New Zealand had more than 50% penetration of smartphones. No doubt it is higher in 2014. Most of the new ones will have a NFC chip (NFC = near field communications). My Samsung has that now. And the new iPhone6 is likely to have that linked to a payments system. In an instant, phones will be able to be your wallet, using them to tap-and-pay, just like your latest credit card. Better still, you will be able to leave your phone in your pocket and do it with the new iWatch on your wrist.

Don't worry about the security aspects; no-one else is. Adoption of tap-and-pay has been incredibly fast.

But the coming phone-as-a-wallet - although tried before to mixed success - will get a huge boost via Apple. You might even wonder what you would need your bank for. The regulator will be thinking hard about these issues, no doubt. Apple and Google don't like regulators. But because Apple seems to have made its plans with most of the credit card giants on board, expect there to be a huge momentum for their type of system. (And expect to pay the Visa or MasterCard toll, something Kiwis have largely avoided).

Pray the local alternative gets off the ground. The big banks (Westpac and ANZ) are withdrawing their support. The lure of the fees that a Kiwi-style eftpos system prevents them from accessing is just too great.

9. Getting the rules right
The main question confronting us today is not really about capital in the twenty-first century. It is about democracy in the twenty-first century, according to Joseph Stiglitz.

Markets, of course, do not exist in a vacuum. There have to be rules of the game, and these are established through political processes. High levels of economic inequality in countries like the US and, increasingly, those that have followed its economic model, lead to political inequality. In such a system, opportunities for economic advancement become unequal as well, reinforcing low levels of social mobility.

Thus, Piketty’s forecast of still higher levels of inequality does not reflect the inexorable laws of economics. Simple changes – including higher capital-gains and inheritance taxes, greater spending to broaden access to education, rigorous enforcement of anti-trust laws, corporate-governance reforms that circumscribe executive pay, and financial regulations that rein in banks’ ability to exploit the rest of society – would reduce inequality and increase equality of opportunity markedly.

If we get the rules of the game right, we might even be able to restore the rapid and shared economic growth that characterized the middle-class societies of the mid-twentieth century.

10. Trapped in our backwards policies
Here is a press release note that I found interesting last week. It is from an American solar electricity company, First Solar: 

First Solar is building Silver State South, which is the company's fifth utility-scale solar power plant in development, construction or operation in southern Nevada. It also positions First Solar as the largest solar developer in the state with approximately 750MW of projects in various stages of development, construction and operation.

750 MW is a lot and that is just their projects in Nevada. To put that in perspective, NZ has about 9,600 MW of generating capacity and 75% of that is hydro. So our fossil energy electricity generation is about 2,400MW. That one company in that one state is generating about a third of our total fossil-energy needs. Seems like a practical thing for NZ to consider, especially distributed on all the roofs of homes, offices and factories. The only problem is it would undermine the 'public investment' in existing generation. That conflict-of-interest is holding us back. The Government needs to get right out of the electricity business - except to regulate it to encourage innovation.

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Before the thread blows up with climate comments, I will just not that for see level rises you can look at the tide gauages, which are the things in every major port that record how high the water is, and have been doing so in New Zealand since 1880s

That said, doing a proper analysis of tide data is actually quite hard work…

so it is not something armchair analysis is likely to do and get right.


And it is a Cautionary Tale (sea level via Tide Gauges), as this recent NZ study shows:  the issues are numerous and serious.  Much of the NZ record is, according to Hannah, hopelessly compromised.


"By their very nature tide gauge records are fragile and can only be considered to be usable for long-term sea level change studies if there is a long, consistent and reliable datum history. In addition, if there are to be reliable estimates of eustatic sea level rise then any geophysical effects must be able to be removed. As New Zealand reaches the anniversary of a decade of CGPS measurements, it is encouraging to realize that this latter goal is now in sight."


Elsewhere, it is noted that a 60-year minimum period is needed for a given gauge to be useful.  So, 50 years to go for reliable, datum-adjusted data.....


Yep, though science has moved on a bit since that 2010 report.

The smaller the focus, the more the effects of that one site come into play (for example if we we just looking at Wellington the rising of the land where the tide gauge is located making it look like the sea level is falling is very important because it is the only site), but if we look at tide gauges from all over New Zealand the problems of each individual site are cancelled out and we get a better idea of the long term trend (the tide gauges in parts of the country in subduction zones cancel the effects of tide gauges in parts of the country where the land is rising, so with the local effects cancelled we get a better idea of what the ocean itself is doing) when you step that out again to world-wide there is even more cancelling of the errors due to the range of samples.


My personal climate theory goes like this:
(1) climate and environment protection -might- be a problem if neglected.
(2) climate and environment protection -will-not- be a problem if maintained.

given that (1) is bad and has no good side, and (2) is good and the only constriction is cost.

Resultant is: The only question is how much climate and environment maintainance can we afford.

Apart from cost, there is no downside to doing it, and no limit (apart from cost) on the upside.   There are fewer clear-to-make decisions, (or obvious constraints.)


Don't fret dh, I am an old man and I fish off the same rocks little ergophobia did as a boy: the sea rises and falls exactly the same now as it did then, I assure you.

Also, NASA has had atomic thermometers in space since 1976, far away from mans' terrestrial influences such as more tarmac and concrete around airports (where most met. measurements are taken), they (NASA) have not dectected any material changes. That's not to say the climate don't change, it does, but we should not flatter ourselves that we can do it - relax son.



No. 5. Household borrowing vs household deposits.

The graph looks very promising. However I wonder whether the money that the old folks had in the failed finance companies would have been included in the earlier years of that graph??? If it doesn't include that, then the closing of the gap is not nearly as dramatic.

In thise years between 2000 and 2008 it was a fantastic time to have money in a term deposit. The gap between term deposit rates and CPI was a lot higher than it is now.


Our estimate of the actual losses in the 2006-2012 period from finance company failures is $3.1 bln. At maximum, about $11 bln was invested in this non-bank sector.


However, note that the RBNZ was collecting term deposit data from most of the major players over this whole period, so the data in the chart includes almost all the finance company 'investment'. The RBNZ included it as part of their NBFI category.


An interesting take on the global economy from Morgan Stanley -…


Prudent bear,

I didn’t anticipate an ECB determined to balloon its balance sheet with all kinds of securities. I didn’t anticipate that Fed holdings would inflate to $4.5 Trillion, nor did I imagine the BOJ willing to do open-ended QE to the tune of $700bn annually. I could not have predicted that post-crisis growth in the Chinese banks would exceed the total size of the U.S. banking system. I didn’t see the creation of Trillions of Chinese “shadow banking” assets. I would not have guessed that central bank international reserve holdings would surpass $12 Trillion by 2014 (almost doubling in six years).

I was, however, able to anticipate a very critical reality that remains fundamental to the ongoing global government finance Bubble: once the world’s central banks adopted unprecedented monetary inflation there would be no turning back.…

Every man and his dog, including the National Party, anticipated the fall in NZ manufacturing sales volumes - hence the early election


as the late and disregarded Hyman Minsky had sought to warn them. Among his many insights into how financial systems actually work, as opposed to how too many economists believed they did, was his realisation that stability ultimately destabilises.

The longer a period of stability endures, the more risks people will see as potentially rewarding. Worse, the associated increase in leverage will accompany – indeed drive – rises in asset prices. This will validate the risks the creators of the leverage take.


#2 How broad is our economic performance really? Rebuilding Christchurch is only the recovery of insurance premiums paid out to overseas reinsurers for decades plus a lot of taxpayer money redirected from where it would have normally gone. Throck star economy has vanished and a dose of reality has failed to inspire Mr Market to adjust the exchange rate so far. Personally I want National to win so they can reap the whirlwind.


problem with them reaping the whirlwind is we bear the fruit of that harvest :(


Well, cowboy, all is sweet. I am well hedged.

Reading your posts, I imagine you are too. A few cows will produce better local dollars once the exchange rate allows. The only penalty is a dearer John Deere.


#4 and #5 are mutally exclusive right?

and #1...I think no-one will be fooled by the PC answer, whom has employed or been employed alongside a mother with children, and had to cover for them when the children had school or health problems (or special occasions).

I still remember being at Mad Butcher one day, when halfway through serving the clock hit 3oclock and the woman who had just finished ringing up my order, just turned and walked out of the store.  Necessitating another staff member to clear the transaction, sign off the till, unpack the groceries, and redo the sale.  It turns out the woman's contract was under 3oclock, and she picks her children up at 3:30pm.   I know what would happen if a man down-tooled in the middle of serving!! (real quick way to written warning and customer service instruction).

Likewise I've had a (lesbian) woman sink a project worth many tens of thousands of dollars because her (on the side cheating and "troo luuv") male lover got her pregnant and she wanted maternity leave, despite being the critical anchor skills for the whole project.  It's the kind of mistake one only ever makes once.


Your first paragraph and 2nd paragraph merely illustrate that it is still women who carry the bulk of child care - when are men going to step in and do as much as women do? Why is it inconceivable for a man to stop workinga t 3 because he needs to pick up his child by 3.30? Or take time off for special occasions, or when they're sick?


Your last example (why it was necessary for us to know the woman is a lesbian, I fail to see): what - so she's pregnant and she shouldn't get maternity leave? As a business, wouldn't you need to plan for a project to be too depedent on 1 person? In your experience, have men never walked off projects hal completed, or failed to deliver?


I bet they have - but I also bet that that was never seen because of their being men, however.



Not just a lesbian but one who swore she never wanted to have kids ("would rather trade uterus for a decent designer handbag" IIRC was the quote)  seemed low risk to put a project on.  As to whether she shoudl get maternity leave?  I, like all those who lost their jobs and stake money would say "no".   A man walking off or resigning from such a project would be likely to have their butt sued off.
 And no, as a business, sometimes people have critical or pivotal skills and aren't readily replacable.  That's why they were hired above the other candidates, that's why considerable sums of money and time were invested in their skill set.

A man who left their project team in such a mess would have a hard time getting a good reference for other critical jobs.

And no I have never heard of a man downtools like that - and have seen several get formal written warnings for not tidying up and seeing things away before dealing with their personal responsibilities, often stressfully as they rush to get those away so they won't be significantly late.  The woman involved, and other women I've talked to seem to think it was perfectly acceptable behaviour.  The men I have talked to have been shocked that someone working in customer service would do that.   Same as special occasions, the young males I've seen who have tried got formal warnings, and will only call in for sick child if their job allows it.

And yes they do carry the bulk of the child care when they act like that and people give them a free pass like that, and will likewise still find it harder to get employment (especially critical roles) while that kind of behaviour is seen as justified.


" Same as special occasions, the young males I've seen who have tried got formal warnings, and will only call in for sick child if their job allows it."

So how do you expect their partners to behave if their men can't get time off work to look after a sick child? The responsibility falls to the woman, and she is blamed for it - whilst she could just be sheltering her partner/boyfriend/husband from getting a bad rep at work. Does she get any credit for this? No. Does she get blamed for it? Yes.


"And yes they do carry the bulk of the child care when they act like that and people give them a free pass like that, and will likewise still find it harder to get employment (especially critical roles) while that kind of behaviour is seen as justified."

Not sure what point you're making here.....women carry the bulk of childcare because they deserve to? Because "they act like that"? What's that supposed to mean?


You're condemning women for putting their children before their employment, whilst praising men for putting their job first. If women did the same - who'd be looking after the child? Children are messy lik that: they don't stick to their parents' timetables.


What would be nice, is that childcare is divided equally. Mother and father both take time off equally, and take the reputational loss equally. because,let's face it: workplaces aren't family friendly. The job always has to come first, can't have your personal life contaminate your work life. It's a bit hypocritical, though, to expect of men to put their family life 2nd and pat them on the back, while women who are literally left holding the baby are condemned for it.


No more babies then, right? Easiest solution.,,,


Not at all.

And last time I check childbearing wasn't going to be gender-neutral anytime soon.

Let me give you a bit more context...If I have injured my self at work (eg sliced leg open on broken railing), who is responsible for the safety of my staff and contractors?

If I need something from town, and you are the service person in charge of that something, I expect you to be there, or to have suitable arrangement made,

If I need those parts to fix that broken railing...and the mother who is in charge of that service has gone because her kid is sick or needs picking up I'm going to be asking who is covering the service,  and I'm going to be asking why the parents or normal caregivers have not arranged for critical services to be covered in the meantime.   Now that could be a fellow staff member doing the less essential job, that could be an emergency contact. gender should be utterly irrelevant but time and time again it is the mothers I have seen that downtools and the fathers who at least show respect to their team responsibilities.  And it's frequently the fathers and males who find the downtools and put business on hold for children as unexceptable, and frequently mothers and women who seem that "messy children" are acceptable excuses.
 If you have high risk ("messy children") that is your responsibility as a parent, not mine, not mine as an employer buying time and services, not mine as customer who might just have legal and ethical responsibilities of my own.

In the case of the checkout person, how long does it take to call another staff member, or to say to the customer "excuse me, I'm being called away".  as it was the two people behind me went looking for a staff person, and the other till person had to call a supervisor over their intercom ... as we said to the responding staff member "what happened and is she coming back?" - one moment we're scanning groceries, with a queue of people; I put the last couple of items on the lane and turn to see the servers back disappearing out the door.

so we're not talking someone just execusing themselves, or rushing off for an emergency (injury or personal health or spotted a thief) but literally without any indication or warning just walks off.   and apparantly some women (and a very few men) find that acceptable if she has children.   I doubt you'd find such service acceptable if it was a man doing the serving.


Oh, bless.

And you'd be the first to whinge and bleat and flail about how horribly persecuted you are if I extrapolated from your paranoid rantings that all men are irrational misogynist douchecanoes.



It is not inconceivable at all.  My 13 year old son lives with me, stays with his mum every second weekend.  His school events (mainly sports) come first for me and I will down tools to pick him up from school at 3pm.  I have been known to be late picking him up if the work schedule really requires it but that is very occasionally.  If an employer can't respect that or won't employ me then that's their problem not mine.


If you had been given a task, eg serving on till until 3pm, you would be expected to finish serving that customer put up the "closed lane"  sign, and sign off your till and drawer.  preferrably just before 3pm.
 If you walked away on 3pm, with a customer standing there, you will get a formal warning.

On farm, if you are doing a medical procedure and it turns 3pm, you will see to the animals welfare first, or you will get a formal warning.  If you are repairing equipment, you will be expected to notify others of critical failures not fixed, and render safe and put up notices before you leave. no exceptions. I have had gaping, bleeding wounds requiring 7 stitches and done these things, I require nothing less from others.  In return for this commitment, I do my utmost to see people are facilitated for their commitments, but if you are on team, you are on team FIRST.  Failure to do so, is failure to show the commitment required of the job.
- -
As you you might of suspected by now, I don't pick these examples from my life at random....that downtools lady who thought that was ok for her family...guess what job I was doing... I had groceries to pick up on way to pick up MY child.   So if you are saying she's entitled to downtools and ignore the customer, you're saying her child is more important than mine - and at least I had budgetted time properly.


meh, that's great. Of ocurse there are dads out there who are the primary care givers.


The article, which I've read in full, states that there is a marked difference in how men and women as parents, are perceived. Men are seen as more responsible once they've had a child, and will ge kudos when they have to take time off work to look after their offspring. They usually get an increase in wages, too.


Women, on the other hand are perceived s being more flaky, and less committed to the job, once they're parents.

This is something which has been clearly demonstraded by cowboy, by his comments. Women in the workplace (and not only there) are perceived differently than men. Same circumstances, different outcome.

The article also points out tat it is pervading attitudes which need tobe addressed and changed, but - again, cowboys example - when this is attempted, 1 personal example is dug out and applied to every single woman. It's very tiring.


Women are judged as a group, very often for the (perceived ) failings of a few. Men are judged on their own merit.


1 example is all that's needed.  When I'm hiring I'm looking at people, I hire based on my experiences, I'm risking my money, my company, my staffs futures.  Not some fictional statistic.

When I worked IT in Dunedin, a couple of our team were putting final touches on customers server and associated electonics.
 We looked around...It was "all the lads" who liked putting in the extra time.  the couples had to chase after kids, it was the women folk who you couldn't give critical tasks too because you knew that if little mary had a snotty nose then Dave would leave you an email to let you know he wasn't going to be doing it today, yet Diane would treat you like some abuser if you asked where the items/contractor was 2 days later ("She had kids dammit").  Things like that matter when you're dealing with a customers server on their site.

Initially I didn't think it was so gender orientated, hence my use and recommendation of a woman on a critical project.  The glass ceiling was something people needed to see past.
We couldn't just rely on nerdy boys with no social skills (it turns out the girls were competing who got the job to change the backup tapes, as that was actually paid work... apparantly the job went to whoever last slept with the Finance Manager who was in charge of the roster.  Also explains why the job never got offered to the lads.) 
 But it didn't just stop there.  Oncall rosters had a similar pattern.  The posted ones werte gender neutral... the finished ones where people had got others to cover were not.
 and we did have females doing extra time...until kids appeared.
where often dads were trying harder to cement career progress and pull in extra overtime to cover bills - the few who did quote "family balance" tended to end up on the non-critical projects, less career growth, and certainly weren't putting in the effort to give the customer the level of service that our company excelled at.   And why would that be surprising, because when you needed an expert in their zone, they weren't available.
 I made the mistake of trying to train one woman I thought was going to go against the stereotype, I put my reputation and money and other people on the line. never again.  And considering that I have other -female- business owners and hirers who have found the same thing, I think I can clearly accept that it's not "just 1 woman"


Generally found the women over 45 to be reliable.  but that sucks in the way of career development.  It's just younger ones that seem to put their own priorties before the teams.

wouldn't be so bad if it were legal to contract them for liability for loses or replacements if they bail but sadly they seem to get a privilidged position under Nz law.


and it's not like males don't rip people off.

In one project I started, an (ex-)friend was doing some work with the early smartcards.  He was hoping to get the gear together, develop his career with the tech, and was working on a project for another chap using the technology.

In 89, I had an idea for an electronic car-logbook, it would use a small single chip microprocessor and counter to monitor the odometer (either through metalic paint, magnetic dot, or a MICR "0" - my wife at the time working in MICR processing at the bank) or through video-on-chip which was recently is covered.  I could do the CPU code, and A-to-D for voice digitising of the entry, and visualbasic to outlook/excel, but I needed a hand to do the access-card and CPU hardware interface.    Idea being put the card in the unit in the morning, the CPU would write the time and odometer reading.  then at each engine stop or 100m taking > 10m, the CPU would record the time and odometer and prompt for voice tag.  End of day, take the card out, drop it into a base computer for data retrieval.   
  cards could be issued by vehicle or by person, in case of corporation.  And with GPS on the horizon the voice part might be replaced by digital location in a more deluxe model.

Anyways I borrow 5k from the bank, which is how much my (ex-)friend said he would need for the gear to setup, build and test the cards.

I got back to him, as arranged, a month later for progress report.
He said he had worked so hard on his previous project that him and his wife hadn't had a break since their honeymoon 9months ago, so since they suddenly had some cash in the bank they decided to take an overseas holiday.  They accidentally spent all the startup money on holiday and could I give them more if I wanted to get the gear for the project.

I mention that project, as these days a bluetooth link and phone/tablet GPS will almost do the job.
- -
although that's better than my experience with the VC.  Where the project which I haven't seen duplicated yetwas a quite a bit larger and security through splitting up pieces of it - so  after a certain person sunk the project and the team - I went looking for funding to get things back on track and I talked to someone offering VC.  They loved most of the idea and said they weren't interested and started setting it up on their own.  I said "hey, we have non-compete and NDisclosure agreements).  The reply was "since you came to me for capital, and I see that you really don't have much funds left, I figured you probably don't have enough to hire a lawyer to enforce those contracts" although the idea is great.
 Amusingly enough for me, they later had technical issues and their financial backer did exactly the same to them.   So in some ways it was a cheap lesson to learn.


#7 to quote Carl Wunsch MIT - "The central problem of climate science is to ask what you do and say when your data are, by almost any standard, inadequate? If I spend three years analyzing my data, and the only defensible inference is that “the data are inadequate to answer the question,” how do you publish? How do you get your grant renewed? A common answer is to distort the calculation of the uncertainty, or ignore it all together, and proclaim an exciting story that the New York Times will pick up."


A bit of selective quoting is going on here. This is a better synopsis of Prof. Wunsch's views:


Is that not the art of decision making?

Theoretically anyone can make decent or good decisions if all the data is present and presented correctly.  It is when the data is absent or missing, when the issue is one of high surprisal value, when the decision making process is important.