Tuesday, January 31, 2017
In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG comments on boxer Mundine's claim that the Australian national anthem is racist
Heinous sexist culture inside STEM industries exists in Australia
Of course it does. Women are being pushed into occuptions where they don't belong and where they don't generally do well.
What's this about "belong"? It's simple aptitude. We have known for a hundred years that women do not perform well on tests of mathemtical ability. And STEM fields have a heavy mathematical requirement. So those who do do well (men) in such fields tend to look down on those who do not (women).
All men (and all women) are NOT equal and ignoring that for the sake of political correctness is always going to create friction. It opposes policy to reality and those who can see the reality will reasonably object.
There is a small minority of females who excel at STEM tasks and it is they alone who should be in such fields. If such women were the only ones is such fields the cause for derision would disappear. Women in such fields would be respected
A PARTICULARLY heinous brand of sexism faced by Australia's most educated woman has been exposed in a damning survey of professional industries including engineering and IT.
Managers in STEM industries (science, technology, engineering and maths) have been revealed to avoid hiring women because they "nag", take on women considering reasons other than their skills and qualifications because they want a "work wife", and prefer men because they can "pee on the run".
The shocking details accompanied by the concerning warning that three quarters of women who work in these areas plan to drop out of their profession within the next five years due to restrictions in career progression.
The claims are included in a submission from industry group Professional Australia to a senate inquiry into gender segregation in the workplace.
The comprehensive submission includes results from a survey undertaken by the professional body, showing that 25.8 per cent of women reported being sexually harassed at work with half taking no action on the matter, and 7 per cent quitting their jobs over it.
Women in the STEM industries reported experiencing bias against women in their male-dominated fields, and described their industry as a "boys club". "Career progression is not always based on merit," one respondent said.
Women reported having to "fight for the pay and respect that men get naturally", and were told to be a "good sport" when on the receiving end of sexist comments.
One employee said women were regularly accused of "nagging" when making reasonable requests of male colleagues, with one recalling being told "you sound like my wife" after requesting overdue information from a male colleague.
"I took over a job on an industrial site from an obviously disliked female employee and on first meeting an operator (was) told `not another f***ing woman, are you here to nag us as well?'" one respondent said.
A female scientist reported opportunities diminished for women in the eyes of male managers once they became more senior. "A lot of scientists like cute student girls," she said. "Once that time period has passed, you are less likely to be offered any roles in anything."
The report also highlighted that women felt sidelined once they had children, with men being considered "more serious about their careers".
One respondent reported being offered a demotion after returning from maternity leave to "help with family flexibility". Another said she was told by a manger if she applied for a job alongside a male of the same age and experience, the male would be selected "as they are less likely to take leave in the future to care for children".
The report showed male engineers earned 24 per cent more than their female colleagues when they worked fulltime, and fulltime male scientists earned 18 per cent more than their female counterparts.
In its submission, Professionals Australia said it hoped shining a light on the issues faced by highly-educated professional women could be addressed.
The group said it wanted to "encourage police-makers and employers to look at ways to tackle gender segregation by looking at the need to address entrenched structural bias in work practices".
"Tackling the issues will be fundamental to providing for the optimal attraction, development and retention of women in the STEM workforce, and to fully realising Australia's productivity potential and innovative capability into the future."
The senate inquiry into gender segregation into the workplace and its impact on women's economic equality is due to report by March this year.
Review into accuracy of Queensland crime reports
Shades of Tony Blair's Britain
Auditors are reviewing Queensland's official crime statistics amid allegations figures have been fudged.
Police Minister Mark Ryan says Police Commissioner Ian Stewart has advised him of an audit office review into whether crime reports were manipulated to give false perceptions about the state's crime rates.
"The commissioner has given me assurances that the Queensland Police Service will work with the Queensland Audit Office to get to the bottom of this matter," Mr Ryan has told the ABC.
The ABC says it's been told two police crime managers on the Gold Coast have raised concerns that legitimate crime reports have been labelled "unfounded" in an effort to keep offences off the books.
The broadcaster said the managers took their concerns to the audit office only after telling a superior, who did nothing about it.
The minister said Queenslanders must be able to have faith in crime statistics.
"I expect the highest standards to be met and maintained by the Queensland Police Service from the top of the organisation down," Mr Ryan said.
Australia will support Donald Trump on strong border protection policies
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says the Turnbull government will support Donald Trump's "strong immigration and border protection policies", as the leaders of Britain and Germany criticise an executive order banning entry to the United States for refugees and citizens from a range of majority Muslim countries.
Speaking in Los Angeles after events promoting Australian business and tourism, Ms Bishop said the Turnbull government was working closely with the White House to ensure Australians would continue to have access to the United States and consular officials were assisting travellers on the ground.
"I'm confident that the Australian government and the US government will continue to support each other in ensuring that we can implement our strong immigration and border protection policies," Ms Bishop said.
"The Australian government is working very closely with the administration and the US officials and we want to ensure that Australians continue to have access to the United States, as they have in the past, and people from the United States have access to Australia."
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who spoke with President Trump for about 25 minutes on Sunday, is one of just a few world leaders to have spoken with the US leader since he signed the executive order. During the phone conversation President Trump confirmed the US would continue with a deal signed by the Obama administration to resettle hundreds of refugees and asylum seekers held by Australia on Manus Island and Nauru.
Apart from confirmation of the resettlement deal, no official information about the call has been made public. Ms Bishop said the two leaders spoke about a range international issues.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has ordered her ministers to speak to their US counterparts about the controversial travel bans, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel said efforts to defeat international terrorism did "not justify putting people of a specific background or faith under general suspicion."
Ms Bishop confirmed she had spoken to Vice President Mike Pence for a second time over the weekend and Trump officials were very well briefed on all of the details of US-Australia alliance.
Foreign Affairs minister Julie Bishop says Australia will work with the US on strong border protection policies.
Foreign Affairs minister Julie Bishop says Australia will work with the US on strong border protection policies. Photo: Andrew Meares
Mr Trump's chief of staff Reince Priebus appeared to walk back aspects of the ban overnight, saying US green card holders from the affected countries would not be prevented from returning from overseas.
Earlier a federal judge ruled immigration officials could not detain people who arrived at airports after the ban came into force.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on Sunday updated travel advice for the US.
It said Australians who are dual citizens of Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria are no longer eligible to apply for a electronic visa approval for the US or for the existing visa waiver available to Australian citizens.
Australians who have previously been issued the approval are likely to have them revoked, while the US Homeland Security Secretary may waive travel restrictions on a case by case basis for travellers working for international and humanitarian organisations, regional organisations, state and territory governments, journalists on reporting trips and Australians who have travelled to Iran or Iraq for some legitimate business-related purposes.
Britain Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said most British citizens would be exempt from the ban and the only dual nationals impacted were those flying from one of the seven countries.
Fairfax Media has contacted the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for clarification about possible exemptions for Australians.
Acting US ambassador to Australia James Carouso said what President Trump had ordered was no secret. "He campaigned on strong borders," Mr Carouso told radio 3AW. "This is a pretty big change in our procedures."
The former ambassador, John Berry, was appointed by Barack Obama and returned to the US last year. President Trump is yet to announce his replacement.
Mr Carouso, who is officially charge d'affaires, said the visa changes were part of a 90 day review of border processes. Asked why countries such as Pakistan and Afghanistan were not included on the travel ban list, Mr Carouso said: "I wish I knew."
Nederland's growth record set to fall to Australia, says Deloitte
Australia is on track to pass the Netherlands this year and secure the world's longest spell without a recession, with a rebound in commodity prices ensuring the current account deficit will become narrower than at any time since Gough Whitlam was prime minister.
The prediction by Deloitte Access Economics' Chris Richardson is one of the most upbeat in several years and follows last week's decision by Moody's Investor Service to elevate its assessment of the economy's strength.
However, Mr Richardson warns that while the economy is set to comfortably weather President Donald Trump's new regime, there is still considerable work needed to avoid a credit ratings downgrade.
"National income may be rebounding, but the tax take isn't," Mr Richardson said. "Despite a leap in commodity prices, Treasury continues to write down expected collections of company taxes, while weak wage growth is having its wicked way with taxes.
With the Coalition still struggling to get all its budget repair agenda through the Senate, it is unlikely to get legislative backing to pass unpopular measures that would close the deficit.
"Chances are the successful defence of the AAA credit rating in late 2016 was a stay of execution rather than a turning point," Mr Richardson said.
In the run-up to Christmas, the government was internally concerned that further delays in a return to surplus next decade would trigger the first downgrade in three decades. Ratings agencies reaffirmed the top-notch rating in the wake of the mid-year budget update last month.
Helping ease the difficulties for the government is a strong rebound in commodity prices, particularly for coal and iron ore, as well as farm goods such as wheat.
With China's policymakers continuing to stimulate Australia's biggest trade partner in 2017, Mr Richardson says the economy is well placed. "National income growth is amid a massive reawakening," he says.
"Pumped-up commodity prices and a bumper wheat crop are boosting export earnings at the same time as the fast-finishing construction phase of Australia's mining boom boosts exports and simultaneously cuts our thirst for imports.
"This good news on trade won't last forever, but it looks to be great news in the offing on the balance of payments for both this financial year and next."
Deloitte Access predicts the current account deficit – the broadest measure of trade and financial flows in and out of the country – will shrink to 1.3 per cent of gross domestic product this financial year, from 4.5 per cent in 2015-16.
The shift is a dramatic development, given ratings agencies were increasingly concerned about the widening current account deficit a year ago.
Improved earnings from abroad, an ongoing construction boom in NSW and Victoria, and a robust jobs market will eventually help drive the economy back to its full-pace.
GDP growth will accelerate from 1.8 per cent in 2016-17 to 2.8 per cent in 2017-18, and run at 2.7 per cent through the next two years.
"That mix should keep the home fires of growth burning by enough to leave unemployment relatively steady, and by enough to see Australia sail past the Netherlands to record the world's longest-ever spell without recession," Mr Richardson said.
The government was shocked last year by a 0.5 per cent fall in GDP in the third quarter, but is internally confident growth rebounded strongly in the final quarter of 2017, meaning it will avoid presiding over a technical recession.
The Netherlands continues to hold the record for the longest sustained run of economic growth, over 103 quarters. Australia recorded 100 quarters between the June quarter of 1991 and last year's September quarter without a recession.
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