Tag: firms

Japan firms fall woefully short of meeting government goals on women in management – Reuters poll

TOKYO (Reuters) – About one-fifth of Japanese companies have no female managers and most say women account for less than 10% of management, a Reuters monthly poll found, highlighting the struggle for the government’s “womenomics” drive to make headway.

FILE PHOTO: A woman wearing a protective face mask uses an escalator in a quiet business district on the first working day after the Golden Week holiday, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Tokyo, Japan, May 7,2020.REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

The survey results come as Japan is seen to delay its target this year to raise the share of women in leadership posts to 30% as part of the government’s campaign to empower women, dubbed “womenomics”, and cope with Japan’s ageing population.

The Reuters Corporate Survey, conducted Sept. 29-Oct. 8, found 71% of Japanese firms said women accounted for less than 10% of management, while 17% had no female managers at all.

Asked how much scope there was to increase female managers, 55% said by around 10%, a quarter said by about 20%, one in 10 firms said by around 30%, while 5% saw no room for that.

“Regardless of sex, we should hire talented people and promote them on their merits, rather than putting priority on the proportion,” a chemicals maker manager wrote in the survey.

A paper and pulp maker manager wrote: “We hire more female new graduates than male, but many female hires tend to leave the company after a while, making it hard to raise female managers.”

The survey, conducted for Reuters by Nikkei Research, canvassed 485 large and midsize non-financial firms. About 240 firms answered the questions on condition of anonymity.

The results were similar to the previous poll taken in 2018.

Japan’s global ranking on gender parity fell to 121st out of 153 countries in a World Economic Forum report for 2020.

New premier Yoshihide Suga’s 21-member cabinet has just two female ministers, and women account for just short of 10% of all lawmakers in parliament’s powerful lower house.

While aiming to follow his predecessor Shinzo Abe’s policies including the coronavirus pandemic response, Suga has pledged to allow insurance coverage for expensive fertility treatments.

On the pandemic impact on employment and wages, 47% of Japan firms suffered it, causing many to curb new hiring, slash wages and reduce staff, the survey showed.

One third of firms expect employment to remain short of pre-pandemic levels at the year end, while a slim majority, 52% of firms, saw capital expenditure would undershoot their initial plans, dampening prospects for sustained economic recovery.

Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman

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Japan firms fall woefully short of meeting government goals on women in management: Reuters poll

By Tetsushi Kajimoto

TOKYO (Reuters) – About one-fifth of Japanese companies have no female managers and most say women account for less than 10% of management, a Reuters monthly poll found, highlighting the struggle for the government’s “womenomics” drive to make headway.

The survey results come as Japan is seen to delay its target this year to raise the share of women in leadership posts to 30% as part of the government’s campaign to empower women, dubbed “womenomics”, and cope with Japan’s ageing population.

The Reuters Corporate Survey, conducted Sept. 29-Oct. 8, found 71% of Japanese firms said women accounted for less than 10% of management, while 17% had no female managers at all.

Asked how much scope there was to increase female managers, 55% said by around 10%, a quarter said by about 20%, one in 10 firms said by around 30%, while 5% saw no room for that.

“Regardless of sex, we should hire talented people and promote them on their merits, rather than putting priority on the proportion,” a chemicals maker manager wrote in the survey.

A paper and pulp maker manager wrote: “We hire more female new graduates than male, but many female hires tend to leave the company after a while, making it hard to raise female managers.”

The survey, conducted for Reuters by Nikkei Research, canvassed 485 large and midsize non-financial firms. About 240 firms answered the questions on condition of anonymity.

The results were similar to the previous poll taken in 2018.

Japan’s global ranking on gender parity fell to 121st out of 153 countries in a World Economic Forum report for 2020.

New premier Yoshihide Suga’s 21-member cabinet has just two female ministers, and women account for just short of 10% of all lawmakers in parliament’s powerful lower house.

While aiming to follow his predecessor Shinzo Abe’s policies including the coronavirus pandemic response, Suga has pledged to allow insurance coverage for expensive fertility treatments.

On the pandemic impact on employment and wages, 47% of Japan firms suffered it, causing many to curb new hiring, slash wages and reduce staff, the survey showed.

One third of firms expect employment to remain short of pre-pandemic levels at the year end, while a slim majority, 52% of firms, saw capital expenditure would undershoot their initial plans, dampening prospects for sustained economic recovery.

(Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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CBI boss urges firms and UK government to come together for trade

CBI director general Carolyn Fairbairn will say that trade offers one of the most powerful routes to post-coronavirus economic recovery. Photo: Carl Court/Getty
CBI director general Carolyn Fairbairn will say that trade offers one of the most powerful routes to post-coronavirus economic recovery. Photo: Carl Court/Getty

Trading success depends on a “hardwire collaboration” between UK companies and the government to help create new jobs, according to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

Speaking at the business group’s International Trade Conference, director general, Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, will stress that business must be round the table to make trade work for local communities.

She will say that trade offers one of the most “powerful routes” to post-coronavirus economic recovery.

“Now is the time for the UK to champion free, fair and open trade, particularly in industries of the future, from services and low-carbon innovation to tech and life sciences.

“Having business closely involved is the proven way to give UK negotiators the real-time intelligence and edge they need to secure the best deals.”

On the government’s “levelling up” agenda Fairbairn will stress that better trade outcomes will create new jobs across the country.

“We need to make the UK’s levelling up agenda a central objective of our trade ambitions and vice versa. Right now, the UK is Europe’s top location for inward investment and the second highest in the world.”

READ MORE: UK economy faces ‘perfect storm’ as winter looms

The CBI is also calling for the creation of an Office for Trade Impact to analyse UK trade policy success across regions and industries outside London.

Fairbairn will add: “The UK should be the world’s champion for trade in services and innovation.

“These are two areas with huge potential for future global growth and where UK companies are world leaders.

“Yet while the opportunities here are huge, so too are the regulatory barriers holding trade back.

“With services’ share of global trade set to increase by 50% in coming decades, the UK needs to focus more, and push harder, on services.

“Through regular and structured engagement, business can give UK negotiators the on-the-ground intelligence and edge they need to secure the best deal.”

CBI recommendations include: 

  • Champion services in trade deals as a fundamental UK strength and launch a global campaign to promote services and exploit export opportunities. 

  • Lead a global drive for inclusive growth through the G7 and G20, tied to discussions on economic recovery and links between UK aid spend and trade.

  • Integrate business thinking into UK foreign policy, taking into account trade’s significance as a geopolitical lever.

  • Share draft negotiating text with business and regularly consult the Strategic Trade Advisory Group (STAG) to provide real-time confidential intelligence in trade talks.

READ MORE: CBI urges UK to become global leader in creating ‘green jobs’

Additionally, the CBI boss will call on the government to use its global leadership roles in 2021 to champion purposeful free trade globally.

The UK hosting COP26 and taking on the G7 presidency in 2021 presents an extraordinary opportunity for the government to champion low carbon innovation and mark the UK as a top destination

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UK government prepares jobs support if firms forced to close

LONDON (AP) — The British government is on Friday set to announce further support for firms to retain staff in the coming months if they are forced to close as a result of the imposition of further lockdown restrictions.

With the government expected to tighten restrictions over the coming days to deal with a sharp spike in new coronavirus infections, there are growing concerns that the economy will suffer during the winter and that hundreds of thousands of jobs may be lost.

Treasury chief Rishi Sunak said he understood how “people are worried about the coming winter months.”


He is being urged by businesses, politicians and unions to accompany any lockdown restrictions with a financial support package to prevent mass unemployment. Specifically, he is being urged to back local job retention programs, whereby the government steps in to pay the lion’s share of the salaries of workers who are forced to go idle. A national program that has helped keep a lid on unemployment is due to stop at the end of October.

“The Chancellor will be setting out the next stage of the Job Support Scheme later today that will protect jobs and provide a safety net for those businesses that may have to close in the coming weeks and months,” a Treasury spokesman said.

New figures released Friday show that the British economy’s bounce back from recession slowed significantly in August. The Office for National Statistics said the economy expanded by only 2.1% in August from the month before. That was way down on the 6.4% expansion in July and substantially lower than the 4.6% anticipated in financial markets.

The hospitality sector was one that performed well, boosted by many people’s decision to take their holidays in the U.K. instead of going abroad, as well as the government’s dining discount scheme during the month. Under the Eat Out to Help Out program, sitting customers could receive a 50% discount on food and non-alcoholic drinks at participating restaurants between Monday and Wednesday up to 10 pounds ($13) per person.

“There was strong growth in restaurants and accommodation due to the easing of lockdown rules, the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, and people choosing summer staycations,” statistician Jonathan Athow said.

However, he said, many other parts of the services sector recorded “muted growth.” Manufacturing was also struggling with car and aircraft production still below levels seen at the start of the year.

The British economy lost nearly a quarter of its output at the height of the lockdown in spring, when many sectors were closed and those people still working were encouraged to do so from home. Since May, when lockdown measures were eased, the economy has grown for four months, recovering much of the output lost. However, at the end of August the economy was still 9.2% smaller than before the pandemic.

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Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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Firms face ‘cliff edge’ with lay-offs after Christmas

Commuters as business leaders sound the alarm over jobs. Photo: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images
Commuters as business leaders sound the alarm over jobs. Photo: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images

Business groups have warned UK employers face a “cliff edge” as government support is cut back this winter, risking a fresh wave of job losses after Christmas.

Three leading business figures sounded the alarm over chancellor Rishi Sunak’s new job support scheme on Tuesday, with fears employers will still not be able to prevent lay-offs.

Sunak has resisted pressure to extend the job protection scheme, which saw millions of staff furloughed across the economy when the coronavirus and lockdown first hit. Last month he instead announced a new wage subsidy scheme from November, on top of a ‘job retention bonus’ for firms keeping furloughed staff.

Employers’ contributions are significantly higher under the new initiative, with organisations expected to pay more than half workers’ typical wages for only a third of their hours.

Watch: What are the new job support schemes and grants for the self-employed?

Several business and union representatives were asked by a committee of MPs on Tuesday about the generosity of the scheme and the risk of job cuts once the bonus had been paid in January.

READ MORE: UK chancellor deflects talk of tax hikes, saying jobs the ‘overwhelming focus’

Rain Newton-Smith, chief economist of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), said the leading business group was concerned there was a “bit of cliff edge” looming after firms received the bonus.

She said the chancellor should keep the scheme under review, and consider footing more of the bill for the employer “if it is not supporting enough jobs.”

But Newton-Smith said she still expected the scheme to help support “hundreds of thousands of jobs,” and had been welcomed by some the CBI’s manufacturing and small- and medium-sized business members.

Tej Parikh, chief economist at the Institute of Directors (IoD), issued a starker warning. “A lot of businesses are going to have to make a lot of difficult decisions with this transition from the job protection scheme to a job support scheme — particularly with cashflow still weak.

“Demand hasn’t fully recovered, and obviously it’s very difficult to plan at the moment with restrictions and potential changes in restriction going ahead.”

80% of the IoD’s members said even the job retention bonus “didn’t really impact the incentives to retain workers,” suggesting the cliff edge may come even sooner.

READ MORE: Wagamama owner loses £62.2m but plans 54 more restaurants

Several business and union figures called for more support for specific hard-hit sectors in the hearing before MPs on the Treasury select committee.

UKHospitality chair Kate Nicholls, representing one of the sector’s hit hardest by the crisis, said without such measures for hospitality, the sector faced many more immediate job losses as the furlough scheme ends this month.

“This scheme unfortunately doesn’t provide enough support for those sectors of the economy that are subject to legislative restrictions, and have an inability to earn revenue at a normal level,” she warned.

“We fear

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Big Law Firms Prosper Despite Covid-Impaired Economy

Lawyers at large law firms aren’t worried, as many Americans are, about job security while the coronavirus pandemic continues to upend everyday life. Some of them are even collecting extra bonuses.

Many large law firms have excelled financially this year, even as some clients in sectors ranging from hospitality to retail have suffered. The most elite firms say they are on track for a record year, thanks to hot practice areas like restructuring and public-offerings work, and many are doling out extra money to lawyers this fall.

Firm leaders and consultants attribute the stability to lawyers’ ability to easily work from home, business that comes from a range of industries and practice areas, and a major reduction in travel expenses.

“It’s like building bridges in wartime—you prefer a different environment,” said Robert Hays, the Atlanta-based chairman of King & Spalding LLP. “But we’ve built the bridge. So in terms of the business of the firm, we’re doing quite well.”

Robert Hays, the chairman of King & Spalding LLP.



Photo:

King & Spalding LLP

At 125 firms surveyed by Wells Fargo Private Bank’s legal specialty group, revenue rose an average of 6.4% in the first half of the year, compared with a year earlier. With demand roughly the same from last year, according to Wells Fargo, the boost stemmed from annual hourly-rate increases and momentum from a lucrative 2019. Net income, measured as the difference between revenue and expenses, rose 25.6% from a year ago.

The legal industry braced for the worst when the spread of the novel coronavirus sent much of the country into a shutdown this spring. Dozens of large firms cut salaries or furloughed staff while hoarding cash. Firm leaders say they wanted to avoid the deep cuts to lawyers and staff that were made following the 2008 financial crisis, moves that led to problems years later when law firms didn’t have enough lawyers at certain experience levels to work on assignments.

As spring turned to summer this year, firms realized their lawyers were still busy. One by one, firms that implemented austerity measures have reversed them in recent weeks.

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New York’s Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP took several measures in late March, completely halting distributions to partners and cutting other lawyer and staff pay by between 10% and 25%. By August, everyone’s pay was restored. “People understood,” said managing partner Patrick Quinn. “And the firm really pulled together.” Other firms also asked partners to make the biggest financial sacrifice.

Not all law firm jobs have been safe. Some furloughs have turned into layoffs, particularly for staff roles sidelined while everyone is working remotely. Legal blog Above the Law has tracked cuts at a few dozen firms, including Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, Baker McKenzie and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP.

Cleary said the decision reflected a review of staff functions that predates

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Insider Cannabis: Law firms are eyeing psychedelics

Welcome to Insider Cannabis, our weekly newsletter where we’re bringing you an inside look at the deals, trends, and personalities driving the multibillion-dollar global cannabis boom.

Sign up here to get it in your inbox every week.

Happy Friday readers,

I hate to be cliche, but we are living in monumental times — with President Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis, it’s impossible to know what will happen next.

Despite the crush of the news cycle leading up to November, life still goes on, and Yeji and I still have a ton of cannabis news for you all.

Let’s get to it.

-Jeremy

Here’s what we wrote about this week:

Lawyers who specialize in cannabis are eyeing the burgeoning psychedelics industry as companies studying magic mushrooms go public

Lawyers who specialize in the cannabis industry say they’re getting inquiries from a new kind of client: psychedelics companies.

The calls started coming in around a year to a year and a half ago, as the psychedelics industry began to ramp up and garner more investor dollars, half a dozen cannabis lawyers told Business Insider. Some firms say they’re diving headfirst into the psychedelics industry. Others say they’re watching the industry closely from the sidelines, waiting for more regulatory changes before they take on the new client base.

Flowhub just scooped up a senior exec from Glassdoor, and it’s the latest sign that the cannabis tech space is heating up

Stephanie Jenkins, formerly an exec at the job-hunting site Glassdoor, made the jump into the cannabis industry recently as Flowhub’s senior vice president of sales. Flowhub is a cannabis tech company that helps dispensaries track inventory and process sales. The startup — backed by $27 million in funding so far — was named to Business Insider’s list of the 15 buzziest startups in cannabis. 

The move sends a strong signal that investors and executives from inside and outside of cannabis think that the tech side of the industry has a lot of growth potential. 

Executive moves

Deals, launches, and IPOs

Policy Moves

  • House Democrats passed a sweeping stimulus bill that included the SAFE Banking Act, a piece of legislation that would allow state-legal cannabis businesses to access banking services much like any other business. It’s not likely to pass the Senate, however. My colleague Kimberly Leonard has what you need to know. 

Cannabis

A CPlant employee fills a bag with hemp flowers for export at the company’s farming area near Tala, Uruguay, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020

AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico


Research and reform

Chart of the week

Wholesale cannabis sales skyrocketed in states like California, Arizona, and Colorado this August, compared to the same month last year, according to data from LeafLink Insights. The cannabis software company told Business Insider that year-over-year, between Aug 2019 to Aug 2020, gross merchandise value (GMV), the total value of merchandise sold, increased 132%.

Michigan, with a 112% increase, saw the biggest uptick, though that’s in large part to recreational sales coming online last December. Nevada — with a market heavily

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