Sunday, August 31, 2008

Do women vote for women... period?

John McCain is potentially committing political suicide with his VP pick in Sarah Palin. Or is he? McCain and his campaign advisors clearly feel that by putting a female -- any female-- on the ticket, he may bridge the gap and win over some disgruntled Clinton voters.While Sarah is clearly charming and confident and may appeal to the conservative base with her strong pro-life position, she is no Hillary Clinton. In fact, Sarah and Hillary could not be further apart in their bios (or lack thereof in Palin's case).

While most of us women are thrilled to see a woman on the ticket in this election the presumption that Clinton voters will just 'come on over based on gender is mildly insulting. This clear misunderstanding on the part of political advisors to get in the minds of women is not uncommon. Women are not simply advocating women in positions of authority but more importantly getting the right person in the position to get the right job done. This means voting on the issues and by party ideology first, gender second.

Having said all that, in this case, I could be entirely wrong. Who will win this race is anyone's guess. Perhaps Palin will move the needle. Maybe women are so disgruntled that they will take this platform to make a point with their vote. One thing is for sure, I now have a reason to tune into the Republican convention.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

More than just talk: We are all looking for responsible companies

This is an extension of an earlier post on April 24th which highlights the diversified packages and benefits now available to employees. These changes have been driven primarily by Generation Y, who is looking at more than just salaries when they are trying to land a job. Many candidates are looking at company’s that feature volunteer programs.

The other day I came across a featured article in the New York Times that talked about that very subject. PriceWaterhouseCoopers, IBM and Merrill Lynch are featured in the article as companies that walk the talk when it comes to employee engagement. In a world where you have to attract the best talent and retain them, you have to offer the best overall package which is more than just a comfortable salary . It’s the workplace, the intent and culture that matters.

For Canadians interested in starting an employee-supported volunteer program at their company go to or

Does your company offer one or more of these great benefits? Are they a place where everyone wants work? Now is your chance to nominate them for a Walk the Talk Top Employer Award.

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

New employment models raise fear in employers

Resistant to change? Well, we had better get comfortable with it if we want to find the best talent out there. Full time employment isn't always the drawing card for Gen Y and employers need to shift their thinking from away from a 'property' orientation to a talent orientation. If we want to find, stimulate and nurture creativity, innovation and frankly, happiness in employees, giving them a job is not always the way to do it. So how do you outsource creativity? Business school taught us that you insource your core business and outsource the rest. What we didn't take into account back then is that by insourcing our core we might not be able to attract the best people to get the job done on our terms. So, as uncomfortable as it may make us as employers, we need to explore different employment models where we can get the best work from the best people, protect our ideas and IP and do it through more outsourced or contracted relationships. Many flexible employment companies are cropping up in response to this demand. And, there is one particularly progressive organization, The Innovation Exchange, that has created a platform for outsourced innovation which is catching hold around the world and utilized by blue chip companies and talent alike. Worth checking out.

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