High-flying ‘millennial’ women don’t live to work

Updated 18 January 2013
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High-flying ‘millennial’ women don’t live to work

Giant corporations will have to consign the alpha male office culture to the paper shredder if they want to hang on to today’s high-flying 20- and 30-somethings, particularly women.
The world’s top firms will struggle to inspire the “millennial” generation with a reward culture based on endless hours in the office and networking built around macho sports, according to business professor Elisabeth Kelan.
The senior lecturer at King’s College London argues in her new book “Rising Stars” that 21st century graduates of both genders aren’t willing to devote themselves entirely to any one firm in a world where changing jobs every two or three years is the norm.
“The millennial generation — both men and women — don’t want to live their entire life to work,” Kelan said.
“This is more pronounced for women because the long-hours work culture is not conducive to children. As a result, women often leave their jobs way before they actually want children.”
Kelan’s research shows that while women make up about 50 percent of entry-level jobs, most organizations say only a third of their middle-management and 10 percent of top management are women.
This is partly because the women high-fliers in Kelan’s book, who are lawyers, consultants, bankers, corporate executives, get disillusioned when men rise through the ranks faster than they do.
Some, fed up with long hours and little leisure time, decide to opt for something different — maybe consider starting their own businesses instead.
Others decide to go to business school to do an MBA to help give them a leg up the management ladder. But even here they find the environment is testosterone-driven.
Kelan gives the example of Lara, who works at an investment bank, but decides to do an MBA to help her career move ahead. She loves the MBA program, but notices that women account for only about a quarter of her group.
She finds most of the activities on the course are designed for men and feels that in effect she is learning how to be “an honorary man.”
Outside the classroom, it is no different. The dominant culture is ” extreme sports.”
Some companies are trying to break the mold.
The drive to get more women into corporate boardrooms could play a part in changing the “tone.”
Norway, which introduced quotas for women directors in 2003, provides an interesting test case. Although it’s not easy to assess how women affect the traditional male corporate culture inside the boardroom.
“It is quite complex,” said Morten Huse, professor at BI Norwegian Business School, who said a lot of existing research into this area was related to financial performance using quite basic models where it was not easy to see variations resulting from women’s contributions.
“One core element we need to understand is how women make contributions inside the boardroom,” said Huse, who is also a professor at the University of Witten/Herdecke in Germany.
Huse said research did show that if there were just one or two women they would tend to adapt to the existing boardroom culture while there was a big change if the number of women reached “critical mass.”
“In Norway, we see that the traditional roles of independent directors are changing,” said Huse.
His research identifies three types of independent directors at Norwegian companies — directors with some links to the company — known as insiders, directors with links to investors and true independents with no relationships to insiders.
He said that since the introduction of gender balance rules in Norway it was women who often replaced “true independents.”
“So women have taken away much of the old boys’ network.”
Kelan has also looked at the Norwegian experience.
“I was skeptical of the women on boards initiative. We looked at Norway and did find that the more women are on boards the more likely the chairman is a woman or the CEO is a woman. So it does show that there is an increase in women taking leadership positions as a result of quotas.”


Tesla in Autopilot sped up before Utah crash

Updated 25 May 2018
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Tesla in Autopilot sped up before Utah crash

  • Heather Lommatzsch, the driver of the vehicle, told police she thought the vehicle’s automatic emergency braking system would detect traffic and stop before the car hit another vehicle.
  • Police say car data show Lommatzsch did not touch the steering wheel for 80 seconds before the crash. She told police she was looking at her phone at the time and comparing different routes to her des
SALT LAKE CITY, US: A Tesla that crashed while in Autopilot mode in Utah this month accelerated in the seconds before it smashed into a stopped firetruck, according to a police report obtained by The Associated Press Thursday. Two people were injured.
Data from the Model S electric vehicle show it picked up speed for 3.5 seconds shortly before crashing into a stopped firetruck in suburban Salt Lake City, the report said. The driver manually hit the brakes a fraction of a second before impact.
Police suggested that the car was following another vehicle and dropped its speed to 55 mph to match the leading vehicle. They say the leading vehicle then likely changed lanes and the Tesla automatically sped up to its preset of 60 mph (97 kph) without noticing the stopped cars ahead of it.
The police report, which was obtained through an open records request, provides detail about the vehicle’s actions immediately before the May 11 crash and the driver’s familiarity with its system.
The driver of the vehicle, Heather Lommatzsch, 29, told police she thought the vehicle’s automatic emergency braking system would detect traffic and stop before the car hit another vehicle.
She said she had owned the car for two years and used the semi-autonomous Autopilot feature on all sorts of roadways, including on the Utah highway where she crashed, according to the report.
Lommatzsch said the car did not provide any audio or visual warnings before the crash. A witness told police she did not see signs the car illuminate its brake lights or swerve to avoid the truck ahead of it.
Lommatzsch did not return a voicemail Thursday. A Tesla spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.
The car company has said it repeatedly warns drivers to stay alert, keep their hands on the wheel and maintain control of their vehicle at all times while using the Autopilot system.
Police say car data show Lommatzsch did not touch the steering wheel for 80 seconds before the crash. She told police she was looking at her phone at the time and comparing different routes to her destination.
She broke her foot in the crash and this week was charged with a misdemeanor traffic citation. Online court records do not show an attorney listed for her.
The driver of the firetruck told police he had injuries consistent with whiplash but did not go to a hospital.
Tesla’s Autopilot system uses cameras, ultrasonic sensors and radar to sense the vehicle’s surrounding environment and perform basic functions automatically.
Among those functions is automatic emergency braking, which the company says on its website is designed “to detect objects that the car may impact and applies the brakes accordingly.” Tesla says the system is not designed to avoid a collision and warns drivers not to rely on it entirely.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has said it is investigating the May 11 crash.
Tesla’s Autopilot has been the subject of previous scrutiny following other crashes involving the vehicles.
In March, a driver was killed when a Model X with Autopilot engaged hit a barrier while traveling at “freeway speed” in California. NHTSA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating that case.
This week, Tesla said Autopilot was not engaged when a Model S veered off a road and plunged into a pond outside San Francisco, killing the driver.
Earlier in May, the NTSB opened a probe into an accident in which a Model S caught fire after crashing into a wall at a high speed in Florida. Two 18-year-olds were trapped and died in the blaze. The agency has said it does not expect Autopilot to be a focus in that investigation.