French newspaper charges men more on Women’s Day

Male readers of leftwing French daily Liberation were asked to pay 25 percent more for their paper on Thursday, to underscore the gender pay gap on International Women’s Day. (Shutterstock)
Updated 08 March 2018
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French newspaper charges men more on Women’s Day

PARIS: Male readers of leftwing French daily Liberation were asked to pay 25 percent more for their paper on Thursday, to underscore the gender pay gap on International Women’s Day.
The paper published two versions with different cover pages, one marked “for women, 2 euros, normal price” with a pictogram of a woman, the other marked “for men, 2.50 euros” with a pictogram of a man.
In a front-page message the paper noted that despite equal pay for equal work being enshrined by law since 1972, French women earn on average 25.7 percent less than men, according to a 2017 report from an inequality watchdog.
“To highlight this injustice Liberation has decided to apply the same difference to its sale price for a day, meaning 50 cents more for men,” it said, adding that profits from the operation would be donated to France’s non-governmental Equality Observatory.
Liberation said it was inspired by Canadian monthly Maclean’s, which charged men more for its March edition — also to denounce the wage gap.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced plans to get tough on companies that pay women less.
Under a package of workplace reforms to be finalized next month, wage gap screening software will be rolled out in all companies with more than 250 employees from 2019, and in all companies with over 50 employees by 2022, Philippe said.
Companies with “unjustified” disparities will have three years to rectify the situation or face fines of up to 1 percent of their wage bill, he said.
Drawing on 2012 statistics, the Equality Observatory said last year that women earned 25.7 percent less than men.
A 2014 report by national statistics agency INSEE put the gap slightly lower, at 23.8 percent.
When adjustments for part-time work were factored in, women were still paid on average 17.4 percent less, the report found.
For the same job, women are estimated to be paid nine percent less.


Facebook hires former UK deputy PM Nick Clegg as head of global affairs

Updated 19 October 2018
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Facebook hires former UK deputy PM Nick Clegg as head of global affairs

  • Facebook is enlisting the veteran of EU politics to help with increased regulatory scrutiny and challenges to its reputation
  • Clegg described the new job as ‘an exciting new adventure,’ after 20 years in British politics

LONDON: Facebook Inc. has hired former British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to lead its global affairs and communications team, as the social network deals with a number of scandals related to privacy, fake news and election meddling.
The appointment makes Clegg, former leader of Britain’s Liberal Democrats and deputy to David Cameron in the 2010-2015 coalition government, the most senior European politician ever in a leadership role in Silicon Valley.
Facebook said Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg were closely involved in the hiring process, and started talking to Clegg over the summer.
“Our company is on a critical journey. The challenges we face are serious and clear and now more than ever we need new perspectives to help us though this time of change,” Sandberg said on a Facebook post congratulating Clegg.
Clegg, 51, succeeds Elliot Schrage and will report to Sandberg beginning on Monday. He will move to California with his family in the new year.
He was ousted as deputy prime minister after the Conservatives won a majority in 2015 in an election that saw his Liberal Democrats suffer a significant loss of support.
Clegg, whose appeal to younger voters was critically damaged when he broke a promise not to raise student tuition fees, lost his own seat in Britain’s parliament in an election last year.
He apologized in 2012 for breaking his promise on student charges, saying “I will never again make a pledge unless as a party we are absolutely clear about how we can keep it.”
Clegg is joining a company that has apologized for its mistakes and has promised to do better on many occasions, for example for breaching its users’ trust.
“Throughout my public life I have relished grappling with difficult and controversial issues and seeking to communicate them to others,” Clegg said in a Facebook post.
“I hope to use some of those skills in my new role“
Clegg, a strong advocate of Britain’s membership of the European Union, said it was a “wrench” to be leaving the public debate at a crucial time in Brexit, but added that key decisions would pass to parliament, of which he was no longer a member.
He will join his Liberal Democrat colleague Richard Allan at the social network.
Allan, a member of parliament between 1997 and 2005 who now sits in the upper house, is Facebook’s vice president of public policy for Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Clegg has discussed online security and privacy, both when in office and more recently in newspaper articles.
“I’m not especially bedazzled by Facebook,” he said in an article in the London Evening Standard in 2016.
“While I have good friends who work at the company, I actually find the messianic Californian new-worldy-touchy-feely culture of Facebook a little grating.”
He also said he was not sure that companies such as Facebook really pay all the tax they could, although he added that was as much the fault of governments that still hadn’t got their tax act together.
Schrage, who led the social network’s response to its several scandals, stepped down from the role in June after a decade with the company. Schrage will stay as an adviser, Facebook said.
Facebook has faced a barrage of criticism from users and lawmakers after it said last year that Russian agents used its platform to spread disinformation before and after the 2016 US presidential election, an accusation Moscow denies.
In March, the company faced new scrutiny over how it protects personal information after acknowledging that the data of up to 87 million people ended up in the hands of political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.