Friday, 22 October 2010

Emma Harrison on Woman's Hour

"Emma Harrison, founder and Director of A4E, a company that helps people retrain for new employment" was on Woman's Hour this morning. It's not a programme I normally listen to but got a tip-off. The item was on women in the workplace, following the row amongst the women on The Apprentice, and Karen Brady's lecture to them. Emma was interviewed along with Sarah Rutherford. Emma said the programme was "shocking" but mainly done for the telly and it wouldn't last a minute in the real world. And then she dropped in the fact that she had just picked up an award for entrepreneurial women and found that young women were equally appalled. The programme is watched to learn how not to do it. You don't build good businesses by screaming at each other. The women she works with are collegiate, sharing, helping each other; she runs a global business and it's still tough to be a woman. Younger women in business now are more feminine and there's more room for that. Older women feel they mustn't stray into the feminine stuff. It was sensible stuff in the main, but typical of Ms Harrison to make sure the audience knows that she runs a global business and gets awards.

That award, by the way, was given by a group called the Pink Shoe Club (it's for women, because of course all women like pink and shoes). You can read about it on A4e's website.


  1. Ian duncan smith- A bus journey from were i live in leeds to town a journey of approx 1 mile costs £1.90 one way go figure how much it would cost travelling an hour to work EACH WAY 5 days a week for say minimum wage. with taxes, ni payments, food, council tax, utillity bills, what would a person be left with a week for working all week, id say about a tenner. would you work all week mr duncan smith for a tenner?

  2. I said I wouldn't publish any more comments from people who can't be bothered to use the shift key, and the comment above is definitely the last. But you make a good point. See the item in my "Stories in the news". Travel costs are impossibly high. Perhaps he means people should be prepared to move, and many do, as they always did in the past. The problem now is that so many jobs are short-term, and you can't up sticks, with nowhere to live and only casual work in the offing.

  3. Exactly, this is what Iain Duncan Smith is hinting at - people moving. Moving to "vacancies" that suddenly vaporise just as you arrive in an unfamiliar city - now rendered homeless as well as hungry. Or, moving to purpose built "work-facilities" in the style of the intended prison work camps.

  4. In defense: I've just started a temporary job that entails flexible hours at short notice. Last two days, had to start at 06:00 and the first bus round here runs at 06:30. I am lucky that the walk takes just on one hour for a distance of approximately four miles. IF the job entailed a longer journey (either on foot, or by bus) and/or walking along unlit country roads, I wouldn't have taken the job.

    Yes, the hours suck, as does the bus fare when I can get one. But the pay and working conditions are acceptable, and I get to thumb my nose at A4e.


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