Business Ethics and Corporate Culture

Quebec Anti-Corruption Report Released

The Globe and Mail reports that Quebec’s anti-collusion unit head Jacques Duchesneau is “confident his report on corruption in the construction industry will be taken seriously by the government”. Mr Duchesneau reportedly described the situation as “worse than what [he] thought”. Consequently the provincial government will reportedly review 74 recent public works contracts for corruption; however, the government has stated that cost overruns occurred for only 3.2% of the 1,528 contracts awarded in 2010-11.
The Globe and Mail: Quebec’s corruption report will be taken seriously, author says (23 September 2011)

Related news item:
The Gazette: SQ denies political interference quashes corruption investigations (24 September 2011)
(Source: The Globe and Mail; The Gazette)

Law Firm Joins UN Gender Diversity Initiative
Asia Pacific

Top tier law firm Mallesons Stephen Jaques (Mallesons) has signed the United Nations (UN) Women’s Empowerment Principles in an effort to improve gender diversity in the workplace.

According to Mallesons, the Principles aim to:

  • “[e]stablish high level corporate leadership for gender equality”;
  • “[t]reat all women and men fairly at work – respect and support human rights and non-discrimination”;
  • “[e]nsure the health, safety and well-being of all women and men workers”;
  • “[p]romote education, training and development for women”;
  • “[i]Implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women”;
  • “[p]romote equality through community initiatives and advocacy”; and
  • “[m]easure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender equality”.

Mallesons chief executive partner Robert Milliner said that the firm has “signed up to help us challenge ourselves, ensure best practice, test actions, track progress and be held accountable”. Mr Milliner further commented that “[g]ender equality is good for business and we are excited and determined to fulfil our promise”.
Mallesons’ media release (9 September 2011)
(Source: Mallesons)

Employment Discrimination Proceedings

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued the following media releases in relation to employment discrimination proceedings:

(Source: EEOC)

$2.2 Million Sex Discrimination Case Settles

The US Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has announced that Tyson Fresh Meats Inc has agreed to pay US$2.25 million in compensation to settle a sex discrimination class action on behalf of 1,650 qualified female job applicants who were rejected for employment at various facilities owned by the company. 
OFCCP’s media release (20 September 2011)
(Source: OFCCP)

Gender Equality in Employment Necessary for Development

Reuters reports that a recent World Bank report, World Development Report 2012: Gender Equality and Development (undated), demonstrates that gender equality is an economic necessity as much as it is a human right. World Bank chief economist Justin Yifu Lin reportedly said that “[b]locking women and girls from getting the skills and earnings to succeed in a globalized world is not only wrong, but also economically harmful”. Reportedly, increasing women’s access to agriculture could increase agricultural output in developing countries by as much as 4%; whilst eliminating barriers in other occupations could increase output per worker by up to 25%.
Reuters: Gender equality boosts development, World Bank says (19 September 2011)
(Source: Reuters; World Bank)