This week in Editors’ Picks, we take a look at the ‘bamboo ceiling’ in Australia, Piketty on climate change, the rising prominence of inequality, paying for internships and the status and future of European SMEs.
The recent release of the Cultural Ceiling business report, published by the Diversity Council Australia has shone a light on the clear underrepresentation of Asian Australian leaders in the top management positions. Both economically damaging for Australia, as well as plainly unethical, this issue is a clear and present challenge.
Thomas Piketty, Climate Change and Discounting Our Future – David Hodgkinson
Piketty’s lesser-known contributions to the debate on responses to climate change includes endorsing immediate intervention. He is however, cautious in his approach and openly caveats his position with the fact that humanity does not seem to have a correct answer. He urges investment in educational capital to prevent the ‘degradation of natural capital’, as humanity is not fully equipped with the either an ability to decide on a response to climate change, or to deal with climate change in a cost-free manner. A discussion of discounting and decision-making in the context of climate change makes for an engaging read.
Inequality: An Old Concern Given New Prominence – Frank Stilwell
Inequality and a lack of a ‘fair go’ have long featured in political and economic debates surrounding the structure and morality of our social system. Recently, the Abbott-Government’s budget has been fiercely subject to such criticism. Stilwell traces the global history of this debate and argues that now is a synchronous moment in Australia, where action should be taken to redress inequality.
Young Jobless Pay for Internships – Anna Patty
In an epoch of surging youth unemployment, Patty points to the fact that some prospective interns must pay, and in certain circumstances pay handsomely, for the opportunity to have some work-place experience. While some immediately object over concerns about the possible exploitation, others have seen this as a legitimate way to reimburse companies for their willingness to host interns, particularly for international students. Insightful analysis at the cutting-edge of the education-work threshold.
Financing Europe’s Small Firms: Don’t Bank on the Banks – The Economist
The Economist ponders the future and past of Europe’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as they struggle against decreased domestic demand and bank lending. Critically important to a European recovery, access to a variety of finance appears to be driving growth.