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EU NewsOne notes that most ‘top bankers’ are male, which illustrates the point being made rather nicely - A European Commission report shows that limited progress towards increasing the number of women on company boards has been achieved one year after EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding called for credible self-regulatory measures.

Just 1 in 7 board members at Europe's top firms is a woman (13.7%). This is a slight improvement from 11.8% in 2010.  However, it would still take more than 40 years to reach a significant gender balance (at least 40% of both sexes) at this rate.

A report by McKinsey found that gender-balanced companies have a 56% higher operating profit compared to male-only companies.  Ernst & Young looked at the 290 largest publicly-listed companies. They found that 'the earnings at companies with at least one woman on the board were significantly higher than in those that had no female board member'.
DWP:  Is it as simple as a £25k / £2.9k equation? - Last week the Government announced that disability employment services should be focused on disabled people themselves, rather than institutions, so they can access mainstream jobs the same as everyone else’.

The Government was responding to the Sayce Review which was commissioned to look at how the £320m protected budget for disability employment could be used more effectively to support thousands more disabled people into work.

It currently costs the Government & taxpayer £25,000 each year to support each disabled employee working in a Remploy factory yet the average Access to Work award to support a disabled person in mainstream employment is £2,900.
EU News:  Time for a ‘barbaric’ custom to be consigned to the ‘dusbin of history’ - An innovative EU and UNICEF project has helped thousands of families, communities & countries to change attitudes and end harmful traditional practices like female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) in Africa, says a report on the EU funded project published ahead of International Women's Day.

As a result of education & awareness raising, girls in thousands of communities in Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Senegal & Sudan are no longer subjected to this practice.  In many African countries, female genital mutilation/cutting is a centuries-old custom, believed to make girls marriageable.

Estimates show that up to 140m girls & women have undergone some form of female genital mutilation/cutting and are living with painful complications.  Each year around 3m girls – 8,000 a day – suffer the results of it.
CQC:  Ensuring that they are ‘Cared for’ - The Care Quality Commission has published the results of a review of how the healthcare needs of care home residents are met

It addresses how older people & people with learning disabilities living in care homes access healthcare services, whether they have choice & control over their healthcare and whether they receive care that is safe & respects their dignity.
MoDBrewing up in some foreign fields! - To mark the unique occasion of Her Majesty The Queen's Diamond Jubilee, Fortnum & Mason is presenting all Armed Forces personnel on active service with the 'United Services Tin', containing tea & biscuits.  

The gift is intended to ensure that each recipient will be able to join the rest of the nation in celebrating Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee Weekend on 2-5 June 2012.
SLCFirst lesson for students; get your finances sorted early - The Student Loans Company is urging English students to apply for their 2012/13 funding during National Student Money Week, to ensure their funding is in place at the start of term.  Last year around 27% of new students and 24% of returning students missed the student finance deadline dates in May & June.

Student Finance England will be hosting & taking part in online webchats during National Student Money Week (Monday 12 - Friday 16 March 2012) and helping students understand what support is available to them.  The Company is also currently taking part in UCAS Conventions across England.
NAOWhy do they never apply the Pareto Principle? - The National Audit Office has reported on the initiative for government departments to share back-office functions.  It concludes that, despite significant cost & effort, the planned benefits of the initiative have not been achieved
By creating complex services overly tailored to individual departments, government has increased costs and reduced flexibility.  There has also been a failure to develop the benchmarks necessary for measuring performance.

The NAO reports that the services provided are currently overly customized to meet the needs of individual departmental customers and more complex than the NAO expected. The ability of the shared service centres to make efficiencies is thereby limited by the overhead of running multiple systems & processes.
Press release & links ~ Pareto Principle ~ The Lazy Project Manger ~ Report: Government and IT - 'A recipe for rip-offs': Time for a new approach ~ MPs report on information and communications technology in government ~ ScotGov: Public sector ICT review ~ Planting the Flag: the Strategy for ICT-enabled local public services reform ~ e-Society: the full report (ONS) (scroll down) ~ CBI calls on the Government to harness the potential of information technology to transform public services ~ Institute for Government response to new Government ICT Strategy ~ Socitm’s Manifesto for an incoming Government: A Seven Point Plan for IT in Tomorrow’s Public Services ~ New ICT negotiating guide launched ~ NAO: Central government's use of consultants and interims ~ FireControl: inadequately planned, poorly executed and badly managed

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