Lai See

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 October, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 October, 2010, 12:00am

Philippines high on equality, but Nordic nations are better

Nordic countries continue to dominate The Global Gender Gap Report's Index. In case you aren't immediately familiar with this, it's an index compiled by the World Economic Forum which measures equality between the sexes, on the basis of the division of resources and opportunities among males and females. The report measures inequality in four main areas, economic participation and equality, educational attainment, political empowerment and, lastly, health and survival.

The top five places go to Iceland, Norway, Finland, Sweden and New Zealand. The Philippines, at ninth, is the highest-ranked in Asia, followed by Sri Lanka (16), Mongolia (27), Singapore (56), Thailand (57), China (61), Indonesia (87), Japan (94), South Korea (104), India (112) and Pakistan (132). Ireland, at 11, turns out to have more equality between the sexes than Britain at 15, while the US, at 19, slipped into the top 20 for the first time in the five years the index has been running.

For the record, Hong Kong wasn't mentioned, perhaps because it's regarded as a part of China, and Taiwan was also left out, presumably for different reasons.

Hegarty gets credit

You have to give credit where it's due. Owen Hegarty has chutzpah. One of the stalwarts of the mining industry and currently vice-chairman of Hong Kong-listed G-Resources, he was caught by a question that followed his presentation at the Mining Journal's Mining Investment Insight 2010 conference yesterday. 'What does that map mean?' came the question from the floor. Hegarty looked long and hard at a map of the world coded in different colours with a big ring around Asia. 'I haven't the faintest idea,' he said cheerfully, looking round at a room full of people.

Then someone from the audience piped up. 'It's produced by the IMF and it's one that I use in my presentations' and went on to explain it. We know Hegarty must have had a memory lapse because he is far too savvy to read just anything that is put in front of him.

Palmed off

Australian mining magnate Clive Palmer (pictured) is getting a bad reputation for not showing up at conferences he has agreed to speak at. Three times he has agreed to speak at mining conferences in the past year and he hasn't showed up for any of them. He was supposed to be speaking at the Mining Journal's Mining Investment Insight 2010 conference yesterday on 'Philosophies and strategies for the successful mining investor'.

The programme describes him as a 'much sought-after speaker'. But one of the conference organisers said: 'Not any more he isn't - it's three strikes and out. He's going to have to earn his way back in - maybe with a panel discussion in the afternoon of day two.'

Palmer is a highly successful mining operator and is Australia's fifth-richest man. according to BRW magazine.

He was due to list his Resourcehouse mining group in Hong Kong last year, but again didn't show up.

Depressing news

'Bad jobs will make you miserable,' says the press release from the University of the blindingly obvious. Research from the Centre of Mental Research at the Australian National University finds that employment isn't always linked to better mental health. 'In fact, people who moved from unemployment into poor quality jobs were much more likely to be depressed than those who were still unemployed' is the unsurprising conclusion.

These findings, we are told, 'highlight the importance of employers striving to provide good- quality work environments, which are associated with good workplace support, job security and realistic work demands'. So bad jobs make you unhappy, good jobs make you happy - what else is new?

Mercedes is 'green'

The Langham Hotel says it has recently 'seen an increase in demand for socially responsible weddings' and this has prompted it to launch what it calls 'the Green Wedding package'. The package includes all the basic wedding essentials but offers the option of an array of environmentally sound additions, which we are assured will ensure the wedding day is 'a day of conscience as well of joy'.

The Green Wedding package starts at HK$9,888 per table of 12 and it includes an oh-so-green chauffeur-driven Mercedes Benz limousine.