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Paris attacks, closing the wage gap & kids with cellphones: BUSINESS WEEK WRAP

The devastating attacks in Paris dominated the news cycle this week, and while the human tragedy superceded all others.

We followed up with the business angle, such as this story about how the tourism industry is reeling. France is one of the biggest tourism draws in the world, as 84 million people visit Paris every year. But that’s in doubt now as the City of Light has been overcome by fear of further attacks.

Some travel agents say clients have cancelled trips. Hotels that were booked are now waiting by a quiet phone for replacement reservations.

Even some flight attendants have refused to fly there, according to the union that represents them at Air Canada. But officially — the Canadian government says there is no nationwide advisory in effect for France. 

Ultimately, it’s a decision that will be left up to travellers themselves. “As citizens we have to look at the problem, assess what our own threshold is for risk, we have to go about our lives,” aviation security consultant Anthony Roman told us this week.

Closing the gender gap


130 people were killed in last Friday’s terror attacks, but the impact on the city’s tourism is still unknown. (Benoit Tessier/Reuters)

The good news is, we are slowly closing the gender wage gap. The bad news is it won’t be closed for another 118 years.

That was the conclusion of one of our most-read stories this week, this one about a report from the World Economic Forum that found while the wage gap between men and women is narrowing, its still a long way from being closed.

Women still make about 82 per cent of what men do in Canada, on average, and in similar positions it’s even worse — just 72 cents for every male dollar. That’s better than in most of the world, the WEF said, where at the current pace of progress, average wages won’t equalize themselves for another century, until 2133.

Still, there’s signs things are getting better on the glass ceiling front in Canada. A separate report from the Canadian Board Diversity Council found that 19.5 per cent of corporate board members of Canada’s 500 largest companies are women.

Board jobs are a good sign that women are getting into higher paying, higher power positions, which should serve to benefit everyone down the line. At its current pace, Canadian boards could achieve an even split sooner than you think.

“If this pace of change continues, we will see gender parity at the board level in 13 years, in 2028,” Pamela Jeffery, founder of the CBDC, said in her analysis. 

But there’s still 109 out of Canada’s largest 500 companies that don’t have a single woman on their board, never mind an equal number of them.

“It is embarrassing when you think that we’re competing globally, against companies that have the benefit of diverse teams and research shows that diverse teams drive better financial performance, so we’re at a disadvantage,” Jeffery told us this week.

Kids and cellphones

?Place a smartphone into any young child’s hands, and you might be surprised how easily they are able to navigate it. But a report this week asked a much more important question: should they?

The CBC’s Aaron Saltzman reported this week on a new survey about kids and smartphones. 

The numbers are alarming. One quarter of Canadian Grade 4 students — some as young as eight years old — own their own cellphone, according to MediaSmarts. That jumps to 50 per cent of Grade 7 students, who are themselves at most 13 years old.

“We’re seeing higher and higher adoption of mobile devices by younger and younger kids,” MediaSmarts’ Matthew Johnson said.

So the next time you get shocked as your kid asks you for a cellphone, take comfort from the fact you are not alone

Other stuff

Those were but a few of our best stories this week, but we have lots more. Check out our website to see for yourself and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter to always stay up to date. In the meantime, here’s a day by day list of our most read stories of the past few days.






CBC | Business News

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