Canada Restarts Funding To Laos

American B-52 bombers dropped two million tonnes of bombs on Laos over nine years, including 270 million fist-sized bomblets, 80 million of which failed to explode. The small, brightly coloured submunitions, known as bombies or bomblets, continue to litter the country, injuring and maiming innocent civilians, often children. There are an estimated 12,000 cluster bomb victims and their families living in Laos, Vietnam’s tiny landlocked neighbour of six million people. Baird is to announce the renewed Canadian funding in Vientiane, the Laotian capital, at a government-run health and rehab facility called the Cope Centre that also contains a small but powerful museum that describes the cluster bomb problem. Sources familiar with the details surrounding the announcement say Baird will announce $500,000 each for two UXO clearance operators based in Laos. They are the British-based Mines Advisory Group, and the country’s own homegrown clearance operator, UXO Lao. The $1 million will be administered through a United Nations Development Program trust fund. The deputy director of UXO Lao had effusive praise for Canada’s past funding of the sector during an interview earlier this year, but was one of several officials urging Canada to restart funding. “Maybe there’s some other internal issue the Canadian people consider more important to resolve,” said Wanthong Khamdala. “But I’d like to request to the Canadian government to consider again to support.” Baird’s announcement will take place in the Cope Centre, which former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited in July 2012 on her historic visit to Laos. Clinton met Phongsavath Manithong, who lost both his hands and was blinded by a cluster bomb on his 16th birthday in February 2008. Phongsavath told The Canadian Press in a lengthy interview at the centre earlier this year that his country needs more financial help to assist victims of cluster bombs. “We need more help from the American government.

Canada’s Female Leaders Acknowledge the Last Taboos Impacting Workplace Progress: Study

15, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ – Much has been said about Canada’s progressive business environment removing the glass ceiling for women in the workplace. Yet a recent study among 501 female business leaders, conducted by Ipsos-Reid on behalf of Randstad Canada, suggests that many of the key inhibitors to female progression are not easily identifiable factors that can be addressed by corporate policies or workplace procedures, because wider societal perceptions of women and the complexities of male and female interactions are at play. Personal Appearance Affects Promotion When asked if personal image, including appearance, can impact career progression, 90 per cent of respondents said that they believe that overall image, including looks, have a substantial impact on a woman’s career progression, while only 37 per cent believe image can have the same effect on a man’s career. “While this is a sensitive issue, marked differences in opinion between those women over 55 and those under 35 suggest that there may be progress underway,” said Gina Ibghy, Chief People Officer, Randstad Canada, adding that while 55 per cent of older workers are the most likely to say that image plays a very large factor in a women’s career, only 42 per cent of younger women say the same. In fact, 33 per cent of those respondents under the age of 35 feel image plays no factor at all. Addressing another sensitive topic, the Randstad study also asked Canada’s female business leaders if having a male or female boss can affect career progression. Based on the responses, Canadian women are divided in their opinions, with half stating that the gender of a superior does not impact a woman’s chance to obtain a managerial or executive position and half say that it does.Interestingly, those stating that gender plays a role feel that a female boss is more likely to inhibit their progression than a male superior. “We are surprised by this outcome in the study,” said Gina Ibghy.”Because it is a common perception that women support other women in the workplace and another aspect of the study identified that mentorship and advocate programs for women by women are considered important for career advancement.” Respondents Say Women Are Better Leaders Than Men The study also investigated another hot topic of debate – the question of whether men or women make better leaders. Sixty-five percent of the respondents say that women are better leaders, citing enhanced communication, empathy, flexibility and organizational skills as contributing to this belief. But 77 per cent say that women have to work longer hours and harder than a male counterpart to attain these positions. When asked about more traditional workplace challenges three in five women say managing work and family as the most challenging obstacle that women face, at 61 per cent reflecting a slight increase from 60 per cent when asked the same question a year ago. Taking this question a step further, when asked if they think that companies take women’s personal commitments outside work into consideration, almost half at 49 per cent, say that companies fear absences among female employees due to family commitments and that this has impact on career progression. Women also cite the potential for maternity leave as a large “fear factor”, with 24 per cent having experienced this as an impediment to promotion.