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DR NJENGA: Raise ‘Me Too’ flag on your indecent boss

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Indecent boss
Indecent bosses have no place at the work environment. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Qn: “One of my bosses is fond of starting awkward conversations in the office which I dislike. How do I get him to change his behaviour without actually having to talk to him about it?”

You give me too much leeway in the direction this conversation could lead us. I do not know how old you are, whether male or female, and I am not sure what you mean by the term “awkward conversation”. The word awkward could mean any of the following: — embarrassing, unpleasant, ticklish, vexatious, perplexing or simply delicate.

For this reason, we will assume that you are a young woman, working in a big organisation where the male boss is the problem. Remember also that we could assume that you are a young man with an embarrassing situation with a male boss.

The Me Too Movement seems to have been with us for many decades. In actual fact, it only went viral in October 2017. Few movements have changed society in the way this one has, from America, India, Africa, and the World. It seems to be growing in its impact by the day.

Time Magazine had as its front page, a group of women under the title, Person of the year, the silence breakers. Movements don’t get any bigger than this!

However, the movement has deeper roots than is often acknowledged. Tarana Burke founded the Movement in 2006, in US to help survivors of sexual violence, particularly women of colour from poor backgrounds. The idea was to empower them through empathy and letting them know there was help and that the harassment was not their fault or wrongdoing. Most importantly it was to let the women know they were not alone. There are others with similar challenges.

One of the many problems that exist in office settings in exactly what you describe. Awkward conversations in the office from the boss. Sometimes it is a request to work late when clearly there is no reason to do so. This sometimes comes with an offer of a lift home.

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At other times it is a passing comment on the way one has dressed or made up on a particular day, in other cases it is just a look that is clearly more intense than it ought to be. In yet other cases, the innuendo is more overt and could include suggestion of a dinner or a weekend possibility. In all cases, there is an element of power play with the boss seeming “on top of things” including the pace and direction of the conversation. He initiates and terminates the conversation on his terms.

Other awkward office moments occur when there is close physical proximity as happens in corridors or lifts when one gets the impression that the contact should not have been “that close”.

All the foregoing happens not only to single but can, and does happen to married women who the boss ought to know might take offence, if only because they feel disrespected. The truth, however, is that married or single, all women (nay, all people) must be treated with respect at the workplace, and no “awkward conversations” are to be allowed. We have also seen female bosses who act in a similar way to younger men!

Right up front, you must not feel guilty or to blame for not tolerating this form of abuse. Since only one of “my bosses” is guilty of this unacceptable behaviour, you might wish to bring it to the attention of the other bosses. This you could do by any one of different ways.

You might start off by looking up the company policy on sexual harassment, if indeed that is how you feel. Your next step could be to talk to the HR partner on how you have been treated and then solicit their help and support. You will be surprised by their response.

Like the Me Too movement, you might surprise yourself by finding out that the HR department is aware of the problem and has already brought it up with the MD who has already planned action against your boss.

The option NOT available to you is silence, or to enter into a conspiracy of silence with others. Bosses who set their juniors up for “awkward conversations” are most times, spineless cowards, too scared of their wives or girlfriends. They must be put in their place. Such bosses have no place at the work environment and your duty to yourself and all your sisters is to say a loud and clear, “Me Too”! Hopefully this will expose another person who deserves neither respect nor mercy.

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World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021

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World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.

“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.

He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.

The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.

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People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.

For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.

Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.

“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.

ALSO READ:Global Economy Plunges into Worst Recession – World Bank

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Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans

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The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.

“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”

According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.

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Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans

The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.

Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.

Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.

SEE ALSO: Central Bank Unveils Measures to Tame Unregulated Digital Lenders

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Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets

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NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options. 

This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.

The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.

The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.

The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).

The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.

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The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour;  Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).

The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.

Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”

He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.

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