Will Quotas For Women Lead To Broader Diversity?

When Kamala Harris took the stage as Vice-President elect, it revealed how our leaders serve as our role models, for better or worse. Harris’s presence made it clear how much we need women, and indeed, women of color, in leadership.  

Parents around the world watched Harris with their children of all sexes and races. They saw the future in their children’s eyes: a world in which diverse leadership moves from a shared central value to political and corporate reality.  Make no mistake, this is not just for the girls, or for the Black, biracial or South Asian girls. This is for all children, who learn from her example, to value other children without regard to their sex or race. 

That image – of Harris taking the stage – proved a point made so eloquently by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, our nation’s first woman Supreme Court Justice. In her statement on affirmative action, in which she said, “In order to cultivate a set of leaders with legitimacy in the eyes of the citizenry, it is necessary that the path to leadership be visibly open to talented and qualified individuals of every race and ethnicity.”

In politics, we should expect the Biden administration to prove the most diverse in history.  Five years ago, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau named women to half his cabinet. When questioned why, he answered simply “because it’s 2015.” It’s now 2020, and we have every reason to expect Biden’s administration and cabinet will be the most diverse in U.S. history.

The private sector faces more challenges in some respects. Within the private sector, certain areas face greater challenges. The exclusion of women and people of color from leadership marks millions of missed opportunities, of brilliance and creativity left untapped, of profits and growth left unexplored. Good governance demands the inclusion of talented people from all backgrounds.

California is leading efforts to rectify the lack of equity in private sector leadership.  It passed a quota for women on boards in 2018 and then in late 2020 a similar quota for “underrepresented groups,” which includes a variety of people of color as well as LGBT people. These quotas require representation on corporate boards, leading to the inclusion of a critical mass of women, people of color, and LGBT people by the end of 2022.

How do these quotas related to each other, and how will companies respond to these initiatives? Will they comply willingly or resist the state mandate? Many have assumed a negative response, but the private sector in fact has stepped up to integrate women into leadership.

Let’s take cybersecurity as an example. Since the concern about foreign interference in the U.S. election, it’s clearer than ever than this industry plays a central role in our economy. At the intersection of two heavily male-dominated sectors – technology and defense, cybersecurity may face more challenges than most in diversifying its leadership.  With its fast growth, cybersecurity also provides opportunities for new entrants in the market, creating opportunities for

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PlatAfrica partners with African Fashion International to promote platinum jewellery to broader audience

By Gerry Cupido Time of article published45m ago

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There’s no denying that the partnership between fashion and jewellery to be the perfect marriage of two fields of design.

Therefore it makes perfect sense for South Africa’s premier platinum jewellery designers and South Africa’s top fashion designers to come together at the highly accepted fashion event, the African International Fashion week.

In a bid to promote platinum jewellery to a broader audience, PlatAfrica has partnered with African Fashion International (AFI) to showcase finalists’ pieces of the 21st platinum jewellery and manufacturing competition as part of Joburg Fashion Week 2020.

Hosted annually by Anglo American Platinum in partnership with Metal Concentrators and Platinum Guild International (PGI) India, PlatAfrica aims to promote innovation and technical expertise in platinum jewellery design and manufacturing in South Africa.

This year’s theme – Designed for Men of Platinum – was developed in consultation with PGI India and was inspired by consumer research that identifies men’s jewellery as a growing demand segment for platinum jewellery, but with a limited product offering.

The winners are to be announced during a virtual showcase event on November 13, with models dressed by leading South African menswear brand, Carducci.

“Platinum has been a highly sought after jewellery metal for consumers for decades and we are proud of the many firsts that are being incorporated in this year’s 21st edition of PlatAfrica. For the first time, the competition focuses on men’s jewellery, which is an under serviced market segment” said Natascha Viljoen, chief executive of Anglo American Platinum.

Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, founder of AFI, has this to say about the partnership: “PlatAfrica has built a reputation for inspiring creativity and quality in platinum jewellery design in South Africa. What excites me about our partnership with PlatAfrica is the opportunity to develop and grow nascent talent into international excellence, thus contributing to our creative capital as well job creation and economic growth.”

This year’s finalists have been split into two categories, professional and student/apprentice. These are the winners in their categories.

Professional category:

Stacy Beukes (Ruth Prowse School of Art); Rob Burton, Emile Pitout and Abdullah Zayd (Platandia); Labi Kapo (Akapo Jewels); Fang-Yu Liao and Aurelien Brandt (MICHL Jewellery & Brandt Adornment); Jane Merrifield (Tuesday’s Child Jewellery Design); Mandlenkosi None and Nnete Mokgothu (Mo Nkosi and Nnete Jewellery Manufacturers); Nihal Shah (Vijay Shah Concepts); Shikant Shah (Shah Jewellers); Christina Toros (Prins and Prins); and Lungile Xhwantini (The Platinum Incubator).

Student/apprentice category:

Ross Kellerman (Cape Peninsula University of Technology); Thembi Maduna (Vijay Shah Concepts); Kgabo Justice Makibelo (The Platinum Incubator); Liam McRobert (Ruth Prowse School of Art); Malefa Phoofolo (Tinsel); Alexander Rawháni (Shohreh Custom Made); Ntsikelelo Shan ge (Akapo Jewels); Busisiwe Sinini (The Platinum Incubator); Thembelihle Sishi (Durban University of Technology); and Rejoice Lerato Setshedi (The Platinum Incubator).

Apprentice finalist Busisiwe Sinini’s pinky ring entitled “Pollyanna View” was inspired by South African comedian Trevor Noah. The shape of the design takes us back to his roots on his

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Poland’s new abortion law triggers broader discontent as women lead protests

“Poland is an example for Europe and the world”, chanted the hundreds of pro-life activists gathered outside the Constitutional Court in Warsaw last Thursday. Their outburst of enthusiasm came after the court had ruled to almost completely ban abortions.

a group of people in a room: A protester with a sign of the women's rights campaign joins others on the fifth day of nationwide protests against recent court ruling that tightened Poland's restrictive abortion law, in Warsaw, Poland, on Monday, Oct. 26, 2020.

© Czarek Sokolowski/AP
A protester with a sign of the women’s rights campaign joins others on the fifth day of nationwide protests against recent court ruling that tightened Poland’s restrictive abortion law, in Warsaw, Poland, on Monday, Oct. 26, 2020.

But Tuesday, as yesterday, streets in large cities and small towns across Poland are blocked by not hundreds, but tens of thousands, mostly women, who are outraged by that restrictive court ruling.


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Today is the sixth day women came out with placards reading “My body’s not an incubator”, “This is war,” and Poles are beginning to take this protest further, beyond the anti-abortion law — to vent their anger at their rulers. Marta Lempart, one of the demos’ leaders says, “Now it’s not about abortion alone, it’s about freedom in general and abortion has become a symbol of it.”

Many in Poland are referring to the swelling protests as the Women’s Revolution. Poland has not seen such a manifestation of nationwide solidarity in years. During Monday’s protest, taxi drivers stopped their cabs and blocked road junctions, the so-called ‘ultras’ — soccer fans who take pride in being macho stadium hooligans — marched with the women. The town of Krakow was a scene of rare defiance — riot police, there to contain the demo, changed sides and took off their helmets, dropped their shields and marched alongside the protesting women.

It is common knowledge in Poland that it’s not only the conservative, right-wing government that is behind the ban, but particularly bishops of the influential Catholic Church. On Sunday demonstrators took their anger to the churches across the country and disrupted services.

MORE: The 22-year-old helping to lead Belarus’ protests from behind a screen in Poland

a group of people standing in front of a large crowd of people: Angered women's rights activists confront police and a far-right group on the fifth day of their nationwide protests against a recent court ruling that tightened Poland's restrictive abortion law, in Warsaw, Poland, on Monday, Oct. 26, 2020.

© Czarek Sokolowski/AP
Angered women’s rights activists confront police and a far-right group on the fifth day of their nationwide protests against a recent court ruling that tightened Poland’s restrictive abortion law, in Warsaw, Poland, on Monday, Oct. 26, 2020.

MORE: UN climate conference meets in coal-focused Poland

Laws imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19 ban public gatherings of more than 10 people and provide authorities with a justifiable excuse to send in police to break up the swelling demos.

Several dozen people have been detained and fined, but at least for now, police actions have been restrained. Helmeted, shield-wielding riot police control the demos, but seem to be there mostly to intimidate.

Up until last Thursday, Poland’s abortion law was a compromise that worked. Pro-abortionists saw it as too restrictive, pro-lifers considered it to be too liberal, but both accepted it ever since the law was passed in 1993.

Abortion was allowed only if the pregnancy was a result of a criminal act, when pregnancy posed a serious threat to a pregnant

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