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New HR Director for Lloyds Banking Group

The London-based Lloyds Banking Group has strengthened its senior HR team.

Sandra Quinn has been appointed to the new role of People Risk Director and will be responsible for risk management of the HR function within Lloyds Banking Group.

Quinn joined the organisation from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in July where she had recently completed a review of its financial crime activities. Since 1997 she held a number of policy, project and leadership roles positions at the FSA including Interim Chief Executive of the National Fraud Authority which she set up.

She will report to Lloyd’s Group HR Director Angie Risley, who comments that: “We’re delighted to welcome Sandra to our HR team. We recognise that risk management is integral to the success of our business and we are pleased to be leading the way in making this appointment.”

Female HR Bosses 107 Years from Equal Pay

The average female manager in the UK faces a wait of 57 years for their salary to be on a par with male counterparts, while equal pay for women HR bosses is a mind-blowing 107 years away.

These are the findings of the ‘2010 National Management Salary Survey’ undertaken among 43,000 managers in 200 organisations by researchers XpertHR on behalf of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

The study revealed that, although female leaders’ salaries rose by about 2.8% in the last 12 months to £31,306 per annum, on average they were paid £10,000 or 24% less than their male equivalents.

But it also indicated that women HR bosses faced the longest wait of any sector before their take-home pay equalled that of men. Although their wages increased by 3.1% over the last year compared with pay rises of 2.9% for men, the gap was on average closing more slowly than in other professions. The pay differential with male colleagues currently stood at £7,847.

B&Q HR Director recognised

Liz BellLiz Bell, the director of HR at B&Q, has reached the shortlist for the Leader of the Year at the ‘Everywoman in Retail’ awards, sponsored by Specsavers.

The award recognises dynamic female talent working at the top of the retail industry.

Commenting on her nomination, Christina Tolvas-Vincent revealed:

“Liz has defied the odds in making it to the top of the career ladder twice, making a comeback after taking a lengthy break to have a family. She has since been propelled onto the board of B&Q, one of the UK’s biggest retailers, as the only female director and continues to inspire daily with her enthusiasm for people development and equality regardless of age or gender.

“Not only is her personal story one to inspire every woman in retail but so is her daily task of ensuring that opportunities are there for women in the workplace and that B&Q offers the flexibility and training to allow them to achieve their ambitions.”

Bell has also revealed her delight at receiving the prestigious nomination for her HR work:

“It’s great to be shortlisted for such a prestigious award and I hope that other women are encouraged to realise their full potential, regardless of taking family breaks in their careers. My career has been varied and exciting, none more so than the last few years with B&Q, where I have had the chance to grow and develop with a dynamic workforce and innovative team.”

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BBC North HR boss quits in relocation dispute

BBC NorthThe head of HR for BBC North – tasked with the job of selling the mass relocation to employees – has stunned the corporation by quitting after refusing to make the permanent move to Salford Quays himself.

Paul Gaskin had only been in the £190,000 role for a matter of months, and has left his post after failing to commit to the massive BBC relocation project.

He had the key HR role of ‘meeting the long term strategic objectives for BBC North’ – a major part of which was the important job of convincing hundreds of BBC staff of the benefits of the move.

According to a source quoted in the Mail on Sunday, the news is extremely worrying for whole BBC North project:

“There are real worries the BBC move north is facing problems. It doesn’t make sense for him to quit such a big job in the middle of such a prestigious project.”

Job Losses at Edinburgh City Council

A cull of middle managers at Edinburgh city council will see at least 300 senior posts being axed in the latest measure aimed at tackling the growing cash crisis.

All of the city council’s 20,000 employees were set to be told today of the job losses, which would save £16 million over the next three years.

The cuts have been drawn up by council officials as a first step towards easing the “black hole” in the council’s finances, which has been estimated at £90m over the next three years but officials say could grow.

A separate report published today has also revealed that two council departments are to be merged, resulting in another 21 job losses.

The merger of the payroll and human resources department is expected to save £550,000 a year. The announcements will lead to the first-ever redundancies in the 15-year history of the city council.

Council leader Jenny Dawe said: “The harsh reality of the UK budget deficit requires us to confront some very difficult decisions. We recognise just how concerning this is for staff and we will critically examine the proposals received. We will do all we can to support staff and to protect the valued and vital services they deliver.”

Some of the job losses could go through before next April, although most are expected in the 2011/12 financial year.

New Head of Resourcing at Lloyds Banking Group

Mark Gilbertson is the new head of resourcing at Lloyds Banking Group, with responsibility for both retail banking and group operations.

He started his HR career with a niche search & selection firm in the City almost 20 years ago, before joining Arthur Andersen Business Consulting.
Subsequently, Gilbertson has taken on a number of head of recruitment roles for household corporate names across multiple sectors; these included retail, financial and professional services, IT/telecoms and health & beauty.

In 2007, he founded an HR consultancy and interim firm that allows organisations to implement ’transformational change’ across their HR, resourcing, recruitment and talent management space. Gilbertson reports to resourcing director Lindsey Tasker.

Dream Works HR Boss Nurtures Internal Talent

dream worksDream Works HR boss advocates creation of an environment that nurtures internal talent and retains them.

Given the current uncertainty around unemployment, HR leaders in the US are asking questions about whether to recruit top talent or develop talent from within an organisation.

Dan Satterthwaite (pictured), head of HR, DreamWorks, believes providing the right environment not only develops and nurtures talent internally but allows for retaining senior talent longer.

“It was a commitment we made because keeping people focused on creative work and keeping them focused on innovation inherently requires them to take risks,” he said.

“In an environment where people are fearful, they will not taking risks, and we just cannot afford to let the creativity or innovation that drives this entire company in any way be affected by the uncertainty and fear that the outside world has created over the past 18 months.”

Organisations, he added, need to ensure their employees develop and implement the current skills and competencies required to execute the company’s business strategy today and into the future. A quality employee-training programme is essential to keep staff motivated and a company profitable.

Men call in sick due to work related stress

stressNew research has showed that men are four times more likely than women to phone in sick because of work-related stress.

The survey conducted by healthcare cash plan provider Medicash found that of the 3,000 workers surveyed, 20 per cent of men admitted that they had taken two days off sick in the past month because of stress.

The male participants also revealed that workplace stress and anxiety was causing one in five men to need a drink after work most days.

Despite the figures, both men and women are suffering from work related stress. The figures even reveal that more women than men – thirty one per cent of women and 24 per cent of men – said they often felt stressed. However, people from different genders appear to react and deal with their feelings quite differently.

Women revealed that dealing with difficult customers was one of the most common triggers, whereas their male colleagues said a heavy workload was the cause of their problems.

Those employees seeking anxiety treatment should try hypnotherapy. During sessions, the clients conscious and unconscious parts of their minds are retrained simultaneously. Clients are asked to discuss the situations in which they usually experience anxiety, to discover exactly what it is that causes the anxious feelings.

Medicash chief executive Sue Weir, told HR Magazine: “Small amounts of pressure at work can enhance our performance but, if that pressure becomes unremitting, it can seriously affect our health.

“Workplace stress can be damaging on any level, affecting both the employee and employer. Bosses have a duty of care and responsibility to look after their workforce and have systems in place to address stress at work,” she added.

HR must not fall for the ‘delusion of gender’

genderHR professionals need to be careful of indulging in ‘neurosexism’, after revelations that widely accepted differences between male and female abilities are not hard-wired into their brains from birth but are the result of cultural assumptions.

Cordelia Fine, a researcher at Melbourne University, argues in her book entitled ‘Delusions of Gender’, which is due to be published by Icon next month, that, although there may be slight variations in the brains of men and women, there are no major neurological differences between the sexes.

As a result, there is no scientific justification for believing that women are better communicators and multi-taskers, while men have superior spatial skills or are better at maths. Such prejudices are more the result of education, popular culture and even how people choose to dress their children, but they are putting “unjustified obstacles” in people’s path to self development.

What this all means, in essence, is that the wiring of people’s brains is soft rather than hard. “It is flexible, malleable and changeable,” Fine told the Guardian newspaper.

It also means that people’s intellectual abilities are not the product of their gender or genes and those who claim otherwise are merely coating old-fashioned stereotypes with a veneer of scientific credibility.

A growing number of scientists are starting to question the notion of ‘neurosexism’ and express concern over its potentially damaging implications. The idea first emerged as a reaction against the strict traditional view of the sexes in post-War society.

But it was reinforced by international best-sellers such as John Gray’s ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus’, which stressed the innate differences between how the minds of men and women worked as well as their differences in communication.

Interest in London HR jobs soars

Tower BridgeHR and administration jobs are attracting substantial interest as online search volume for jobs in London soared by 10 per cent from 550,000 in March to 673,000 in June, according to latest statistics from Greenlight.

The agency’s latest data suggests candidates are becoming more open-minded about the future direction of their career – in fact the search term ‘career advice’ jumped dramatically from 14,800 searches in March to 1 million in June – and it seems HR is a popular career to explore for many.

Simon Hollingsworth, the lead researcher at Greenlight, believes there’s a simple explanation:

“The surge in career advice may likely be explained by the influx of recent graduates researching career information online.

“In addition, the recession, which resulted in job losses, has seen people look to pursue new career paths and acquire skills enabling them to apply for roles beyond those they have traditionally worked in.”

And it seems the HR and administration sector has been one of the major beneficiaries of searches – coming second on the list after retail and sales. Construction and engineering was third.