måndag 30 mars 2009

Isländska kvinnor räddar ekonomin

Ja, det verkar vara kvinnorna som får lov att vända landet på fötter igen efter bankkrisen - eftersom männen har förlorat förtroendet.

Nedan följer några utdrag ur en mycket läsvärd artikel - läs om möjligt hela. Tänk "kyrkan", och gärna "katolska kyrkan" när du läser den. D.v.s. översätt sammanhangen så får du en mycket spännande framtidsvision serverad...

Artikeln förtäljer även att Sverige hamnar så högt som på tredje plats av 130 länder i världen i en jämförelse ur jämställdhetssynpunkt. Island hamnar först på fjärde plats - Finland är tvåa och Norge leder... (Hm, var är Danmark?)

Norden är i topp alltså! Så var vore väl en naturligare introduktionsplats/testzon t.ex. för kvinnliga katolska präster?


"On Bondadagur, or Husband's Day, the menfolk of Iceland are spoiled by their wives and girlfriends, who serve them with traditional delicacies such as ram's testicles and sheep's head jelly, a recipe for which is handily included in the latest online edition of Iceland Review, alongside the latest bulletins on the economic meltdown.

Icelandic women, however, are more likely to be studying the financial news than the recipes - and more likely to be thinking about how to put right the mess their men have made of the banking system than about cooking them comfort food. The tiny nation, with a population of just over 300,000 people, has been overwhelmed by an economic disaster that is threatening its very survival. But for a generation of fortysomething women, the havoc is translating into an opportunity to step into the positions vacated by the men blamed for the crisis, and to play a leading role in creating a more balanced economy, which, they argue, should incorporate overtly feminine values.

The ruling male elite is scarcely in a position to argue. The krona has collapsed; interest rates and inflation have soared; companies and households which have borrowed in foreign currency are overwhelmed by their debts and unemployment is at record levels. An exodus of young people is feared from the capital only recently held up as a centre of cutting-edge cool. Walking along Laugavegur, touted until a year or so ago as the Bond Street of Reykjavik, the gloom is palpable.


Unlike in the UK, Iceland's women are at the forefront of the clean-up. The crisis led to the downfall of the government and the prime minister's residence - which resembles a slightly over-sized white dormer bungalow - is now occupied by Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir, an elegant 66-year-old lesbian who is the world's first openly gay premier. When she lost a bid to lead her party in the 1990s, she lifted her fist and declared: "My time will come." Her hour has now arrived - and the same is true for a cadre of highly accomplished businesswomen.

Prominent among them are Halla Tómasdóttir and Kristin Petursdóttir, the founders of Audur Capital, who have teamed up with the singer Björk to set up an investment fund to boost the ravaged economy by investing in green technology. Petursdóttir, a former senior banking executive, and Tómasdóttir, the former managing director of the Iceland Chamber of Commerce, decided just before the crunch to set up a firm bringing female values into the mainly male spheres of private equity, wealth management and corporate advice.

Tómasdóttir says: "Our Björk fund is to focus on sustainable growth. Iceland was the first in the world into the crisis, but we could be the first out, and women have a big role to play in that. It goes back to our Viking women. While the men were out there raping and pillaging, the women were running the show at home.

"We have five core feminine values. First, risk awareness: we will not invest in things we don't understand. Second, profit with principles - we like a wider definition so it is not just economic profit, but a positive social and environmental impact. Third, emotional capital. When we invest, we do an emotional due diligence - or check on the company - we look at the people, at whether the corporate culture is an asset or a liability. Fourth, straight talking. We believe the language of finance should be accessible, and not part of the alienating nature of banking culture. Fifth, independence. We would like to see women increasingly financially independent, because with that comes the greatest freedom to be who you want to be, but also unbiased advice."


Not everyone in Iceland has bought into the idea that women will revolutionise capitalism. "Women would like to think it's their turn now, but it won't be - there will be a bit of fuss for a while but men will keep the real power at the top," said a local taxi driver in his sixties. "I'm not giving you my name, though, because my wife speaks English and she would kill me if she read that."

That is not a view that gains much traction with Halla Tómasdóttir. "If the institutions are under the control of a single group - and now it is men - and they all think the same way, we are not going to make positive changes. For the first time in 100 years we have the chance to create a company, a society, a country, and hopefully a world that is more sustainable, more fair for men as well as women. If we are not going to do that now, then when will we?""

Läs hela artikeln här.

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