domingo, 8 de abril de 2018

Hysteresis in unemployment - please, lets talk about that again.

Always been upset than talking about a subject on woman emancipation in the society. Whether it a a developed or a developing country, it seems that there always be a group of woman that are leaving in social exclusion. Please be mindful that we are not even trying to discuss the position of women in societies where it seems everything goes wrong anyway.

The thing that initiated this post was my ignorance, not realising that there are already charities that help with the reinsertion of the woman in work after being a mother. At least in UK there is a charity for everything, so there you go.

Today I was trying to explain the discovery of America to my 11 year old daughter in a fun and engaging way. The "engaiging" way was not an option at first, but it became after I put on my theatrical mask on and went all crazy and passionate about the subject. 

Was going up and down the room in a monologue stating that Christopher Columbus was an idiot. He had a simple job to disc- sail of and head to Asia. When he took the wheel, instead of right he turned left and ended up in America. As he was "not qualified enough" instead of Asia, he discovered America - by mistake! 

Christopher Columbus had money and power to get the "promotion" and got lost. 
When everybody were looking left, Amerigo Vespucchi was right. And the rest is history.

At the end we need more Amerigo Vespuccies in international development, but we have a lot of Christopher Columbuses instead that got their position thanks to wealth and power rather than knowledge.

We have a problem with people being underestimated because of protected characteristics, underemployed with valuable skills and giving the credit to the wrong one, among others.

When the theory of Hysteresis was first developed and introduced to the society it took nothing to discard it. Long term unemployment has received little attention, as those people will just simply vanish from the society ant one given point. And you know, western scholars have other (and better) things to deal with than "poor peoples problems". 

Eventually, after years of desperation, they will most certainly find a job. The issue that bothers me is: has somebody looked at the type of jobs they end up in? Has somebody looked into the psychological consequences after years in unemployment?  Has somebody looked at the consequences of underemployment and bulling on the job for this people? Most important, has somebody looked at the customs of the country where they are very unfortunate and determine what is more important job experience  or educational attainment.

Because, even when I get a job after years of unemployment I find little to not amusing at all for you to be bullied by 20 year old spoiled brats at the same position as you are. Salary is good for a 20 year old, but are our expenses the same as a 20 year old? 

When we answer some of the questions, next thing we will be talking about, would be the elitism in jobs. Which means that not all people would have the job they deserve. 

My fascination of black-white thinking would not end up there. When talking about underemployment the opposite side is the elitism in jobs. These are the disgusting human beings that got your job, based on their vast experience in other field within the company, so they are trusted more than other that have specialised and passionately studied in the field. You (the underemployed) know that you can do a better job than the bastard, but nobody knows you within the company as you have been hiding in the rabbit hole since you were placed in the job. As your self-esteem has deteriorated  badly over the years, you look yourself like an idiot when you try to voice your opinion.  

It is the eternal battle between the bastard and the idiot. You get "passionately" jealous and feel miserable. I did, when the bastard got the job I desperately desired and I was left to do my boring "copy and paste" job that I despise with lot of passion. In theory it is known as underemployment by occupational mismatch (read more here)

In that context, can we say that the jobs in international development are out-of-touch elitist? Which post at your organisation can be viewed  as elitist? 

After this very emotional storytelling of mine, lets get back to business. At the end, the theory of Hysteresis in the unemployment has been long abandoned and some economist argue that we should do more research and this theory should be revived. There are few things that need be reviewed again: the natural rate of unemployment, long term unemployment and monetary policy. 

The fact is that, there are regions in Europe (you rich bastard would be surprised to know) where we have such a high rates of unemployment and we are still talking about the beauties of Europe. What would be the effect of monetary policy when in the poorer economies the level of inflation is "controlled" artificially. 

We are well aware of the natural rate of unemployment within the countries, but it would be different for each country, as cultural differences arouse in Europe and would be even higher in poorer regions of the world. As access to education becomes more and more available where was not before, we can talk about a level of approximation between countries. As a wanna-be development economist would approach each country differently to determine the profile of those left out in order to design relevant policy measure.  

The fact is that, even in the case of economic development, there will always be that group of people that will be left out from any advancements and policy measures. What makes the long-term unemployed to be detached from the labour market what and how we relate the psychological consequences to those that I reinsertin into working again are just some of the questions to be answered.

And policy makers would like to work on things that are too obvious for others to be ignored by those who decide about our future. 

The most alarming thing about underemployment is that the effect are no different that those of unemployment. I find that both shocking and worrying! 

Last but not least, let me just have a moment and thank Blanchard, Olivier J. and Summers, Lawrence H., Hysteresis in Unemployment (October 1986). NBER Working Paper No. w2035. for being so inspiring. Because if we want to know more about this we have to start form somewhere and my suggestion is  for you to check their work on the issue. 

Read more on this subject from EUROAGENT:

1. Unsuccessful Ph.D application: "Gender inequality in employment, earnings and unpaid work";
2. What makes a good job? Gender issues and job satisfaction;
3. On minimum wage and youth employment;
4. The problem with overprotection: How (not) to deal with a youth lost in transition;
5. Mental Health and the developing world: being different is never a good sign

Get inspired - hand picked by me just for you :) :

1. The Emotional Cost of Underemployment - GALLUP - 
2. Why Underemployment Is a Bigger Challenge than Unemployment - Strategy + Business;
3. The social costs of underemployment - Dooley, David.
4. The odds you’ll join the ranks of the long-term unemployed - Matt O'Brien
5. Past and prospective causes of high unemployment - Paul Krugman

domingo, 5 de noviembre de 2017

Cultural uniqueness or simply lack of manners

Left London behind 6 mouths ago and settled down for a quiet and smaller city up the north. Shortly after accepting the job offer, packed everything and took it in a storage. Fled as fast as I could. I remember my first day as arriving from a battle field, I could not believe I made in Birmingham alive. Rent a room near the airport, just in case.

As per usual practice, I know that at some point there going to be a war again. Even the slightest movement that differs out of my self imposed standards can be a reason for me to enter into another war with the rest of the world.

It all started as described in one of my first post I wrote few months upon my arrival in UK. Just before you go any further please read that and lets discuss that in more details.

It is interesting for me to read the level of excitement that after years in unemployment I get so triled about finding a job as Barista in Starbucks. It is more interesting that after I left Starbucks, there are people (from my professional environment) that would make me feel  ashamed from the experince.

Remember a conversation that I had with my Kenyan friend at the begging of this year, while still working in Starbucks. We were sitting at Nando´s having lunch. He acknowledged my desperation, and ask me to look at the staff working there. He ask me - how do you look at them? I told him that, of course, I am looking at them with a lot of respect. I understand the struggle they are going through, just as I did at the time in Starbucks. He than went on to ask whether I consider being rude to them. I answered of course not, I have never been rude to people anyway, and now even less.

I knew that this people alongside their work they are working on their "dream cometrue" plan, same as I did and my colleagues in Starbucks.

I knew he went into a lot of hardship himself.

When he arrived in the UK from Kenya, he had to sleep in his friends house, on the floor. He left his wife and children back in Kenya until he was able to afford to bring them to the UK. Also, would like to mention that he worked as a hotel staff making beds. He said hand were hurting him from all making beds over and over again.

He has finished his career and found a normal job. Not only that. He also sent money at home back in Kenya to help his brothers and sisters get an education.

And there we were at Nandos, talking about how hard my life was and celebrating the fact that we finished our MSc in Development Studies. He has this great job that makes him qualify as a rich person, with the added bonus that he is humble and never looks down at people.

And than there is my Spanish friend. He was so happy I got a job at Starbucks back in 2014. Well, he was just being so sarcastic about that. He admitted to have thought I was very arrogant person, and this job "would teach me to be humble". I knew, it was not exactly what he meant. He was back in Spain now, having an awesome job, but still he wanted somebody that could understand him what it took to get himself there.

His story is that, when he first arrived to UK was working in a coffee shop frying eggs for the breakfast they served to people. He had the job for a year. He would not feel any different about his job from what I felt about working in Starbucks or my Kenyan friend working as a hotel staff employee.

We all have one thing in common: would never look people down, just because they earn less than us; hold a lower position or come from a disadvantaged background. And we all want to be accepted and given a chance even if we had been involved in crapy jobs. They are all very successful, and have every "right" to be arrogant, except they would never do that. That is because of their past experience. We now that behind that apron there is a person before and after Starbucks.

This is sort of society where if you do not have certain level of economic endorsement your opinion is to be voided. Income is the only variable  that indicates the value of people. Maybe that is the "death of capitalism" that contemporary economist are looking at. I can definitely see that in our societies valuable elements of our culture have "died". Despite my conviction in social science, my capitalist views and convictions would be my main concern.

Answer this question yourselves - should I be ashamed on my work experience in Starbucks? I know I would proudly keep on my Linkedin profile, just to keep reminding myself to ne always nice to people bo matter the circumstances.

What I have learned while going down the ladder was it can happen to anybody. Second, it is very embarrassing to see yourself at a level where you thought people that have less skills an abilities would end up. Now I see it can be anyone and for a variety of reasons.

The Problem

After giving you few examples of my own experience let dive into real organisations.

We are all very much aware that at our workplace we have very arrogant people that are very difficult to approach, because they think being on a higher position makes  you are more God than human.  "God" is too busy to give attention.
Video on Emphathy

Our organisations are infested with senior staff members that have a huge iron curtain pulled around their desk area.

It is to no surprise to me now why, at the begging of my Master courses (both in Foreign Trade Management and Development Studies) we were discussing about emphathy. I was thinking it is a waste of time as people are not as bad as to the point not to care or not being able to connect emotionally with other people. Coming from a very nosy society, and remembering the Spanish society been equally analytical, I was questioning the purpose of the talk.

Unfortunately, in our organisations we end up managed by senior position staff members that are too big for you to approach them and ask a question, while at the same time they are teaching us to be very approachable. Definitely, you don´t predicate with an example.

So, after months of careful observation, we can conclude the following "type of Gods":

- senior staff members that prefer to eat alone, and eating alone detached from the rest of the employees;
- senior staff members moaning like a 5 year old about why they were approached by an Assistant;
- unable to say "good morning" to anyone lower position than theirs;
- difficulties making eye contact and answering emails coming from a staff member at a lower rank;
- ego-inflated seniors, etc

We all come from culturally different countries (Macedonia, Spain, Kenya, etc...were mentioned) but we had one thing in common - the way we value people has changed or has never been that bad to begin with, so we started valuing more our initial views.

I have always thought that if you are on a high position is OK to be that arrogant. But no, it is not! And I learned that while working in Starbucks because being humble human being was never in my books. And it looks like it doesn´t come in anyone's book and definitely in the company's corporate culture.

It is not justified to hide you lack of manners behind your cultural, educational, professional background. If you are rude, you are rude!

And I am not saying that working in Starbucks (when I say Starbucks, I mean every minimum wage job post, as Nero, Costa, Greggs...) is the solution to our "problems" with other people manners and I would not recommend that to my worst enemy. Sadly, maybe that what our worsest enemy needs - finding himself in front of a pile of dirty cups and dishes in order to change their perspective or simply - gain a different perspective. Would call it the "Starbucks effect".

Unfortunately, I am able to observe this abnormalities thanks to the fact I always end up underemployed. Have build up knowledge to be Managing Director but working as an office clerk poorly paid. Able to see the bigger picture and slide up and down my perspective is what made me aware of facts that might have been missed by an MD.

The job can sometimes be boring, no complications when  have to use you intellectual capacity, but complicated when I need to use skills that you can only get through practice.

The crack in Capitalism you can see it when more Master's degree students are working in Starbucks than the actual organisation where you'd expect more of them. I see "the invisible hand" of the marked amputated.

We still need to talk!!!

The first and a half month in UK in 2014, went down my list to visit every consulting company that I have on an Excel spreadsheet. And it happened as I described here. There were a lot of closed doors. The red door on Russel Square was the only one to open. And I am very grateful for that. I would follow the recommendation that the Managing Director gave to me that day.

There were doors that never opened. I even had a comic situation where, the first day I went only made it to the receptionist, and the next week I came back the company has moved the office just the opposite building. The company was nice to mention that, but the MD was still unavailable for me. Luckily, now the things have changed with that company, and don´t have to knock that door anymore, because I have a proper pass.

And here I am in Birmingham and we still need to talk about my career in International Development.

lunes, 22 de mayo de 2017

Discriminación por edad en el mercado laboral español

Que en España no funciona el mercado laboral igual que en el Reino Unido, cuenta la historia de miles de españoles que estamos aquí en Reino Unido. El que vuelva, bien. El que no, se olvida de cinismo laboral español a a tomar por saco la patria. Al final nos quedamos aquí. 
Menos mal que estoy comparando España y el Reino Unido, porque si lo hago entre Macedonia y Reino Unido tengo un trabajo bastante más difícil. Si el mercado laboral español se encuentra en fase de "cometer estupideces" de principiante, él de Macedonia está en el fase "prehistórica" y ni siquiera hemos llegado a la edad de Cristo y la famosa resurrección. 
Está vergonzoso que los dos países repitan los errores de otros que ya van de ejemplo y se nota en el desarrollo económico y social. Parece que no hay quien les traduzca a los "expertos" lo que unos hacen bien para incorporarlo en nuestra practica laboral. 
En estas líneas voy a intentar hablar de la discriminación por edad que es tan evidente en el mercado laboral en España, donde explícitamente  los sinvergüenzas ponen "no mayores de 30". Voy a explicar de donde les ha venido la estupidez esa de discriminar por edad en España, y cómo hay que hacer. 

En España existen unos leyes que favorecen unos y a otros menos, al final el éxodo hacía marcado laboral Inglés sigue sin parar. ¿Porqué no favorecer la contratación según la experiencia, habilidades y conocimientos? 
A la hora de favorecer la contratación a los jóvenes desempleados, se han inventado facilidades de contratar a menores de 30 años. En otro sitio acabo de leer que la ley protege de discriminación según la edad a los que tienen más de 40 años. A los de 30-40 años le queda coger el pasaporte y a tomar el primer vuelo de salida a España. Entre el "problema" de tener los 30 y más años, en la entrevista te queda que te humillen por ser mujer a ver si no te vas a poner a tener hijos a esa edad que es muy habitual. Así te lo dicen en la cara. 
La discriminación encubierta existe, para eso también se han creado soluciones. Y aún así seguirá existiendo, porque nos pueden los perjuicios. 
Yo, la que pretendo ser una experta en el tema, me escandalice cuando vi a una persona mayor (cerca de los 60ta) trabajando en Starbucks poniendo cafés. Lo "malo" era que lo hacía mejor que todos. Y la mala era yo por pensar que cómo han contratado el hombre ese. Pues mira, cómo he cambiado de opinión. Y le puede pasar a cualquiera cuando amplia los conocimientos y sale del la zona de confort. 
Al final les obligo que se pongan de acuerdo conmigo a lo siguiente: todos nos merecemos los mismos oportunidades de desarrollo profesional. La oferta de trabajo se debe dar al que tiene los conocimientos, aptitudes y experiencias relevantes. No nos debemos basar en la etnia, genero, edad o el estado civil.
Una cosa es clara, que el Euroagent no parte de ideologías en este caso. Lo único que nos interesa es lo que mejores resultados nos de a nivel económico, la efectividad de la empresa y el equilibrio social. Ni uno sin el otro, sino los tres en conjunto. 
Se busca alguien con tanta experiencia, sólo con 30 años o menor
Ni la etnia, no el estado civil ni la edad afecta el intelecto de la persona así que seria una estupidez deshacerse de un CV de una persona que lo tiene todo, sólo porque no tiene la edad que nosotros nos parece bien. Discriminación positiva existe, pero se tiene que justificar. La inhabilitad de las empresas tercermundistas de ofrecer una formación en condiciones cuando se empieza con un trabajo, no estandarizar los procesos de trabajo y la vagancia generalizada alimentan las practicas de discriminar lo que no hay que discriminar. 
Este post se seguirá ampliando para explicar  el tema con más detalles. Ya llegados a éste punto me interesa ver lo que dicen los demás y dónde me estoy equivocando. 
Stay tunned!

lunes, 8 de mayo de 2017

About Yugoslavia - a satire of the truth!

There you have the podcast (click here) on Yugoslavia. It was really interesting, but the approach on Yugoslavia was poor. The accent was on Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria (as the "experts" were mainly from this countries). Important to say that I think that there is more to learn from Yugoslavia as those countries are really poor example for anything. Although Yugoslavia was a failed experiment it gave an important lesson for unity. Underestimating the diversity in the "artificial creation" led to its dissolution. "Experts" are saying that different nations emerged like they never existed. I read that and burn the book.
What nobody understands, Yugoslavia tried to kill the national identity , already existing  cultural identity, and create an artificial Yugoslav nation. Well, you can expect one to gave up it's cultural identity, but you can't expect all six to do so.
But during the cold war it benefited greatly staying non-aligned and kept the position with some limitted success in development.
They mentioned other YUG republics, but none of them dared to mention Macedonia. Like it never existed. I think they were trying to accommodate the Greeks. We all could get a good use of inviting Macedonian and Albanian "expert", for example. I would have organised it better. I wanted to see blood, chairs flying and hair pulling!!! lol I want to see UNPROFOR, KGB, SFOR getting the control over the fights! That's Balkan! 
Not a room full of posh white people frighten to mention Macedonia!
When you put photo of Tito on your poster invitation you should expect some Macedonian coming to you like flies on shit.
I always love myself a good debate, but I can't have one if the monopoly of truth is solely Bulgarian or Greek. I would always have my doubts.
If you consider yourself an expert and you don't feel comfortable saying all the truth regardless your personal trauma, than what kind of expert you think you are? Even if it bothers me, I am in for the truth if there is proof.
I would always defend the fact that Macedonia benefit and survived thanks to artificial Yugoslavia, but failed to get the best use of the unity, constantly lacking in development. It was last in development after Kosovo but prided themselves as successful in the literature, maybe because it departed from a very low starting point. It looks like a success, but there was barely any!

There was a success, but very limited, slow; and most important, that its way of development was unsustainable. Other republics did so much better.
 I would really like to think more on what would have happened if Macedonia was left on it's own. That a good question for a debate.

This is just my opinion and thoughts, not a fact.
Great event, enjoyed a lot, I would have both the book if I had money, but I will take a note so I can buy it when better times come.

Please note: At the end I was able to secure a copy of the book and there is a whole chapter (maybe more) on Macedonia. Despite the author, I can confirm that he is speaking the truth. What they do is to add some detail that would not change the facts but will only create confusion. That is the reason of my rants on the subject. There is one truth and usually is different what media says (which are used to spread propaganda and hate among nations). Final thought: I think the book is worth reading.

jueves, 13 de abril de 2017

The state of losers and traitors

I am the kind of person that believes in the relation between the level of development and cultural values. In fact I am crazy enough to think development is related to everything. In this occasion, I would like to discuss what lessons should we take from each country's culture to use to get better when talking about development. 
That is, because in development there is a lot of talking and wishing well. 
Strongly believe that a cultures should provide us with the knowledge that will help us to boost not just our material wealth but also our mental well-being. "States are as the men, they grow out of human characters." (Plato) and they need to be the best version of themselves.
In the era of globalisation and cross-cultural exchange of information we know more, a lot more that our culture could offer us.
But, there is a problem. What to do with all the knowledge about other cultures? 
You can be Orthodox Christian and have your regular Yoga classes every week. If that is what it takes to feel better, just go for it. A catholic priests once said that Yoga is part of a different culture and it equals to a "Satanism" and it's "outside of the domain of the Christianity" and those that attend those classes will end up in hell. 
It is said that there is a link between the culture and development but it is difficult to understand. 
What culture does to the development as whole is a question to debate.
When reading different book, no matter what subject they are always try to note down the benefits that are described that other cultures can provide us with.

My love goes to the technocrats

As noted by Bower (2006) there is a big difference between the way big politicians are raised and bread in Europe and USA. He notes well that Arnold Schwarzenegger would not make it as a politician in Europe. According to him, politicians get their first and last job in politics without having any experience on what is like to deal with people, fire and hire them. They are parasitic creatures that do politics for leaving, and are members of elitistic clubs that leave in their own pretty little world. 
And I am the first one to say that managing a business is has to be no different than a country. If it wasn't Donald Trump so Trump, I would love to have a narcissist as he is, to run my country as good as he runs his own business. They are results driven and I would hate to have a person that talks well but does shit! 
Not to mention the fact, that I used to see Trump as my inspiration, now that I have a twitter account I realise I might be as crazy as he is, to think he is amazing. We all have past, people 😱😇
What Bower tries to prove is that , in USA, creative, original thinkers are highly valued. No matter your professional background, everybody can contribute. 
And that is true, the american dream consists of giving a chance to everybody. 
In Europe  and especially Balkans are valued most those that show strong loyalty to a political ideology. 
Other sources indicate that technocrats are a short term solution that can fix the economy when needed. (BBC 2011) When there is a political instability politicians with strong diplomatic skills come really handy.
I have pointed out that many of our most talented people go to waste running around as headless chicken because, simply,  we don't know how to engage and get the best out of them. If we are not smart enough to do it ourselves, step back and let the next one try. 
I am thinking that if we can be smart enough to do it ourselves, at least to be able to find somebody else to do it for us instead. 
Managing is about recognising talent abilities and it's best use. Acknowledging other people effort keeps them enthusiastic and motivated.  
The answer to the question who should run our country it might be to ask how are the countries priorities lined up - economic growth, political stability or social cohesion first. Why not all, and why not everybody engage in politics? It is what development is all about. It's about all and everything and it matters to all of us.
This is how cultural values explain different societies. 
It's nothing personal - just business!

The blood thirsty Balkaners!

There is only one nation that have shown to be the most problematic in the last few decades. I am not sure why is that as my sources of information are unreliable. But, there is an interesting story that can explain why some nations are more violent than other. It also means that I am going to further nourish the bias that already exist about the Albanian people. 
There are not many things that relate my two countries Macedonia and Spain. One of them is that Spain was 700 years under muslim rule, while Macedonia was 500 years. As one Macedonian historian would say, the difference is that the Muslims abandon Spain when the Ottomans took over Macedonia. Spaniards gained much more than Macedonia. The last remain into backwardness for centuries.
The Turks were stealing properties, crops and kidnapping around the country. The blood levy, meant taking young healthy children to train them to fight the Ottoman empire interests. It also meant the liberty to take any Macedonian women they fancy for their personal pleasure. The tragedy was than often that "random" woman was married, pregnant or simply terribly missed when gone. Desperate family members would undertake impossible mission to save the loved one with catastrophic consequences. 
I could read that when Turks entered a village to take valuable things they were taking what they wanted and leave. What happen later was that the Albanian tribes would enter the village to slaughter. It was said that they enjoyed so much the massacre that the Turks were fearing them and let them do what they wanted fearing their own life. 
Maybe that is the way to explain why the violent nature and vendetta (Krvna osveta) among them is popular to this day. On-line it is explained that many cultures have nurtured the kind of revenge. Even among Balkaners, the Albanians is said not to be the only one. The Turks didn't brought much advancement, that is for sure. 
When they left Balkans the Albanian were still organised in tribes and Macedonia was a feudal country torn between neighbours. They would all recruit Macedonians to fight their own wars. For the Macedonians it was another brother against brother war. They were fighting among themselves for a foreign interests on the field and intellectually promising independence. 
It has been centuries since Macedonians have won any war, created something for themselves. Those intellectuals fleeing abroad to study and coming back to contribute, ended up working for the Bulgarian, Greek or Serbian cause thinkind that either of them would help Macedonia to have independence.
There is why Gotse Delchev would say (allegedly) that those that work for the Bulgarians, Greeks and Serbians can consider themselves as good Bulgarian, Greeks and Serbian but never a Macedonian. 

"Macedonia has it's own interests and its own political agenda. It belongs to all the Macedonians. Those that want to work in favour of joining Macedonia with Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia, can be considered to be a good Bulgarian, Greek and Serbian, but not a Macedonian" Gotse Delchev

Gotse Delchev organised one of the most important Uprising in the Macedonian history in 1903 - the Ilinden Uprising. It took the Turks totally off guard, that we won not because we were "that good" but because we were so bad in defending our interests as Macedonians that the enemies would never expect us to fight any tirany they imposed. It took them around 10 days to recover themselves from the surprise. The Turkish army was marching toward Macedonia to 
Gotse Delchev never took part in the Ilinden Uprising on 2nd of August 1903. He was ambushed and killed by the Turks in Aegean Macedonia (today northern Greece) on 4th of May 1903. 

Gotse was not a mere soldier, he was a teacher in many regions of Macedonia, trying to educate and impose changes in the society mainly working in spreading the cultural conciseness . An intellectual that fought the Macedonian cause with a pen and paper as well as knife and a gun. 
As true Macedonian he was I can only imagine how proud would have been to see how successful the Ilinden Uprising was. It was not about winning the Turks but the national cause he has been fighting for in his short life.
He would be very disappointed to see that he is considered a Greek or Bulgarian in his Wikipedia page. Ironically, it was exactly what he was fighting against.He could not fight Wikipedia, though. It is funny to read how he organised Macedonian people to fight the Bulgarians but he was considered himself a Bulgarian. Was Gotse a gang leader? Of course not, but that is how mass media creates a confusion and spread propaganda. Nevertheless the Macedonian "actions of liberation" were close to what we know as terrorism. The kidnaping of Miss Stone is an example of that. The Boatmen of Thessaloniki is another example to be considered.

All of them were traced and killed over time. A lot of Macedonian revolutionary fighters and intellectuals as Gotse Delchev after the 1903 Ilinden Uprising went into hideout but they were traced and killed by our neighbours. They all believed that working with the Bulgarian, Serbs and Greeks would help to gain independence. When they became too close  to achieving it, all were killed in a span of 5 years.

Today they are celebrated as Greeks, Bulgarian or Serbs on Wikipedia, same as Gotse. 
On 13 of August 1913 Macedonia cease to exist as it was divided between its neighbours. 
Now it's FYROM. A country of confused losers always backing and lacking in development. 
If this world is confused weather I am or I am not a Macedonian with own language, history and cultural values than we've seriously failed. The sense of inferiority and treason was the prevailing one instead.
The way country see themselves and perceives their ability would determine their success. As Macedonian intellectuals believed little in themselves joined foreign intellectuals that have clear vision of what they wanted - they wanted a piece of Macedonia. 
Many of those Macedonian intellectuals went abroad, including Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, France etc to study. They brought ideas back with them  believing that if other nations have achieved independence and are now able to study in their own language, why that is not the case with Macedonians. 
Gotse might have though that indeed he is a Bulgarian , but he knew his family at home or the regions in Macedonia were speaking different languages/dialects and that they were unique. 
The cultural and language assimilation happens at school. As the education was privilege to very few back than, many were not even aware they were considered other than Macedonians.
When my grandfather went to school (he is around 90 years old now) his name was changed few times and he recalls studding in 2 different languages. At the end he droped school because he didn't felt identified with the language. Nevertheless, my grandfather is inclined toward the Bulgarians because of his experience studding in Serbian and Bulgarian That is my guess, because his name has been changed, at least,  twice.

Live to learn

Knowing the Macedonian history and my own family history, my Macedonian origin is more than clear to me. I respect all cultures and identities as they bear values that we can't risk to lose. 
I am proud to be Spanish today and very happy to add my Spanish values onto my Macedonian heritage. I make this magnificent mix of cultures that makes me this special person. 
Living in UK and learning how to do things differently adds power to my knowledge.
As I respect different cultures seek you to do the same. In a respectful world we can all contribute and our efforts are equally appreciated.
If yoga works well to improve your well-being, just go for it. As I do. Not Yoga, but once when I felt I needed a soothing therapy I went to Naesden temple in London and decided to pray to Ganesh to help me go through my course in Development Studies. I spent a quiet afternoon walking barefoot the marble floor and being among Hindus. I finished my studies because Ganesh helped - at least that is what I like to believe. 
Respecting or inclining to other cultures doesn't make you less your own nationality. Being sure who you are and knowing your history well, doesn't make you a nationalist. 
My views today of this world are a mixture of Alexander III the Macedonian ("commercially" known as Alexander the Great), Gotse Delchev and the Boatman of Thessaloniki. I would love to conquer all other cultures, fight the oppressors and bring out my rebellious nature when necessary. The problem is that you are going to die young, as they all did. 
As some of my Macedonian professors would say that we can fight the foreign propaganda by attacking with arguments. And damn, I have done an incredible amount of reading and unintentional research, that it makes feel "invincible". 
Because all those fighters for the "Macedonian cause" were not by any means some illiterate bandits. I always knew that. They were all intellectuals and understood the thrive and necessity of their own country. They were all aware that foreign occupations used the resources and people for their own interests never considering the Macedonians as part of their culture. 

Another suggested read from my blog related to this subject is China Development Miracle for my presentation in 2015 for my MSc course Development Studies.

lunes, 20 de febrero de 2017

Unsuccessful Ph.D application: "Gender inequality in employment, earnings and unpaid work"

1. Introduction 

The Equity Act 2010 in UK and the European Law are based upon the principle that woman and men should receive equal pay when doing equal work.
The Governments intention is to work with business to improve gender wage gap and issue information on voluntary basis. (Equality and human rights commission, 2010). Publishing gender pay information will benefit even small companies. According to ACAS, the Pay Gap Reporting would start applying in April 2017 (ACAS, 2016).
In the last 20 years feminist research tends to go beyond the binaries of existing male and female gender. The things that changed in the last years are not only the Act and the fact that soon most of the companies should provide information about the gender – wage gap. It’s a fact the society has changed. The multiplicities of sex, gender, racial, ethnic will provide us with new research categories. The focus of the feminist work can be referred to one of the proliferating causes.
Lorber (2010) argues that feminism today is everything as long as we get a critical perspective and the goal is economic, political or social. The idea to balance the professional and personal life have never looked better as it does today. At the same time recent research papers confirm that “workplace norms” limit the possibility for both men and women preferences for family arraignments. (Pedulla and Thebaud, 2015).

2. Literary review

The las 25 years the position of woman in the society has changed significantly. At the beginning, the authors pointed out that even if woman has worse job positions compared to men, their job satisfaction was bigger than those of the man. It is known as the “paradox of the contented female worker”.
According to Clark (1997), the expectations of the woman with the same job as man are lower. That is also seen as a reason why women hold worse jobs than men. They tend to lower the standards when it comes to jobs. Job satisfaction is measured compared to their expectations. They are seen different between gender.
More recent research paper argues that the job satisfaction of the women has decreased today. Today, woman and men are almost at the same level. The changes come from the fact that nowadays, woman have higher standards. The paradox is disappearing. (Green et al., 2016)
Women in UK are ranked 11 from 18 developed countries comparing the cost of motherhood, managerial positions they hold, employment rates etc. (Chamberlain, 2016). ILO (2016) report shows that economic growth is not a solution to the gender wage gap.
According to Chamberlain, they score best in holding managerial positions (compared to other countries from the list). The desperation comes from the fact that, the UK woman pay high price for motherhood, scoring below the average score.
Women in developed world (Wester, Northern and Southern Europe, especially) are more likely to have part-time jobs and are more likely to be underemployed than compared with developing world. It was noted than in UK woman tend to go for more family friendly jobs and positioned lower than they are qualified for (ILO, 2016). The raising number of women in small business trying to explain woman solidarity with other woman proved that woman or man tend to equally underpay their female employees. The solution is to challenge people belief on how woman in society are viewed today. (Penner and Toro-Tulla, 2015)
The comparison between gender and race proves that the results from the statistical measurement are statistically significant but there are no significant differences. Woman and white are generally happier with their job. Supportive coworkers are seen as significant factor to job satisfaction rather than race. (Banerjee and Perrucci, 2015).

From the above, the research questions to be considered would be:

1. Whether the increase of woman holding managerial positions can reduce the gender wage inequality?
2. Does the generosity of the parental leave increase the probability women to return at work and career prospect?
3. How can be achieved woman and man to enter non-stereotypical fields?
4. Is there a difference between the level of job satisfaction between different racial groups in UK?

3. Methodology

The dominant position of a female researcher presents itself as a challenge when choosing the appropriate methodology. The main debates concentrate mainly against finding a connection between the knowledge on gender issues, feminist theories, women experience and knowledge. (Ramazanoğlu and Holland, 2002). 
Action research is a qualitative method that can be developed through cooperation between the researcher and the companies. This method it is considered when we want to involve people in finding the solution of the problem. Despite being widely used in business and management, some authors say that it lacks rigor and favors the business. (Bryman, 2012)
Survey questionnaire, as part of the research process can provide us some of the answers we need. As there are many well known online tools to create and send the questionnaire, easy to fallow design, they can be a valuable tool and great addition for our research purpose.
The use of secondary sources and official statistic can provide us with high quality data. Even when there is no doubt of the quality of the data, sometimes they are not enough or they are not much related to the research questions.
Qualitative research methods are more compatible with feminism, because it allows woman opinion to be heard away from all the technicalities.
In the case of experimental methods, the authors suggest that we use them to investigate the distribution of the stated elements of job satisfaction, according to their earning and/or parental and marital status. It is also suggested to test the relationship between companies’ policies and preferences of the employees (Pedulla and Thébaud, 2015).

4. Discussion and conclusion

It seems like the changes that our society experiments in recent years call for debate on gender issues. New research efforts should focus on many gender related categories to determine the success and the implication of the new policies. As we have seen in the literature, the authors suggest that modern-day woman prefers both family and career.
The existing gender pay gap it seems to be the focus of the legislative bodies of the country. Company policies should be shaped, not only to meet the legal requirements, but also adjust to existing social changes, attitudes and expectations.

5. References:

ACAS (2016) Shining a light on gender pay. Available from: [Accessed 30 January 2017].

Bryman, A. (2012) Social research methods. 4th ed. New York: Oxford University Press.

Chamberlain, A. (2016) New study: Best countries in Europe for workplace gender equality - Glassdoor economic research. Glassdoor Economic Research. Available from: [Accessed 29 January 2017].

Clark, A. E. (1997) Job satisfaction and gender: Why are women so happy at work?, Labour Economics, 4 (4), pp. 341–372. DOI: 10.1016/s0927-5371(97)00010-9.

Equality and human rights commission (2010)  What is the Equality Act? Available from: [Accessed 30 January 2017].

Green, C., Heywood, J., Kler, P. and Leeves, G. (2016) Paradox lost: Disappearing female job satisfaction. Available from: [Accessed 28 January 2017].

International Labour Organization (2016) Women at work – trends 2016. Geneva: . Available from: [Accessed 29 January 2017].

Lorber, J. (2010) Gender inequality: Feminist theories and politics. 4th ed. New York: Oxford University Press.

Pedulla, D. S. and Thébaud, S. (2015) Can we finish the revolution? Gender, work-family ideals, and institutional constraint, American Sociological Review, 80 (1), pp. 116–139. Available from: [Accessed 1 February 2017]. DOI: 10.1177/0003122414564008.

Ramazanoğlu, C. and Holland, J. (2002) Feminist methodology: Challenges and choices. London: SAGE Publications.

domingo, 5 de febrero de 2017

Modern age slavery in London

Do you need to be rich to afford a job?

Even when I was working on unemployment, minimum wage did't made much sense to me, not to mention working for free. I was so angry at the person for the Governments "marketing office" selling us the concept as a "living wage". The should have "tested" the concept of "living" wage before putting the word together with minimum wage. As somebody who is "testing" personally the concept on myself, I must say those people gain no respect from me.
Been rich and very rich and I understand how hard it is to "care" when you don't see the concept applied on yourself. Now that I work I am the poorest I have ever been.
I am dying to see them "living" on a minimum wage in London. It should be called "barely surviving in a room" wage.

In order to be willing to work for free, you need to really have a low appreciation of yourself.
The company here is asking for a duchebag that would pay to work in London. They need a person that values itself nothing.
Lets see what psychology has to say about this.
Basically self-esteem is different from self value. When we value ourselves we value others. We are aware of human effort and getting something in return, not leaving the person feeling as a complete idiot, violating basic humanity. It is true that you get experience to get a job, but you need a lot of "work for free" jobs to get a "real" one.
When we value ourselves, we value others even more. It elevates our well-being, development and growth, widens our perspective. When we ask for a person to work for free in London, we cheat the system by making somebody else pay for the job he/she is doing for us.
In fact it is said that devaluation of others takes you to a state of lack of empathy and feeling indifference toward others. The only thing you want is (by crumbling the value of human effort) to dominate not help.
This is not giving chance to everybody and compete with knowledge and skills.
Those practices are dominant in charity sector, those helping poor and disadvantaged communities. Really?!
And no, I can't afford to work for free in London. I need to pay a rent and eat from the money I earn.
And yes, when I see "working for free" jobs I get sick, really sick and makes me never consider the company for jobs again.
When I see those "work for free" jobs I am considering minimum wage jobs again. At least something is better than nothing even if that is not enough. And, trust me, I don't know if this is the right thing to say.
And if you want to know more, it is enough said by others as on Living Wage web-page.

Read more:

Capitalism gone (m)bad: Good intentions don't pay bills

sábado, 28 de enero de 2017

What makes a good job? Gender issues and job satisfaction

Being highly educated person makes you feel smart. That is the end of it. Unfortunately, it can make you the saddest person in the world.
This conclusion is not as a result of my “extensive research” when all I do is read about other people research while dreaming of doing my own work in the field. 
Because, being woman today is like being a man - you will need to work hard to own your own money.

Even while I was working on my dissertation on youth unemployment that was highly commented in the literature. It only made me sad to think that once more they are telling us that hard work barely pays off. And I know, nobody wants to hear that.  
The paradox that highly educated people (supposedly qualified and skilled) generally have very low level of job satisfaction, should not come to us as a surprise. The higher the level of consciousness the greater the expectations. As we get “smarter” we are more and more aware of different possibilities and combinations but also of limitations and backfires.

The paper goes further saying that women tend to have higher level of job satisfaction just because they do not compare themselves (in success) with men. 
Since we are talking about education, researchers have found that woman holding managerial position have far better educational background than man (Banerjee and Perrucci, 2015).  The disappointment lies in the fact that women have to give more for a promotion than a man. It has also been proven that they have less perceived promotion opportunity.
After all the reading, a came to a research paper by the University of Lancester: Paradox Lost: Disappearing Female Job Satisfaction, dated in 2016 that came to the conclusion that women are not that satisfied with their job as before. In fact, they are saying that the gap between men and woman job satisfaction is less than before. That is an important conclusion to be considered as we need more and better understanding in the new situation. 
The paper is talking about the “paradox of the contented female worker” discussed in a research paper by Clark in 1997. 
Going further into this subject, the situation get little bit tragicomic. If you are a hard core feminist, maybe you want to skip this part. The problem is when in a team a woman is a supervisor, some researchers find they it is less likely that woman to offer a promotion to another woman. This is important when we are trying to see weather or not having woman as manager can improve the position of women at work. 
Cross country comparisons (my experience) may also lead us to the conclusion that is more up to people being educated into tolerance and understanding from young age, rather than gender issue.

“Likewise, Ferber and Green (1991) find that working under a female supervisor lowers women’s wages more than men’s, suggesting that this is because women’s work is devalued more when it is done for a female supervisor. "
This shows women are bitches not only in bars and discotheques but at work, too 👀💇😆 Why there is so much hate between us women?
C'mon, isn't this funny? Can you relate to this? I can!
Now seriously, higher job satisfaction is not related as much as with high salary as it is with supportive co-workers and promotion opportunities (positive management). Woman are satisfied with less (as bitching gives them enough pleasure) than men, and they are happier in jobs that offer more variety of tasks.
Makes sense, doesn't it? Well, It does for me! 😒💔

Gender Inequality

While addressing this issue is by researcher in academic environment makes sense, in practice the more we talk about that the bigger problem it gets. Instead, after acquiring the knowledge necessary to understand the problem, we might want to work on creating a working environment where the job position has no sex, and each and every member has equal opportunities.

As for myself, I have barely entertained myself with gender issues. I don’t see the point in discussing whether or not women are better carers and more emotional (just to set as an example), when man can be emotional and care as much as women and they are woman that don’t care and are emotionally blunt. But still, I am worried of the number of women (cross-countries experience) that say that they would really like to work, make a career but also spend some time with family, if they could. The same thing goes for men. They need to have a family life too, spend time with children but also work. 
Great things get beautifully done when we work together.

When we are discussing the issue in international development, countries that fail toward woman, they  are falling apart. Woman have the same potential as men, the potential of the women is set aside, unused and unpaid. Your country is doomed to fail.
The developed world knows already what you don’t know by addressing the issues of gender inequality, getting into boring details in every small issue.

Because indeed, there are no women and men, it’s only us.