Gender issue in banking industry
It has long been well known that Thailand's female population is higher than the male. And now this is a big issue at big companies. At Kasikornbank, it is difficult to balance the number of male and female employees. In 2000, about 70 per cent of KBank's employees were male, but nowadays men make up only 40 per cent of the staff.
Surasak Dudsdeemaytha, head of the human-resources division, said banks now operate across the country, including in areas where such things as travel are not so convenient. Bank staff need to do a lot of travelling, to meet potential and influential clients. Thus males get priority when the bank is recruiting new staff.
"We prefer [male applicants] but most applicants are female. We don't know why men don't want to work in this field," he said.
"At one provincial branch, there are nine women and one man. What if all of the women get pregnant at the same time, what will we do?"
Aside from the manpower side, the bank has another headache when it comes to the construction of the new head office on Chaeng Wattana Road in Bangkok.
At any office, an equal number of restrooms for men and women are on offer on each floor. But like at KBank's provincial branches or at other head offices, the number of female workers at the new headquarters will certainly exceed the males.
Surasak said his division was proposing to the bank's executives that the number of restrooms for women should be increased.
It's a matter of learning from experience.
The Bankers of Seville?
Bangkok's 15th International Festival of Dance and Music, which has kicked off and as usual, gives people of many nationalities a chance to mingle every year.
But there are some folks that you may not be able to spot at the Thailand Cultural Centre. They're officials from the Bank of Thailand - who have been notorious for spending most of their time reading and analysing numbers.
Biz Buzz has heard that starting this year, things may change.
Some tickets have been secured for BOT officials, so they spend more time outside the central bank's facilities. Yes, to link up with others, they need to go to places where people are and learn how others live their lives. An opera could change the way they prepare the next paper.
The first step may be difficult, though. We are told that few of them are willing to take the tickets - which are like gold to the festival's fans.
Well, if they had been there to enjoy "Il Barbiere di Siviglia" by Helikon Opera last Thursday, they could have learnt something. This 19th-century opera has adapted to the modern world. The performers can don rock-style costumes, but voice quality is a prerequisite. In the same way, the central bank needs not to start its reports with difficult-to-understand jargon.
Killing stress with fun stories
In the first four months of this year, exporters shook their heads in dismay as the baht gained significantly against US dollar and consequently squeezed their profit margins.
Between May and August, they smiled again as foreign capital flowed out of the country and the baht weakened. Meanwhile, it was the turn of stock investors to shake their heads in dismay.
At times like these, people need fun stories to kill their stress.
One place to go is www.funsstory.com.
One story is about a man who told his wife to put all his money into his casket when he died. When the time came, she put a box into the casket, saying that she was a good Christian who couldn't go back on her word. She gathered all the money together.
"I put it into my account and wrote him a cheque. If he can cash it, he can spend it."
The message is: Don't worry too much about money that you can't use.