Women are a common target in war zones, said anthropology professor Carolyn R. Nordstrom, who has seen villages where every woman and child has been brutalized. Nordstrom, who has spent years researching conditions of wars across the globe, was part of the panel “Women and War: In and Out of Uniform,” held Wednesday in the Oak Room of South Dining Hall. The discussion explored women’s role in the military and impact during wars. Nordstrom said villages are defenseless when male residents leave to fight. “I walk into villages where every woman and child has been raped, where all the food has been stolen,” she said. Panelist Rear Admiral Wendi B. Carpenter, who has represented the United States in NATO forums, said in war torn areas women take on a unique role. “If you can increase opportunities, education and stability of women, you can decrease the chance of war breaking out,” she said. “[Women can] get a hold of the men in the community and say no, we are not going to do to [go to war] anymore.” Carpenter, the first woman in the navy to be named an admiral, said women have made advances in the military in recent decades. “We’ve got all kinds of female firsts out there, and the good thing is we’ve got the firsts out of the way,” she said. “Now we can move on to other things.” Professor Michael Desch, chair of the Political Science Department, said technology has played a role in increased female military participation. “Historically, the military has been male-dominated,” he said. “Males are physically stronger and larger than women, but with [weapons] technology today, there is no longer the functional advantage of being male.” First Lt. Casie E. Sweeney, a 2008 Notre Dame alumna, detailed her experiences in Afghanistan. As part of a new effort to improve relationships and communication between marines and Afghani civilians, Sweeney lead a female-engagement team through family compounds of farmers displaced in the war during her deployment. “Our mission was to establish trust and confidence to ultimately help them help themselves,” she said. Sweeney said female military members offer a unique element of trust in a culture suspicious of western men. In Afghanistan, only female marines are accepted into family compounds. This comfort with female marines helped foster cooperation with families. “We would take our hair down and it would put them at ease,” she said. When asked how male military members should treat their female counterparts, Sweeney insisted equality. “Be gender blind. If you have bias, you better get rid of it,” she said.
Germany’s Social and Finance Ministries are collecting data on the use of occupational pensions in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as the impact of tax incentives in the second-pillar system.A team from the college at Paderborn under Frank Wallau is to present the results from research into SMEs by mid-November.Commissioned by the Social Ministry (BMAS), the academics are to look into obstacles encountered in this “important segment” for the German industry when it comes to setting up a pension fun.At the same time, the Finance Ministry has begun conducting research into how tax incentives are influencing the second pillar, particularly pension fund contributions. Christian Luft, head of the BMAS pension department, told delegates at the annual conference of the German pension fund association (aba) that the surveys would form the basis of measures to increase the use of occupational pension schemes.He said he was against “heavy” measures such as a mandatory regime or opting-out, both for employees as well as for employers.The latter opting-out model had been mooted during the recent election campaign.He also argued that a mandatory system should be only “a measure of last resort”, as it would interfere with the voluntary character of the system in which employers are using occupational pensions partly to motivate their employees.He also said opting out would do nothing to bring more occupational pension schemes into the SME landscape, as those companies might again opt out of the system due to greater administrative costs.Luft said he would rather opt for “smaller steps than big-bang solutions, as those are always stirring up dust”.He said the ministries were looking to improve information on occupational pensions among employees.He also confirmed they were “peeking across the borders” into countries like Sweden for new ideas.“But, for better information, we will also need more data and regular information from all schemes,” he said.
Aegon AM, Principles for Responsible Investment, Pension Insurance Corporation, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, UKSIF, Advent International, LGIM, Barclays, DeloitteAegon AM – Natalie Beinisch has joined the responsible investment team at Aegon Asset Management as engagement manager. She is to focus on developing and expanding the global engagement programme, engaging with companies in which Aegon invests as well as with the broader base of Aegon’s stakeholders. Previously, Beinisch has led the Academic network at the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) in London. She has also researched transnational risk regulation and lectured at the University of Amsterdam. Pension Insurance Corporation – Roger Marshall has joined the board of Pension Insurance Corporation as a non-executive director and chair of the company’s audit committee. He worked at PriceWaterhouseCoopers for nearly 40 years, where he was most recently lead partner for major FTSE 100 companies, across several sectors. UKSIF – John Jarrett, Melissa McDonald and Alexia Zavos have been appointed directors to the board of the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF). Jarrett is currently deputy head of FTSE Russell ESG, while McDonald is global head of equity product and responsible investment at HSBC Global Asset Management. Zavos is head of responsible investment at Cazenove Capital. The association said the latest appointments brought the number of women on its board to five, alongside three men. Advent International – Jean-François Cirelli has been taken on by Advent International as an independent senior adviser. He is a former vice-chairman and president of GDF Suez, the French multinational electric utility recently renamed Engie. Before that, he was chairman and chief executive at Gaz de France. Legal & General Investment Management – Katharine Photiou has been appointed to the new role of head of workplace DC – product & proposition. She will report to Aaron Meder, head of investments at LGIM. She joins from Barclays, where she was head of workplace savings. Before that, she was at Mercer and Friends Provident.Deloitte – Marian Elliott has been appointed head of trustee advisory services in London. She is a scheme actuary with more than 13 years’ experience.