Talking points: cats, batteries, thin ice

Written by: Alexander Garrett Posted: 22/04/2021

Minority report
The number of black leaders at FTSE 100 companies has fallen to zero, according to research from executive recruitment and diversity consultancy agency Green Park, whose annual Business Leaders Index recorded no black people in the role of chair, CEO or CFO for the first time since it began running its reports in 2014. According to its latest research, which examined the backgrounds of 6,172 individuals in total as of December 2020, only 10 out of 297 employees in these ‘top three’ roles have ethnic minority backgrounds at all – the same proportion as when Green Park first began its analysis.

BL72_TP_youngYoung look abroad
One in three young people (aged 16 to 35) is considering leaving the UK to work in another European country due to uncertainty around Brexit as well as the Covid-19 pandemic, according to research from Adecco Workforce Solutions, carried out by YouGov. The survey, conducted among 1,000 UK workers, also found that 76% of those over 55 years old and 66% of those aged 45 to 54 years old said they would not consider leaving the UK to find work. The research further found that those working in the capital are the most likely to consider moving to another European country for work (40%) when compared with other regions in the UK, with all citing Brexit uncertainty and the pandemic as deciding factors for them.

 

BL72_TP_catsEight out of ten cats
Cat owners fall into five categories in terms of attitudes to their pets’ roaming and hunting, according to a new study by the University of Exeter. Researchers surveyed UK cat owners and found they ranged from “conscientious caretakers” concerned about cats’ impact on wildlife and who feel some responsibility, to “freedom defenders” who opposed restrictions on cat behaviour altogether. “Concerned protectors” focused on cat safety, “tolerant guardians” disliked their cats hunting but tended to accept it, and “laissez-faire landlords” were largely unaware of any issues around cats roaming and hunting. Conservation organisations have long been concerned about the numbers of animals caught by the UK’s large population of domestic cats.

On thin ice
More people are drowning in winter because of climate change, according to York University in Ontario. It looked at 4,000 drownings in 10 countries including Canada, the US, Finland, Sweden and Germany over the past 10 to 30 years. At temperatures from -10ºC (14ºF) to –5ºC (23ºF) the number of drownings rose significantly. Closer to 0ºC (32ºF), they increased fivefold. Above freezing, the numbers dropped – probably because the ice was visibly unsafe.

BL72_TP_electricBattery power
Volvo is set to launch the world’s first fully-electric heavy-duty truck, with a range of up to 300km. The company has announced that it will push for half its truck sales in Europe to be battery powered by the end of the decade. The truck to be launched in 2021 will be designed for regional transport and urban construction, rather than for the longest delivery journeys, but will aim to demonstrate that battery power works for the largest commercial vehicles. It will go into full production in 2022.

Driven to drink
Ride-hailing firm Uber is buying the largest US alcohol-delivery app, Drizly, for $1.1bn. It beat rival food delivery app companies to buy Drizly, which has grown rapidly during the pandemic as consumers have used it to buy beer, wine and spirits while staying at home. Uber plans to integrate Drizly’s infrastructure into the Uber Eats app, while maintaining the existing standalone service. Drizly, based in Boston, will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Uber. The acquisition will allow Uber to offer beer, wine and spirits in the majority of US states in addition to groceries, package and prescription delivery, which it recently launched in some regions.


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