Gender parity issue at Amazon – Is it that bad?


Amazon has recently been claimed of discriminating women employees in terms of pay. The 2015 compensation review states that women earn $0.1 less than men for every dollar in the same work position at Amazon.

The imbalance

Gender imbalance has recently caused a stir among the employees of Amazon and they have raised their voice against it. The investors of Amazon got worried because of the rebel and have asked Amazon to present a detailed report on this issue. They wanted Amazon to mention their policies on reducing the pay gap between men and women workers at Amazon.


The workforce

Amazon’s global workforce consists of 39% female. One fourth of these women are managers. Amazon claims that they practice equity at all levels.

The investors along with Arjuna Capital and Baldwin Brothers submitted proposal at the shareholder’s meeting asking Amazon to disclose.

The proposal

The proposal they presented shows that a particular group of software developers at Amazon earned $10,000 less salary a year than men with the same designation. But Amazon ruled out their claim stating that the guidelines on which the proposal was based was too vague.

The Securities and Exchange Commission didn’t agree with Amazon and asked them not to withhold the proposal. Instead, it urged Amazon to act according to the proposal. Now, all we can do is wait and see how Amazon approaches and solves this problem.

What’s the best roof choice for where you live?

Every climate needs a different type of roofing, it is not recommended to install a roof meant for hot sunny climates in an area prone to larges levels of snow throughout the year. Unfortunately many popular home improvement stores or even websites that sell roofing tend to offer the same generalized choices of the bat so if you are planning on having a roof installed when building your home or maybe changing the one you have make sure you are knowledgeable about the subject and choose the roof that is best for you and your climate.

Very Hot Climates

If you live in very hot climate you want to find a roof that will not absorb the heat therefore heating up your home. Stay away from rubber or metallic options that will not only absorb the heat but will also be very difficult materials to work with being as they rapidly heat up, especially during the summer.
Although you can find light shades of asphalt and light shades of metal which can reflect the sun, if you have a hot desert type climate it is recommended to choose a different material. In states such as New Mexico, Nevada and Arizona which are known for their extreme heat clay tiles are the most popular roofing choice. They can be a bit pricey but are great at blocking out heat and diverting strong winds.


If You Live In The Tropics

High precipitation and humidity go hand in hand with tropical climates and the result can be damp roofing accompanied by algae. Many people prefer asphalt shingles due to their attractive look but unless you can purchase them with algaecides then regardless of the look they will not be the best choice for the tropics.
In a tropical living condition the best choice is metal which nowadays come in a waterproof and rust resistant choice. You will not only avoid problems with algae but also avoid dealing with lost shingles which can be blown away in the event of a hurricane. The only weather that could damage your metal roof would be hail but then again what roof is not easily damaged in a hail storm?

Snowy Climates

If you live in an area that tends to get a lot of snow you want roofing that will absorb any sunlight out there providing much needed heat in your home. A dark shingle roofing does attract heat but can also easily be damaged during a tornado and your roof also needs to be able to deal with any snow which may pile up. I know it does not sound like the most attractive options but a rubber roof will not only keep the heat inside but also be able to deal with any harsh winter climates.
It is always helpful to seek the opinion of a professional, someone who is familiar with roofing in your area and can give you the best option for your climate not a company merely trying to sell you a roof. Look over your options and thoroughly investigate before making your final choice if not you could easily find yourself replacing your roof in the near future.

Regardless of the climate you live in there will come a time when your roof either needs to be repaired or even completely replaced.  Some roofs are designed to last just 10 years while others can now last up to 50 or more. If your home does end up needing roof repair because of a small leak or small amount of damage from wind or other elements than we recommend seeking out a qualified roofing contractor to help.  If you live on the West Coast then here are some helpful links to guide you in finding the right company.

  1. Roof repair companies in Washington
  2. Roof repair companies in California
  3. Roof repair companies in Oregon

Tips On How To Create A Landscaped Wonderland

In an ever more stressful world your home and garden should be a haven of peace and tranquility. However even the most tranquil of surroundings could use a bit of a face lift every now and then. Turning your yard or garden into a wonderland is easier than ever before due to new materials and approaches.

From lighting to water features and even rock installations there are some great value for money projects that you can get started on right away to breath new life into your haven from the hustle and bustle of the modern world.

#1 Garden Lighting.

Garden lighting can range from inexpensive do it yourself approaches to professionally installed LED and other systems. The key to creating a beautiful effect is to take into account both the color and brightness of the solutions.

A great DIY solution is to use floating candles (also known as tea lights). A simple bird bath filled with floating candles can create a soft and warm ambiance without overwhelming those in the garden.

Many homeowners are today finding out that solar lighting solutions are ideal for garden use. These units are both eco friendly and can save significant amounts of money on electricity use. Try solar Chinese hanging lanterns or stand alone curbside or lawn lights. These are available in a number of attractive finishes and because of their stand alone nature are easy to position in the garden.

#2 Water Features.

The soothing nature of water features is well known and much appreciated by lovers of the outdoors. There are a number of different approaches to water features that can be taken. Ponds can add a focal point to the garden and give a sense of tranquility. Adding Koi or other fish species also provides additional movement and attraction to any pond. Many points are suitable as DIY projects.

Adding running water to the pond or as a standalone water feature has long been a favorite approach to providing a focal point in the garden. There are a number of pumps that can be purchased and the availability of artificial stone makes these features easy to install and maintain. For an even simpler approach take a look at the various ceramic pot fountains that can be purchased from most garden and home stores. These are simple to install as they just require connection to an electrical outlet.

#3 Rock Features.

Many gardeners in water poor areas such as those subject to periodic drought conditions are choosing to install rock features rather than water features. These have the advantage of being more eco friendly than water features and can save the household considerable expenses on water.

Their are a variety of artificial stone solutions that are available whcih are light and easy to handle as well as being weather resistant.

#4 Combinations.

One of the most attractive garden landscaping idea is to combine the rock feature with flowing water. By installing a natural rocks wall and combining this with a pump the flow of water over the wall resembles a natural waterfall. These features are extremely popular and can be set up in a variety of formats to take advantage of the natural contours of the garden.

For more great ideas on landscaping and to even start a project of your own we can recommend a great Landscaping company in Vancouver, WA, Greenhaven Landscapes Inc.  Rick and his team are great to work with and can answer any questions you have.

7 interesting facts about the unemployment rates of Michigan


Michigan’s unemployment rate is now lower than the national rate of unemployment. But this wasn’t the case about five years back. Here are some interesting facts about the unemployment rates of the Michigan state.

#1 Michigan’s unemployment rate was highest in 2009; it was 14.9%.

#2 Last year’s unemployment rate was 5.9%.

#3 This year the unemployment rate is 4.8%; where the national rate is 4.9%.

#4 During the month of February, about 32,000 people were employed.

#5 There were 91,000 more payroll jobs last month in Michigan compared to last year.

#6 The loss of jobs from year 2000 to 2009 had a great impact on the unemployment rate of Michigan. It will take two more years to recover 73% of the lost jobs.

#7 The Ann Arbor area is reported to have recovered from the loss though with 3.6 percent unemployment rate recently.

Due to the increase in the number of payroll jobs, people are entering and reentering the workforce of Michigan. Michigan is now considered to be a more viable place to live than the other states as the unemployment rate here is lower than that of the nation.

The Government should take measures to further decrease the unemployment rate so that the labor market can be in the condition it was before the year 2000.

Rise of unemployment in Brazil – Will it ever stop?


Recession has hit Brazil. It is expected that more than 2 million Brazilians are likely to lose their unemployment benefits by June this year. Millions of Brazilians have participated in street demonstrations and many have lined up in front of an employment agency in downtown Sao Paulo, Brazil earlier this month. This shows that support for President Dilma Rousseff is declining. Apart from losing unemployment benefits, other reasons for discontent include corruption scandal at Petrobras, a state oil company.

Stats don’t lie…

Economists predict that the recession will continue throughout the year and this will increase the unemployment rate from 9% to 10%. According to a report from the Labor Ministry, it is predicted that between February and June 492,000 benefits will be running out every month. About one third of unemployed Brazilians have been jobless for more than six months. This was never the case for the last 10 years.

Fabio Lorusso, a 30 year old public relations professional lost his job due to recession in July last year. He was even cut off his unemployment benefits since December. Now he lives with his parents. This is a common scenario that is found in most houses of Brazil. Many people, like Fabio, blame the Petrobras scandal for this situation.

Still far away…

Brazil has now 200 million population of which 9 million are unemployed. About 2.5 million people who are currently living on unemployment benefits will soon be unemployed. Economists predict that it will take years for the current jobless situation to reverse. The economy of Brazil will be stable no earlier than in 2019.

The downturn of Brazilian employment situation started in early 2014. Since then 1.5 million people had lost jobs and companies still continue to dismiss 100,000 workers every month. The situation is alarming.The Labor minister Miguel Rossetto has assured that soon the recovery phase of this unemployment situation will begin. The fiscal deficit is already more than 10% of GDP last year.

That’s why the government is unable to extend the benefits. The unemployment benefit was cut in order to lower government spending. Economists are concerned that if the current situation is not revived within this year then people will start to use up their savings and so move towards poverty.