Femme Finance

04.25.13

Underpaid Waitresses & More Business Reads

Your daily digest of the best business stories for women.

IBM Chief Executive Virginia Rometty chastised her troops after a disappointing quarter. In an internal video message, she expressed disappointment in the company’s inability to move and adapt quickly enough. Her advice to employees ranged from the general (“accelerate our shift to the new computing model”) to the specific (“If a client has a request, a requirement, a question, an expectation, respond in 24 hours”). Nevertheless, some in the industry fear that IBM may be simply fighting a losing battle, “on the wrong side of a major technology shift,” per The Wall Street Journal.

“IBM's Chief to Employees: Think Fast, Move Faster” (The Wall Street Journal

Janet L. Yellen, currently vice chair of the Board of Governors of the Fed, is increasingly seen as a potential successor to chairman Ben Bernanke. Since proving herself in the ’90s as a force to be reckoned with, she has acquired numerous supporters (and some opponents) with her advocacy for mild inflation in the interest of combating unemployment. She’s already 66, but as the Times has it, “friends say that, like other prominent women of her generation, she regards herself as being in the prime of a late-blooming career.”

“Possible Fed Successor Has Admirers and Foes” (The New York Times)

For waitresses, the agony of hours on your feet, rude customers, and hot plates can be compounded by gross underpay. The federal minimum wage for wait staff has been stuck at $2.13 per hour for over two decades. The difference between this and the overall minimum ($7.25) is supposed to be covered by employers when it’s not earned back in tips, but many say it often isn’t. New legislation this year will propose to raise the minimum to $3, then up to 70 percent of the full wage in annual increases of 95 cents. While waitresses laud this change, restaurant owners say it could cause layoffs and menu price increases.

Waitresses Stuck at $2.13 Hourly Minimum for 22 Years (Bloomberg)