The Role of Business Leaders in Solving Inequality

Theresa May, U.K.’s Prime Minister, made waves last week in a speech where she called upon business leaders to play a role in sharing the wealth that has been created by their businesses with the people working for them.  It is very hard to see a time when the leader of the “pro-business, right of centre” Conservative party in the UK would talk in these terms, however, we do live in unique times.

It is a truism that those at the front line don’t get to set their levels of pay whilst those in and around the boardroom, to a far greater extent at least, do.

Here in New Zealand the government has, once again, raised the minimum wage. The hourly rate has not yet reached a level that would satisfy the “living wage campaigners” and still represents a figure that many of us would struggle to imagine being able to live on.

It’ll be fascinating to see how the UK charts its course as its exit from the European community is finalised and whether business leaders do take a lead from Theresa May’s bold words.

I’m a born optimist and can see many reasons why leaders will take a broader view.  A cynic might argue it is akin to turkeys voting for Christmas.

Peter Kerridge