Jarring news & women on top form

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image courtesy of Unilever

They say you either love it or you hate it. Marmite. You’d certainly love it if you’d invested in 500g jars of it back in September. The price has rocketed 50% in just five months.

For my international readers, Marmite is a food spread made with yeast extract that tastes delicious on toast. It is produced by Unilever whose recommended retail price has not budged from £5 since 2010.

Now Marmite big glass jars now cost £4.50. The price of a jar had previously tumbled by 40% to £3 since it peaked in 2010, when it became more expensive than petrol!

Experts suspected that the rock bottom prices were are down to supermarkets competing with each other and price matching, with most dropping the price to £3 at the beginning of the summer. Yet according to The Grocer magazine, the low cost of Marmite in the last year has done nothing to increase demand. Apparently defying the rules of economics that say cutting the price of a popular item will see more sold, the volume of sales was also down by 1.2 per cent. So the price bounced back.

Oh how I wish I had stocked up. Those who invested in a jar of Marmite in September have comfortably beaten the stock market. Its price has risen more than 12 times as fast as Britain’s best performing shares index the FTSE 250.

FTSE’s only woman chair says give mums 6 year break

Time to weigh in to the women-in-the-workplace debate. Earlier this month UKip leader Nigel Farage characteristically controversially argued that women who work in the City and have children are worth less when they come back. I couldn’t disagree more. I believe that any woman, in any field, who has taken time out to have kids, returns with a renewed focus and attention to detail, making us worth an awful lot more.

For me certainly, there was an attitude change to way I work and who I work with. It is a no-brainer that time management becomes all the more important when it comes to juggling demands at work with demands at home. Yet more than that, as a mother of two raucous boys (who I wouldn’t have any other way), going in to work can sometimes feel like an escape – and dare I says it, downtime.  I can even absorb myself more fully into the job in hand than I might have done BC (before children). I suppose because I have a young family, I have made a choice to work rather than focus entirely on them. Knowing that I have made that choice actually gives me a sense of purpose that might have been less pronounced BC: An enthusiasm and passion that makes an impact on my performance. I am worth far more now and I doubt I am alone there.

So I warm to Dame Alison Carnwath, who by the way is the FTSE 100’s only woman chair, who suggests firms allow women to take up to six years off to focus on their families. She says that companies would find “measurable economic benefits” by holding on to their women and allowing them to return after raising their children. Surely rejoining the Rat Race after a six year hiatus is not a decision made on a whim. Any candidate who relaunches themselves into fast-paced, cut-throat City life  will likely be as determined, driven and committed than those who never stayed away.