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L'Echo is a Belgian business daily headquartered in Brussels. It is the French-language sister paper of the Flemish daily De Tijd. It was founded in 1881 and is published by the Belgian media group Mediafin.
A fast-evolving question ...
Rozena Crossman

Work → In Progress: Gender In The Workplace, Past And Future

PARIS — In 1919, the International Labor Organization adopted the first conventions on women in the workplace. In 2019, the women who won the World Cup earned $850,000 less than their male counterparts. Three waves of feminism have transformed sexual and interpersonal dynamics. Still, the #MeToo movement reminded us of entrenched power-and-sexual dynamics in the workplace. And other contradictions abound: a case is now before the United States Supreme Court about whether a company can force women to wear skirts or fire an employee for being transgender; and even as some women rise to the heights of corporate power, a report last year on gender disparity in tech found that men own 91% of employee and founder equity in Silicon Valley ...

Whatever the gender gap looks like in 2119, at the heart of the matter will be questions about work. The working world is both a microcosm of the world around us and its fuel: a place where networks are formed, ambitions are achieved and wages are earned. This edition of Work → In Progress looks at the future demographics and dynamics around the water coolers of the world.

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Nuclear power plant in Doel, Belgium

Belgium Probes Jihadist Infiltration In Nuclear Plants

BRUSSELS — With Belgium already on high alert after several of its citizens took part in November's attacks in Paris, authorities in Brussels are raising new concerns about potential jihadist threats to nuclear safety.

The Belgian daily L'Echo reports Thursday that authorities have confirmed that the brother-in-law of a jihadist, who himself had extremist Islamic views, had been in line to become a top manager at a nuclear power plant in Doel, Belgium.

The nuclear engineer was ultimately fired by the Electrocabel authorities three years ago after admitting that he was a radicalized Muslim. L'Echoreports that Belgian authorities have now confirmed the former power plant manager's family ties to jihadist leader Azzedine Kbir Bounekoub, a member of the ISIS-lnked group Sharia4Belgium in Antwerp.

Kbir Bounekoub, also known as Abou Abdullah, is currently fighting in Syria and is wanted by the police after being sentenced last year to 12 years in prison for participation in a terrorist organization.

The brother-in-law, whose identity was not published, was in training at Electrabel to become a supervisor at the plant. A source at Doel was quoted by L'Echo as citing several signs of radicalization, including the employee's refusal to shake hands with his female superior. He was eventually fired for openly displaying such behavior deemed unacceptable at the company.

Electrocabel says that it has very strict security measures, which were reinforced after the suspected sabotage on the Doel 4 reactor in 2014 when 90,000 litres of oil leaked into the steam turbine, causing it to overheat.