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November 07, 2004

Survey: Firms more generous in giving

American corporations were slightly more generous in their charitable giving last year, according to a survey by the Conference Board.

Total giving among 134 companies sampled from 2002 to 2003 rose from $3.1 billion in 2002 to $3.9 billion last year, the New York-based private research organization said.

The median giving rose about 13 percent, from $6.6 million to $7.4 million, while the average jumped 24 percent, to $28.9 million in 2003.

Overall, 232 companies from the collection gave $5.7 billion. Pharmaceutical companies led the giving, with eight companies responsible for a third of that amount - mostly in noncash donations.


Poll: Genders get different feedback

There's a subtle sexism still common at many companies when it comes to assessing female employees, according to a poll of human resource executives. Managers don't give women performance evaluations that are as frank and straightforward as the ones they give to men.

Reversing that trend begins with honest feedback from management, according to 96 percent of 1,780 HR professionals polled about the subject. That means giving women the same assessments as men, said Audra Bohannon, a senior vice president of Novations/J. Howard & Associates, a human resource training and consulting firm.

"Management must listen more closely to what women are looking for, and not pull punches when their performance falls short, especially in areas that are not tied to a specific task," Bohannon said. "To whatever degree management does this for men employees, it owes such honesty to women as well."

Company recalls toys for children

Tai Tung International Inc. is recalling about 128,880 toy ice cream cars, police cars and washing machines.

The multicolored beads inside the toys might become accessible to children, posing a choking hazard to young children.

The multicolored cars are about 5 inches long and contain various stickers. The pink, white or red toy washing machines are 41/2 inches high. The toys make animal and music sounds.

Consumers should immediately take the recalled toys away from young children and return them to the store where purchased for a refund.

Consumers may call Tai Tung at 800-516-2988 from noon to 7 p.m. or send an e-mail to

Mountain bicycles recalled by company

Giant Bicycle Inc. is recalling about 160 Rainier mountain bicycles.

The front brake mounting tabs might break, causing the brakes to fail and the rider to lose control of the bicycle.

The recall involves only 2004 Rainier mountain bicycles with Marzocchi EXR Comp front forks. Model numbers included in the recall are 333502, 333503, 333504 and 333505.

Consumers may contact Giant Bicycle to determine whether their bicycle is included in this recall. Authorized dealers that sold these bicycles will schedule an inspection and free repair.

Consumers may call Giant Bicycle at 866-458-2555 between noon and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, or go to the firm's Web site at

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