Re:Gender works to end gender inequity and discrimination against girls and women by exposing root causes and advancing research-informed action. Working with multiple sectors and disciplines, we are shaping a world that demands fairness across difference.
Everybody, it seems, is talking about women in this campaign — what they should do, how they should act, who they should be in society. But do women see themselves reflected in the dialogue — or is the mirror of political rhetoric distorting their concerns? How, exactly, is all this talk about women playing among women?
You could hear these issues play out on a recent day in this key presidential swing state — first, at the equal pay protest, but later at a hotel near Broncos stadium, where five conservative women led a panel discussion to strategize about reframing the rhetoric and working to woo more women voters to their camp this year. There was passion, but there was also irritation. Some women said talk about contraception was a distracting sideshow; others said the preoccupation of some politicians with abortion showed they were out of touch.
"They really must not know what exactly is going on," said a university student with friends who've had both babies and abortions. "They" are the male politicians who still outnumber women at all levels of elective office, but also the two men running for president who keep trying to one-up each other in reaching out to this vital, but hardly monolithic, voting bloc.
The upshot: Whether seen as real or manufactured, something about the so-called "war" is resonating among American women who could well make the difference on Election Day. Many are acting out and speaking up. Many are, in fact, girding for battle, in one way or another.
It goes to show that no matter how high up in business or politics a woman gets — or how hard she falls — in the end the focus is often about how she looks and not what she does.
“We’re still held to a double standard,” said Jennifer Siebel Newsom, who produced the 2011 documentary “Miss Representation” about the underrepresentation of women in powerful positions.
“It’s tragic,” she said. “We have an obsession with women’s looks. Unfortunately our culture has bought into this whole double standard that a women’s value is her beauty not her capacity to lead.”
Women certainly feel the pressure to look good. Nearly half of women don’t feel good about themselves unless they’re wearing makeup, according to a study released this year by the Renfrew Center Foundation, a nonprofit that focuses on eating disorder research and treatment.
According to a recent survey of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), over half of the nation's top divorce attorneys say that they have seen an increase in the number of mothers paying child support during the past three years, and 47% also note a rise in women being responsible for alimony throughout the same time period.
This Mother's Day, it appears that an increasing number of moms will be setting aside time to sign child support and alimony checks. Overall, 56% of the nation's top divorce attorneys say that they have seen an increase in the number of mothers paying child support during the past three years, while 47% also note a rise in women being responsible for alimony throughout the same time period, according to a recent survey of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML).
In all, 56% of AAML members cited an increase in mothers who pay child support, while 44% said no change, and there was not an observed decrease. Additionally, 47% have noticed an increase in the number of women paying alimony, while 53% said no change.
Each year, OWL team members, board members and other volunteers gather together to decide the most pressing issue facing midlife and older women. This issue is then researched and information is gathered to compile the Mother’s Day Report. These reports are free to all and we hope that you enjoy them!
2012 Women and the Workforce: Challenges and Opportunities Facing Women as They Age
This year’s report looks at how factors such as unemployment and underemployment, pay inequality, caregiving, age and gender discrimination, and education, training, and technology are impacting women age 40 and older. The report highlights existing programs that produce real results and offer innovative solutions and policy-driven recommendations to expand economic diversity and accelerate our nation’s productivity.
By industry estimates, about $2 trillion is invested in global hedge funds. And as anyone familiar with Wall Street should know, the lion’s share of that cash is managed by men.
But women are carving out a bigger piece of the hedge fund world. According to The Hedge Fund Journal, women were running about $100 billion of that total in 2011 — and when COOs are included along with researchers and executive teams, that total moves up to $200 billion. True, 10% of the total isn’t a lot to crow about — we are hardly at a place where the industry is truly “equal opportunity.” But considering Wall Street was exclusively a man’s world just several decades ago, it is worth noting that women are indeed on the rise.
So who are the most influential female hedge fund gurus, and just how much money do they manage, directly or indirectly? Here’s a list of five women in leadership positions at some of the most respected hedge funds in the world — some of which they built with their own hands:
Barbara & Shannon Kelley look at women who opt out of the mommy track and instead work for themselves.
From the Huffington Post:
I came across an interesting study the other day that found that when it comes to independent work -- freelancing, consulting, you name it -- those indie workers are more likely to be women. According toMBO Partners' Independent Workforce Index, some 8.5 million women are choosing to fly solo when it comes to work, making up 53 percent of all independent workers.
It's all about work life balance and career satisfaction, the study found, adding that many of the women they surveyed are finding their choice to go it alone more rewarding than traditional work.
Sounds quite dreamy, doesn't it?
But when you look beyond the numbers, you realize there's more involved here than the entrepreneurial spirit or the freedom to go to work in your jammies -- which, when you come right down to it, really isn't all that dreamy. One reason for the growing number of women saying "oh, phooey" to the land of nine-to-five may speak to something beyond career satisfaction, and that's the workplace itself, which still skews a little Mad Men, where, for every Don behind the desk, there's a Betty at home to take care of business. (Okay, Betty's been replaced, but you get my point.)
This is especially true for women with kids. Back when we were doing research and reporting for ourbook, we came across a relevant study by Joan Williams, who's a professor at the University of California Hastings College of the Law and director of the Hastings Center for WorkLife Law. Her report, The Three Faces of Work-Family Conflict, authored with the Center for American Progress, found that women with families were often marginalized or even pushed out when their jobs demanded 24/7 availability or when "full time" meant fifty hours a week or more.
The Huffington Post reports on a study, published in the journal Revista de Psicologia Social, that examined the way that feelings of jealousy (defined as "a threat or loss of success in a relationship due to interference from a rival") and envy (defined as "a response to another person who has success, skills or qualities that [you] desire") impact workplace dynamics.
The study, published in the most recent issue of the journal Revista de Psicologia Social, examined the way that feelings of jealousy (defined as "a threat or loss of success in a relationship due to interference from a rival") and envy (defined as "a response to another person who has success, skills or qualities that [you] desire") impact workplace dynamics. The researchers were especially interested in the way that these feelings impact "intrasexual competition"-- competition between people of the same gender spurred on by the desire to get and keep "access" to the opposite sex.
What they found after studying men and women in the Netherlands, Spain and Argentina was that women's feelings of jealousy and envy can be predicted by intrasexual competition, whereas men's can't. "Women with a high level of intrasexual competition are more jealous if the rival is more attractive, and more envious if the rival is more powerful and dominating," Rosario Zurriaga, one of the study's authors, told the Spanish Foundation for Research and Technology. However, when it came to social skills, both men and women showed signs of jealousy and envy toward individuals who seemed to have an easier time socially at the office.
The Wall Street Journal reports on an experiment conducted recently at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business that reveals that "those firms led by women…were expected to have less share-price appreciation, and when asked to invest, respondents would choose to invest less,”
From The Wall Street Journal:
More and more women over the last decade have climbed the corporate ladder into top management, but if they’re leading a company that’s trying to go public, they’re more likely to run into trouble than men.
“The big result of this study is that those firms led by women…were expected to have less share-price appreciation, and when asked to invest, respondents would choose to invest less,” said Assistant Professor Lyda Bigelow.
The negative feelings did not extend to companies with women in high levels of management, she added—just to the ones where women were chief executives.
A copy of the study, which has been accepted for publication by the Journal of Management, is here.
At an event hosted by the 2012 Project inNew York last night, a nonpartisan campaign to increase the number of women in Congress and state legislatures, Director Debbie Walsh was hopeful. This could be “a real year of opportunity much like 1992,” the original Year of the Woman, she said.
What makes her so optimistic? Due to retirements and redistricting, women are running for a bunch of open seats. In fact, 16 women are vying for just such opportunities in the Senate and 71 women are doing so in the House, according to the Rutgers Center for American Women and Politics. On top of that, Walsh pointed out, “We’re on track to set records for the number of women filing to run for the U.S. House and Senate.” A total 25 women have filed in the Senate with 14 likely women candidates poised to follow suit, and 225 have filed for the House with a potential extra 70 likely candidates set to do the same. Compare that to 36 women who filed in the Senate and 262 who filed in the House in 2010.
This isn’t just important for ensuring that our Congress – which has never been more than 18 percent women – better reflects the country’s population. It’s also important for getting women to turn out for the election in the first place. At the same event, Celinda Lake, president of polling firm Lake Research Partners, pointed out that while the “War on Women” episode may have gotten women’s attention, “to keep women in the Democratic camp they’ll have to work just as hard to target women voters.” The best way to do it? “Run women candidates.”
The ranks of female chief executives remain thin, with women in the top spot at just 35 Fortune 1000 companies. But the pipeline is promising, says Maggie Wilderotter, CEO of Frontier Communications Corp., adding that she has noticed a number of "women in waiting" at Xerox Corp. and Procter & Gamble Co., where she is a board member.
She adds that she wouldn't be surprised if the number of major-company female CEOs doubled by 2017. At her own employer, a diversified telecom firm, half of Ms. Wilderotter's six direct reports are women.
"If you want a CEO role, you have to prepare for it with a vengeance," says Denise Morrison, chief of Campbell Soup Co. CPB and Ms. Wilderotter's sister.