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.
Research from Kristina Durante, assistant professor of marketing at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) College of Business, finds that the ratio of men to women dramatically alters women's choices about career and family. When men are scarce, women delay having children and instead pursue high-paying careers.
"Most women don't realize it, but an important factor in a woman's career choice is how easy or difficult it is to find a husband," said Durante. "When a woman's dating prospects look bleak -- as is the case when there are few available men -- she is much more likely to delay starting a family and instead seek a career."
In one study, the researchers examined the ratio of single men to single women in each U.S. state and Washington D.C. They found that as bachelors became scarce, the percentage of women in high-paying careers increased, women delayed having children, and had fewer kids when they finally decided to start a family.
In another study on college campuses, the researchers led women to believe that there were either more men or less men on campus by having participants read one of two news articles about the student population. When women read that there were fewer men than women on campus, they became more motivated to pursue ambitious careers rather than start a family.
"Sex Ratio and Women's Career Choice: Does a Scarcity of Men Lead Women to Choose Briefcase Over Baby?" was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Durante and Griskevicius's coauthors include the University of Minnesota's Jeffry A. Simpson and Stephanie M. Cantu and Joshua M. Tybur (VU University Amsterdam).
A report from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican's orthodoxy watchdog, accuses the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the largest umbrella group for nuns in the United States, of taking positions that undermine Roman Catholic teaching on the priesthood and homosexuality while promoting "certain radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith."
An American archbishop was appointed to oversee reform of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which will include rewriting the group's statutes, reviewing all its plans and programs -- including approving speakers -- and ensuring the organization properly follows Catholic prayer and ritual.
The Leadership Conference, based in Silver Spring, Md,, represents about 57,000 religious sisters and offers programs ranging from leadership training for women's religious orders to advocacy on social justice issues. Representatives of the Leadership Conference did not respond to requests for comment.
The report from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said the organization faced a "grave" doctrinal crisis, in which issues of "crucial importance" to the church, such as abortion and euthanasia, have been ignored. Vatican officials also castigated the group for making some public statements that "disagree with or challenge positions taken by the bishops," who are the church's authentic teachers of faith and morals."
Church officials did not cite a specific example of those public statements, but said the reform would include a review of ties between the Leadership Conference and NETWORK, a Catholic social justice lobby. NETWORK played a key role in supporting the Obama administration's health care overhaul despite the bishops' objections that the bill would provide government funding for abortion. The Leadership Conference disagreed with the bishops' analysis of the law and also supported President Barack Obama's plan.
Asia Society and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy deliver “Rising to the Top?”, a study that highlights the current socio-economic landscape for women in China and the region. The report discusses gender gap issues and presents policy recommendations to ease gender inequality.
The Globe and Mail article discusses the International Football Association Board's unanimous recommendation to rescind the hijab ban first introduced by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association in 2007.
This rule had resulted in the banning of individual female players in FIFA-sanctioned games – including the forfeit of an Olympic qualifying match by the Iranian women’s team. Some (the Quebec Soccer Federation, for instance) used the FIFA edict as a pretext to ban the hijab from the soccer field for non-FIFA events.
The ban reversal followed intense lobbying by Jordan’s Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, a FIFA vice-president, who sought to allay safety concerns by working with Cindy van den Bremen, a Dutch designer of sports-safe hijabs, for a dozen years. Montrealer Elham Seyed Javad (who created a hijab for female martial arts athletes in 2008) has also submitted a design for consideration by FIFA. Muslim women, for whom soccer is a passion, welcomed the IFAB decision. After all, the “beautiful game” is the most universal of sports, encompassing cultures and nations.
Those who fought to have FIFA include hijab-clad players should also lobby Saudi Arabia to allow women to be part of its Olympic national team. Last week, the Saudis confirmed their opposition to sending Saudi women to the London Games. This, despite the Olympic Charter: “Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, sex or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement.”
Congrats, ladies! By today you’ve earned the same as men did in 2011. That gap means that the typical woman working full-time, year round, makes about seventy-seven cents for every dollar a typical man does, and those missing twenty-three cents can really add up. In a year a woman loses $10,784 to a man—enough to buy about 2,700 gallons of gas. It can add up to a loss of $431,000 in pay for the typical woman over a forty-year career. No small chunk of pocket change.
This issue hasn’t gone unnoticed. The first thing President Obama did after settling into the West Wing was to sign the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law, which expanded the statute of limitations on lawsuits over equal pay. Yet Ledbetter did little to actually change the gap: it stood at seventy-seven cents when the bill was passed at 2009, where it stands today.
But this high holiday of gender inequality is not the day to get dragged down in pessimism! After all, it can’t be totally out of reach to change this thing that’s barely budged in fifty years, amiright? In the spirit of moving forward and focusing on real solutions, here are some quick steps we can all take to make the gap disappear:
Watch out, Mitt. Barbie has stepped onto the campaign trail and will officially announce her bid for President on Thursday.
The I Can Be…President Barbie doll by manufacturer Mattel and in partnership with The White House Project, a nonpartisan nonprofit that aims to involve more women in politics, will be in mass distribution. Presale begins tomorrow, but Mattel expects it to hit shelves everywhere in August in four different races: Caucasian, Hispanic, African-American and Asian.
Virginia Rometty appeared at the U.S. Masters golf tournament in a pink jacket, not the green associated with membership in the male-only Augusta National typically bestowed on IBM CEOs, the AP reports.
Rometty, sitting in a lawn chair, had a prime location just a few rows behind the 18th green. She is known to be an avid scuba diver, not much of a golfer. But she knew enough about the game to applaud several good shots into the final hole.
Rometty has brought the issue of female members at Augusta National back to the fore since being named IBM's new chief executive earlier this year. IBM is one of the longtime sponsors of the tournament, and its last four CEOs, all males, were invited to be members. Augusta National's chairman, Billy Payne, has refused to provide a substantive answer to that question, saying the club's membership decisions are private.
IBM has also declined to comment, and security around the company's hospitality cabin at Augusta was tight all week.
But do you want to know why there’s sexism in tech? Because it comes from society at large, and even at the very top, we allow it to happen.
Traditionally, the Augusta National Golf Club has bestowed honorary green jackets representing membership to the club upon the CEOs of its three main television sponsors for the U.S. Masters – except for this year. Virginia Rometty is the current CEO of IBM, and so far has not been given membership – like every other CEO before her, solely because she is a woman.
I appreciate that as a private club it has a prerogative to decide, and am certain that I wouldn’t be able to influence a clearly outdated organization to change its views.
But I would have expected more from IBM — and of us as a tech community to declare this as unacceptable.
So the following thoughts are not directed at the board of Augusta National. These thoughts are directed at Ms. Rometty, chief executive of IBM. I ask simply in an open letter “Why have you not pulled your company’s sponsorship?” And more specifically “Why do you allow them to disrespect you in this way?”
The past 12 months have seen women take the lead in some of the toughest economic and political environments: Christine Lagarde became the first female to head the International Monetary Fund, Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, has emerged as the key figure in solving the eurozone sovereign debt crisis and Maria das Gracas Foster has taken over at Petrobras, becoming the first woman to run one of the world’s top five oil companies. Women also head governments in countries such as Argentina, Australia, Brazil and Thailand.
However, the GrantThorton International Business Report 2012 survey shows that just 21% of senior management roles are held by women globally, figure which has barely moved over the past decade. Moreover, just 9% of businesses have a female CEO. This short report explores why this issue matters, the current state of play and what is being done about it.