by jbernstien. Learn about business intelligence tools.
by jbernstien. Learn about business intelligence tools.
It seems like everyone is talking about working mothers right now. That’s great if it brings attention to the legislation and workplace policies like equal pay, paid sick leave, parental leave, affordable childcare and flexibility that are necessary to improve work life for working parents. And outside of an act of Congress, realize there are some simpler things we can do to make the life of a working mother, and father, more manageable. A working mother is like a circus performer: juggler, tightrope walker, even a clown who paints on a big, fake smile to get through the day. Drop one ball or lose your balance and it can all fall apart. So it’s little things that may seem like minor inconveniences to many, that can create incredible stress for us. For example: Last minute notices from the schools. Nothing strikes fear in the heart of a working mother like the last six weeks of school, except maybe the first six. May and June are packed with school concerts, field trips, projects that require trips to the art supply store and end of year picnics. So when, at the end of May, I needed to book an overnight trip for work, [...]
As evidenced by my recent lack of blogging, I’ve been really busy the past two months and unable to “do it all.” However I’ve been asked by several people what I think of the current Atlantic magazine cover story, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” written by former State Department official Anne-Marie Slaughter. So it seems like a good time to get back to work here. Slaughter was the first woman director of policy planning at the State Department, working for Secretary Hillary Clinton. The demands of life in Washington, and of working for someone else, after having been a tenured professor who controlled her own schedule, made parenting her two teenage sons too difficult and so she left the position to be with her family. What do I think? At first pass, I think, no kidding the life of a working mother is incredibly challenging – for women at the highest levels of success and those working at hourly wage jobs. I think many things contribute to having it all – a good boss, a good partner at home, well-adjusted kids out of diapers and out of trouble. And many things can make success difficult – a less [...]
Do you know why women earn less than men? According to Senator Glenn Grothman of Wisconsin, this week’s Ignorant Legislator recipient, money isn’t as important to us as it is to men. Grothman told The Daily Beast‘s Michelle Goldberg, “You could argue that money is more important for men. I think a guy in their first job, maybe because they expect to be a breadwinner someday, may be a little more money-conscious. To attribute everything to a so-called bias in the workplace is just not true.” And to attribute it to an outdated and sexist idea, Senator, is just not rational. According to the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic data, approximately 40 percent of working wives out earn their husbands. Grothman told Goldberg the gender wage gap was caused by women’s decisions to “prioritize childrearing over their careers,” and that the hypothetical working wife is “not go go go.” Grothman clearly hasn’t seen the time use data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics either. If he had, he might know, women, on average, do more household chores than men. This is a scenario that occurs regardless of work status. Of course, we wouldn’t expect Grothman to consider that lack of sick [...]
If I were Santa, I’d be making my list and checking it twice. And here are the gifts I would give: For Our Daughters: The gift of self-esteem and positive role models The mass media perpetuates a message that women and girls’ value comes from beauty and sexuality – and it affects us. Sixty-five percent of women and girls have an eating disorder. Eighty percent of the op-ed pages are dominated by men. The number of women in senior management positions globally has gone from 24 to 20 percent from 2004 to 2009. For Corporate America: More women in leadership positions There is a large, and growing, body of research connecting women at the tops of organizations to a strong bottom line performance. However, women comprise 53 percent of new hires, but only 37 percent of managers, 26 percent of vice-presidents, and just 14 percent of executive committees. For Working Mothers: Flexible work arrangements … and a day of rest The life of a working mother is challenging. Flexible work arrangements give parents the ability to work more flexibly and better manage the challenges of work and family. For Working Families: Passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act According to [...]
At the start of the “Thanksgiving Family Forum,” a GOP primary debate held earlier this month in Iowa, presidential candidate Michele Bachmann walked around the table pouring water for all of her opponents and for Frank Luntz, the debate moderator. When Luntz thanked her, Bachmann laughed and responded, “I’m used to it Frank.” Watch the video here and then ask yourself, was Bachmann’s behavior helpful or harmful? The answer may vary depending on your frame of reference. To some, Bachmann’s action may appear to be a simple, meaningless gesture. She was pouring a glass of water for herself; so why not just pour for the table? After all, it only took a minute or two. It was helpful and only a liberal-leaning blogger could make an issue out of this, right? Not true. I am sure political strategists think Bachmann made a bad move. After all, it doesn’t look very presidential to wait on others. Presidents are served at the table; they don’t do the serving. Now remember: we’ve never had a woman in office. Therefore, what most people consider to look presidential, is going to look like male behavior. And men seem to know that when they are engaged in important [...]
Years ago, at my second job post-college, my friend and coworker asked me to share my salary. I said no, but she persisted. We were both about to have salary reviews and she argued we had no way to benchmark our raises if we had no idea what others in the firm were getting paid. It made sense, so we snuck into the stairwell of our office building to swap data in secrecy –we were under the impression we could be fired for sharing our pay. It turns out she was paid $1000 more annually than me. So while in reality our salaries were practically the same, at the time it seemed like a big deal. She gloated. I pouted. And I vowed never to share salary information again – nothing good could come from it. Not true. A new report from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) titled, “Pay Secrecy and Wage Discrimination,” discusses how pay transparency might reduce the gender wage gap. Today, women earn, on average, 23 percent less than men. And 40 percent of pay inequity can be attributed to pay discrimination.* But with approximately half of all workers in the United States contractually forbidden [...]
While we wait for a Supreme Court decision on the Walmart v. Dukes class action suit, here are some other important court cases that impact working women. The Missouri Court of Appeals is allowing Francine Katz, who was the highest ranking woman at Anheuser-Busch, to continue her gender discrimination suit against the brewer. Anheuser-Busch wanted the matter to be dealt with in arbitration. Katz, the former vice president of communications and consumer affairs for the company, has accused Anheuser-Busch of a frat-like, locker-room atmosphere and of paying her less than her male peers. Katz was paid 50 percent less than her male predecessor and learned that every male member of the company’s strategy committe was classified as a Tier I officer, but both women on the committee were Tier II officers. Several months ago, employees at Bayer Pharmaceutical filed a discrimination case against the company for unfair policies around “pay, promotions and pregnancy leave” and for creating a hostile work environment. The suit was originally filed by six female employees and then expanded to include all female sales representatives and women in the Bayer Healthcare Consumer Care unit. The women say Bayer ignored their complaints. One incident cited in the suit is garnering media [...]
A new report from McKinsey& Company titled, “Unlocking the full potential of women in the U.S. economy,” delivers little we didn’t already know about why women aren’t advancing to the tops of organizations but it offers great analysis on why we should care. The global management consulting firm surveyed 2,500 men and women and interviewed 30 chief diversity officers and experts about why highly capable and motivated women reject top positions in organizations and either pursue jobs outside corporations or leave corporate America altogether. A key objective of the report, however, was to understand how women contribute to the U.S. economy. The lack of women at the top isn’t a recruitment problem. It’s a retention problem. There is a healthy pipeline of talented and ambitious women. Last year 50 percent of all undergraduate degrees in the U.S. went to women, however only 50 percent of the college educated workforce was made up of women. And companies are good at recruiting women, according to the report. Parental leave, flex schedules, part-time options all make work more appealing for women. But what’s happening is women are dropping off at each rung on the corporate ladder. According to Sylvia Hewlett, from the Center [...]
The number of women in the senior ranks of companies worldwide is decreasing, not increasing as one might expect. According to a report from consulting firm Grant Thornton International, the number of women in senior management positions globally has gone from 24 percent in 2004 to 20 percent in 2009. What gives? Well, change is slow. Very slow, sometimes. In fact, here in the U.S., in ten years, the percentage of female corporate officers in Fortune 500 companies grew only 2 percent, to 14 percent total. The percentage of female board directors grew just four percent, to 16 percent. And the percentage of women who are among the top earners, increased from 12 percent to 14 percent. (Source: Catalyst) A new report from the Center for Gender in Organizations (CGO) at the Simmons School of Management, “Closing the Women’s Leadership Gap:Who Can Help?,” looks at the factors contributing to the gap and at what can be done to shrink it. The CGO surveyed more than 300 women at the 2010 Simmons Leadership Conference and found that more than 90 percent of the respondents report experiencing “second generation,” or subtle discrimination at work. According to the press release, announcing the report’s availability, [...]