Women Will Get It Done

Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois is the first sitting senator to have a baby while serving in Congress. Only 10 women have given birth while serving in Congress. Shortly after Senator Duckworth gave birth, the Senate changed its rules allowing her and future senators to bring a child under 1 year old onto the Senate floor and breastfeed them during votes. [CNN.com, 4/10/18]

59% of women say they have personally received unwanted sexual advances or verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. 27% of men make the same statement.

Among women this includes 63% of white women and 50% of black and Hispanic women. Women with bachelor’s degrees or higher (70%) are far more likely to have had these experiences than women with a high school education or less (46%).

Slightly more Americans (50%) are concerned about men getting away with committing sexual harassment/assault than are concerned with women not being believed 46%.

Among adults, 51% say that the increased focus on sexual harassment has made it harder for men to know how to interact with women in the work place. A similar number – 51% – say that this new focus on harassment will not make much of a difference in the number of opportunities available for women. 20% think it will result in fewer opportunities. [PEW, 4/4/18]

Male physician specialists (i.e. non-primary care doctors) make 38% more than female physician specialists. Black physicians across the spectrum of medicine make $50,000 less than white doctors annually. [Fortune/Broadsheet, 4/12/18]

For years women have struggled to gain equality in all areas of life-from the home to the workplace, and especially in positions of leadership. Despite being 50.8 percent of the population, only 14.6 percent of executive officers in companies are women, and overall, women only earn 80 cents for every dollar men make. These discrepancies are even larger among women of color.

Yet women of faith have historically played a pivotal role in challenging gender inequality, and they continue to defy stereotypes in politics, the workplace, and houses of worship. Women of faith are fighting for gender equality at work and in broader society by empowering young women as feminist and womanist theologians, faith community leaders, social justice advocates, and elected officials. [GenderAvenger Blog, 3/5/18 and Center for American Progress by Rachel Koehler and Gwen Calasis]

In S&P 1500 companies only 5.1% of CEOs are women and just 11.5% of executive positions, just below the CEO in the corporate hierarchy, are women.
[PEW, 4/30/18]

Only 10% of portfolio managers in the entire mutual fund industry are women. Among the 25 biggest companies the proportion of women ranged from 6% of all portfolio managers to 30%.

Here are the top five and the bottom five of the group of 25 funds.

Top 5 Bottom 5
Dodge & Cox – 30% Lord Abbett – 8%
Schwab – 28% T. Rowe Price – 8%
SPDR State Street Global – 19% SEI – 7%
Franklin Templeton – 19% Hartford Mutual Funds – 7%
TIAA Investments – 18% MFS – 6%
[New York Times, 5/6/18]

Lijia Zhang, a journalist who covers gender, calls out Chinese tech companies and the Chinese government for their egregious and sexist practices. According to a new Human Rights Watch report that analyzes tens of thousands of recent job advertisements, the government and private companies in China widely discriminate against women in job recruitment. [New York Times, 4/25/18]

In 1985, 70% of American women ages 25-54 were in the labor force (they had a job or were actively searching. Today, 74% of American women are in the labor force.

In this same time period, in this same age group women in the work force :

In Australia – went from 57% to 77%
In Germany – went from 59% to 83%
In France – went from 68% to 83%

Sweden is still the world leader among advanced economies with 88.5% of prime age women working.

It appears that the differences between the U.S. and these other countries are driven by “better access to childcare, longer maternity leave and greater flexibility in work arrangements.” [Washington Post, 4/12/18]

Japan ranked 114th in the World Economic Forum’s global gender gap index last year. A recent incident describes the inequality of women in that country most vividly.

Women are not allowed to enter a Sumo wrestling ring. During a break in a recent Sumo wrestling match the local mayor was making a speech while standing in the ring. He suddenly collapsed. A woman, who is a nurse, and then several other women rushed into the ring to give him first aid. (He was later diagnosed with bleeding in his brain.)

An official of the Sumo Association ordered the women to leave the ring over the public address system. Another official of the Association apologized saying the announcer was flustered.

“Women in Japan face myriad obstacles to equality. A law requiring that married couples share a surname means that the vast majority of women must give up their names after their weddings. Japan has one of the world’s worst records for women in politics…Earlier in the week news emerged of a private day care center where the supervisor scolded a female employee for reportedly getting pregnant before it was her ‘turn’.” [New York Times and Wall Street Journal, 4/6/18]