State of the Nation

*Any statements in this issue of the Watch which are not sourced are mine and identified by “WW”.

63% of Americans say the country is on the wrong track while 28% say it is headed in the right direction. The wrong track number has grown by 7% since December when 56% said it was on the wrong track. [NBC/WSJ 1/23/19]

26% of Americans are satisfied with the way things are going in the United States at this time. The dissatisfied rate is 72%. This is the lowest satisfaction rate and the highest dissatisfaction rate since November 2017. [Gallup]


The official BLS seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January 2019 is 4.0%, a rise from 3.9% in December 2018.

If one considers the total number of unemployed + those marginally attached to the labor force + those working part-time who want full-time work, the unemployment rate for January 2019 is 8.1%.

The Demographics of Unemployment

The overall unemployment situation has declined for most of the population segments.

Unemployment by Gender (20 years and older)
Women – 3.2%
Men – 3.3%

Unemployment by Race (all races)
White – 3.5%
Black – 6.8%
Hispanic – 4.9%
Asian – 3.1%

Unemployment by Education (25 years & over)
Less than high school – 5.7% (increase)
High School – 3.8%
Some college – 3.4%
Bachelor’s Degree or higher – 2.4%

The labor force participation rate is the percentage of adults who have a job or who are looking for one. In the U.S. about 75% of women ages 25-54 participate in the workforce. Men of the same age come in at 90%. In the early 70s fewer than half of women were in the labor force. Today, the U.S. has one of the lower female labor participation rates of the advanced economies; behind Denmark, U.K., Canada and Australia. (GenderAvenger Blog, NPR 1/17/19]

This and That

Sarah Thomas was the first woman to ever officiate at a college football bowl game. She had been officiating at NFL camps and practices.

In 2015 she became the NFL’s first full-time female official.

On January 13, 2019, Sarah became the first female to officiate an NFL playoff game when she was the “down” judge at the AFC championship game between the Los Angeles Chargers and the New England Patriots. [CNN 1/12/10]

The directors of 12 of the 20 museums and galleries listed below are women. All are located in Washington, DC, on or near the mall.

National Gallery of Art – Kaywin Feldman
Phillips Gallery – Dorothy Kosinski
Kreeger Museum – Judy Greenberg
Natural Museum of American Art – Stephanie Stebich
Renwick Gallery – Stephanie Stebich
National Museum of Women in the Arts – Susan Fisher Sterling
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden – Melissa Chu
Air and Space Museum – Ellen Stefan
U.S. Botanic Garden – Saharah Moon Chapotin
National Portrait Museum – Kim Sajet
Holocaust Memorial Museum – Frederica Adelman
National Museum of Natural History – Ellen V. Futter
National History Museum – Kirk Johnson
National Building Museum – Chase Rynd
National Museum of Asian Art /Freer and Sackler – Chase Robinson
National Museum of African American History and Culture – Lonnie Bunch
National Museum of American Indian – Kevin Gover
National Museum of African Art – Gus Casely Hayford
National Postal Museum – Eliott Gruber
National Zoological Park – Steven Monfort

Amal Awad began her law enforcement career as a Prince George’s County officer patrolling in the Hyattsville area.

30 years later she has become the first black, first female and first LGBTQ chief in the Hyattsville department’s 132-year history. [WP 1/24/19]

Amanda Merrill, 16, was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma not long after she turned 2 years old. Some months later her left leg was amputated at the knee. Since then she has worn a prosthetic leg. The prosthetic does not bend at the knee and limits her lateral movement. She is a bench player on the Huntington public high school woman’s basketball team in Calvert County, Maryland. [WP 1/23/19]

The 350 top-grossing films worldwide released between January 2014 and December 2017, whether with small, medium or large budgets, averaged better global grosses when a woman was listed as the lead star. [ GenderAvenger 12/15/18]

Oracle allegedly paid some female employees more than $13,000 less per year on average than male employees in similar roles. This is according to an analysis of Oracle’s own pay data as part of a gender bias lawsuit against the company. The case was filed in 2017 as a class action on behalf of 4,200 female employees who worked in the company’s product development, information technology, and support functions since 2013. [GenderAvenger Blog 1/22/19]

Last weekend, the Navy conducted its first-ever, all-female flyover to honor the life and legacy of retired Navy Capt. Rosemary Bryant Mariner, the service’s first female jet pilot.

Rosemary passed away at the age of 65 on January 24, following a five-year battle with ovarian cancer. The Navy’s tribute, referred to as the “missing man formation,” took place during her funeral service in Maynardville, Tennessee, according to Naval Forces Atlantic. [GenderAvenger Blog. 2/2/19]

In January, the annual conference of the American Economics Association took place in Atlanta, Georgia.

Heather Long, wrote an article in the Washington Post entitled, “What it’s like to be female at economics conference.”

The following are selected paragraphs and paragraph segments from that article.

“Superstar economists including Jane L. Yellen and Ben S. Bernanke, the incoming and current president, respectively of the AEA, said their top priority is boosting diversity in this profession.”

“But even at the AEA conference, where there was so much emphasis on welcoming women and minorities into the field, I witnessed several uncomfortable incidents and heard about others.”

“…But what was really striking was how women were not featured prominently even for work they had done.”

“In a panel on trade, I walked into the room to see all men sitting at the table at the front of the room. I was surprised, because a female economist was listed as one of the speakers. As the session started, one of the men informed the audience that there wasn’t room for her at the table. Her male co-author would present the paper, and she would field questions later. The panel ran out of time and she never spoke.”

“In the next session I attended on globalization. I again walked into a room to see all men sitting at the table in front of the PowerPoint screen. Again, one of the female co-authors sat in the audience – keeping time for her male peers as they presented. She later told me she was presenting in other sessions and wanted a break, but she regretted that the panel had become all-male.”

“My own experience as a female journalist covering the event was revealing. I told one male economist how much I was looking forward to his presentation the next day. He told me I ‘wouldn’t’ be interested because it was ‘very mathy.’ I laughed it off. But the very next day almost exactly the same scenario occurred. I approached an economist after his presentation to ask for a copy of his paper. He told me to go to his website and look for the ‘less mathy’ version.

“As I turned to go, a male journalist asked the professor the same question I had. This time, the male economist told the male journalist that he could read the original research paper and a ‘version for a more general audience’ on his website.”

The whole article is worth reading. [WP 1/20/19]

Stacey Tevlin, an economist with the Federal Reserve’s Washington based board of governors, became the Director of the central bank’s division of research and statistics. Stacey joined the Fed in 1995. From 2014-16, she served as a special advisor to then-Vice Chairman, Stanley Fischer. [WP 1/26/19]

The CEO’s of four of the five biggest defense contractors are women: Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, and Boeing’s defense wing.

The following is a short excerpt from an article entitled “Female Ranchers Are Reclaiming the West” in the 1/13/19 New York Times.

“The descendants of European settlers brought with them ideas about the roles of men and women, and for decades, family farms and ranches were handed down to men. Now, as mechanization and technology transform the ranching industry, making the job of cowboy less about physical strength—though female ranchers have that in spades – more about business, animal husbandry and the environment, women have reclaimed their connection to the land.

“…As a result, in 2012, 14 percent of the nation’s 2.1 million farms had a female proprietor according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

“Separately, the American Farm Bureau reports that females make up 30% of the “operators.”

Jessica Bennett, the gender editor of the New York times, wrote about women over 60 having a powerful moment (NYT 1/8/19). Her story points to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (78); Maxine Waters (80), Chair of the House Financial Services Committee—the first woman and African American to lead that committee; Susan Zirinsky (66), the head of CBS News—the first woman and the oldest person to take on that role; and Glenn Close (71) who bested four younger women to win the Golden Globes for best actress.

“What the women’s movement did was develop generations of strong women,” said Representative Donna Shalala (D-FL) who became the oldest freshman in her House class when she took office a little over a month before her 78th birthday. “We had professional careers, we were achievers in our fields, and you’re seeing the result of that now. And we’re comfortable in our own skin, and we don’t put up with nonsense, and we have a sisterhood.”

The following represent the percentage of women who say they have been sexually harassed at some point in their career.

Women – 35%
Women of color – 30%
Lesbian Women – 48%
Senior-level women – 55%
Women in tech jobs – 45%

Women are less likely than men to say incidents of harassment are addressed quickly at their companies.
Women – 26%
Men – 39%

More senior level women than men say they have experienced the following in the normal course of business.

  Women Men
Being addressed in a less than professional manner 29% 14%
Being mistaken for someone at a much lower level 32% 10%
Having my judgement questioned in my area of expertise 40% 23%
Needing to provide more evidence of my competence than others do 44% 13%
My gender played a role in missing out on a raise, promotion or chance to get ahead 24% 8%

How men and women say they feel when they’re the only one of their gender in the room at work:

  Women Men
Closely watched 22% 8%
That your actions reflect on people like you 22% 7%
Left out 25% 10%
On guard 31% 11%
Under pressure to perform 38% 19%

The share of jobs held by women shrinks with every step up the management ladder.

Entry level – 48.1%
Manager – 38.4%
Senior manager/director – 34.1%
Vice president – 29.4%
Senior vice president – 22.7%
C-suite – 22.4%

[WSJ/ & Co. Women in the Workplace 2018 study]

Industries in the S&P 500 that have more than one female CEO

Companies Women CEOs
29 Utilities 5
19 Food, bev., tobacco 3
45 Capital goods 2
27 Diversified financials 2
28 Retailing 2
39 Software and services 2
17 Tech hardware and equip 2
[WSJ 10/28/18]

American political ideology

  Conservative Moderate Liberal
Women 30% 35% 30%
Men 40% 35% 21%
Democrats 13% 34% 54%
Republicans 73% 22% 4%
[Gallup 1/8/19]

President Trump

  NBC/WSJ 1/23/19 ABC/WP 1/21/19 CBS 1/23/19 CNN 2/2/19
  App Dis App Dis App Dis App Dis
Women 38% 60% 27% 67% 27% 67% 32% 65%
Men 49% 48% 49% 48% 45% 50% 48% 46%
All 43% 54% 37% 58% 36% 59% 40% 55%