Women Will Get It Done

Iceland, Taiwan, Germany, New Zealand, Finland, Norway, and Denmark have had the most successful coronavirus responses. What do they have in common? They are all led by women.

Iceland – Katrin Jakobsdottir
Taiwan – Tsai lng-went
Germany – Angela Merkel
New Zealand – Jacinda Arden
Finland – Sanna Marin (At 34 years old is world’s youngest leader)
Norway – Erna Solberg
Denmark – Mette Frederiksen

Sweden is the only Scandinavian country not led by a woman. The prime minister of Sweden, a man, refused to impose a lockdown and has kept schools and businesses open. The death rate has soared far higher than in most other European countries. [CNN 4/15/20]

Too bad that only 7% of world leaders are women. [WW]

For the first time ever, a woman is nearing graduation to join the ranks of Army Special Forces as an engineer sergeant. [GA 2/27/20]

The doctor who discovered the first human coronavirus, June Almeida, is the daughter of a Scottish bus driver, who left school at 16.

She is a pioneer in virus imaging, and her work has come roaring back into focus during the present pandemic.

Covid-19 is a new illness, but it is caused by a coronavirus of the type first identified by Dr. Almeida in 1964 at her laboratory in St. Thomas’s Hospital in London. [GenderAvenger Blog 4/16/20]

In 2018, for the first time since 2004, more women than men applied to U.S. medical schools, comprising 50.9% of all applicants.

In 2019, women were the majority of new enrollees in medical schools for the third year in a row, 50.5%, versus 51.6% in 2018 and 50.75% in 2017.

19% of all surgeons in the U.S. are female, 22% of full-time medical school faculty in the field of surgery are female but only 1%of all surgery department chairs are women. [Association of American Medical Colleges]

The proportion of female physicians has increased over time. Today:

  • 60% of the physicians 35 years of age and younger are female
  • 51.5 % of the physicians ages 35-44 years of age are female
  • 44.7% of the physicians ages 45-54 years of age are female
  • 30.5% of the physicians ages 55-64 years of age are female
  • 17.6% of the physicians age 65 and older are female


The following is the share of female doctors in select countries in 2015:

Latvia 74.3%
Estonia 73.3%
Spain 51.6%
Sweden 47.0%
United Kingdom 45.8%
Germany 45.2%
France 44.3%
Ireland 43.2%
Italy 40.3%
Turkey 40.1%
Switzerland 39.7%
Australia 39.4%
United States 34.1%
Korea 22.3%
Japan 20.3%
[OECD Health Statistics 2016]

36% of professionally active physicians in the U.S. are female. The area with the highest percentage of female physicians is the District of Columbia where 48% of active physicians are female. [Kaiser Family Foundation 3/20]

Last year, nearly 11% of the top-grossing movies in Hollywood were directed by women, compared with just 4.5% in 2018. [NYT 4/12/20]

Less than 3% of CEOs of the world’s largest companies are women. That’s according to Fortune, whose annual “Fortune Global 500” list featured just 14 female CEO’s last year. [Gender Avenger Blog 3/15/20]

Female representation on corporate boards around the world has doubled in the last decade. But board members are still more likely to be male. Researchers say it could take another 25 years before there are just as many women as men in boardrooms worldwide. Shareholder pressure may also be pushing companies to act faster. The typical S&P 500 board seats four men for every woman. [Axios Am, 3/8/20]

A new paper found that having women on a company’s board made them more likely to handle product recalls better. The paper analyzed 4,271 recalls from 92 publicly traded companies that make medical products over a period ranging from 2002 to 2013. Companies with women on their board of directors announced 120 percent more recalls involving low-severity problems than companies with an all-male board and recalled products with high severity issues 35 percent faster than companies with no women on the board. [Spencer Jakab, The Wall Street Journal]

Countless studies have shown that workplace meetings are riddled with inequities. One study by Yale psychologist Victoria Brescoll found that when male executives spoke more often, they were perceived to be more competent, but when female executives spoke more often, they were given lower competence ratings.

The annual McKinsey and LeanIn.org Women in the Workplace report, which in 2019 surveyed 329 companies and more than 68,000 employees, found that half of the surveyed women had experienced being interrupted or spoken over and 38 percent had others take credit for their ideas.

And according to a review of more than 7,000 employee feedback surveys on 1,100 female executives, when women expressed passion for an opinion or an idea in meetings, their male counterparts perceived them as being too emotional.

Online, these imbalances are amplified, according to Deborah Tannen, professor of linguistics at Georgetown University who has been studying how men and women speak for decades.

In her research, Tannen found that many of the inequities in meetings can be boiled down to gender differences in conversation styles and conventions. That includes speaking time, the length of pauses between speakers, the frequency of questions and the amount of overlapping talk. More often than not, men and women differ on almost every one of those aspects, Tannen said, which leads to clashes and misunderstandings.

“Women often feel that they don’t want to take up more space than necessary, so they’ll often be more succinct,” she explained, and they tend to speak in more self-deprecating or indirect ways in order to come across as likable. Men, on the other hand, tend to speak longer and they can be more argumentative and critical in order to be perceived as authoritative. [NYT- Alisha Haridasani Gupta, Gender Reporter – 4/14/20]

The average woman gets “mansplained” to six times a week at work – that’s 312 times a year, according to new research. And three in five women think men don’t even realize they’re explaining information women already new.

A new study of 2,000 employed women examined the modern workforce and the uphill battles women in the workplace frequently face. Two in five women have been told by male colleagues they “come on too strong” – but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. [Gender Avenger Blog 3/17/20]

(Definition of mansplaining – the explanation of something by a man, typically to a woman, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronizing.)