Thursday, January 25, 2007

Catalyst announces 2007 awards

A release by has announced the winners of the organization's 2007 award "recognizing corporate initiatives that advance women and business".

The year's winners Goldman Sachs, PepsiCo, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Scotiabank will make presentations at a ceremony at the Grand Hyatt in New York City on March 21, 2007.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

"PCAST" Study: Worry about Kids a Drag on Productivity

A recent study by Catalyst, released Dec. 6, 2006, has put focus on what many working parents already intuitive know: "Millions of working fathers and mothers are less productive at work due to concerns about what their children are doing in the after-school hours."

The study, "After-School Worries: Tough on Parents, Bad for Business," was conducted in cooperation with the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University.

In reporting the findings, the researchers have devised a handy little acronym,
“PCAST,” standing for Parental Concern about After-School Time, to sum up those little minutes of distraction and commiseration with co-workers and worried phone calls that add up to hours of anxiety and afternoon-killers on the job.

"With over 52 million working parents in the United States," the study projects, "PCAST contributes to worker stress that costs businesses between $50 billion and $300 billion annually in lost job productivity."

Among the remedies this productivity-killer, the study suggests, is building real flexibility into the workplace: "Developing “The Agile Workplace,” placing emphasis on more job control enabling employees to “work smart” and perform better, focusing on goals and results, and granting all employees access to flexible work programs, including flex-time, telecommuting, and flex-space."

For more, see the release at Catalyst -- it's in Adobe PDF, so you need to install the free Adobe Reader software first.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Calling all "Geek Girls"

The latest in what's become an increasingly fretful series of articles about the lack of women entering the nation's (quickly depleting) pool of engineers suggests is examining models of university recruitment programs targeting women students.

A standout, it seems, has been the effort by MIT, where "targeted programs have yielded 36 percent female enrollment in undergraduate engineering," according to the article by the AP's Dorie Turner.

This still seems the exception rather than the rule, however. The articles focuses on other unversities' initiatives that have not reaped the same benefits. Women are still not entering the field in the needed numbers, in large part because of social and cultural obstacles -- such as stereotypes of the nerdy engineer, or the perception that engineering isn't a field "that allows you to help people" -- rather than industry or workplace obstacles.

Clearly, the path to success in the field is a tough one for women, and perhaps moreso for minority women in particular, as recounted in the profile, "How I Got Where I Am: An Engineering Manager," by College Journal's Adelle Waldman on the Village.

However, as a range of engineering-related industries are growing ever more hysterical over a looming labor crisis, a combination of university and industry intiatives designed to walk women engineers through the many stages of their career development seems to be reaping some results. As the Waldman profile shows, there were many times that Tonya Love, a young Black woman who worked her way into a gratifying position as a project leader at Xerox, doubted that the field was or could be a good one for her. Support in grad school, good advice, and a series of strong internships were crucial stepping stones that kept her going.

In another piece, young Sophie Theis, writing for YO! Youth Outlook Multimedia, sees a subtle cultural change going on, however, that might be good news for engineering schools. In Who Asked Us -- The New (Female) Nerd and the 'Gender Gap,' Theis argues that "the new gender gap is all about attitude":
The new nerd is a hard-working girl, while boys try hard to not try too
hard. That's why so many girls are achieving more than boys in high school and

The development of a "geek-chic for girls" could bode well for companies looking to keep up their supply of skilled engineers, such as our many, many clients of who are specifically looking to fire engineers of all types and levels at The editors are interested in keeping up with stories on this theme in the future, and would also be interested in hearing from some proud "geeks" out there to hear your views on what led to your interests in engineering, computing and similar fields. If you have a story to share with us, please drop us a line.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Happy New Year from the Women's Village!

After some time off for family and travel, the editors wish everyone a happy, healthy and productive new year.

We hope you had a chance to stop by over the holidays for some the features in our Women's Village Headline News section, which supplemented the usual news with some engaging and thought-provoking special series readings from the Associated Press about the stressors that come with holiday seasons, especially on working women.

For this week, we'll be running a new profile of business consultant Anna Duran, founder of the successful Duran Group. A Latina entrepreneur, Duran describes her life's path from her rough upbringing in East Oakland to New York and Wall Street, and her work on the way as a psychotherapist, a teacher at Columbia University, an author and business researcher, and a business diversity advocate. The feature is co-posted with our sister site, Hispanic American Village.

With the ascendancy of Nancy Pelosi, we'll probably also be following up with additional news from the Beltway this week, and we will definitely be updating our featured jobs again, so we hope you'll stop back again soon.