Wednesday, December 09, 2009

2009 Catalyst Census of the Fortune 500 Reveals Women Missing From Critical Business Leadership

Corporate Boards and Top Executive Offices Fail to Mirror Marketplace and Talent Pool
New York (December 9, 2009) – Companies are still lagging in appointing women to board seats and very few women hold Executive Officer positions, according to the 2009 Catalyst Census: Fortune 500 Women Board Directors and the 2009 Catalyst Census: Fortune 500 Women Executive Officers and Top Earners. “The time is up for ‘give it time.’ Women are approximately 50 percent of the labor pool and influence over 70 percent of household spending in the United States. It’s just smart business to include women in the decision-making process, and companies should implement strategies that set targets and timetables to do so,” said Ilene H. Lang, President & Chief Executive Officer of Catalyst.

This latest research shows women’s share of board positions stagnated:
· Women held 15.2 percent of board seats, a number that reflects little growth over the past five years.
· Women of color held 3.1 percent of all board director positions, compared to 3.2 last year.
· Almost 90 percent of companies had at least one woman director, but less than 20 percent had three or more women serving together.
· Women’s share of nominating/governance committee chairs is the only board leadership position in which women are keeping pace with their share of overall board seats.
· Women’s share of board chair positions remained flat at 2.0 percent.

This year, Catalyst examined the Fortune 500 Executive Officer pool, a segment of the Corporate Officer pool used in previous Catalyst Census reports. Women’s representation among this group was unimpressive:
· Women made up 13.5 percent of Executive Officer positions and 6.3 percent of top earner positions.
· Almost 30 percent of companies had no women Executive Officers.
· Less than one-fifth of companies had three or more women Executive Officers.

“It’s not enough to recognize the need to advance women into leadership positions. It’s time to execute on it,” said Ms. Lang. “You cannot be a successful global business leader without women in your leadership. Catalyst research shows that companies with more women in leadership, on average, outperform those with fewer women, and those with three or more women board directors do even better. It’s time businesses take action and leverage the talent that women bring to the workplace. It’s good for women, good for men, and as our research demonstrates, good for business.”

Ernst & Young is the sponsor of the 2009 Catalyst Census: Fortune 500 Women Board Directors and the 2009 Catalyst Census: Fortune 500 Women Executive Officers and Top Earners. Appendices to the reports are available at For media inquiries please contact Serena Fong, at 646-388-7757,, or Jeff Barth at 646-388-7725,

For 2009, Catalyst gathered public data only from Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) annual filings submitted by June 30, 2009. For insurance companies that do not file with the SEC, Catalyst obtained data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC) regulatory database of key annual statements submitted by June 30, 2009. Data collected by the SEC and NAIC comply with federal or state requirements governing the content and timing of the filings, resulting in more equivalent comparisons across companies. Individuals included in the 2009 Catalyst Census: Fortune 500 Women Board Directors report are those listed in SEC filings as serving on the board up to the annual meeting of shareholders and those listed in NAIC filings as Directors. The population of directors was not significantly altered by the methodology change, permitting comparisons to data from previous annual board director Catalyst Census reports.

Individuals included in the 2009 Catalyst Census: Fortune 500 Women Executive Officers and Top Earners report are those listed as Executive Officers in SEC filings and those listed in NAIC filings as Officers. Executive Officers represent a segment of the Corporate Officer population as defined in previous Catalyst Census reports. The population change makes comparisons to data from previous annual Corporate Officer Catalyst Census reports inappropriate.

Founded in 1962, Catalyst is the leading nonprofit membership organization working globally with businesses and the professions to build inclusive workplaces and expand opportunities for women and business. With offices in the United States, Canada, and Europe, and more than 400 preeminent corporations as members, Catalyst is the trusted resource for research, information, and advice about women at work. Catalyst annually honors exemplary organizational initiatives that promote women’s advancement with the Catalyst Award.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Making Sense of the New Mammography Muddle

Barbara Glickstein, women's health advocate and public health nurse, whom I've listened to for many years on public radio, makes some very cogent and comforting points here about the mammography debate. At the same time, my question to her and to other searching, independent women (and men) who've weighed in on the advisability of mammograms is: Why has no one considered thermography, or thermal imaging of the breast instead? It's a proven, even AMA-practiced, technology that detects irregular heat patterns that may develop into cancers up to ten years before a mass forms and becomes cancerous. What is Breast Thermography is an informative site to get the curious who might consider an alternative to mammography going.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

On that great decision we women have to make: to have children or not

As someone who has surrogate-mommed, gratifyingly in one experience, frustrated in another, but who has chosen not to have kids of my own, I found this article sensitive and its author objective given the strong feelings the discussion and decision elicit. Certain of Nancy Rome's points resonated within me, too, so I'm recommending all women read and react.

Friday, November 06, 2009

The International Women’s Media Foundation Launches South Asia Iniative

NOVEMBER 5, 2009

IWMF Launches New South Asia Initiative

The International Women’s Media Foundation will bring together women journalists in December for the South Asia Initiative on Women and HIV/AIDS Policymaking. The initiative will help enable women leaders from media, civil society and parliament to respond to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Six journalists – two each from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan – will participate in activities and events designed to help them cover the HIV/AIDS epidemic in their home countries. The program will be held Dec. 7-10 in Washington, D.C.

The IWMF is partnering with the Centre for Development and Population Activities and the Center for Women Policy Studies for the initiative, which is supported by the Ford Foundation.

  • Read the press release to learn more about the program and the selected journalists.
  • Your support and participation helps the IWMF pioneer change for women in the news media – Donate now.

Use GoodSearch & GoodShop:
Every time you search or shop online, our cause earns money.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Military Coup Reverses Honduran Women’s Gains in Human Rights

For those of you, Latinas and not, who have been following the radar-slipping deteriorating events surrounding the recent coup in Honduras, here's an article from the Women's Media Center that visits the situation from a women's perspective. Women, in fact, have been in the forefront of opposition to the new, uninvited, head of state, Roberto Micheletti.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Women and the Afghan elections

I'm on this group's listserve, having met a number of their
representatives at an Islamic street fair in New York.
For a further look at the heinous treatment of women that continues,
and will keep on keeping on after the election, no matter who wins,
see our AP story: Women activists condemn Afghan marriage law

Wonderful Supporters of WAW [Women for Afghan Women],

Writing this quickly because internet keeps failing. Security is
really bad in Kabul. Yesterday there were 2 suicide bombings and
6 rockets attacks. Today 5 suicide bombers were holding up a bank in
the city. They were killed along with 4 police men. And I have
been hearing the sounds of rockets all day today but the media is
not allowed to report on any violence until after the elections.

I have been under a lot of stress lately. I have over 100 staff
members and 112 people in our shelters to keep safe.

For the past two weeks, our staff have stayed in the office and we
have not been doing home visits to clients. Starting today our
centers are closed, and staff has been asked to stay at home. I've
asked our drivers to take the cars home with them so if there are
any emergencies, they can get to the shelter fast.

We currently have 68 women and 12 children in the Kabul shelter and
32 women and 4 children in the Mazar shelter. Last night the police
called us and referred 2 new cases to us.

We have tried to ensure the participation of women in the elections.
We have helped many women (our clients who are living at home
rather than in our shelters) get registered to vote. I have also
encouraged our staff to vote on election day.

We cannot take the women from the shelter to vote on election day.
It will simply be too dangerous. Also I don't want people in the
neighborhood to find out that a lot of women are living in one

I will try and send another update soon. Thank you all for caring
about this beleaguered country and it's women and girls. Please
pray for us during these terrifying days.

Manizha Naderi
Executive Director, Women for Afghan Women

Monday, August 10, 2009

My girl Toto's back in town

It was great Friday night seeing Toto la Momposina and her merry Tambores at the Queens Theatre in the Park, and it’s been great to see the Queens Latino Cultural Festival back in the groove this year of presenting top artists from throughout the Latino world in this, my borough, which boasts the largest concentration of Latinos in the Big Apple (or Gran Manzana, as they say).
Toto forces me into the cliché: She just gets better with age. Maybe it was the venue—last time I saw her, near on 10 years ago, it was at the more imposing Town Hall in Manhattan—maybe because as I get better or worse with age, she’s become nothing if not inspirational, a role model of how to stay gorgeous, sensual, spirited and—here comes another cliché—eminently young at heart.
Gigging the world over—you’d think she was homeless rather than a proud palenquera from Colombia’s northeastern panhandle—she carries with her her message as torchbearer for the traditions of her country and her people, Afro-Indio-Colombians. Toto maintains her rusticity; she’s like a pre-urbanized Susana Baca, a less buffed icon of the unsung history and contributions of African people in South America.
Toto was born into cantadora lineage: women keeping the traditions through healing, midwifery, political savvy, farming, and of course, song and dance. And that legacy infuses all of her, including her electric smile, her sensuality-- unabashed at over 60 now--and her good natured rule over her super musicians aging from their 20s to could-be “jubilados” (retirees).
The audience, too, was seduced from the first flash of that smile and her head cocked haughtily on high, her swooping skirts and her bossy and beguiling contralto. They were waving their straw hats and arms like streamers and were dancing in the seats.
I can’t wait for her next visit, predictably not for some time, though. Toto’s scored major success in Europe, but never here outside her Colombian homies. And the next show after that, and still the next one. But, at the rate she’s going, she may be still bringing the house down after I’m long gone!

Friday, July 10, 2009

White House Focuses on Violence Against Women

The ever-vigilant The Women's Media Center reports on Lynn Rosenthal, the new White House advisor on violence against women.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Women Immigrants - The New Face of Migration

New York: Community Meeting - Women Immigrants: The New Face of Migration

Join Pollster Sergio Bendixen, New York's leading immigrants rights advocates and ethnic media as they discuss the role of women immigrants and the ramifications for immigration reform

Location: The Ford Foundation
Level B Boardroom
320 East 43rd St
New York

Time: Wed., July 15, 11:00 a.m - 1:00 p.m

Anthony Advincula

Alex Moe

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Special Initiative: Women in Senior Leadership in Retail Management

Women For Hire is working on a major initiative to support the advancement of women in senior retail management leadership roles throughout the country. This is a unique opportunity to share your voice in an important dialogue to identify best practices for recruiting, retaining and advancing women in retail leadership roles, along with the chance to interview for exceptional management positions.

Specifically, we're looking for women with high volume and/or large scale management and/or operations experience in:

*Restaurant/Food Services
*Or other high profile fields

Have you held a role as a senior district or regional manager, director or VP in a high volume/large scale operation? Have you managed business in excess of $5 million and/or led large teams of associates?

Target markets: Atlanta, Dallas, Kansas City, San Antonio and Seattle

If this is you or someone you know--and you're interested in contributing to the advancement of women in retail leadership and learning about a fast-track opportunity with a global leader--please contact Women For Hire today for details on our client's ambitious program.

Please send resume and a short description of your current employment and/or career goals to Indicate RETAIL LEADERSHIP in the subject line, along with one of the 5 cities listed above. We will reply to all qualified and relevant responses.

If you know talented women who qualify for this opportunity based on the criteria indicated here, please forward this email to them.

Thank you for your time.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Another first for a black American

Here's the story of a woman on a stormy journey, but with amazing determination: America's first black woman rabbi.

Finally, the Magical World of Disney Is About to Include an African American Princess

Thanks to the Women's Media Center for this one.

by Rachell Arteaga

Granted, it’s a fairy tale—the furthest thing from reality. But a wide audience of little girls is likely to take Tiana, the new Disney character, to heart. The author asks how likely is it that the mainstream company can produce an effective role model for them.

June 15, 2009

When I first heard that Disney was releasing an animated film starring a black princess this November, I was excited, yet skeptical. Disney has attempted to fulfill its diversity quota in animation before with films like Aladdin, Mulan, and Pocahontas. While these films achieved their box office busting goals and won the hearts of many little girls and boys, some would argue that they still left much to be desired in terms of racial, cultural and gender representation. The Disney production machine has remained relatively unchanged—can Tiana be any more authentic?

Tiana stars in the soon-to-be Disney classic The Princess and the Frog. A remarkable moment for American children’s media, she has come into an environment where Dora the Explorer, a pre-school animated series featuring a Latina, has become a national heroine for toddlers and their families–despite or because of her brown skin and magical Spanish words. Arguably, mainstream white audiences are ready for Tiana thanks to the long road paved by Dora and other animated favorites such as the bilingual twins Maya and Miguel and Little Bill, based on Bill Cosby’s book series.

Despite these gains an international study (International Central Institute for Youth and Educational Television, Germany) shows that still the “ratio of male to female characters in animation programmes … is as disparate as 87 percent male to 13 percent female” and that “72 percent of all main characters in children’s television are Caucasian,” with these proportions holding true in film and other forms of media. Headed by Maya Götz, along with scholars from more than a dozen countries around the world, the study posits that for children to really be engaged in any program, including animation, it is not unreasonable to expect that viewers be able to identify with the characters along the basic lines of gender and ethnicity. The Princess and the Frog has, thus, garnered a storm of media attention in its attempt to address this need—and boost Disney’s marketability across varying demographics.

Ultimately, however, the underlying issue here is not whether Disney will get this “right” by creating an accurate portrayal of a black princess. After all, we are talking about fairy tale here, which never have realistic depictions of anything, especially race and gender. Still, nuances are important, and, with Disney we have a homogeneous mainstream giant with white male directors and producers trying to construct a character based on a cultural and ethnic experience that is not their own.

It is admirable that, according to The New York Times, Disney has consulted with selected theater owners, the NAACP and Oprah Winfrey. And at least Tiana’s voice belongs to Tony Award-winning African American singer and actress, Anika Noni Rose. Nonetheless, as blogger Stephanie Daniels puts it, you have to be “wary of the thought of white folks writing about black folks and presenting it to black children.” What needs to be addressed is the lack of women of color in positions of authority—a need that the Götz study shows is spread throughout mainstream children’s media—who can conceive of strong female characters of color based on personal experiences within their culture and communities. Given this deficiency in its creative and executive positions, it should be of no surprise that Disney is struggling here. Until we can fill the director’s chairs, the production houses, and the writers’ rooms with these women, we cannot expect accurate portrayals or truly powerful role models for girls of color.

Disney will, predictably, do its mega media marketing magic and inundate malls, billboards and after-school TV ad slots with toys and other commercial images of Tiana leading up to the movie’s release. And there is no doubt that many little girls of color will be drawn to Tiana. As Women’s Media Center President Carol Jenkins aptly noted during a CBS news segment, this is an incredible validation for little girls of color who are for the most part invisible. My hope, however, is that Tiana’s mainstream appearance—controversy and all—will pave the way for all children’s media companies to not only continue embracing animated female protagonists of color, but to value the work of women of color, who have the license and authority to create authentic and imaginative characters for our children, our communities and beyond.
Rachell Arteaga is administrative coordinator for the Women’s Media Center. Before she joined the WMC, first as a volunteer, she worked on cultural and academic projects at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College, CUNY—such as “assessment and Valuation of Puerto Rican, Chicano, Latino and Hispanic-Caribbean Art,” the first symposium of its kind. While earning her BA in media studies at Hunter, she interned at Sesame Workshop and the Jim Henson Company. She currently works weekends at the Paley Center for Media as an engineer for Recreating Radio Sound, helping children discover the rich history of “old-Time” radio while they re-enact a radio play.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

New Catalyst Research Reveals Workplace Barriers for LGBT Employees

LGBT employees report unique experiences of exclusion and echo similar workplace hurdles to women

TORONTO (June 3, 2009) — Even in Canada, a country with legislated human rights protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals, LGBT employees face workplace barriers that limit career advancement and, therefore, restrict potential contributions to organizational success, according to Catalyst’s third report on building LGBT-inclusive workplaces, Building LGBT-Inclusive Workplaces: Engaging Organizations and Individuals in Change. The new study finds that a lack of awareness, which may cause other employees to rely on stereotypes, can lead to a hostile work environment for LGBT employees including discriminatory behaviors such as inappropriate humor or derogatory language; exclusion from important relationships and advancement opportunities; and a lack of role models.

The study suggests that since some LGBT employees are “invisible” and choose not to disclose or come out, organizations may not fully understand the benefits, needs, and challenges of these employees. It also points out that when LGBT employees spend less effort managing disclosure and can focus on their work, both organizations and employees benefit.

“Leaders who understand the bottom-line benefits of diversity should be eager to implement LGBT-inclusion programs,” said Deborah Gillis, Vice President, North America , Catalyst. “LGBT-inclusive workplaces can increase employee engagement by allowing employees to be authentic and spend less time self-editing. That reduces costs by decreasing turnover. It can also potentially increase revenue by encouraging LGBT employees to help the organization tap new markets and enhance customer loyalty.”

According to the study, concerted efforts by organizations to create LGBT-inclusive workplaces, such as diversity training, employee networks, and mentoring programs, help to raise awareness and dispel myths, resulting in better workplace relationships, improved perceptions about workplace fairness, and increased career satisfaction and organizational commitment for LGBT employees.

Through its LGBT series, Catalyst extends its focus on gender diversity to include LGBT employees—recognizing that women may identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. This Catalyst study offers new insights about specific challenges facing LGBT women. While few differences were based on gender, LGBT women did report “less friendly workplaces” than LGBT men:

* 76 percent of LGBT women versus 85 percent of all others reported that their manager was comfortable interacting with them.
* 70 percent of LGBT women reported that their manager evaluated performance fairly versus 80 percent of LGBT men and 77 percent of non-LGBT women and men.
* On average, LGBT women are “out” to 50 percent of their workgroup versus LGBT men out to 72 percent of their workgroup.

The study reports that LGBT employees working in organizations with effective and inclusive diversity practices indicated better workplace relationships and greater organizational commitment and career satisfaction (linked to greater productivity) than LGBT employees at organizations without them. To help organizations become more inclusive and increase their brand as an “employer of choice,” Catalyst offers a number of recommendations, including:

* Increase awareness—identify and tackle organizational issues related to LGBT employees company-wide.
* Implement diversity training to help dispel LGBT myths/stereotypes.
* Help LGBT employees find mentors and employee groups.
* Make consistent and inclusive communications a core goal.

Scotiabank is the Contributing Sponsor of Building LGBT-Inclusive Workplaces: Engaging Organizations and Individuals in Change.

For more information on building LGBT-inclusive workplaces, please go to: For media inquiries, please contact: Susan Nierenberg , 646-388-7744,; Serena Fong , 646-388-7757,; or Jeff Barth , 646-388-7725,

Founded in 1962, Catalyst is the leading nonprofit membership organization working globally with businesses and the professions to build inclusive workplaces and expand opportunities for women and business. With offices in the United States , Canada , and Europe , and more than 400 preeminent corporations as members, Catalyst is the trusted resource for research, information, and advice about women at work. Catalyst annually honors exemplary organizational initiatives that promote women’s advancement with the Catalyst Award.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Poll Finds Women Immigrants Confront Many Barriers


WASHINGTON—New America Media (NAM) today released an historic poll on woman immigrants to America, research that documents their demographics, reasons for immigrating and incredible will to overcome obstacles to build a new life for themselves and their families.

The poll, conducted by Bendixen & Associates, was released today at a forum discussion and news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

It found that women immigrants face formidable barriers. Many woman immigrants—Latin Americans (79%), Vietnamese (73%), Korean (70%), and Chinese (63%)—acknowledge speaking little or no English, while confronting anti-immigrant discrimination, lack of healthcare and low-paying employment well below the status of the professional work most did in their home countries.

“The poll establishes that in the latter part of the 20th century women immigrated to America in ever-growing numbers, and are now on the move as much as men, but often face vastly different circumstances and challenges,” said Sandy Close, NAM’s Executive Director. “Women are migrating not as lone individuals but as members, even heads, of families, determined to keep family bonds intact even as they travel great distances and adapt to new cultures. This journey has activated women.”

For instance, the poll found that as many women settled in America, they also radically altered their roles in their private lives. Almost one-third report having assumed head-of-household responsibilities or sharing equally with their husbands the decision-making on everything from household finances to family planning. Moreover, the poll found that the overwhelming majority—Latin American (81%), Chinese (71%), Vietnamese (68%), African (66%) and Arabic (53%)—said they had become more assertive at home and in public after moving to America.

“Women immigrants reveal that they came to America not in search of streets paved with gold – making money was surprisingly low on their list of priorities – but because they saw the US as a place to build better futures for their children, and to make permanent homes for their families,” Ms. Close said. “At a time when more than one-third of US families are single-parent households, 90 percent of women immigrants are raising children in intact marriages.”

US Representative Michael Honda (D-CA) applauded New America Media for highlighting the stories and needs of immigrant women.

“Many in the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities face tremendous challenges accessing important services, from healthcare to education to housing,” said Representative Honda, chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC). “Women at the head of immigrant families often bear the brunt of disparities that our communities face. I look forward to working with my congressional colleagues to address these concerns.”

The poll also found that:

* 82% of Latin American women found discrimination against immigrants to be a major problem for their family, compared to 17% for women from African or Arab countries, and only 13% for those from China. Still, 90% of the Latin American women said they want to become US citizens.
* 40% of immigrant women from Latin America and significant percentages from other regions do not have health insurance. A clear majority of women immigrants without health insurance are unaware of public health programs that could help their children receive medical assistance.
* A majority of immigrant women from China, Korea, the Philippines, India, Africa and Arab countries describe their last job in their home country as “professional.” The study reveals that a substantial percentage of them have not found comparable employment in the United States. Their current jobs in America include working as a hotel maid, restaurant waitress, factory technician, house cleaner and textile worker. These results, and others, indicate that women may well be putting devotion to the well-being of their families ahead of personal job status and pride in choosing to immigrate.
* When asked to name the biggest challenge they faced as women immigrants in the United States, the majority did not cite economic difficulties. Rather, "helping my children achieve success" and "being able to hold my family together" were the top answers—underscoring the importance of family in understanding the motivations and aspirations of this new wave of women immigrants.

The poll results reminded Representative Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) of the challenges her family encountered during their transition to America.

“I found it striking that the data from this historic poll parallels my mother’s own experience in bringing me and my brothers to the United States from Japan in the mid 1950’s—her desire to build better futures for us; her early low-paying, no benefits jobs; her determination to keep the family together as head-of-household,” said Representative Hirono, a member of CAPAC’s executive board. “This survey shows a real need for key decision makers, on all levels of government and in the private sector, to support public policy that improves the quality of life for these women and their families.”

At the panel discussion and news conference, participants said the research data will be instrumental in helping the members of the public and support organizations understand not only the plight of women immigrants, but how government policy can improve the quality of life for them and their families.

“The study clearly indicates that women immigrants in the United States have not only become important contributors to the economic and social condition of their families in the United States but that they also have become catalysts in their assimilation to American culture and in the decision-making process about U.S. citizenship,” said Sergio Bendixen, who conducted the poll.

Further, Olga Vives, Executive Vice President for the National Organization for Women, said, “This is important information to have as we engage our country in meaningful discussions around comprehensive immigration reform, which must address the issues affecting immigrant women and their children.”

The poll of 1,102 respondents has a margin of error of 3 percent and was funded in part by grants to New America Media from Atlantic Philanthropies, Carnegie Corp., Ford Foundation and the Evelyn & Walter Haas Jr. Fund. NAM also received a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to assist with distribution of the poll results.

“We are grateful to our supporters who made this research possible,” Ms. Close said. “We believe this data can have a tremendous impact by improving our understanding of immigrant women and their families. This can help make a better America.”

About NAM
New America Media is the country's first and largest national collaboration and advocate for more than 2500 ethnic news organizations. Over 51 million ethnic adults connect to each other, to home countries and to America through 3000+ ethnic media, the fastest growing sector of American journalism. Founded by the nonprofit Pacific News Service in 1996, NAM is headquartered in California with offices in New York and Washington D.C. NAM also partners with journalism schools to grow local associations of ethnic media around the nation. Our 2009 National Ethnic Media EXPO & Awards will honor excellence in ethnic media journalism, forge collective strategies to strengthen the sector, expand its role in risk communications, and improve government communications with its audiences.

Visit NAM's homepage for news and updates on our programs here.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Fooled Again

With a feeling of YES I posted an article on our home page signaling that women had finally closed the pay gap with men--in government jobs. And now, much to my dismay, I must report that the picture is not so rosy, but it's same old, same old, with women stuck in lower paying non government sector jobs, and even in those jobs are outearned by comparable men.

Men Outearn Women in Almost All Occupations

A new analysis released by the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR) today on Equal Pay Day shows that men out-earn women in nearly every occupation for which data are available.

Of the more than 500 occupational categories for which sufficient data are provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in only 5 occupations do women earn the same or more than men.

Men earn more than women even in jobs that are most common among women, such as

  • Administrative assistants: women earn only 83.4 cents for a man's dollar
  • Elementary and middle school teachers: women earn 87.6 cents for a man's dollar
  • Registered nurses: women earn 87.4 cents for a man's dollar

Men and women still tend to be concentrated in very different jobs, with the most common jobs among women paying less than the most common jobs held by men. For example, the highest paying of the ten most common occupations for women, 'Registered Nurses,' pays $1,011 in median weekly earnings, whereas the highest paying of men's top ten most common jobs is 'Managers, all other,' which pays $1,359 per week. The lowest paying of the most common jobs for women is 'Cashier' at $349 per week, whereas the lowest paying most common job for men is 'Cook' at $404 per week.

Ariane Hegewisch, Study Director at the Institute for Women's Policy Research, says, "Women tend to be in the minority of workers in the occupations with the highest earnings. We need to ensure that women are fully informed about the earnings potential of an occupation before they choose their careers."

The analysis uses data from the Bureau of Labor statistics from 2008.

IWPR Director of Research Dr. Barbara Gault notes, "The data paint a clear picture of a workforce that remains strongly divided on the basis of sex -- with women landing in the worst jobs our labor market has to offer, and earning less than men even in the exact same jobs. Our economy can only thrive when opportunities are equally available regardless of gender or race."

To view the Fact Sheet, see

The Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR) conducts rigorous research and disseminates its findings to address the needs of women, promote public dialogue, and strengthen families, communities, and societies. The Institute works with policymakers, scholars, and public interest groups to design, execute, and disseminate research that illuminates economic and social policy issues affecting women and their families, and to build a network of individuals and organizations that conduct and use women-oriented policy research. IWPR's work is supported by foundation grants, government grants and contracts, donations from individuals, and contributions from organizations and corporations. IWPR is a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt organization that also works in affiliation with the women's studies and public policy programs at The George Washington University.

Institute for Women's Policy Research
Elisabeth Crum
Communications and Outreach Coordinator
phone: 202-785-5100

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Catalyst Honors 4 Initiatives with 2009 Awards

Baxter, CH2M HILL, Gibbons, and KPMG Initiatives Honored With the 2009 Catalyst Award

Award celebrates innovative initiatives that advance women and business

NEW YORK – The 2009 Catalyst Award was presented on March 31 to Baxter International Inc., CH2M HILL, Gibbons P.C., and KPMG LLP for their ground-breaking initiatives that advance women in the workplace. The award, given during the Catalyst Awards Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria and sponsored by DuPont and Shell Oil Company, attracted approximately 100 CEOs of major corporations and firms, and nearly 1500 senior executives and industry leaders from over 200 U.S. and global companies.

“This year’s award-winning initiatives represent the business success that bringing women into leadership can deliver across industries and geographies,” said Ilene H. Lang, President and CEO of Catalyst. “No matter where we look, whether in New York or Asia Pacific, from engineering to pharmaceuticals, we find achievement through inclusion of women.”

Irene Rosenfeld, Chairman and CEO of Kraft Foods Inc., and one of the 15 Fortune 500 women CEOs, chaired the Catalyst Awards Dinner. “As a consumer business, it’s essential that our workforce – and especially our leaders – reflect the diversity of our consumer base. Kraft Foods applauds the 2009 Catalyst Award winners for demonstrating that significant gains can be made when organizations set their mind to increasing diversity."

Baxter International Inc.’s Asia Pacific initiative, Building Talent Edge reached its 2010 target of a 50/50 gender balance across management-level and critical positions two years ahead of schedule. "Gender diversity is not just a social issue but one that addresses a core challenge for all organizations: talent," said Gerald Lema, Corporate Vice President and President, Asia Pacific of Baxter International Inc. "Extensive research and our own experience demonstrate that organizations that allow the best talent to enter, develop, move up and contribute do better. Organizations that move quickly to remove the barriers and become more inclusive overall will be the winners."

CH2M HILL’s Constructing Pathways for Women Through Inclusion initiative provides a model for leveraging women employees to achieve business success and accelerate women's advancement. Lee A. McIntire, President and CEO of CH2M HILL remarked, “We are so proud that our initiative is the first in the engineering and construction industry to win the Catalyst Award – and even more proud of what this means for our industry overall, which has a genuine desire to improve diversity within its ranks.”

Gibbons P.C.’s The Women’s Initiative: Driving Success Through Diversity Investment, is critical to the firm’s branding in the marketplace and generated more than six percent of its annual revenue in 2007. Patrick C. Dunican, Jr., Chairman and Managing Director of Gibbons P.C. said, "Our Women's Initiative has proven to be a win-win-win proposition. Our women attorneys constantly develop their professional skills, leadership abilities, and business networks – all of which clearly benefit clients and positively impact the firm's bottom line."

KPMG LLP’s Great Place to Build a Career initiative uses diversity and inclusion as a driver for change resulting in a culture of career growth, mentoring, and accountability that focuses on a talented pool of diverse individuals. Timothy P. Flynn, Chairman of KPMG LLP commented, “We are honored by Catalyst’s recognition. This initiative, which ensures that all of our professionals, especially women and people of color, are provided the support and opportunities to make the most of their talents and experiences at every stage of their career, has become embedded into our culture. The talent and professionalism of our people is critical to our long term business success and this initiative has helped us expand and develop our high quality professional work force.”

For complete descriptions of past and present Catalyst Award-winning initiatives and the Catalyst Awards Conference, please visit

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Women's Economic Equality--The Next Frontier in Women's Rights

Legal Momentum and Cornell University ILR

Women's Economic Equality
The Next Frontier in Women's Rights

Click Here to Register

Thursday, April 2, 2009, 6:30 p.m.
Cornell University ILR (NYC Campus)
16 East 34th Street, 6th Floor (between Madison and Fifth Avenues)
New York, NY

(NOTE: Building security requires photo ID)


Mimi Abramovitz

Mimi Abramovitz, DSW
The Bertha Capen Reynolds Professor of Social Policy
Hunter School of Social Work and The CUNY Graduate Center

Mimi Abramovitz, DSW Columbia University School of Social Work is The Bertha Capen Reynolds Professor of Social Policy at Hunter School of Social Work and The CUNY Graduate Center. Widely published in the area of women, poverty and the welfare state, she is the author of Regulating the Lives of Women: Social Welfare Policy From Colonial Times to the Present; the award-winning Under Attack, Fighting Back: Women and Welfare in the US; and co-author of The Dynamics of Social Welfare Policy , and Taxes Are A Women's Issue: Reframing the Debate. She is currently writing Gender Obligations: The History f Low-Income Women's Activism Since 1900

Heather Boushey

Heather Boushey
Senior Economist
Center for American Progress

Heather Boushey is senior economist at the Center for American Progress. Prior to joining the Center she was a senior economist with the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress. She was formerly a senior economist with the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

Dr. Boushey studies working families and trends in the U.S. labor market. She has written extensively on labor issues, including tracking the recession and its impact on workers and their families, women’s labor force participation, trends in income inequality, and work/life policy issues. Her work is important to understanding how women have fared in recent recessions.

She has testified before Congress and given lectures nationwide. Dr. Boushey’s research has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time, Newsweek, as well as many regional papers, television and radio. Previously, Dr. Boushey worked at the Economic Policy Institute, where she co-authored The State of Working America 2002-3 and Hardships in America: The Real Story of Working Families.

Boushey received her Ph.D. in economics from the New School for Social Research and her B.A. from Hampshire College.

Irasema GarzaIrasema Garza

Legal Momentum

Irasema Garza is president of Legal Momentum, the nation's oldest legal advocacy organization dedicated to advancing women's rights. An attorney with a broad range of experience as public servant and labor advocate, Garza has distinguished career of public service, championing the interests of women and economically disadvantaged ethnic and racial groups by working for economic equality.

In the Clinton administration, Garza served as director of the U.S. Department of Labor Women's Bureau, the only federal agency mandated by Congress to represent America's wage-earning women in the public policy process. During her tenure, she worked to ensure that economic security for women was a key component of the Labor Department's political and legislative agenda. Before that, she served as the first secretary of the U.S. National Administrative Office, charged with implementing the labor provisions of NAFTA. In this capacity, she worked with the governments of Mexico and Canada to improve labor rights for working people, including women workers in Mexico's maquiladora industries.

In 2003, Garza joined the U.S. labor movement as director of women's rights for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), and three years later moved to Working America, the community affiliate of the AFL-CIO, serving first as national political director and later as director of community and external affairs.

Garza has a J.D. and a B.A. from the University of Michigan.

Linda Hirshman

Linda Hirshman
Allen/Berenson Distinguished Visiting Professor of Philosophy and Women’s Studies (retired)
Brandeis University

Linda R.Hirshman retired as the Allen/Berenson Distinguished Visiting Professor of Philosophy and Women’s Studies at Brandeis University.

She is a political columnist for “Double X,” the political magazine for women from the Washington Post Slate Group, www.

She is the author of “Get to Work: A Manifesto for Women of the World,” (Viking, 2006). A version of the book project, “Homeward Bound,” appeared in the December 2005 American Prospect and was the subject of syndicated columnist David Brooks’ New Years Day column, “The Year of Domesticity” and syndicated columnist Ellen Goodman’s commentary, “Desperate ex-Housewives.” (Desperate ex-housewives - The Boston Globe.htm). Her most recent opinion work, “Where Are the New Jobs for Women?” appeared in the New York Times on December 9, 2008.

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

The 25 most women-friendly cities

After leafing through Women.Co's travelogue of world cities least accommodating to women workers--The list seems overly selective, not specific enough and heavily disses India. Nonetheless...--this often-informative site led me to a more hospitable ride, this one through 25 recommended locations where, if you're looking for a change of scenery or are considering a major career move, their suggestions might pan out. Limiting, though, is that they're all stateside.
Read here.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Rihanna, muster up some dignity for your fans' sake!

I’m going to try the keep the indignation bordering on rage and the sadness I’m feeling out of my introduction to Women’s History Month you’ll find soon on the home page; I’m hoping the blog will provide catharsis and let me be warmer and fuzzier about us as independent, strong and evolving beings than my thoughts are at the moment. I’m scribbling these notes furiously between the graphics of this month’s Smithsonian magazine, riding the New York City subway uptown. It’s either scribble or scream at what I just saw.
Grumbling like a typical New Yorker at the haphazard weekend service, my monolog was picked up by a woman sitting on the bench I’d parked myself on to wait. (and wait.) She concurred with a nod about the service and then seemed eager to engage me with what was on her mind. “She went back wid ‘im,” she said, displaying an unmistakable Eastern Caribbean lilt. “Went back with who? Who went back?” I said. In explanation, she opened the New York Post to page whatever and pointed to an article reporting that Rihanna and Chris Brown had reconciled. He was repentant and of course she could forgive him. Believe me, I don’t deal in hip hop or its heavies (unless it delivers righteous and/or womanist messages), but I couldn’t help but be pulled into the pulp about the dastardly beating of this young woman. So I was kinda following the story. But I hadn’t seen the photo until my Trini companion showed it to me. Jeez!
And the Trini woman told me how she’d had a pack of kids with her husband back home. And that he beat her. And beat her. And kept beating her, as Brown will do to the either naïve or really messed up Rihanna. But my interlocutor told me that, one day, when she was out of the house, she packed herself up and her 5 kids and stole away back to her mom’s. Never went back, never looked back, she said proudly. Hard it was, she went on. But she made it and the kids didn’t have to see Mommy getting “licked” any more.
I’m still thinking, more regretfully, about the Rihanna mess on the day before we celebrate our womanhood. And how she’s the envy of so many millions of maturing or starstruck young woman, giving them the message, not of women making it or fulfilling their dreams of stardom—ultimately a skewed, unrealistic, even counterproductive and dangerous message in itself—but legitimizing a return to the glory of victimhood, of groveling, of total dependence. And I remembered the day when I stopped listening to Billie’s pathetic and shameful, “It cost me a lot…he beats me too, what can I do?…but there’s one thing that I got, it’s my man.”
Then I found Brown’s YouTube efforts and these comments:
--aww.... i love him, everyone goes through bad times, do things they shouldnt have
--if you love woman - you have to beat her )
--lalala. and so what ? support his music . SMH you must be one of rihanna fans.
--some bitches just need to get beat sorry :)

Well, maybe there is something to celebrate. And it’s that humble Trini mother who got out.

Friday, February 27, 2009

FYI: Midlife women and activity study. Any takers?

This is Chia-Chun, a doctoral student and a Graduate research assistant in school of Nursing, University of Texas at Austin.
Now I am working with Dr. Eun-Ok Im, and she is currently conducting an Internet study entitled Ethnic Specific Midlife Women's Attitudes toward Physical Activity. This study is funded by NIH/NINR (1R01NR010568-01). We believe that midlife women will get the benefit from participating in this study.
In the study, data will be collected through the Internet from Feb. 1, 2008 to May 31, 2011.
Methods for the data collection include an Internet survey among 500 midlife women in the U.S. on the Internet and four ethnic-specific online forum discussions among about 30 midlife women per ethnic group recruited among the Internet survey participants.

Please visit our project s website:

Women eligible to participate in this study are midlife women aged 40 to 60 years old who do not have any mobility problems; who can read and write English; who are online; and whose self-reported ethnic identity is Hispanic, non-Hispanic (N-H) White, N-H African American, or N-H Asian.

Reimbursement for individual participation will be made by providing 10 dollars gift certificate per internet survey participant and 50 dollars gift certificate per online forum participant (only those who participate in the additional online forum for 6 months will be provided with this additional gift certificate).

Contact Information:
Chia-Chun Li, MSN, RN,
Graduate Research Assistant, doctoral student
School of Nursing, University of Texas at Austin
1700 Red River, Austin, TX 78701
Phone: (512) 475-6352

PI: Eun-Ok Im, PhD, MPH, RN, CNS, FAAN
Professor & La Quinta Motor Inns Inc. Centennial Professor
School of Nursing, The University of Texas at Austin
1700 Red River St. Austin, TX 78701

Bartering while out of work?

Women for Hire are on the mark. I've recently joined. Good networking, info, support.

We're looking for people who recently lost their jobs, but are not collecting unemployment (either it's run out or you're not eligible for benefits), and would be interesting in bartering their skills for products and services they need while looking for work. For example, maybe you're a graphic designer and you're willing to design a logo for someone in exchange for a stroller for your newborn. Perhaps you're a bookkeeper who can prepare simple tax returns in exchange for meals at a local diner. Or you're a publicist who'll trade PR services for someone to design a website so you can start a business quickly.

If this sounds like you—and you'd like to work with us to learn how to do this successfully—please send an email to and put "bartering" in the subject line. Tell us the following: your name, phone and location; what kind of work you were doing; when and why you were laid off; why you're not collecting unemployment; the specific skills or stuff you are willing to barter; and the specific skills or stuff you'd ideally need in return to help you through some tough times. Even though everyone wants cash the most, this project is specifically about bartering. Please indicate a willingness to be on TV if selected to work with us.

Disclaimer of a sort: Womenforhire's job bank is all over the place. I keyed in 'New York' and 'Publishing/Media' and got 'California' and advertising listings. Our job bank is MUCH better: see link halfway down the page

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Talent Management Systems Unwittingly Biased Against Women

Reinforcing Male Leadership Traits Can Limit Opportunities for Women in Business Leadership

New York (February 25, 2009) – Gender biases and stereotypes can be unconsciously embedded into talent management systems when leadership characteristics reflect traits exhibited by a company’s top, predominately male executives, according to Catalyst’s latest report, Cascading Gender Biases, Compounding Effects: An Assessment of Talent Management Systems. Even organizations with the most sophisticated talent management systems are vulnerable to gender bias which can ultimately impact long-term corporate success, the report says.

This latest study offers a rare assessment of talent management systems and highlights the influence of roadblocks to advancement at 110 leading companies across 19 industries. The report shows that executives set the tone and employees mirror those traits that have made senior leaders successful. When perceptions of leadership are described by masculine stereotypes, employees are viewed as less competent if they demonstrate qualities, characteristics, and skills that are considered atypical. According to the research, this results in a perpetual cycle that can overlook and under-utilize women high performers.

Since consistent evidence shows that teams with diverse leadership outperform those with less diversity, this potential talent loss may have a profound impact on an organization’s performance and sustainability. “Businesses restrict their own growth potential when women are unintentionally excluded from key training and advancement opportunities,” said Ilene H. Lang, President & CEO of Catalyst. “Whether the economy is up or down, who gets promoted – and who gets left behind – has substantial consequences for business success. Everyone is a stakeholder in developing and retaining top talent. Smart companies will seize the opportunity to ensure that their own talent management systems deliver on the promise of tapping into all talent.”

The report builds on two of Catalyst’s research series, Leaders in a Global Economy and Gender Stereotyping. This new study provides unique insights on how organizations can mitigate gender biases rooted in their systems. These insights include:
▪ Develop programs that target the needs of each business unit while examining the various forms of gender stereotyping.
▪ Educate leaders about how stereotypes can negatively influence job assignments and performance appraisals.
▪ Train employees at all levels to recognize effective gender-neutral leadership characteristics.
▪ Review practices from other companies and create strategies that increase development and advancement opportunities for women.
▪ Create opportunities for senior leaders and employees to engage in talent management dialogues.
▪ Evaluate the presence of gender-stereotypic language in talent management systems.

Recognizing the ways in which leadership traits might influence company culture can assist executives in developing talent management systems that address gender biases and stereotypes. This knowledge will help break down barriers that inhibit organizations from achieving gender diversity in leadership and in business itself.

Dickstein Shapiro LLP and Ernst & Young LLP are co-sponsors of Cascading Gender Biases, Compounding Effects: An Assessment of Talent Management Systems. To learn more about this report, as well as other research on gender stereotyping, visit For media inquiries, please contact Serena Fong at 646-388-7757,, or Jeff Barth at 646-388-7725,

About this study
Research questions were developed based on a comprehensive literature review focused on gender stereotyping, performance management, career advancement, and talent development. To determine potential vulnerabilities in talent management systems, Catalyst collected data from 110 corporations and firms representing 19 different industries. We interviewed 30 talent management experts and architects from 24 organizations, we examined documents from many organizations that completed the interviews, and we then fielded an online survey that was completed by 86 corporations and firms.

About Catalyst
Founded in 1962, Catalyst is the leading nonprofit membership organization working globally with businesses and the professions to build inclusive workplaces and expand opportunities for women and business. With offices in the United States, Canada, and Europe, and more than 400 preeminent corporations as members, Catalyst is the trusted resource for research, information, and advice about women at work. Catalyst annually honors exemplary organizational initiatives that promote women’s advancement with the Catalyst Award.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Am I missing something here?

...Or will approval of this new pharmaceutical encourage African women to go out and get HIV/AIDS?
Check out the protocols: "The women were counseled to have their partners use condoms." Meaning, of course, that the study of the gel's efficacy would be invalid if they did, so don't push too hard. PLUS one quarter of the participants, nearly 800 women, were given a placebo or no gel. The gel's ultimate efficacy? "...the difference was not statistically significant..."
Early study shows AIDS-fighting gel promising

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

YWCA Survey Shows Greater Economic Concerns Among Black Women Than White Women

WASHINGTON, Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Black women stand apart from White women on a range of worries about workplace, education and health care issues. Major obstacles to their own progress over the next decade cited by greater proportions of Black women than White women include:

    -- Major illness or medical expense (84 % vs. 68 %)
-- Unequal pay (81% vs. 55%)
-- Affordable and accessible childcare (72% vs. 57%)
-- Limited opportunities for job promotion and advancement (72% vs. 41%)
-- Lack of job training opportunities (66% vs. 37%)
-- Student loan indebtedness (62% vs. 33%)

"These findings reaffirm the need for a long-term national agenda that addresses the economic and financial concerns of women," said Lorraine Cole, PhD, YWCA USA's CEO. "With the country in a recession, rising unemployment, flat wages, and income inequality at levels not seen in years, we must make sure our national economic and financial public policies work for all women, especially Black women whose economic and financial well-being often lag far behind White women."

The findings are revealed in What Women Want: A National Survey of Priorities and Concern, a national telephone survey of 1,000 women ages 18-70 during the week preceding the 2008 presidential election. It was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates on behalf of the YWCA USA, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

"Women's concerns about the future reflect the widespread economic uncertainty gripping the nation as the economy continues to shed jobs, housing prices continue to decline, and 401(k) retirement and savings accounts are shrinking," said Cole. "The YWCA looks forward to working with President Elect Obama and the 111th Congress to help women improve their economic security and financial well-being."

The YWCA USA is a national not-for-profit membership organization dedicated to social service, advocacy, education, leadership development and racial justice. Established in the United States in 1858, the YWCA is the oldest and largest national organization dedicated to the empowerment of women and girls and the elimination of racism. Through nearly 300 local YWCAs located across the nation in almost every state, and headquartered in Washington, D.C., the YWCA reaches 2.5 million women and girls, as well as their families. Globally, the YWCA USA is part of an international movement at work in 122 countries serving 25 million women and girls worldwide. For more information, visit our Web site, or call 202-467-0801.


Friday, January 09, 2009

Jobless or not here I come...

Jobless rates are at its highest 7.2% as of December! This is the headline in most of the papers. I was reading an article on “Take this job or shove it” In these tough economic times and high unemployment rates, there are 3 or more job seekers for every opening. People are taking wherever jobs they can get. Personally I thought about this a lot, with the economy in the dumps almost everyone has been affected. As other companies, my agency is no strange to these tough times. I am so lucky I can say I have a job, at least for now. But if things don’t get better soon the layoffs are going to start so I decided to update my resume and started looking for jobs like everyone else.

The idea to start all over again scares me, but the idea to start all the way from the bottom again, it scares me more, but I must say if the situation arises, I, just like many people out there would take any job that I can find.

The rainbow always comes up after a storm, even if this one takes some time!
What is your take on this? What did you have to sacrifice? Did you find a job in your same field?

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Why do women self-abort when abortions are legal?

For me, having had an illegal surgical abortion (no anesthesia, not even Tylenol), this article from The Times (For Privacy's Sake, Taking Risks to End Pregnancy)was a difficult, especially poignant, read. I'm sure it will resonate with many other women, especially Latinas, who may find themselves desperate, burdened by a pregnancy that is very wrong for them, yet ashamed to be at odds with their families and culture. The one happy note struck, though, is of the dominicanas who find support in sisterhood that helps get them through the physical and emotional trauma of self-abortion.