Workers are dropping out of the labor force in droves, and they are mostly women. In fact, many are young women. But they are not dropping out forever; instead, these young women seem to be postponing their working lives to get more education. There are now — for the first time in three decades — more young women in school than in the work force.
Many economists initially thought that the shrinking labor force — which drove downNovember’s unemployment rate — was caused primarily by discouraged older workers giving up on the job market. Instead, many of the workers on the sidelines are young people upgrading their skills, which could portend something like the postwar economic boom, when millions of World War II veterans went to college through the G.I. Bill instead of immediately entering, and overwhelming, the job market.
Now, as was the case then, one sex is the primary beneficiary. Though young women in their late teens and early 20’s view today’s economic lull as an opportunity to upgrade their skills, their male counterparts are more likely to take whatever job they can find. The longer-term consequences, economists say, are that the next generation of women may have a significant advantage over their male counterparts, whose career options are already becoming constrained.
Public colleges in New Hampshire are precluded from using affirmative-action preferences in hiring or admissions decisions under a new law that took effect on January 1 after being passed by the state's legislature last year with relatively little public opposition.
The measure prohibits New Hampshire's university system, community-college system, postsecondary education commission, and other state agencies from giving preferences in recruiting, hiring, promotion, or admission "based on race, sex, national origin, religion, or sexual orientation."
Both chambers of the state's legislature, which came to be dominated by conservative Republicans as a result of the 2010 elections, overwhelmingly passed the measure last spring. The measure went into law after Gov. John Lynch, a Democrat, took no action on it.
In sharp contrast to other states that have experienced highly publicized battles over similar bills or ballot initiatives, New Hampshire passed its measure with little input from national advocacy groups on either side of the affirmative-action debate.
The annual reports on sexual harassment and violence at the three U.S. Military Service Academies provide data on reported sexual assaults involving cadets and/or midshipmen, as well as policies, procedures and processes implemented in response to sexual harassment and violence during the Academic Program Year.
The Defense Department said the nation’s military service academies had received 65 reports of sexual assault during the 2010-2011 academic year, the highest total since the Pentagon began maintaining data in 2004.
On Tuesday, the Defense Department said the nation’s military service academies had received 65 reports of sexual assault during the 2010-2011 academic year, the highest total since the Pentagon began maintaining data in 2004.
The academies reported 41 such assaults in the 2009-2010 academic year.
It’s unclear whether those figures represent a step in the wrong direction, with assaults actually on the rise, or a step in the right direction, with more victims willing to come forward to report assaults. The Defense Department said it “does not have the ability to conclusively identify the reasons for this increase in reporting behavior.”
In 2005, at age 49, Arizona State University hired Lisa Love as vice president for athletics, the highest-ranking job in the department. Six years later she is one of just five women to occupy the top athletics administrative position at a Division I-A school.
Some believe the lack of women serving as athletic directors is about to change, with qualified women rising up the ranks. Others believe it would have changed already if not for qualified women — and men — who are happy occupying the No. 2 spot and who have no desire to take on the far more public role of athletic director.
Still others believe it's as simple as not having enough university presidents and chancellors willing to hire a woman to lead a major athletic department.
"I think it's a long journey that we've been taking for more than 40 years where half the population has said, 'Treat me fairly,'" said Chris Voelz, a former women's athletic administrator at the University of Minnesota and current leadership gifts officer at Women's Sports Foundation founded by Billie Jean King. "If we were to switch positions, would the men still be pleased with the position women have? To that end we have not arrived." ...
The national Sigma Phi Epsilon announced, after an internal investigation and lengthy discussions with the University of Vermont, that the University of Vermont chapter, whose members are accused of circulating a survey that asked who they would like to rape, has been closed indefinitely.
American women entering college are the best prepared academically to hit the books and successfully graduate with a STEM degree (82 percent), according to a survey of faculty from the nation’s top 200 research universities who chair STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) departments. The survey, conducted by Bayer Corporation, is the 15th by the company and the fifth to examine the underrepresentation of women, African-Americans, Hispanics and American Indians in many U.S. STEM fields.
Specifically, the chairs say being discouraged from a STEM career is still an issue today for both female and underrepresented minority (URM) STEM undergraduate students (59 percent) and that traditional rigorous introductory instructional approaches that “weed out” students early on from STEM studies are generally harmful and more so to URM (56 percent) and female (27 percent) students compared to majority students (i.e. Caucasian and Asian males). Yet, a majority (57 percent) of the chairs do not see a need to significantly change their introductory instructional methods in order to retain more STEM students, including women and URMs.
The Bayer Facts of Science Education XV survey polled 413 STEM department chairs at the country’s leading research universities and those that produce the most African-American, Hispanic and American Indian STEM graduates. The survey asks the chairs, who are largely male (87 percent) and Caucasian (88 percent) to shed light on the undergraduate environment in which today’s female and URM STEM students make their career decisions.
According to a report published Monday in the journal Health Affairs, young registered nurses are now entering the workforce at a rate not seen since the 1970s.
After peaking at 190,000 in 1979, the number of RNs between the ages of 23 and 26 plummeted below 110,000 in the early '90s. That's a drop of about 50 percent, bottoming out at 102,000 in 2002.
Then, unexpectedly, everything changed. Between 2002 and 2009, the number of mid-20-something RNs jumped by 62 percent. According to the report, "If these young nurses follow the same life-cycle employment patterns as those who preceded them -- as they appear to be thus far -- then they will be the largest cohort of registered nurses ever observed."
But if your local hospital already has a shortage of nurses, it might be a little early to celebrate the trend. A second Health Affairs study published Monday found that nurses rarely move very far for a job. In fact, 52.5 percent of nurses work within 40 miles of where they attended high school.
Next to teaching, the report shows, nursing is one of the least-mobile professions for women. Without intervention, areas currently struggling to produce RNs probably won't be seeing an upswing in their numbers any time soon.
For Gloria Steinem, the international conversation that the Occupy Wall Street protests sparked about economic inequality is, at its heart, about gender.
From the article:
Start with the thousands of dollars in student loans that saddle the average U.S. college graduate. Women “are paid unequally -- so they are going to have a harder time paying back that debt,” Steinem, the 77-year-old feminist who helped start the women’s rights movement with the publication of Ms. Magazine nearly 40 years ago, said in an interview at Bloomberg News’ New York bureau. “It’s outrageous because they are kind of indentured when they graduate.”
Steinem’s comments echo a common lament among young women in the Occupy movement, which began on Sept. 17 as a demonstration against the widening wealth gap and an economic system that protestors say favors the rich. The unemployment rate for college graduates aged 20-24 rose to 9.1 percent last year from 8.7 percent in 2009, the highest on record for that demographic, according to the Project on Student Debt. Add to that the burdens of student loans, and young Americans say they don’t stand much chance.
Women have continued to lag behind in terms of education and independence, all because of bad policies and cultural norms. Culturally, boys are given better chances of education than girls.
In a home where parents are financially constrained, they will use the meager resources they have to educate boys as the girls remain home to do household chores and are eventually married off to get bride price. And with those who get the opportunity to go on with school, fewer have been joining sciences. But are we seeing this changing? Perhaps yes, as statistics may confirm to us.
Already, there have been improvements with respect to girl enrolment currently at an average of 30 percent in non-physical science and about 10 percent for mathematics, physics and engineering. Government initiatives At a recent forum in Dar es Salaam under the auspices of UNESCO, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry for Community Development, Gender and Children, Ms Mijakazi Mtengwa painted a picture of optimism, noting that even as girls faced cultural barriers, more were now pursuing science subjects.
Explaining, she said that potential future scientists are lost in the transition from high school to college, in the transition from college to graduating at school, and in the transition from gaining a doctorate to getting a job. Ms Mtengwa was speaking at the Women in Science Workshop for ministries, independent departments, government agencies and private sector where a Women In Science Reference Group in Tanzania has been formed under the support by UNESCO.