Re:Gender works to end gender inequity by exposing root causes and advancing research-informed action. Working with multiple sectors and disciplines, we are shaping a world that demands fairness across difference.
Forty years ago this month, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 became law, requiring an end to gender discrimination in admissions at educational institutions that receive federal money. Since then, progress in attaining gender equity for women has been heartening, but there is still considerable work to be done, particularly in the areas of faculty and leadership.
In the 1980s—in little more than the blink of an eye—women surpassed men in admissions on most college campuses. And now, unlike their parents and grandparents, these women are increasingly likely to be taught by women. This is good news, and we have Title IX to thank.
Women—and their dollars—are the lifeblood of today's colleges. But who decides how those dollars are spent? Men, largely—and that's not all they determine. As far as students are concerned, men are the dominant minority, but male administrators hold a lopsided percentage of university power and the most senior leadership positions. What's more, men make most of the decisions that control women's educational lives and futures, without much input or oversight from women themselves. This includes decisions about curriculum, co-curricular programs, the nature and scope of health and benefit programs, and faculty hiring. Women have unprecedented access, yes, but they have little influence.
Critics of Title IX often say that it has harmed male athletics in its insistence on increasing opportunities for females in school sports. Here, from the report (with footnotes removed), are some myths about how the law has affected school athletics:
What the Law Says
Title IX requires that schools treat both sexes equally with regard to three distinct aspects of athletics: participation opportunities, athleticscholarships, and treatment of male and female teams.
Myth 1: Title IX requires quotas.
Title IX does not require quotas; it simply requires that schools allocate participation opportunities in a nondiscriminatory way. The three-part test is lenient and flexible, allowing schools to comply even if they do not satisfy the first part. The federal courts have consistently rejected arguments that Title IX imposes quotas.
You've heard about Title IX and athletics, but Title IX is about much more! In honor of the 40th anniversary of the law’s passage, NCWGE published a comprehensive report to help give educators, parents, students, and lawmakers a better understanding of Title IX’s impact and challenges that remain in many areas of education, including:
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
Career and Technical Education
Bullying and Sexual Harassment
Pregnant and Parenting Students
From the National Coalition of Women and Girls in Education
Cancer screening has been a contentious issue in recent years. Even by government-backed U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) standards, which some consider to be relatively conservative, screening rates for breast and cervical cancer were low in the study. Only about half of women in the Oregon-based research met USPSTF recommendations.
"People in rural areas tend to go to the doctor only when they are ill, so they don't get the chance to talk about cancer screenings," said Dr. Patricia Carney, a researcher at Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, who led the study.
Previous studies have shown that screening rates are lower among the uninsured, but that research has focused on people in towns and cities.
For the new study, partially funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), researchers analyzed a decade of medical charts at two private health practices, and two federally funded public health centers in rural Oregon. The study included more than 3,000 men and women, all aged 55 or over when the study began.
They found that about 10 percent of patients lacked insurance coverage. Those with coverage had either private insurance, or a combination of private insurance, Medicare and Medicaid. The insurance status of about 16 percent of patients was unknown.
According to the report in the journal Cancer, people with private insurance were much more likely to be up-to-date for some ACS recommended cancer screenings than people without insurance.
While 56 percent of women with insurance went without recommended mammograms, which the ACS recommends beginning at age 40, 78 percent of uninsured women, and 70 percent of those with Medicare or Medicaid, did.
Researchers find that, all other things equal, female physicians still make approximately $12,000 per year less than their male counterparts.
Context It is unclear whether male and female physician researchers who perform similar work are currently paid equally.
Objectives To determine whether salaries differ by gender in a relatively homogeneous cohort of physician researchers and, if so, to determine if these differences are explained by differences in specialization, productivity, or other factors.
Design and Setting A US nationwide postal survey was sent in 2009-2010 to assess the salary and other characteristics of a relatively homogeneous population of physicians. From all 1853 recipients of National Institutes of Health (NIH) K08 and K23 awards in 2000-2003, we contacted the 1729 who were alive and for whom we could identify a mailing address.
Participants The survey achieved a 71% response rate. Eligibility for the present analysis was limited to the 800 physicians who continued to practice at US academic institutions and reported their current annual salary.
Main Outcome Measures A linear regression model of self-reported current annual salary was constructed considering the following characteristics: gender, age, race, marital status, parental status, additional graduate degree, academic rank, leadership position, specialty, institution type, region, institution NIH funding rank, change of institution since K award, K award type, K award funding institute, years since K award, grant funding, publications, work hours, and time spent in research.
Results The mean salary within our cohort was $167 669 (95% CI, $158 417-$176 922) for women and $200 433 (95% CI, $194 249-$206 617) for men. Male gender was associated with higher salary (+$13 399; P = .001) even after adjustment in the final model for specialty, academic rank, leadership positions, publications, and research time. Peters-Belson analysis (use of coefficients derived from regression model for men applied to women) indicated that the expected mean salary for women, if they retained their other measured characteristics but their gender was male, would be $12 194 higher than observed.
Conclusion Gender differences in salary exist in this select, homogeneous cohort of mid-career academic physicians, even after adjustment for differences in specialty, institutional characteristics, academic productivity, academic rank, work hours, and other factors.
The findings of the fifth annual Financial News Women in Finance survey are sobering: Of the 650 female respondents to the survey, all of whom work in the financial services industry, two thirds said their gender made it harder for them to succeed and a similar proportion said they felt they needed to work harder than male counterparts in order to be viewed at the same level of achievement by managers.
Ruth Grant, a litigation partner and co-chair of the diversity committee at law firm Hogan Lovells, said: “There is a mismatch between what’s being done and outcomes. There is a difference between management having projects and structures that they put in place and actually embedding those ideas into the corporate culture and how the business makes them part of the daily life and DNA of an organisation.”
The survey results are a timely reminder that, while top-level management of financial firms is largely convinced that change is necessary and has begun to implement programmes, there is still more that needs to be done. The challenge, particularly in depressed market conditions, is keeping gender diversity on the priority list.
Helena Morrissey, chief executive of Newton Investment Management and founder of the 30% Club, which has had notable successes encouraging chairmen to bring more women into board roles, said: “There has been a very long, slow burn over the understanding of gender imbalance, but a sharp pick-up and growing momentum for change over the past 18 months. The financial services sector, and especially bigger companies, are trying very hard, partly in an attempt to rehabilitate their reputation. It is a paradigm shift for many people.”
Financial firms do appear to be making more of an effort. This year, 38% of survey respondents said their company had no diversity programme or women’s networking forum, less than the 46% who responded similarly last year. Whether the shift is due to more companies launching programmes is arguable but, certainly, there is increased awareness and communication within firms to promote uptake of such initiatives.
You'd think that since 1916—the year a woman was first elected to U.S. Congress—there would have been some serious progress.
Women in the workforce, after all, have been on a steady rise.
Not so in Congress, where women hold less than 17 percent of seats to this day, according to the Rutgers Center for American Women and Politics. In 2010, the number of women elected to the House actually declined.
Palmer and Southern Methodist University professor Dennis Simon have been studying the political glass ceiling for over a decade. Voters, they said, mostly aren't to blame for the lack of progress. But they shared five other very real reasons more women aren't in Washington:
Name It. Change It. is a non-partisan project of WCF Foundation, Women’s Media Center, and Political Parity.
Together, we will work to end sexist and misogynistic coverage of women candidates by all members of the press—from bloggers to radio hosts to television pundits.
Widespread sexism in the media is one of the top problems facing women. A highly toxic media environment persists for women candidates, often negatively affecting their campaigns. The ever-changing media landscape creates an unmonitored echo chamber, often allowing damaging comments to exist without accountability.
Desire and gender are brought alive through the ways lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and intersexed people use their bodies; desire and gender are made poignant and meaningful by the ways we construct or deny our erotic passions and gendered identities in the course of daily life. People will take risks—facing marginalization, isolation, and even violence—to identify and act upon their desires. And they will live out their unique understanding of gender—no matter how dangerous or costly the results. This report represents the integration of joint efforts by the Barnard Center for Research on Women (BCRW) and Queers for Economic Justice (QEJ), beginning with activist and academic convenings that took place from 2005-07 under the name “Desiring Change,” and culminating in a daylong gathering in 2007 with 21 social justice organizations.
A Sunday New York Times article by David Streitfeld has the feminist and tech worlds up in arms. Reporting on a sexual harassment suit filed by a junior partner in a venture capital firm, Streitfeld begins by proclaiming that “MEN invented the Internet” (those CAPS are his). I came across Streitfeld’s article after a friend suggested I check out tech journalist Xeni Jardin’s Twitter feed. Jardin’sresponse to Streitfeld:
WTF: “MEN invented the internet.” I’m sorry, did NYT just breeze past half a century of women in computer technology?
Herein lies the issue: Though Streitfeld primarily covers Ellen Pao’s lawsuit, he undermines his piece by leading with an emphatic and incorrect statement about men as sole inventors of the Internet. I’m not certain if Streitfeld was being tongue-in-cheek or if he simply has a narrow view of Internet history. But his article does incite, albeit unintentionally, necessary dialogue about the roles women–and racial and ethnic minorities–have played in Internet innovation. While some apparently assume that men alone developed the Internet, a quick glance at the Internet Hall of Fame’s 2012 inaugural inductees and the Early Internet Leaders list prove otherwise. (I also recommend reading History of the Internet).
In reality, the genesis of the Internet was a collaborative effort. It took decades of developments in computer programming and network technology. We can’t let the current cult of tech fandom around “white” men–such as Steve Jobs, whom Streitfeld name checks–obscure the women and the racial and ethnic minorities from around the world who contributed to the birth of the Internet.