ICRW conducted an evaluation of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiative in India to identify early results of the program on women entrepreneurs’ business skills, practices and growth. 10,000 Women, launched in 2008, aims to provide 10,000 women who run small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with high-quality business and management skills training. Research shows that these women are often underserved, in terms of access to business or management training and entrepreneurial networks, despite the enormous potential they have to help grow economies in developing countries.
This brief presents a summary of ICRW’s initial evaluation of the India program, which shows how the 10,000 Women program — in combination with a number of other factors — is making a difference in graduates’ businesses and lives.
HERvotes, a coalition of 51 women's groups, vowed to ensure that several decades of progress in health care, education and labor rights will not fall by the wayside in the run-up to the November general election.
"Women are outraged with the constant politicization of theses issues with no regard for half of the population," said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation.
"The gender gap is alive and well," agreed Lisa Maatz, chief lobbyist for the American Association of University Women, who added: "We are mad and we are fed up."
In a campaign year in which the economy and jobs were the initial dominant themes, social conservatives have thrust birth control and abortion to the top to the agenda at the state and federal level.
During a month when the issues of birth control and women's access to health care flared up and became major topics of debate on the presidential campaign trail and in Washington, the Sunday morning talk shows once again loaded up their programs by hosting newsmaker interviews with men. Lots and lots of men.
This past Sunday, for instance, NBC's Meet the Press, CBS's Face The Nation, ABC's This Week, Fox News Sunday and CNN's State of The Union hosted 16 interview subjects, 14 of which were with men. That imbalance has been consistent throughout the month. A total of 56 guests were booked on the Sunday programs to discuss national affairs in February. Of those, 52 were men. (The newsmaker tally does not include guests invited to participate in roundtable discussions this month.)
And of the four women booked this month, just one, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was associated with the Democratic Party, despite the fact Democrats currently control the White House and the Senate. "We complain about this all the time," a Democratic aide told Media Matters.
And yes, the paucity of female guests this month was especially odd considering the controversy that erupted regarding the administration's plan to require religious institutions to offer contraception as part of their health care plan for employees. The Sunday programs discussed that story with 24 of their newsmaker guests, only two of whom were women -- former GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and former GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann. (The topic was also covered in several roundtable discussion, which did include more female participants.)
Lately it seems I can’t have a conversation with a women’s expert without hearing the phrase “opting out.” “Thirty percent of working women will opt out of the workplace during the course of their career,” they tell me. “How can we ever expect to make progress when so many women opt out before they reach the truly high-powered positions,” they ask.
When NY Times writer Lisa Belkin introduced the women’s world to the term “opting out” in 2003, she framed it as a revolution: highly educated working women were quitting their jobs in droves to stay at home with their children. “It’s not just that the workplace has failed women,” she wrote. “It is also that women are rejecting the workplace.”
Belkin wrote about a group of Princeton-educatedAtlanta mothers who had, by and large, taken the off-ramp from their successful careers to stay at home and raise children. To a one, they described their choice as just that: the decision towards the preferred path. ”I don’t want to be on the fast track leading to a partnership at a prestigious law firm,” one said. “Some people define that as success; I don’t.” ”Maternity provides an escape hatch that paternity does not,” said another. “Having a baby provides a graceful and convenient exit.”
Sure, they’re not furthering the feminist cause by staying home with their babies, but do a handful of moms not living up to their Ivy League potential really do much harm? In the weeks and months and ensuing media flurry, you’d certainly think so. “Opting out” became the phrase of choice for thought-leaders, researchers and women’s advocates for not just women who happily choose children over paychecks, but increasingly those whose choices are much more hard-pressed.
And ever since then, “opting out” has been a bad word.
At a stellar gathering of leaders from business, philanthropy, government, and non-profits, the National Council for Research on Women will kick off 30 years of transforming the way the world looks at women and girls at its annual Making a Difference for Women Awards Dinner on Tuesday, March 6th. The Council will honor: Beth Brooke of Ernst & Young; Abigail Disney, Pamela Hogan, and Gini Retiker of the Women, War & Peace series on PBS; Anita Hill of Brandeis University; and Soledad O’Brien of CNN at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City.
On our 30th Anniversary we are recognizing 30 stellar women from diverse corners of our broad network who through their efforts have advanced women’s issues, promoted women’s leadership and changed the way the world views women and girls. All have been nominated by their peers for their outstanding work.
Aileen Lee argues that by adding new blood to the boardroom, companies get a four-fer, or more: 1) gender diversity, and in most cases, age diversity around the table; 2) better understanding of core customers; 3) Social-Mobile-Local expertise and insight into digital platforms like Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon, Twitter, Path, Square, Flipboard and Pinterest that are fundamentally changing business; and 4) hyper growth and rapid innovation DNA.
Why should we care? For one, women are the power users of many products and it’s just smart business to have an understanding of key customers around the table. Could you imagine a game company without any gamers on the leadership team or board?
If you’re not aware, studies also show companies with gender diversity at the top drive better financial performance on multiple measures – for example, 36% better stock price growth and 46% better return on equity. And, studies show the more women, the better the results. This is likely because teams with more females demonstrate higher collective intelligence and better problem solving ability. So it’s probably not a coincidence the world’s most admired companies have more women on their boards than the average company.
There is a crisis of representation in the media. We live in a racially and ethnically diverse nation that is 51% female, but the news media itself remains staggeringly limited to a single demographic.
The media is the single most powerful tool at our disposal; it has the power to educate, effect social change, and determine the political policies and elections that shape our lives. Our work in diversifying the media landscape is critical to the health of our culture and democracy.
Consider the Following Statistics
According to the Global Media Monitoring Project 2010, 24% of the people interviewed, heard, seen, or read about in mainstream broadcast and print news were female. Only 13% of stories focused specifically on women and 6% on issues of gender equality or inequality.