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.
According to a new breed of researchers from the field of behavioral finance, Wall Street’s volatility is really driven by our body chemistry. It’s the chemicals pulsing through traders’ veins that propel them to place insane bets and enable bank executives to make risky decisions—and those same chemicals tend to have the same effect on everyone, turning them into a herd of overheated animals. And because the vast majority of these traders and finance executives are men, the most important chemical in question is testosterone.
Anna Dreber, an economics researcher at Harvard’s Kennedy School, started studying testosterone as a possible explanation for why there tend to be few women in certain fields—math, say, or kickboxing. Through studies conducted at the Harvard biological-anthropology department, Dreber found that appetite for risk in simulated investment games correlated with high testosterone levels and with facial characteristics such as sharp cheekbones and strong jaws that are normally associated with the hormone. “There is a clear sign that something biological explains risk taking,” she says. Testosterone is not the only chemical that affects it—the stress hormone cortisol has a role, as well as the neurotransmitter dopamine, among others—but it’s by far the most powerful.
The Bank of America Corporation and Merrill Lynch were accused of discriminating against women in a lawsuit filed on Tuesday by three female financial advisers at the companies. The suit accused Bank of America and Merrill Lynch of giving male counterparts of the three employees bigger bonuses and better opportunities. The women also said that the companies sought to punish them when they complained about perceived inequalities.
NPR is often regarded as a leader in the diversity of voices and opinions it puts on air. But when it comes to female voices from outside NPR, the network is not as diverse on air as it would like to think. NPR needs to try harder to find more female sources and commentators.
The fact remains that even in the fifth decade after the feminist revolution; men are still largely in charge in government at all levels, in corporations and nearly all other aspects of society. That means, by default, there are going to be more male than female news sources. But NPR does have a choice when it comes to the weekly commentators selected by the shows. Unfortunately, recent research shows that men are favored over women, by far.
Ukraine's new prime minister, Mykola Azarov, has enraged feminist groups by suggesting that women are unsuitable for high political office and incapable of carrying out reforms.
Women's groups in Ukraine have angrily reported Azarov – who presides over an all-male cabinet – to the country's ombudsman following his remarks last week. They accuse him of gender discrimination and holding Neanderthal views.
Speaking on Friday, Azarov said Ukraine's economic problems were too difficult for any woman to handle.
Women fill several top jobs in the White House. Senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, a longtime friend of the president, is considered one of his closest aides. Melody Barnes oversees Obama's domestic agenda. And Nancy-Ann DeParle runs the White House health care policy team, a position that aides say has put her in closer contact with the president than nearly anyone else in the administration.
Still, more than a year into Obama's term, the most recognizable faces of the administration, the people the president is most often seen huddling with in the Oval Office and the Situation Room, are men.
The boys club image gained currency from a slew of men-only basketball games and rounds of golf hosted by the admittedly sports-obsessed president, which drew criticism from women's advocates.
One senior official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the private dinner, said the women assured the president they weren't clamoring for an opportunity to lace up their sneakers and hit the hardwood. But they did make the point that the basketball games and golf rounds gave men an opportunity to bond and establish a level of comfort with the president that may not be afforded to the women who only saw him in formal settings.
Still, the all-male basketball games and golf outings have continued. Only one woman, domestic policy director Barnes, had been invited to play a round with the president around the time of the November dinner.
In 1970, 46 women filed a landmark gender-discrimination case; their employer was NEWSWEEK. Forty years later, their contemporary counterparts question how much has actually changed.
Forty years after NEWSWEEK's women rose up, there's no denying our cohort of young women is unlike even the half-generation before us.
Yet the more we talked to our friends and colleagues, the more we heard the same stories of disillusionment, regardless of profession. No one would dare say today that "women don't write here," as the NEWSWEEK women were told 40 years ago. But men wrote all but six of NEWSWEEK's 49 cover stories last year—and two of those used the headline "The Thinking Man." In 1970, 25 percent of NEWSWEEK's editorial masthead was female; today that number is 39 percent. Better? Yes. But it's hardly equality. (Overall, 49 percent of the entire company, the business and editorial sides, is female.) "Contemporary young women enter the workplace full of enthusiasm, only to see their hopes dashed," says historian Barbara J. Berg. "Because for the first time they're slammed up against gender bias."
Submitted by kpeterson on Sat, 03/27/2010 - 6:20pm
New research shows what many have long suspected: women entrepreneurs are poised to lead the next wave of growth in global technology ventures. This report, prepared by Illuminate Ventures, documents the performance of women entrepreneurs in the past decade and the trends that are propelling them towards critical mass in the high-tech sector.
The bottom line: More than ever before, women are influencing the face of business. They are on the cusp of becoming a leading entrepreneurial force in technology. As the global economy regenerates, new business models are needed to stimulate economic and job growth. Investors seeking to reinvigorate bottom-line performance and to favorably impact the entrepreneurial strength of our economy would be wise to support strategies that enable high-tech start-ups that are inclusive of women entrepreneurs.
Submitted by kpeterson on Sat, 03/27/2010 - 4:59pm
The technology industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the U.S. The United States Department of Labor estimates that by 2016 there will be more than 1.5 million computer-related jobs available. Technology job opportunities are predicted to grow at a faster rate than jobs in all other professional sectors, or up to 25 percent over the next decade.
Highly-qualified women are well-positioned to move into these open jobs, yet the industry is failing to attract this talent. Furthermore, women already employed in the technology industry are leaving at staggering rates. Failing to capitalize on this talent threatens U.S. productivity, innovation, and competitiveness. To further strengthen the U.S. position as a technical leader we need to examine the reasons why the industry is not attracting more people with varied backgrounds and take action to stem the current tide.
Submitted by kpeterson on Sat, 03/27/2010 - 4:46pm
On October 1, 2009, 59 senior technology executives participated in the Anita Borg Institute’s 2009 Technical Executive Forum.
Even though an acknowledgement was made that the pipeline of technical women with technical degrees coming out of academia was insufficient, the group commented that the women who do graduate from these programs are not joining organizational cultures that are as receptive as they could be to gender diversity. This cultural disconnect was highlighted through the discussion of five main components.
1. The existing technical culture is biased against “those who don’t code”
2. The existing technical culture rewards “Hero” behavior and an “in your face” communication style
3. Risk-aversion is embedded in recruiting and advancement practices
4. The individual contributor track lacks a development culture
Submitted by kpeterson on Sat, 03/27/2010 - 4:37pm
A growing body of research has documented the underrepresentation of women in technical positions in US companies. Women hold 24 percent of technology jobs, yet represent half the total workforce. This underrepresentation persists even though the demand for technical talent remains high: computer occupations are expected to grow by 32 percent between 2008 and 2018.
In 2008, the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology and the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University conducted a survey of 1,795 technical men and women at seven high-technology companies in Silicon Valley. In this paper, we focus on senior technical women, who at only 4 percent of our sample represent a rarity in the technology industry.