A roundup of the highest-paid bosses from 2011 in an earlier Wall Street Journal article is a reminder that women are still a rarity in the corner office. And those that do make it to the corner office are earning far less than their male counterparts.
Kraft Foods CEO Irene Rosenfeld, the top-paid woman last year, ranked 62nd on the list of more than 300 chief executives compiled by Hay Group. With a total direct compensation of $15.5 million, she earned just 1/24th of what top-paid Apple CEO Tim Cook received. (Even considering Cook’s abnormally high pay compared to the rest of the list, Rosenfeld got just one-fifth of what No. 2 Oracle CEO Larry Ellison earned.)
Research suggests the pay disparity between the two genders begins forming early on. New female M.B.A. graduates earn on average $4,600 less than their male counterparts, according to a Catalyst study of graduates from 26 top M.B.A. programs around the world. By mid-career, that pay gap grows to $31,000.
Unmarried women were among Barack Obama’s most loyal supporters in 2008, turning out in droves and delivering 70 percent of their votes to him. When many of them stayed home in the 2010 midterm election, Democrats lost the House and had their Senate majority trimmed.
Now, determined to get single women back, Senate leaders are reshaping their legislative agenda, advancing a bill to bolster workers’ ability to win pay discrimination lawsuits. A similar measure was blocked by Republicans two years ago, and proponents expect it to be rejected again, setting up a contrast between the parties over an issue that especially touches unmarried women.
It will be the third time this year that Senate Democrats will push for votes on policies affecting women, with the other measures focused on insurance coverage for contraceptives and programs for domestic violence victims.
They are aiming to fire up the 55 million single, divorced, separated or widowed U.S. women eligible to vote this year. While 60 percent of all unmarried women cast ballots in 2008, just 38 percent turned out in 2010, said Democratic pollster Celinda Lake. Democratic strategists see these voters as critical to helping return Obama to the White House and to retain Senate seats in Ohio, Virginia and other states.
“What is really at issue is their turnout rate,” Lake said in an interview. “Unmarried younger women plummeted in the turnout in 2010, and they came into this election cycle not very interested in the election.”
A gender discrimination suit filed by a female employee of Kleiner Perkins Caulfield and Byers has exposed a system to view that allegedly boosted male positions and compensation while excluding the company's female employees, reports ABC News.
Ellen Pao, 42, an investment partner with the firm, filed a lawsuit on May 10 alleging the firm engaged in gender discrimination against her and other female employees. She said she faced retaliation when she complained of multiple instances of sexual harassment, which included being pressured by a junior partner to have a sexual relationship and being given a book that had "sexual drawings" and poems with "strong sexual content."
Kleiner Perkins, the esteemed venture capital firm based in Menlo Park, Calif., is seven miles away from the headquarters of Facebook, one of the many tech firms in which it has invested in its 40-year history. Google, Zynga and Groupon are among other beneficiaries of Kleiner Perkins' investments, which can range from $100,000 to $50 million.
In this elite world, women represented fewer than 10 percent of high-level venture capitalists, and left the industry at twice the rate as that of men, according to an estimate from the Kauffman Foundation in 2004.
Teresa Nelson, a professor at Simmons School of Management in Boston and faculty affiliate at the Center for Gender in Organizations, said she has no knowledge that the situation has changed.
Lynne Parker reflects on an article by Daniel Boffey in the Observer newspaper entitled 'Why women's jokes fall flat in the boardroom' which reviews the findings of a study by Dr Judith Baxter, a linguistics expert, about women's behaviour in the boardroom. The study raises questions about how women use humour in the workplace, specifically the boardroom, the ultimate 'boys club' where even some of the women wear trousers.
If a woman employs the direct, masculine approach to any sort of confrontation in business, in or out of the boardroom, she is more often or not described as 'aggressive' or 'bossy'. Men are more comfortable with a woman flirting her way out of a situation than confronting them.
I've just been quoted in an article by Daniel Boffey in theObserver newspaper yesterday entitled 'Why women's jokes fall flat in the boardroom' which reviews the findings of a study by Dr Judith Baxter, a linguistics expert, about women's behaviour in the boardroom. The study raises questions about how women use humour in the workplace, specifically the boardroom, the ultimate 'boys club' where even some of the women wear trousers.
Having spent the last 10 years listening to and watching nearly 2,000 female comedy acts, and 35 years working in business and the media, I can confirm that women's humour is not always as self-deprecating at Dr Baxter's study would have us believe. I don't profess to be an 'expert' and can only take as I find, but women's humour is evolving.
Speakers at the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association’s inaugural Women in Private Equity Forum have come out largely against hiring quotas as a solution to the lack of women working in the industry.
Panellists including Zeina Bain, a director in leveraged buyouts at the Carlyle Group, and guest speaker Laura Tenison, founder of Jojo Maman Bebe, spoke out against the use of quotas following a European Commission proposal to impose mandatory quotas and a report by Lord Davies in which he called for more female board representation at FTSE 100 companies.
Bain said: “I am against quotas. It is hard enough to be taken seriously as a woman. You put yourself out there when you are working on a deal. If there are quotas in place, [people might say] does she know what she is talking about? Why is she here?”
Tenison said in a speech about her experience as an entrepreneur that she disagreed with quotas, noting that she believed that the hiring process should be dependent solely on achievements and merit. “It just so happens that all the directors [on Jojo Maman Bebe’s board], apart from one, are women, and that is because they are right for the job."
In a straw poll of about 80 attendees, only a handful agreed with the use of quotas.
Following the 1997 Asian financial crisis and the spate of corporate frauds and accounting scandals such as Enron, WorldCom, Parmalat, Satyam and China Aviation Oil (Singapore), there has been considerable research about the effectiveness of the board of directors in the corporate governance of firms. There are strong conceptual and business propositions for greater board diversity. In the corporate world, there has been anecdotal evidence from some large corporations such as IBM, Ford Motor, Nortel, Lucent, Sara Lee, Texaco, and DuPont that diversity at every level of the work force tothe board of directors of firms have been cited as an imperative for business success.
In this article, we examine a heretofore neglected pocket of resistance to the gender revolution in the workplace: married male employees who have stay-at-home wives. We develop and empirically test the theoretical argument suggesting that such organizational members, compared to male employees in modern marriages, are more likely to exhibit attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that are harmful to women in the workplace. To assess this hypothesis, we conducted four studies with a total of 718 married, male participants. We found that employed husbands in traditional marriages, compared to those in modern marriages, tend to (a) view the presence of women in the workplace unfavorably, (b) perceive that organizations with higher numbers of female employees are operating less smoothly, (c) find organizations with female leaders as relatively unattractive, and (d) deny, more frequently, qualified female employees opportunities for promotion.
The Washington Post reports that Army leaders have begun to study the prospect of sending female soldiers to the service’s prestigious Ranger school — another step in the effort to broaden opportunities for women in the military.
Gen. Raymond Odierno, Army chief of staff, said Wednesday that he’s asked senior commanders to provide him with recommendations and a plan this summer. And while he stressed that no decisions have been made, he suggested that Ranger school may be a logical next step for women as they move into more jobs closer to the combat lines.
“If we determine that we’re going to allow women to go in the infantry and be successful, they are probably at some time going to have to go through Ranger school,” Odierno told reporters. “If we decide to do this, we want the women to be successful.”
The number of US women in Chief Information Officer (CIO) positions has decreased since 2010, according to a survey (PDF) released by Harvey Nash USA this week. In 2010, 12 percent of CIOs were women. That number dropped to 11 percent in 2011 and is down to 9 percent this year.
The report finds that one third of US CIOs say that within their IT organizations there are no women in management level positions. 52% of US CIOs report that women are underrepresented in their IT organizations, according to the survey.
Everybody, it seems, is talking about women in this campaign — what they should do, how they should act, who they should be in society. But do women see themselves reflected in the dialogue — or is the mirror of political rhetoric distorting their concerns? How, exactly, is all this talk about women playing among women?
You could hear these issues play out on a recent day in this key presidential swing state — first, at the equal pay protest, but later at a hotel near Broncos stadium, where five conservative women led a panel discussion to strategize about reframing the rhetoric and working to woo more women voters to their camp this year. There was passion, but there was also irritation. Some women said talk about contraception was a distracting sideshow; others said the preoccupation of some politicians with abortion showed they were out of touch.
"They really must not know what exactly is going on," said a university student with friends who've had both babies and abortions. "They" are the male politicians who still outnumber women at all levels of elective office, but also the two men running for president who keep trying to one-up each other in reaching out to this vital, but hardly monolithic, voting bloc.
The upshot: Whether seen as real or manufactured, something about the so-called "war" is resonating among American women who could well make the difference on Election Day. Many are acting out and speaking up. Many are, in fact, girding for battle, in one way or another.