Re:Gender works to end gender inequity and discrimination against girls and women 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.
I took the helm at The White House Project at an interesting moment for women. Last week’s report from the White House, which Kate Meyer mentioned in yesterday’s post, coupled with a political, economic and social environment that is best described as extremely volatile across the globe, demonstrates how, on this International Women’s Day 2011, we are presented with a unique opportunity.
Female students have long surpassed their male peers in the rates at which they seek higher education. Yet across sectors, women’s representation in professional leadership roles has stalled at 15-17%. If women make up the majority of students earning Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degrees why are there so few women in top management positions? Further aggravating women’s uneven progress, the disparity is often most pronounced in the most lucrative fields, including STEM, economics and finance.
U.S. Banker: Women make up over 50% of the labor force in the financial industry, but only 16.8 percent of executive officers, and only 16.4% of board members. Companies are working to raise those numbers, as the U.S. lags behind some countries.
"Call it the "glass ceiling" or the 'boys' club' or some other euphemism, but there is no denying that women in corporate America are not proportionately represented in either the C-suite or the boardroom.
In the financial services industry, women make up 55.6 percent of the labor force, but only 16.8 percent of executive officers, according to the New York nonprofit group Catalyst. In the boardroom, that percentage drops to 16.4 percent, and at the chief executive level it falls to 2.5 percent. The good news is that in corporate America in general and in the financial services industry in particular, the role played by women at the highest levels of corporations continues to expand.
'Boards now are looking at diversity in a number of ways—gender, regional generational, ethnic. In addition, there are more seats open because sitting CEOs are now often asked by their own boards not to serve on more than one outside board.'"
Miami Herald: A mother and daughter--Hawa Nuristani and Rana Nuristani are both running for Parliament in Afghanistan, despite threats and violence directed at them by those who believe that the women are not behaving like proper Muslim women.
"When Hawa Alam Nuristani ran for a seat in the Afghan parliament five years ago, gunmen ambushed her on a campaign visit to remote mountain villages and she survived a five-hour rescue on donkeys and her supporters' shoulders with blood oozing from a leg wound.
Last year, she escaped with minor injuries from a car bomb that exploded outside NATO's Kabul headquarters seconds after she had dropped off her eldest daughter, Rana, who worked for the U.S.-led force's radio service. Rana was among the 91 people who were wounded; seven died.
Yet not only is Hawa Nuristani seeking re-election from Nuristan province in parliamentary elections Saturday, but Rana Nuristani also has followed her mother into the cutthroat arena of Afghan politics, running for one of 33 seats in Kabul province. If they prevail, the pair will make Afghan history as the first mother and daughter to enter the lower house of parliament together.
Many Afghans, however, fear that a repeat of the massive official vote-rigging and insurgent attacks that stained last year's presidential poll will mar Saturday's voting. Campaigning officially ended at midnight Thursday.
'God gave voting rights to females as well as males. If men can do something, why can't women? We have the same knowledge. We have the same ability,' she recalled telling one threatening caller. Neither woman has retained bodyguards, in the belief that doing so would raise their profiles."
Does gender discrimination exist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc.?
That is the question this week after three women filed a lawsuit seeking class-action status against the firm. The 72- page complaint chronicles their experiences while at Goldman. As a former Goldman partner, I am upset by their accounts.