Originally posted by Rylee Sommers-Flagan June 24, 2010 on EmoryWheel,com (Emory University's student newspaper)
I’ve long been suspicious that editorialists and editorial boards, despite purporting to speak on behalf of their audiences, are not demographically representative of the larger population. These suspicions were confirmed for me last week in a workshop with a group called the OpEd Project.
According to several studies, men dominate something called “thought leadership” in the United States. Specifically, male voices make up about 85 percent of those present in the national editorial conversation. They supply the perspective in opinion media, vastly outnumbering female representation in talk shows, expert interviews, and op-ed pieces across our country.
NCRW put on its annual conference (June 11-12) in collaboration with the US National Committee for UNIFEM, bringing in the biggest brains and best leaders to discuss “Strategic Imperatives for Ending Violence against Women.” It’s probably best to confess right away that I am an intern with NCRW and can do no less than rave about even the most mundane tasks, like picking up the remnants of the media lunch—no, but really, I met a woman who had arrived late from Chicago and told me all about the trials and travails of advising the mayor, organizing committees and working with the less avid feminists in the world. She gave me her card. It’s a funny feeling being thrilled to have gotten stuck with the lunch dishes.
Earlier this month, the Women's Media Center featured an excellent "exclusive" written by Kenyan feminist and scholar Achola O. Pala. Presenting a perspective too often unheard within women's activist communities, Pala argues that feminists from formerly colonized countries should look to their own cultural heritage for guideposts in creating greater justice in their communities. Here are two gems to whet your appetite:
The Telegraph picked up a recently published London School of Economics research about housework. They were in lonely company. The piece did not see the light of day in the Financial Times, The New York Times or the Washington Post. Why not? Could it be that housework is not considered a serious topic?
Last week, NCRW held a two-day corporate leadership summit (April 27-28) at Time Warner. It was an inspiring series of roundtables and explorations of the challenges and opportunities for retaining and advancing women of color in the corporate sector.
According to the recently released American Association for University Women (AAUW) report, Why So Few?, women continue to be underrepresented in STEM fields, especially at the upper levels. True, progress has been made, but women earn only 20% of bachelor's degrees in physics, engineering and computer science. So what's the hold up? AAUW's report delves into the social and environmental factors that contribute to the underrepresentation of women in STEM professions. As AAUW explains, "biological gender differences, yet to be well understood, may play a role, [but] are not the whole story." AAUW turns instead to societal beliefs, learning environments, and gender stereotypes to explain the persistant disparities. To learn more, click here.