Work-Life Balance Issues for Women & Their Families
"Because Equity is Still an Issue."
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Updated: December 12, 2013
- In the News: Companies with women in leadership roles perform better, UC Davis study finds - Female business executives are making some headway in breaking down the corporate glass ceiling, according to the latest annual UC Davis Study of California Women Business Leaders, but the male-to-female ratio in the board room is still lopsided in favor of men. Women now represent 10.9% of the highest paying executive and board positions in California’s top 400 public companies, a 1% increase over last year.
- In the News: Analysis: Tech start-ups show little imagination on board gender diversity - The number of women on the boards of startup companies remains low because of factors including fewer women in the industry and the dominance of men in venture capital firms, who often take board seats, Sarah McBride and Poornima Gupta write. A Reuters survey found that 6 of the 10 top venture-backed startups do not have any female directors.
- AAUW Blog: How a Woman Became the CEO of General Motors in 3 (Not-So-Easy) Steps
- In the News: New G.M. Chief Is Company Woman, Born to It - Mary T. Barra, 51, completed a remarkable personal odyssey when she was named as the next chief executive of G.M. — and the first woman to ascend to the top job at a major auto company.
- In the News: Wall Street Mothers, Stay-Home Fathers - The number of women in finance with stay-at-home spouses has climbed nearly tenfold since 1980, according to an analysis of census data, and some of the most successful women in the field are among them. In an industry still dominated by men with only a smattering of women in its highest ranks, these bankers make up a small but rapidly expanding group, benefiting from what they call a direct link between their ability to achieve and their husbands’ willingness to handle domestic duties. But the solution that turns out to work so well for these women is an inaccessible option for many others, since it requires one spouse to give up a career and the other to earn enough money to support the family. Rather than changing the culture of the banks, which promote policies on flexible hours and work life balance, these women say that to succeed they must give in to its sometimes brutal terms, from 4:45 a.m. wake-ups onward through days of ceaseless competition.
- In the News: How American Politics Constantly Neglects Black Women - A new report from the Center for American Progress (CAP) entitled, “The State of African-American Women in the United States” highlights that the intersection of racial and gender disparities meets at the experience of black women. Despite this, in the last presidential election, they had the highest voter participation rate of any comparable group in the country.
- In the News: AARP, others want state to add $26 million to caregiver assistance - New York ranks 48th among all states in providing support for its legions of caregivers, according to AARP. The estimated value of the care they provide out of love, duty or necessity is estimated at $32 billion each year.
- AAUW OpEd: Much is at stake in challenges to ACA contraceptive coverage
- In the News: Michelle Obama 'Leans in', Just Not in the Direction Some Privileged Feminists Want Her to Politico bashed the first lady recently, but her fights for children and low-income communities are the kind of activism we need.
- In the News: The Real Feminist Nightmare - The real feminist nightmare is when women are undermined because they are mothers-particularly because more than 80 percent of women in our nation have children by the time they're 44 years old.
- In the News: How Can We Jump-Start the Struggle for Gender Equality? - In fact, the movement toward equality stopped. The labor force hit 46 percent female in 1994, and it hasn't changed much since. Women's full-time annual earnings were 76 percent of men's in 2001, and 77 percent in 2011. Although women do earn a majority of academic degrees, their specialties pay less, so that earnings even for women with doctorate degrees working full time are 77 percent of men's. Attitudinal changes also stalled.
- In the News: Generation Zero—Why Millennials, And All of Us, Need Family-Friendly Laws - If university graduates cannot imagine how to balance work and family, just think how strenuous the process must be for their low-income counterparts living paycheck to paycheck. Given that the United States is one of only a handful of countries in the entire world that does not offer paid maternity leave, it’s not surprising that American workers are simply opting out of parenting all together. Inflexible jobs with poor work/family policies are simply the norm.
- In the News: Five Facts to Remember on the Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women - On the International Day For The Elimination Of Violence Against Women, the United Nations' annual effort to raise awareness about the women around the world who fall victim to gender-based violence. It's the beginning of a 16-day period of activism, culminating with Human Rights Day on December 10th - an attempt to make the point that addressing violence against women is an inextricable part of ensuring basic human rights for everyone around the world.
- In the News: The Changing American Family - American households have never been more diverse, and the notion of the typical family is being rapidly redefined. HREF="http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/273-40/20607-why-wont-congress-pass-the-international-violence-against-women-act">Why Won't Congress Pass the International Violence Against Women Act? - Violence against women takes many forms, including rape, domestic violence, female genital mutilation, and acid attacks, to name just a few. It's a global human rights crisis that exacerbates instability and insecurity around the world.
- In the News: The Major Life Regrets of a Stay-at-Home Mom - Consider this a warning to new mothers: Fourteen years ago, I "opted out" to focus on my family. Now I'm broke.
- In the News: Custody Battle Raises Questions About the Rights of Women - "Especially with current political pressures to recognize separate legal rights for fetuses, there will be increasing calls on the courts to fault a pregnant woman for moving, to restrain women from living their lives because they're pregnant," said Sarah E. Burns, the head of the Reproductive Justice Clinic at the New York University law school.
- In the News: Work, Women and Caregiving - Trying to hold onto a job while caring for a family member is a tough juggling act. Caregivers sometimes have to arrive late or leave early, cut back to part-time work, and decline travel or promotions. For women, these competing responsibilities may prove particularly perilous, a study recently published in the Journal of Applied Gerontology suggests. Women who are caregivers are also significantly less likely to be in the labor force, compared to women who are not caregivers. Yet for men, caregiving has no impact on employment status.
- In the News: Iceland Tops New Environment and Gender Scorecard - The scoring system measures 72 countries on such things as rates of anemia, access to agricultural land and women in policymaking positions. The United States has the lowest rates of anemia, but factors such as its failure to ratify CEDAW pushed it to 14th place.
- In the News: Mom as the New Face of Anarchy? - Dissent is once again a criminal act in America. People who object to right-wing lunacy used to be called “communists” and treated as enemies of the state. Now “anarchist” is the label of choice used to harass those who disagree.
- In the News: Honoring Female Pioneers in Science - 'Extraordinary Women in Science and Medicine' Offers Up Little-Known Details
- In the News: Sweden’s plan to bring gender equality to the movies - The initiative is called “A-märkt,” and its promoters are encouraging theaters to stamp its “A” logo on the movie posters and pre-roll screens of any film that (1) has at least two female characters who (2) talk to each other (3) about something other than men. The “A” stands for both “approved” and “Allison,” the name of the American cartoonist who came up with the test. A surprisingly (or maybe not surprisingly) high proportion of films fail this test.
- In the News: Men aren't pulling their weight at home - Despite gains for working women over the last few decades, two basic facts remain true: Men still work longer hours in a paid profession, and women do more of the cooking, cleaning and child-rearing at home. In the United States, men and women work a nearly equal number of hours, but the women shoulder significantly more of the household burden. American men work an average of 50.6 hours a week (33 hours at a job and 17.6 hours on household tasks). Women, who are more likely to be employed part time, worked 50.9 hours a week (23.8 hours at a job and 27.1 hours at home). Totaling it all up, the average American woman is compensated for fewer than half her hours. The American man, on the other hand, is paid for 65% of his work.
- In the News: US Bureau of Labor Statistics 2013 report on women’s earnings -
Despite significant progress in recent decades, American women remain disadvantaged in terms of pay, promotion prospects and work-life balance. Other areas of concern include educational attainment and labor force participation, legal maternity rights and family-friendly workplaces, and presence of women in positions of power.
- In the News: Rise of Female Inmates Provoke Gender-Specific Services - The Department of Corrections will model a decade-old University of Cincinnati action plan for gender-specific treatment of prison inmates, The Seattle Times reported Nov. 4. The female inmate demographic has increased by seven percent between 2012 and 2013. Causes for why women go to prison include social forces and trauma in contrast to men who usually are imprisoned as a result of anti-social character and criminal rhetoric. Some measures have already been taken for bettering the progress female inmates make such as more appropriately sized clothing, special-made bras for those who had undergone mastectomies, and focused counseling.
- In the News: 11 Things You Don’t Know About The Senate Sisterhood - Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Mikulski pushed through a government funding bill in January that avoided both a government shutdown and a default on U.S. debt; Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray passed the first Democratic budget in four years; Environment and Public Works Committee Chair Barbara Boxer saw through a $105 billion transportation bill and a $12.5 billion water resources bill; Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow got the $955 billion farm bill passed; and all 20 women banded together to see the Violence Against Women Act signed into law. Except for immigration reform, every major bill passed this session has been authored by a woman.
- In the News: 6 Myths About Female Ascendance in the Workplace - Think women are taking over the world while men are failing? Think again.
- In the News: Women of the World Call for Urgent Action on Climate Change - Last month, the International Women’s Earth and Climate Summit took place in Suffern, NY, with 100 women delegates, top-level policymakers, grassroots organizers and indigenous chiefs from around the world. From the heart of the Amazon Rainforest, to the forests of the Congo, to the foothills of Himalayas, organizers and indigenous tribal leaders from Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe and North America assembled, speaking different languages, wearing different garbs, embedded in different cultures, but all devoted to the health of the Earth and future generations.
- In the News: Can You Guess the 10 Best Countries For Women? Hint: the U.S. Isn't One of Them - The report, which ranks 136 countries, determines its findings across four primary areas including economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, political empowerment and health and survival, ranking the United States 23rd on the list for 2013, a step worse than last year!
- In the News: NPR Examines Controversial Decision To Define Premenstrual Condition as Mental Disorder - Neill Epperson, director of the Penn Center for Women's Behavior Wellness, noted, "I think any time a disorder occurs more frequently in women or only in women, there's going to be a group of individuals who have concern that this will diminish women's role in society." The decision to classify PMDD as a mental disorder stemmed from the fact women experience "symptoms under a certain hormonal state that are not there under another hormonal state," Epperson said.
- In the News: New grassroots push for ERA - ERA Education Project's Kamala Lopez and More magazine's Lesley Jane Seymour discuss a new push to get the Equal Rights Amendment passed.
- In the News: Women Are Bearing the Brunt of Shutdown Fallout - The "non-essential" programs that are currently unfunded due to the shutdown are in fact essential for many women and children. From the nation’s elite institutions to the oft-neglected rural areas of this country, women and their families are caught in the middle of a political impasse that has furloughed an estimated 800,000 government workers, threatens to upend the global economy, and has left critical government programs and services scrambling to secure emergency funds in order to serve America’s most vulnerable populations.
- In the News; “American Women” Report: Paving the Way for the Second Wave - American Women was one of the most influential reports on women’s issues ever published and the final product of the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women.
- In the News: Five Ways the Government Shutdown Hurts Women Most - Despite Republicans' insistence that Democrats are "focused on birth control and sex rather than making sure the government doesn't shut down," it's becoming clear that women will be harmed regardless of what path the GOP takes.
- In the News: Women's Lives Don't Matter: The Lesson of Marissa Alexander - In 2011, 1,707 women were murdered by men in single victim, single offender incidents. In 94 percent of these cases, these women were murdered by men they knew, and in 51 percent of the cases, they were murdered by guns. Sixty-one percent of these victims were wives or intimate acquaintances of their killers. This means that intimate partner relationships constitute one of the most significant contexts through which women experience violence within our culture.
- In the News: Young Adults Take Longer to Begin Careers, Report Says - Economic shifts over the past 30 years have delayed career launches for young adults, according to a report released Monday by the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University.
- In the News: Hillary Clinton Plans Global Review of Women’s Rights - Hillary Clinton plans to lead a review of progress made on issues affecting women and girls since a 1995 Beijing conference on women’s rights. Clinton, who as first lady led the U.S. delegation to the United Nations conference and made headlines with her speech to the gathering, plans to couple her assessment with initiatives to promote women in business, technology, and agriculture in the developing world.
- In the News: Mapping the State of Women in America - Despite the advancements made by women over the past few decades, it is still difficult for women to get ahead and not just get by. There remain challenges on economic security, leadership, and health issues that make it harder for women to have a fair shot at success. This map accompanies the report “The State of Women in America,” in which we examine both the progress made and the challenges remaining for women across the country. We do so by reviewing three categories that are critical to women’s overall well-being—economics, leadership, and health—and evaluating the 50 states on a number of factors within each category. Each state is ranked and graded for the three categories, and overall. NYS ranks in 8th place.
- In the News: Does the Future of the Senate Belong to Generation X? -
Why Sen. Gillibrand’s agenda challenges Senate power brokers on military sexual assault remedy.
The future of the Senate, however, belongs to Gillibrand and her fellow Gen Xers who, according to social scientists, tend to rebel against authority, have little regard for seniority in the workplace, and believe in solving problems immediately—qualities that, especially when possessed by a woman, will jar any observer steeped in the conventions of an earlier generation.
- In the News: It's Time to Call a Truce to the 'Mommy Wars' - The decisions of all mothers are often harshly judged, says Katrina Alcorn in this excerpt from "Maxed Out: American Moms on the Brink." But the finger pointing needs to stop, and instead we have to push for economic policies and social institutions that support caregiving.
- In the News: Women in Prison
- Part 1: ‘Raped Behind Bars’ looks at age-old problem - It’s an old problem that seems never to go away — sexual abuse of female prisoners, which is particularly bad in New York.
- Part 2: Hidden world of official silence "No one would believe you," one former female guard explains - New York's prisons remain a hidden world, despite an annual cost to taxpayers of $2.5 billion, an agency workforce of 29,000 people and a confined population totaling 54,000 inmates.
- Part 3: Gender-based solution finds success in Michigan Restricting men from female housing made the difference in state's correctional facilities - Both critics and impartial observers of the current system say restricting sensitive duties in women's prisons to female officers would reduce sexual assaults and counter false reporting.
- Executive Branch Still Looks Like a Boy’s Club - Over the last 20 years, women have made gains in representation on corporate boards and in Congress, but the percentage of women serving in the executive branch has actually decreased. The Clinton administration made the historic jump from 18 percent of cabinet-level jobs held by women to 41 percent. Yet since the historic gains of the Clinton administration, the proportion of women in cabinet-level jobs has decreased to 35 percent in the Obama administration. AAUW continues to hold President Obama accountable to his previously stated commitment to diversity in appointments. Read more from AAUW Executive Director Linda Hallman, CAE, in The New York Times.
- In the News: A Question of How Women’s Issues Will Fare, in Washington and Overseas
- In the News: 10 Things Moms Can Do to Challenge America's Hostile Environment for Working Women - Mothers are maxed out — and often too busy to organize for economic or workplace reform. But we can still do small things to fight back.
- President Obama Names Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipients - On Thursday, President Obama named five women as recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, including late astronaut Sally Ride, singer Loretta Lynn, activist Gloria Steinem, judge Patricia Wald, and media icon Oprah Winfrey.
- A recent National Journal article explores the question, "Do Women Make Better Senators Than Men?" One theory put forward by the article – and the female senators themselves – is that the answer may be "yes" because women tend to collaborate to accomplish goals.
- In the News: Time for Men to Get Out of the Way By Carl Gibson - Even though we’ve elected a scant few female governors and members of Congress in our roughly 230 years of independence, we’ve never once allowed a woman to lead the nation. It’s time for men to step aside and let women take charge of our political system. If we’re to co-exist with our fellow human beings, we must abolish the rule of patriarchy and allow women an equal opportunity to lead.
- In the News: Sequester Cuts Lifelines for 'Invisible' Women - Older women are losing Meals on Wheels, single mothers are losing Head Start and domestic-violence victims are going back to perpetrators out of desperation. Service providers say the cuts hit people
who don't show up to lobby legislators.
- Why Leaders Should Embrace the “Athena Doctrine”
- In the News: Report: Path to Legal Status Harder Now for Women Immigrants - A report by a nonpartisan group warns gender discrimination is built into US immigration law, but in reforming the law, Congress appears unfazed.
- In the News: Fighting for the 'throwaway' girls - pregnant and parenting teens
- In the News: Frank Bruni OpEd: Sexism’s Puzzling Stamina
- Sequestering Our Mothers: Spending Cuts and Effects on Women - Sue Sturgis, Facing South: Here is an index of how the sequester spending cuts will affect women and mothers in the United States, by the numbers.
- With its new series “The Changing Lives of Women,” NPR will share stories about women’s advancements alongside a look at the challenges women still face in today’s society, in the U.S. and abroad.
- Work-Life Balance In the News: Working Moms Not Exhausted? Oh Yes We Are
- Work-Life Balance In the News: Why Women Still Can't Ask the Right Questions
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