Work-Life Balance Issues for Women & Their Families
"Because Equity is Still an Issue."
For more information: AAUW Fact Sheets and Position Papers on Affirmative Action, Athletics, Education, Managed Care Reform, Reproductive Rights, and Social Security Reform.
Updated: June 18, 2015
- Woman to be on new $10 bill - U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said a woman will be featured on a redesigned $10 bill in 2020 -- the 100th anniversary of the Constitution's 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. The last woman on U.S. paper currency was Martha Washington, who was on the $1 Silver Certificate between 1891 and 1896.
- Ford Shifts Grant Making to Focus Entirely on Inequality - The fight against inequality will take center stage at the Ford Foundation under a sweeping overhaul announced today by the nation's second biggest philanthropy. Under that plan, the foundation's grant making supported eight causes: human rights, freedom of expression, democratic and accountable government, economic opportunity, education, sustainable development, sexuality and reproductive health, and social justice.
- The stereotype of the 'queen bee' female executive is losing its sting - One of the most enduring stereotypes in the American workplace is that of the "queen bee": the executive female who, at best, doesn't help the women below her get ahead and, at worst, actively hinders them. This supposed species has been analyzed in newspaper essays, described in surveys and caricatured over and over again in Hollywood.
- 4 Generations of American Women: Great Progress, Persistent Challenges - There are deep reasons underlying a pervasive feeling of division among different generations of women. The women of Generation X and Millennial women inherited a very different world than those of the Silent Generation and the Baby Boomers, who were born in an era in which many unmarried women could not access contraception, abortion was illegal, and married women had to ask their husbands for permission to take a job. Growing up, coming of age, and navigating the world of work and family at different points in recent American history have had a number of very real effects. This issue brief will take up the question of how age-via generational differences in attitudes, expectations, and life experiences-can play a role in complicating the women's leadership conversation. To make the promise of women's leadership real for the greatest number of women of all ages and backgrounds, women's advocates must ground their work in the day-to-day reality and diversity of the female experience.
- We Need Lots More Women in Media, New Study Finds - The voices of women of all races and people of color are being shouted down across most media platforms. The Women's Media Center issued its annual study on The Status of Women in U.S. Media, which examines how women are represented across multiple media platforms, including "news, literature, broadcast, film, television, radio, online, tech, gaming and social media." Titled "Divided 2015: The Media Gender Gap," the investigation found that women, who make up more than half of the country's population, are woefully underrepresented in most media formats.
- Rep. John Katko introduces bill to put Harriet Tubman on U.S. currency - U.S. Rep. John Katko introduced a bipartisan bill Tuesday that would put Harriet Tubman on U.S. currency by the end of 2017, responding to a national movement to put a female face on the $20 bill. Katko, R-Camillus, introduced the bill with Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., and seven original co-sponsors from both parties.
- For Millennials, it's good to be young, rich, and female - Wealthy Millennial women are more likely to make at least as much -- if not more -- than their husbands. They're also more likely to take the big decisions on household finances and investments, according to a new report from U.S. Trust that surveyed high and ultra-high net worth individuals, defined as those with at least $3 million in investable assets.
- Mounting Evidence of Advantages for Children of Working Mothers - Nearly three-quarters of American mothers with children at home are employed. In a new study of 50,000 adults in 25 countries, daughters of working mothers completed more years of education, were more likely to be employed and in supervisory roles and earned higher incomes. In the United States, daughters of working mothers earned 23 percent more than daughters of stay-at-home mothers, after controlling for demographic factors, and sons spent seven and a half more hours a week on child care and 25 more minutes on housework.
- For US Women, Inequality Takes Many Forms - The Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR)-in partnership with a multitude of organizations including the Ford Foundation, the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network, and the Center for American Progress-just released the 2015 edition of its project on the Status of Women in the States, with newly updated data and trend analyses on women's economic, social, and political progress in the United States. The findings? Although we have indeed experienced progress toward gender equity, it's likely that we won't see equal pay for American women within our lifetime.
- To do better work, pay attention to the rest of your life - To Stewart Friedman, founding director of Wharton's Work/Life Integration Project, work and life aren't something to be "balanced." He argues that fuller lives and richer work comes from being clear about what's most important to you and the people who matter most to you, and integrating four domains: work, family, community and self.
- What's missing from executive education: women - There's been considerable discussion about whether women are adequately represented in traditional MBA programs, but executive programs, which are geared for people already very well-established in their careers, haven't faced the same scrutiny. How are women faring in that part of the B-school?
- Census Data Show More U.S. Women Do Not Have Children - About 47.6% of U.S. women ages 15 to 44 were childless in 2014, the highest percentage since the government began recording such data in 1976, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
- How Much Does Domestic Abuse Cost Its Survivors? - We won't ever know the unpaid debt that most domestic abusers owe, but no one needs to remind a battered partner how much domestic violence costs her, whether it be her job, her family, her physical and mental health. But what about the social consequences? A new study uses the dismal science to calculate the cost to the victim in terms of her future economic security, and finds that while state intervention may prove invaluable, the personal damage may be irrevocable.
- Google imports new CFO Ruth Porat from Wall Street - Google has lured away Morgan Stanley's chief financial officer, Ruth Porat, to be its CFO at a time when the Internet search leader and its Silicon Valley peers are under fire for hiring and promoting too few women. Google Inc. and other Silicon Valley heavyweights, including Apple Inc. and Facebook Inc., are trying to add more women to their payrolls. The push began during the past 10 months after the companies released data revealing that women only filled 15 to 20 percent of the tech jobs, which tend to pay the most.
- Women in New York State Prisons Don't Have Enough Sanitary Pads, Suffer Other Daily Indignities - Incarceration violates women's reproductive rights - to say nothing of their dignity and humanity - at every turn. These are among the findings of a report on the state of reproductive health care for women in New York State prisons released last week.
- Career Coach: Mentors matter, but women need sponsors in high places - It is clear that having a mentor is advantageous for anyone wanting to move up, and especially for women. Yet despite all of the mentoring that many women have received, they still have not moved up into positions as high as men have. One reason, according to a 2010 Harvard Business Review article by researchers Herminia Ibarra, Nancy Carter and Christine Silva is that women are often mentored by less senior leaders who may not be able to provide the sponsorship that women need to move up. By sponsorship we mean advocating or fighting to get them a job or promotion, mentioning their name for placement on an important committee or visible assignment or actively helping them advance.
- Debating US Foreign Policy: Where Are the Women?
But there's a dearth when it comes to women's voices in U.S. media coverage of foreign policy issues, according to the founders of a new organisation that aims to amplify women's voices in the media. "There is a disparity between the number of women [and men] we see commenting on foreign policy issues," said Foreign Policy Interrupted co-founder Elmira Bayrasli to a packed room of women (and a few men) Feb 4. at the Washington-based New America, a non-profit public policy institute and think tank.
- New campaign could turn technology into a women's human rights issue - The Global Fund for Women recently launched a worldwide online media campaign called IGNITE to make internet access and STEM education for women human rights issues. A report by the United Nations' Broadband Commission Working Group showed that 200 million more men have access to the internet than women -- 41% of men worldwide compared to 37% of women. Even in the developed world, where internet access is widespread, there is a gap: 80% of men and 74% of women.
- Study: Modern Contraceptive Use Could Prevent 15M Unintended Pregnancies in Certain Countries - Increased access to modern forms of contraception could have prevented 15 million unintended pregnancies in low- and middle-income countries over a seven-year period, according to a report by WHO epidemiologists published in Human Reproduction.
- Brains, Not Clothes - Many female professors complain that students evaluate them in sexist ways based in part on appearance, and data suggests that's true. But few administrators have spoken out against student bias in evaluations, and tend to treat it more as an inevitable if unfortunate part of the process. So a recent mass e-mail to students at Rutgers University School of Law at Camden from Adam Scales, vice dean, stands out.
- The unbelievable rise of single motherhood in America over the last 50 years - Few institutions in America have evolved over the last 50 years quite like motherhood. More women are having their children later in life. Or they're doing so in less traditional ways: before marriage, without marriage, or with unmarried partners. Single motherhood has grown so common in America that demographers now believe half of all children will live with a single mom at some point before the age of 18.
- Domestic Violence Drives Up New York Shelter Population as Housing Options Are Scarce - Victims of abuse are often left with no place to live and little means of support, and frequently end up homeless. In New York, this has helped drive the shelter population to a record high, with more than a quarter of all families in shelters citing abuse as the cause for their stay, city officials said. And, nationwide, many cities report a similar experience.
- A Quick Guide on the Human Rights of Women - The terms reproductive health, reproductive rights, and reproductive justice are often used as interchangeable phrases to talk about either contraception or abortion. But these terms are in fact three very different concepts. Reproductive health refers to preventive care, family planning, and disease management, while reproductive rights include the legal protections and public supports that allow women to control their fertility, give birth as they choose, and protect their health so that they can fully participate in society. Reproductive justice, a 20-year old term, refers to the structural and social issues that effect women's ability to fully benefit from the law or health services and that allow her to be the person, mother, caregiver, and breadwinner she wants to be.
- Ensuring Access to Family Planning Services for All - At some point in their lifetimes, 99 percent of sexually active women in the United States use contraception. However, women access family planning in a variety of locations, as well as pay for the services they receive in a multitude of ways. Although each and every woman in that 99 percent has family planning in common, their needs are all met differently. Policy and funding decisions must recognize these differences in order to support all women in the ways that work best for them. Improvements must be made to our current health care system so that all women can access and receive the contraceptive services they need. This issue brief discusses the importance of family planning and the benefits of making a societal investment in this much-needed health service.
- Woman in New York street harassment video: 'My story is not unique' - Shoshana Roberts was catcalled more than 100 times in 10 hours in a video of the street harassment has been viewed more than 12 million times. Roberts said the video is an accurate depiction of what she faces daily. For instance, there was a time when her grandfather died "and someone told me that they liked the way I looked."
- Girl Scouts Debate Their Place in a Changing World - Membership in the Girl Scouts has fallen over the past decade to three million, from a 2003 high of close to four million in combined participation of adults and girls, and the number of Girl Scout councils across the country has fallen to 112 from 312, according to the organization. A 2011 overhaul of girl scouting programs abandoned the old badge system and adopted a set of three "Journeys." It also aligned badges and leadership opportunities with 21st-century ideas revolving around social issues, professional opportunities for women, and science, technology, engineering and mathematics, the so-called STEM curriculum.
- Why Single Sex Education Is Good For Girls - Women make up 50 percent of the population and account for 59 percent of the college-educated entry-level workforce. Today, we can look up to some of the most powerful women in the nation: three Supreme Court justices, Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer, Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg to name a few. But the numbers are not as high as they should be when it comes to female leadership. According to the Center for American Progress, women still only make up 14.6 percent of executive officers, 8.1 percent of top earners and a mere 4.6 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs. In Massachusetts, The Boston Club released a report showing that nearly 14 percent of the 100 largest public companies have women as directors, which is below the national average of 17 percent.
- When Women Become Men at Wellesley - As women's colleges challenged the conventions of womanhood, they drew a disproportionate number of students who identified as lesbian or bisexual. Today a small but increasing number of students at those schools do not identify as women, raising the question of what it means to be a "women's college." Trans students are pushing their schools to play down the women-centric message.
- 10 Campus Women to Watch Out For - Meet the new AAUW Student Advisory Board.
- Two-generation gender equality study shows career benefits for men - Couples in a research experiment launched in the 1970s shared the responsibility for home, family and work equally. Now, 30 years later, a follow-up study by Swedish researchers at Örebro University shows that the couples' strive for equality was beneficial not only for the family life but also for the fathers' careers.
- Dads, not just moms, battle balancing work, family, exercise - Fathers experience the same exercise barriers as mothers: family responsibilities, guilt, lack of support, lack of time, scheduling constraints and work, a researcher has found. Although barriers for both parents are similar, working moms reported an additional hurdle. Mothers cited work and scheduling constraints as more of a barrier than fathers. Many active fathers found time to exercise during the workday, but mothers reported fear of being judged by co-workers for leaving to workout and lack of time to freshen up after a workout.
- Children and Career: Making it Work- While women have been achieving greater strides in the professional world, the unfortunate pay gap and gender discrimination statistics persist. According to a new study by Palo Alto Software, 52 percent of women reported feeling prejudiced against, compared with just 9 percent of men. What's more, the study reveals how parenthood impacts mothers much more than men professionally because their career peaks often happen parallel to childbirth. The career breaks impact a woman's wage significantly, increasing the gap between them and men.
- How should men respond when they witness sexual harassment? - And what happens when we say nothing? The offenders think they're in the right … and will continue on in the future. By the way, there are worse things than being considered a "white knight" and one of them is a misogynist.
- Intel pulls ads over sexism in video game drama - On Thursday, a major tech company stepped into the middle of a vicious two-month-long battle among video game fans, scholars, developers and journalists over the representation of women in games.
- The survey data included in the report reveals that "gender stereotypes and implicit - Biases are still a challenge in the education setting, much as they are in other settings." The report was commissioned by the NEA, the American Association of University Women, and the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement based at Tufts University's Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service.
- Cornell names its first woman president - Elizabeth Garrett, provost of the University of Southern California, will be Cornell University's 13th president and its first woman to hold the post, the university's board of trustees.
- Ruth Rosen: "We Will Not Be Beaten" - It is not new laws, but the enforcement of them that needs to be addressed. Violence against sex workers by customers and undocumented workers by employers, for example, is widespread, but these women fear reporting violence because of their illegal status. Domestic violence is just the tip of the iceberg. It may take another century before violence against women seems as barbaric and unacceptable as slavery does today.
- Women Are Providing Twice As Much Caregiving As Men - The final count revealed that daughters average 12.3 hours of care per month, while sons provide only 5.3. Even after adjusting for confounding factors (like a sibling's geographical distance from a parent), daughters still gave 5.4 more hours than their male counterparts.
- Wages for Housework - Housework is a necessary labor for families, but it is largely unpaid, except when others are hired to do it. Families may pay others to cook, clean or take care of their children, but they don't pay themselves. This year, Italy considered a proposal in which the government, or in some cases the husband or partner, would pay wives for this thankless task. And a few years ago, India considered a similar bill. Should the family member who does most of the housekeeping be compensated?
- If a Senator Can't Report Sexual Harassment Without Backlash, Who Can? - Women have to walk a tricky tightrope of not wanting to seem too "sensitive," while at the same time standing up for themselves in the face of discrimination. Sen. Gillibrand's experience shows how difficult it can be for anyone to navigate the workplace without inviting negative consequences.
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