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Why Fetal Fascist Carly Fiorina is a Threat to Women

17 Sep

“If women want any rights more than they’s got, why don’t they just take them, and not be talking about it.”

– Sojourner Truth

 

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Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

I wanted to keep this post professional, but there’s something about other people wanting to dictate what choices I am “allowed” to make for my own body that really makes my blood boil.

A universal sustainable development includes gender equality and ensuring sexual and reproductive health and rights are protected. Unfortunately, it is issues that fall under this umbrella, such as reducing maternal mortality and birth control/abortion access that constrain female independence and freedom, control over their own bodies, sexuality and childbearing that deny personal life choices and opportunities regarding education and careers.

Not only in the United States, but around the world, women and girls face very real barriers concerning equality (wage gaps, gender-based violence, genital mutilation, etc.) but the poor and socially disadvantaged become further ostracized.

GOP candidate and pro-life advocate Carly Fiorina is a threat to eradicating poverty and achieving that sustainable development which I see as possible through gender equality including women’s rights, health and empowerment.

Fiorina’s plan to cut contraception access and limit it to over-the-counter would likely lead to higher, not lower abortion rates. And although she only believes in abortion for circumstances of rape, maternal mortality and incest, women who want to terminate pregnancies will find a way – and it will be detrimental and dangerous. I assume she wouldn’t want to be responsible for an underground abortion ring, but it looks like that’s what she could breed.

While I am pro-choice, I do not mind those who favor a pro-life stance, and I do have opinions on aborting a fetus over 20 weeks. However, reproductive rights ARE human rights and Carly nor anyone else should ever be able to dictate what another woman chooses to do with her body.

I just can’t seem to find any rationale on how limiting access to birth control and abortions will be beneficial. Fiorina also continues to blast Planned Parenthood as a callous and brutal organization, however many women depend on PP. Perhaps instead of defunding PP, maybe we should develop better ways of managing its practices?

All in all I think Carly is a woman who needs to feel important, yearns to be relevant and enjoys challenging the status quo just for the hell of it.

What it Would Mean for America to Elect its First Female President

27 Mar

From the initial inception of society, the exclusion of women from institutional politics was an extension of their exclusion from the public space. Traditionally, women, even those who worked outside of the household, took care of the family, the domestic space and were in charge of “reproduction”, while men had the most important roles in society, especially those related to politics, religion and war. With time, however, this sexual division of labor became less marked, thanks to the mobilization of women themselves.

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Ever more present since her private meeting with President Obama on Monday, is the mounting speculation over whether Hillary Clinton will soon announce a presidential run. And of course there is discussion on whether a woman is equipped to run the country.

To begin, I would like to reiterate to my readers that Feminism is a practice, NOT a single person or outcome. Despite the views of some of my peers, feminists are not “women who want to become men.” Conversely, feminism is a scope, a lens if you will, for looking at the world, and aims for attaining even ground and destruction of any influencers that may exist which perpetuate unfair advantages favoring men over women. Feminism does NOT define women as victims. Feminism recognizes that men are biologically built for some duties better than women and vice versa. There is not contesting that. But what feminism yearns for is an equal consideration between women and men where gender should not be a bias. This applies to jobs and things as simple as purchasing a new car.

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For me, I think a female president would be able to finally mediate the tired, drawn-out arguments over birth control and abortion access. And while I don’t think anyone, man or woman should have the power to exercise an absolute decision over what a woman can and cannot do with her own body, a female president would be more empathetic than a man to rape culture and therefore better motivated to address and educate society’s acknowledgment to obvious and unobvious (normalized) forms of sexual violence.

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The good news is that most Americans find women indistinguishable from men on key leadership traits such as intelligence and capacity for innovation, with many saying they’re stronger than men in terms of being compassionate and organized leaders, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey on women and leadership,

So why, then, are women in short supply at the top of government and business in the United States? According to the public, at least, it’s not that they lack toughness, management chops or proper skill sets.

It’s also not all about work-life balance. Instead, topping the list of reasons, about four-in-ten Americans point to a double standard for women seeking to climb to the highest levels of either politics or business, where they have to do more than their male counterparts to prove themselves. Similar shares say the electorate and corporate America are just not ready to put more women in top leadership positions.

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As a result, the public is divided about whether, even in the face of the major advances women have made in the workplace, the imbalance in corporate America will change in the foreseeable future. About half (53%) believe men will continue to hold more top executive positions in business in the future; 44% say it is only a matter of time before as many women are in top executive positions as men. Americans are less doubtful when it comes to politics: 73% expect to see a female president in their lifetime.

If Hillary was to win the 2016 election, I think it would be a catalyst in kick starting a new movement where women would feel more confident and empowered to succeed and inspired to become more politically active. Women have come so far, it would be very liberating, at least for me, to elect a female president. It is one of the last frontiers we have yet to claim.

Quick Facts:

Women are far more likely than men to see gender discrimination in today’s societyAbout two-thirds (65%) of women say their gender faces at least some discrimination in society today, compared with 48% of men who believe women face some discrimination. A double-digit gender gap on perceptions of gender discrimination is evident across all generations as well as across partisan groups.

Women and men are seen as equally good business leaders, but gender stereotypes persist. Most Americans (54%) say men would do a better job running a professional sports team, while just 8% say women would be better at this. And a 46% plurality also give men the edge when it comes to running a large oil or gas company. But the public is two and a half times more likely to say a woman, rather than a man, would do a better job running a major hospital or a major retail chain.

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Please share your thoughts; I love reading the different perspectives of my readers.

Will a woman replace Jackson on the $20 bill?

24 Mar

It may seem difficult to imagine that there is anything wrong with a crisp, delicious stack of cash. But a new campaign that seeks to change the face of the 20-dollar bill points out the problem: our paper money contains no depictions of women.

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As National Public Radio reports a group has launched a campaign to try to raise awareness to potentially change the bill that currently depicts Andrew Jackson. The campaign, Women on 20s, is asking voters to help them select what woman should be immortalized on greenbacks, according to NPR.

To vote in the campaign and learn more about the effort behind the change, go to Women on 20s.

In the current round of voting, get ready to select three candidates out of this group:

  • Harriet Tubman‎
  • Rosa Parks‎
  • Alice Paul‎
  • Betty Friedan‎
  • Barbara Jordan‎
  • Clara Barton‎
  • Eleanor Roosevelt‎
  • Sojourner Truth‎
  • Shirley Chisholm‎
  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton‎
  • Patsy Mink‎
  • Susan B. Anthony
  • Rachel Carson‎
  • Frances Perkins‎
  • Margaret Sanger‎

Top Cities Where Women Earn the Most Money

6 Feb

In his State of the Union address last week, President Obama made a plea for higher women’s wages.

“You know, today, women make up about half our workforce, but they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns,” he said. “That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment. Women deserve equal pay for equal work.”

So is there a place in the U.S. where women make the same as men? Are there cities where women’s wages are higher than others? For answers, Forbes turned to financial literacy site NerdWallet, which has sorted through  figures from the 2012 American Community Survey by the U.S. Census (the latest data available). The annual dataset tracks the median earnings of men and women working full-time, year-round in more than 500 major metropolitan areas across the U.S. NerdWallet has crunched the numbers and helped us figure out which metro areas pay the most in raw numbers and as a percentage of men’s salaries.

1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara

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Women’s median salary: $56,000
Women’s income as a percentage of men’s: 74%

2. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria

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Women’s median salary: $55,500
Women’s income as a percentage of men’s: 80%

3. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont

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Women’s median salary: $54,600
Women’s income as a percentage of men’s: 84%

4. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk

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Women’s median salary: $52,500
Women’s income as a percentage of men’s: 72%

5. Trenton-Ewing, NJ

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Women’s median salary: $50,400
Women’s income as a percentage of men’s: 81%

6. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy

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Women’s median salary: $50,100
Women’s income as a percentage of men’s: 79%

7. Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford

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Women’s median salary: $48,500
Women’s income as a percentage of men’s: 78%

8. New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island

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Women’s median salary: $47,600
Women’s income as a percentage of men’s: 84%

9. Boulder, CO

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Women’s median salary: $46,800
Women’s income as a percentage of men’s: 72%

10. Baltimore-Towson, MD

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Women’s median salary: $46,800
Women’s income as a percentage of men’s: 79%

At the top of the list: San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, where women earn a median income of $56,000. That’s nearly triple the salary in the worst-paying city for women, Laredo, TX, where they make just $24,700

There are several explanations, as explored in a smart post last week by the non-partisan site Politifact, which parsed President Obama’s 77% remark in the State of the Union: Difference in jobs held, difference in college degrees earned and time off for parenting.

Although all of this is in flux, women tend to go into lower-paying fields like receptionists, nurses and teachers while men gravitate to jobs like truck drivers, managers and software engineers. That said, Politifact also notes that it can be most meaningful to look at the gender pay gap in specific professions. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research calculated pay parity for the top 20 occupations for women and found gaps of varying sizes in every profession but one (bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks). Women nurses make 96 cents for every dollar men earn. But female financial advisers make only 66 cents.

One more piece of information to chew on: Last year there was a survey conducted by tech jobs site Dice that measured men’s and women’s pay in the technology sector. When it controlled for education and experience, Dice found there was also no evidence of a gender pay gap, when it controlled for education and experience. But Dice did find that women don’t take on the same jobs as men, and that overall, their education and experience levels are lower.

With all of that said, there is still a bottom line: Women earn more in some parts of the country than in others. To a large extent our list of the 10 top-paying cities for women reflects the cost of living in those spots.  Seven of the cities are in the Northeast and two are in the pricey Bay Area. The place where women earn closest to what men earn: San Francisco. Women’s salaries there are 84% of men’s.

The Happy Marriage of Genders: What is a Balanced Workplace?

23 Oct

I believe the essence of balance in the workplace is achieved when both masculine and feminine qualities are represented and utilized to a certain degree. This doesn’t necessarily mean however that an even team of 10 men and 10 women is balanced.

A recent Forbes article (Can Women Create Companies Worth Hundreds of Millions?) highlighted the lack of women founders in the start-up world. Data compiled from the last decade and half revealed that only 1.3% of privately held companies had a female founder, 6.5% have a female CEO, and 20% had one or more female C-level executives. 

Tracy DiNunzio, Founder and CEO of Tradesy theorizes why women are so under-represented:

 “Perhaps it’s because investors are (consciously or subconsciously) pattern-matching: betting on the people who look and behave like those they’ve seen succeed before, who are mostly male. As more female CEOs build successful companies with great outcomes, this should change. Making access to capital easier for women founders is part of what inspires and motivates me to win big with Tradesy.”

The problem is only more exacerbated by the media, which tends to focus on the same female success stories (Oprah, Sara Blakely, etc.). This not only limits the number of role models young women have to look up to, but also diminishes the perceived number of accomplished women entrepreneurs.

Contributing editor John Greathouse believes women can “level the playing field by solving their customers’ problems within the bounds of the resources available to them.”

Although I agree with Greathouse’s article, which pushes for more female investors, I think the reason men exceed in entrepreneurial pursuits lies whether we like it or not in the differences between men’s and women’s professional attributes.

These are NOT gender stereotypes, but behavioral observations supported by research. Women tend to excel in some areas and men excel in others. While today’s business culture more often associates masculine attributes with success, there’s no evidence to suggest that hiring more men or more women will drive a company’s bottom line.

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  • They’re early adopters of technology. The Accenture study found that men were more likely to be early adopters of technology and tended to rely on technology more than their female counterparts.
  • They’ll ask for what they want. Men demonstrate strengths in negotiation. In 2003, a study looking at students graduating from Carnegie Melon with master’s degrees and found that the male students attained salaries 7.6 percent higher than their female counterparts, thanks to negotiation. More than half of the male students negotiated higher salaries, while only 7 percent of female students did so. Other research by Accenture shows that only 45 percent of women would be willing to ask for a raise, compared to 61 percent of men.
  • When in doubt, they’ll ‘wing it.’ “Males tend to convey more confidence than women in performance-oriented settings,” writes George Washington University law professor Charles Craver in an essay titled The Impact of Gender on Bargaining Interactions, based on experiences in his classroom. “Even when minimally prepared, men believe they can ‘wing it’ and get through successfully. On the other hand, no matter how thoroughly prepared women are, they tend to feel unprepared.” 
  • They make friends in high places. Men score more promotions than women, and that may be explained by who they mingle with in the office. Among participants of a 2008 Catalyst survey on mentorship, 72 percent of men received promotions by 2010 compared to 65 percent of women. According to a Harvard Business Review paper, Why Men Still Get More Promotions than Women, this is because men are more likely to be mentored by senior executives, whereas women are more likely to have junior-level mentors. This difference is an issue of access. Sociology researchers Lisa Torres and Matt L. Huffman found in a 2002 study that both men and women build social networks comprised of people of the same gender. As upper management still tends to be male dominated, this places men in a better position to receive promotions from their mentors.

WOMEN

  • They’re honest, hard workers. As women ask for more to do, they are likely to work longer hours than their male counterparts. Polls by career site theFit showed that 54 percent of women worked 9 to 11 hour days compared to 41 percent of men. Women more than men also expressed a willingness to do some work on vacation, and were less likely to spend their sick days “playing hooky, taking a mental health day, suffering from a hangover, or interviewing for another job.
  • They like a challenge. A 2009 international study by Accenture found that 70 percent of businesswomen asked their bosses for new challenges at work, compared to less than half of businessmen polled.
  • They’re persuasive. Women leaders scored significantly higher than male leaders in persuasiveness and assertiveness, according to the Caliper study. They were able to “read situations accurately and take information from all sides,” write the authors. “This willingness to see all sides of a situation enhanced their persuasive ability.”
  • They’re team players. A 2005 study on gender bias by New York research group Catalyst found that women leaders are typically judged as more supportive and rewarding, whereas men are judged better at behaviors such as delegating and managing  up. In another 2005 study by Caliper, a professional services consulting company, women demonstrated higher levels of compassion and team-building skills.

So when questioning why women are undermined by men in professional settings, it should be noted that more often than women, men demonstrate the abilities of an entrepreneur. This is not to say that women should be discounted, or the lack of women CEOs exists solely because investors rely on pattern matching. I would love to see more women at the top. But just because they aren’t there doesn’t mean they are less able. Women have an equal ability for success, and gender diversity is not simply a numbers game; It’s about ability to understand the different strengths individuals bring to the table. I’m not telling you to hang up your power suit. If most men are better leaders than women by nature, then let them be. I think society over thinks gender inequality too much in some cases. Businesses are all about results, and I don’t think investors care about gender as much as they do about their money.