All Articles Tagged "working women"
This might not come as a surprise to some, but according to a new study in comparison to other countries around the world, the U.S. has been left behind when it comes to working women, reports Forbes. Although women made great strides in the workforce since the 1970s, that growth has flat-lined since the 1990s, according to a new paper from researchers Francine D. Blau and Lawrence M. Kahn.
This isn’t the case in other countries, where the growth has continued. Here are the numbers: “In 1990, women’s participation rate in the labor force was 74 percent, ranking us at number six among 22 developed countries,” writes the magazine. But since then, the numbers have only increased to 75.2; other countries examined saw a boost from about 67 percent to nearly 80 percent. America currently ranks 17 on the list.
The authors of the paper theorize that it is government policies that have caused fewer women to enter the workforce. The authors looked at policies such as parental leave, the protection of part-time work, and public spending on child care — and America falls far behind on all three. While the U.S., for example, passed the Family and Medical Leave Act in 1993, mandating up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for those who had been at a company for a year that has over 50 employees, other countries have generally mandated paid leave that is longer and have expanded it since the ’90s, says Forbes. And, other nations actually increased spending on child care at a faster pace than the U.S. over the past two decades, from .35 percent of GDP to .47 percent, while America spent .03 percent and have only brought that up to .11.
On the downside, some of these policies other countries have the “longer, paid leaves may encourage women to stay out for more time and may make companies view women as more expensive hires if they’re more likely to take leave.” Women in countries that have such job protection policies are also more likely to work part-time.
When I started my career, I learned quickly that I’d have to navigate the terrain of socializing at the office. I had to learn how to answer the seemingly innocuous “How was your weekend?” and the even more loaded “So what do you really think about the boss’ project?” with tact. Sometimes I was on the receiving end of honesty, offering a listening ear to a colleague venting about a new assignment or chatting about the new love in her life.
There is a fine line between being about business and being sociable at work. Some women find that after opening up to co-workers over time, finding a “work friend” could ease the day-to-day office grind and heavy workloads. It could be as simple as sharing vacation photos over lunch or trading stories about each other’s children. Others may only do lunch with their latest book club pick, eating alone in the break room or at their desks for fear that having to make small talk that’s not work-related could lead to personal territory that could make business interactions murky.
And then there are the over-sharers. The co-workers who are ready to share the details of their weekend’s drunken debauchery, or the cube mates who will tell anyone with an ear how much they hate their jobs. The age of Facebook may have encouraged a generation of I’ll-tell-you-everything professionals, those who teeter between zero boundaries at work and being deemed detached and standoffish for not being more personable.
As Peggy Klaus writes in an article for the New York Times
Social media have made it the norm to tell everybody everything. The problem is that people are forgetting where they are (at work, not a bar or a chat room) and whom they’re talking to (bosses, clients, colleagues and the public, not their buddies). And even if they know it’s inappropriate to share certain personal information in a business setting, they do it anyway because everyone else does.
This is where I mention that a middle-aged colleague of mine once peeled back a Band-Aid to offer a visual update on a minor injury she’d sustained over the weekend. And that another thought it prudent to share with me the horrid details of an infection that kept her out of the office for several days. Whether or not oversharing is symptomatic of generational entitlement (“I’m a millennial. I’m special and important and not only do you have to know what I had for lunch today, but you have to listen to every torrid detail of the date I went on last night and the reasons why I hate this project so much.”), I ascribe oversharing to the need for people to connect, regardless of age. But, with everything else, oversharing in the office can come with consequences.
In the working world, we often are thrust into a group of folks with whom we would never socialize under any other circumstances. We spend most of our waking hours with our colleagues and may see them more than we see our own friends and family. In my own experience, I’ve learned that many folks are just itching to drop the facade. They are almost always down to talk about the new office rules or about their jobs. I’ve seen genuine friendships forged at work, ones that outlast a colleague’s tenure at the office. I’ve seen openness backfire, with colleagues using personal information to bully their so-called work friend on business matters. For many, a simple “I went to the lake this weekend” suffices for a Monday morning pleasantry, and heart-to-hearts are rarely necessary in an office setting. For others, work friendships are vital outlets for expression, appropriate or not.
How do we reconcile our need to connect with our professional boundaries? How do you set the rules for office friendships? Are you an over-sharer?
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The UK’s Mirror reports on a study that shows women’s waistlines are six inches bigger today than they were 60 years ago. Why? While your first thought may lean towards diet, the research, performed by service provider Saga, says it’s because women do less housework.
The survey studied 8,000 people in Britain. According to the group, our new-tech, high-end appliances, which save us so much time and help women to step out of traditional roles, are causing us to gain weight. Nevermind that more women are able to have flexible schedules and balance work-family issues. If you want to lose weight, you need to go back 60 years in time.
“When you think of the time that women had to spend cleaning and cooking, life is so much easier now – although obviously that has contributed to the bigger waistlines,” Director general Dr Ros Altmann said.
The survey also took into account that 60 years ago, food rationing was still a standard in 1952. In addition, couples often provided financial support for elderly parents while today many of the over 50 population support themselves.
On the brightside, although waistlines may have grown, life expectancy for a 65-year-old woman has increased to an additional 24 years, and 22 years for men. In addition, perspectives on retirement have also changed. Back in 1952, retirement meant relaxation. Today, it’s a chance to pick up a new passion with about four in 10 adults opting to continue working after retirement.
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It’s a man’s world. A valid statement, which is precisely what makes it so darn controversial. Fair? Absolutely not, but it’s no secret that many societal structures, traditions and practices are stacked in favor of men over women.
But like the godfather of soul, James Brown sang about a man’s world, he made sure to acknowledge that, “it would be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl.” So while it may be a “man’s world,” it’s pretty clear when and where women rule.
Here are 7 ways women come out on top:
Otherwise known as, “show up and get free stuff girls,” ladies night is a nightlife staple men hate to love. Girls get in free, but he has to pay to enter. Then he’ll also pay for a girl’s drink. And although it doesn’t seem fair, he doesn’t complain, because when it’s ladies night he has plenty of options.
It may be her birthday, but Diane Garnick aims to be the one giving the gifts this year. For her birthday, she celebrates by opening up a new firm that seeks to give women the gift of employment. Garnick, the former investment strategist of Invesco Ltd., is striving to improve the Wall Street job pool for women through her new company Clear Alternatives LLC.
According to Bloomberg, this New York based group is an asset management firm, comprised of a staff of three other women. Clear Alternatives plans to be a registered investment adviser that manages pension and endowment funds as well as other assets.
The 45-year-old birthday girl has high goals for her company–by the end of the year she plans to lead a staff of 12 and raise at least $500 million in assets under management. Although in its early stages, Clear Alternatives has already lined up pledges from potential investors.
“One of the biggest challenges is for women to find an organization that’s willing to accept them back after they leave the work force to raise children without taking a cut in compensation and responsibility,” Garnick told Bloomberg. “Our objective is to solve that problem.”
Garnick knows firsthand about the struggles of being a mother and an ambitious working professional. She has two daughters and still managed to work as a derivatives strategist at Merrill Lynch & Co as well as an investment strategist at State Street Corp. She joined Invesco in 2007 and earned her Master of Business Administration last year from the University of Chicago.
There are few businesswomen that make it to the top of the nation’s largest corporations and even fewer women of color at the top. Often times these women fight hard to make a name for themselves but find when they decide to step down, their legacy is lost in the media write up of their failures. Writer and Gen Y Consultant Erica Dhawan cautions young women entering the corporate world to think twice before judging their women mentors. The media’s criticism of these powerful women often ignores the contributions these women have made to a company.
Take for instance Erin Callan, the former chief financial officer at Lehman Brothers right before its fall from the economic crisis. She was promoted too late to be able to save the firm and was publically criticized and ridiculed for her poor performance during her six months in the CFO position.
What the media failed to mention was her hard work and loyalty to the company since 1995, and how she was able to rise quickly to the top while still making time to talk with junior women at the firm to advise them on their career paths.
Then there was Sallie Krawcheck, the former Bank of America exec who supposedly “died like a man” according to Business Insider. Krawcheck had been supposedly forced out of Bank of America but her strong will and assertiveness on Wall Street throughout her career had been forgotten.
Carol Bartz was instrumental in doubling Yahoo’s operational income and margins, but was instead remembered for cursing in the workplace.
When these top businesswomen fall, young women often look down upon them and shake their heads, forgetting how hard these women worked.
Dhawan reminds young women that, “being a woman leader is about speaking and embodying what you believe, not just accommodating to an organization’s culture or pursuing media rewards.”
Have any women executives and leaders helped you along your professional journey? What can you learn from their legacy?
Women may be earning college degrees more than ever, but the pay gap between genders reveals that the average salary doesn’t equal the enthusiasm for education.
The US Census Bureau estimates that across the nation, women earn 78 cents for every dollar men make. And Jennifer Tucker, the vice president at Center for Women’s Policy Studies, tells Penn Live that according to reports that she’s seen, equal incomes may not take place until 2060.
“One would think the disparity would not be so deep as it is,” Tucker said to Penn Live.
The National Committee on Pay Equity reports that younger women have been able to earn more comparable rates to their male counterpoints. It also reveals that the pay gap doesn’t take place upon the start of a woman’s professional career. It differs depending on education level and adds up over time. For a high school graduate a woman may have earned about $700,000 less than a man over the course of her professional career. The gap increases to $1.2 million for women college graduates and goes up to $2 million for those who earned professional degrees.
The reason behind the pay difference can be partially attributed to job choice and family obligations. Educated women tend to take on jobs in fields with less competitive pay such as teachers, nurses and social workers. Men still tend to take on the business executive roles, doctors and lawyers. Women are also more likely to take off time from work to take care of young children, a move that can hinder pay raises.
Lu Zhang, a management professor at Penn State Harrisburg also notes that women are “less likely than men to negotiate aggressively for a raise because they’re more concerned with maintaining good relationships than pushing into a better pay bracket.”
The old fight for gender equality still has some part to play in the discrepancy as well.
“A study a few years ago showed when women and men get out of law school they earn the same amount, but somewhere along the line, in the first five years, the men start earning a lot more and the women never catch up,” Tucker said to Penn Live.
“While a lot has changed for working women, a lot has stayed the same in terms of treatment and opportunities.”
By Charlotte Young
Always dress for the job you want, not the job you have. And ladies, if you’re aiming to one day take your boss’s place at the head of the company, wear black. The Wall Street Journal reports that it’s the color all the top women professionals are wearing.
A Career Builder survey of 561 managers detailed that 51 percent of women senior executives choose to wear black to work. It’s the perfect color for working moms as not only is it professional, but slimming and easy to match. Unfortunately for moms with babies or small children, black also reveals stains from baby spit up and other messes. Black is also not the best option for those working in hotter climates.
Contrary to women, the survey revealed that 41 percent of male executives chose a traditional blue suit to work, generally opting for a nice navy color.
In addition to the color choices, if they can help it, most executives seemed to dislike wearing suits. 63 percent of top professionals are also choosing to wear business casual to the office. In some more liberal offices, executives even choose to throw on a pair of jeans or shorts for a typical day of work.
When lunch time rolls around, 57 percent of women tend to bring their lunch to work compared to 36 percent of men. Men are also more likely to order fast food.
Big powered execs like big powered cars. SUV’s rank at the top of the list for senior executives with 27 percent opting for this vehicle.
By Charlotte Young
It’s no secret that being a mom and a professional woman is a hard task and we give a round of applause to all those hardworking mamas. As the year wraps up, workingmother.com provides us with the most powerful moms of 2011. To make the list, women must have at least one child who is 18 year old or younger, live in the US and be changing the game in their field.
Where would the list be without Michelle Obama? Workingmother.com lists her as the most powerful mom in Washington. The first lady is mother to Malia, 13 and Sasha, 10. A graduate of Princeton and Harvard, Obama is a role model for moms around the nation. In her position she has committed herself to decrease childhood obesity and launched the “Let’s Move” campaign.
The most powerful mom in science, technology, engineering and math is none other than Ursula Burns. This hardworking sister is the chairman and CEO of Xerox. Burns has two children, Malcom, 21, and Melissa 17. Burns has worked at Xerox from the bottom up, starting as an intern in 1980. In 2009, she became the first African American woman CEO to lead a S&P 100 Company and the first woman to succeed another woman as a S&P company head. Burns groundbreaking work doesn’t stop with her color or gender. In 2010, she increased Xerox’s profits by 25 percent and closed the company’s biggest deal by leading its acquisition of Affiliated Computer Services for $6.4 billion. Raised by a single mother in a New York housing project, Burns went on to earn a Mechanical Engineering degree at New York University and a Masters of Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University.
Also on the list are Alexis Maybank and Alexandra Wilkis, co-founders of Gilt Groupe and the most powerful mom entrepreneurs. Both are new moms to one year old sons. The Harvard educated duo took the online shopping market by storm with the launch of Gilt Groupe in 2007. Gilt Groupe features “flash” sales, clothing and accessories for women, men and children at a limited time discounted rate. With their innovative idea, Maybank and Wilkis have created a $1 billion company.
TV journalist Ann Curry is listed as the most powerful TV journalist mom. With two children, McKenzie, 18, and Walker, 16, Curry has maintained her position as co-anchor of The Today Show on NBC. Beginning in 1991, she is the show’s longest serving new anchor.
Tina Fey is listed as the most powerful mom in Pop Culture. The actress/comedian/writer/producer is mom to six-year-old Alice and four-month-old Penelope. Known for her roles on Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock, Fey has won seven Emmys, three Golden Globe Awards and four Screen Actors Guild Awards.
For centuries American black women haven’t had the luxury of staying at home and raising their children. First there was slavery where black women were so preoccupied with raising other people’s children their own often went neglected. Then there was/is institutional racism that almost requires a two person income to support a family. So we worked.
Then as things began to change and women gained equal footing in educational institutions and in the workplace, black women grinded to make a place for themselves in the corporate world. We worked.
Now that society and opportunities have changed can black women devote their go-get-em attitude to staying home and raising their children?
See how a former journalist-turned stay at home made this transition over at Black Voices.
Would you consider becoming a stay at home if you could afford it financially?