You’ve probably heard that men are paid more than women are paid over their lifetimes. But what does that mean? Are women paid less because they choose lower-paying jobs? Is it because more women work part time than men do? Or is it because women have more caregiving responsibilities? And what, exactly, does gender bias have to do with paychecks?
AAUW’s The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap succinctly addresses these issues by going beyond the widely reported 80 percent statistic. The report explains the pay gap in the United States; how it affects women of all ages, races, and education levels; and what you can do to close it. In 2016, for the fifth anniversary of The Simple Truth, we updated the report with information on disability status, sexual orientation, and gender identity.Read More
From the Freakonomics Radio Podcast:
The gist: discrimination can’t explain why women earn so much less than men. If only it were that easy.Read More
It’s no secret that, on average, women – even those with equivalent education and experience – typically earn less than men. The ratio of the average (mean) earnings of female workers (full- time, full-year, 25 to 69 years old) to that of their male counterparts was 0.72 in 2010. The pay ratio of median earners (those at the 50th percentile) for the same groups was 0.78. But that is not the whole story.Read More
When men and women finish school and start working, they’re paid pretty much equally. But a gender pay gap soon appears, and it grows significantly over the next two decades.
So what changes? The answer can be found by looking at when the pay gap widens most sharply. It’s the late 20s to mid-30s, according to two new studies — in other words, when many women have children. Unmarried women without children continue to earn closer to what men doRead More
Two decades ago, people began using the “glass ceiling” catchphrase to describe organizations’ failure to promote women into top leadership roles. Eagly and Carli, of Northwestern University and Wellesley College, argue in this article (based on a forthcoming book from Harvard Business School Press) that the metaphor has outlived its usefulness. In fact, it leads managers to overlook interventions that would attack the problem at its roots, wherever it occurs. A labyrinth is a more fitting image to help organizations understand and address the obstacles to women’s progress.
Rather than depicting just one absolute barrier at the penultimate stage of a distinguished career, a labyrinth conveys the complexity and variety of challenges that can appear along the way. Passage through a labyrinth requires persistence, awareness of one’s progress, and a careful analysis of the puzzles that lie ahead. Routes to the center exist but are full of twists and turns, both expected and unexpected.
Vestiges of prejudice against women, issues of leadership style and authenticity, and family responsibilities are just a few of the challenges. For instance, married mothers now devote even more time to primary child care per week than they did in earlier generations (12.9 hours of close interaction versus 10.6), despite the fact that fathers, too, put in a lot more hours than they used to (6.5 versus 2.6). Pressures for intensive parenting and the increasing demands of most high-level careers have left women with very little time to socialize with colleagues and build professional networks—that is, to accumulate the social capital that is essential to managers who want to move up.
The remedies proposed—such as changing the long-hours culture, using open-recruitment tools, and preparing women for line management with appropriately demanding assignments—are wide ranging, but together they have a chance of achieving leadership equity in our time.Read More
Though companies now invest heavily in mentoring and developing their best female talent, all that attention doesn’t translate into promotions. A Catalyst survey of over 4,000 high potentials shows that more women than men have mentors—yet women are paid $4,600 less in their first post-MBA jobs, hold lower-level positions, and feel less career satisfaction.
To better understand why, the authors conducted in-depth interviews with 40 participants in a mentoring program at a large multinational. All mentoring is not created equal, they discovered. Only sponsorship involves advocacy for advancement. The interviews and survey alike indicate that, compared with their male peers, high-potential women are overmentored, undersponsored, and not advancing in their organizations. Without sponsorship, women not only are less likely than men to be appointed to top roles but may also be more reluctant to go for them.
Organizations such as Deutsche Bank, Unilever, Sodexo, and IBM Europe have established sponsorship programs to facilitate the promotion of high-potential women. Programs that get results clarify and communicate their goals, match sponsors and mentees on the basis of those goals, coordinate corporate and regional efforts, train sponsors, and hold those sponsors accountable.Read More
New research by LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Co. yields some disturbing findings about women's prospects for advancement in the workplace.
Though women and men say they want to be promoted in about equal numbers (75% and 78% respectively), women are significantly less likely to make it to the next tier in their organization.Read More
The Council of Economic Advisers, June 2014
The composition of the workforce has drastically changed over the last half-century. Almost half of the workforce is now women, married couples are increasingly sharing childcare responsibilities, and people are living—and working—longer than in the past. Given the growing number of dual-earner families, today’s workers are trying to balance work, childcare, and eldercare, as well as other responsibilities. In particular, families increasingly need to take time off around the birth or adoption of a child, for their own medical needs, or when a family member becomes ill. This evolving need for caregiving, whether for self or family, requires the ability to take time off from work. Formal sick leave policies allow workers to take a leave, usually for a short period, to recover from an illness, attend a doctor’s appointment, or care for sick family members. Formal family leave policies—both maternity leave and paternity leave—allow recent mothers and fathers to take an extended absence from work while guaranteeing that they can return to their job and continue progressing in their careers.
In this groundbreaking comprehensive analysis, based on more than twenty-five years of in-depth surveys involving 100,000 men and women across dozens of Fortune 500 companies, Barbara Annis and Keith Merron provide a deeper understanding of the multiplicity of forces that have combined to create and perpetuate gender inequality. Gender Intelligence exposes common false assumptions that prevent men and women from successfully performing together at work—myths exacerbated by worn-out theories of gender blindness and sameness thinking. It show how a small but growing number of courageous, leading-edge companies have broken through the barriers to successfully advance women, making the remarkable transformation from compliance to choice—from pressure to preference—and show how it can be done in any business.Read More
Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant on Why Women Stay Quiet at Work - Many articles have discussed the tightrope phenomenon; where women are reserved to talk at meeting or assert ideas as they are often interrupted or ignored only to have male counterparts reiterate their thoughts and received credit. Sheryl and Adam also provide real solutions to the issue and examples that have worked for others in similar situations.
Adam Grant and Sheryl Sandberg on Discrimination at Work - Outing Implicit Bias is not enough. Studies have indicated that outing implicit bias without sending iterating that it is not acceptable and needs to change has negative or no impact on changing work culture and issues related to bias. The impact occurs when implicit bias discussions are followed by the message that it is not tolerable and actionable measures are put in place to speak out when it occurs and have the discussion.
by Glenn Llopis, for Forbes
Based on his own personal experience growing up in a matriarchal family, Glenn highlights the key Leadership Traits that women naturally possess and how these can be better leveraged to serve women in the workplace. He also references a previous post that discusses how women are natural leaders given their multiple roles and responsibilities that make them "the masters of opportunity management" in the workplace.
"The best women leaders I know have circular vision that enables them to be well-rounded people. For example, they have their finger on the pulse of the culture and can talk to you about the latest pop-culture news – but then easily switch gears to give you their perspective on what is taking place on Wall Street. Women leaders seeking a chance to be significant see the world through a lens of opportunity; they are especially in search of those opportunities previously unseen (perhaps this is why the women I know enjoy a good treasure hunt)."
by Judith Warner, The New York Times
This is an interesting follow up article to"The Opt Out Revolution" (2000) , an article about successful professional women who decided to "opt-out" to exercise one's right to decide (and afford) to become a stay-at-home parent. This article candidly looks at their lives ten years later examines where these women are now and the outcomes of their original decision to leave the workforce.Read More
by Debora L. Spar, The Chronicle Review
Debora provides insights on why "Women need to realize that having it all means giving something up—choosing which piece of the perfect picture to relinquish, or rework, or delay." ..."No man can do that, either; no human can. Yet women are repeatedly berating themselves for failing at this kind of balancing act, and (quietly, invidiously) berating others when something inevitably slips."Read More
Why practice gender judo if women are supposed to lean in and just ask for what they want? My interviews with 127 highly successful women show that more straightforward strategies can backfire. While plenty of glass ceilings have been shattered, most good jobs — from senator to scientist, comic to chief executive — are still seen as requiring what have traditionally been perceived as masculine qualities. Lawyers are aggressive; chief executives are decisive; techies are nerds; comics are obsessed with sex. So women have to behave in “masculine” ways to be seen as competent.
One problem: Women are still expected to be feminine.Read More
by Sylvia Ann Hewlett, via Linked In (10/18/13)
Sponsorship is a necessarily close relationship. Getting to know each other well enough to establish trust demands regular one-on-one encounters, possibly over the phone but more typically in person, sometimes at work but often outside of it. But how close is too close?
by Claire Cain Miller, NY Times September 8, 2014
"The data about the motherhood penalty and the fatherhood bonus present a clear-cut look at American culture’s ambiguous feelings about gender and work. Even in the age of “Lean In,” when women with children run Fortune 500 companies and head the Federal Reserve, traditional notions about fathers as breadwinners and mothers as caregivers remain deeply ingrained. Employers, it seems, have not yet caught up to the fact that women can be both mothers and valuable employees."Read More
A collaboration between Equity by Design and AIA Young Architects Forum featuring articles by Equity by Design Symposium attendees. Key articles feature the Equity in Architecture Survey findings and posts that have been featured in the blog section of this website.