Hundreds of thousands of women at risk for irregular heart rhythms have a small, battery-powered gadget embedded in their chests. The implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) can be a lifesaver, shocking a dangerously fast heartbeat back to normal. Yet the actual benefit to women is uncertain, because ICDs were approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) based on clinical trials made up mostly of men. That's typical of testing of many high-risk devices, according to medical reports. And even in the clinical device trials that do include women, generally the outcomes aren't reported by sex.
The result is a critical gap in the data doctors rely on when making decisions about a treatment's benefits and risks for women. It can also pose troubling dilemmas later on, said cardiologist Rita F. Redberg, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. That was the case in 2009, when data pooled from clinical trials showed that ICDs were no better than drugs at reducing a woman's risk of death.
"The time to collect data in both sexes is before FDA approval," said Redberg. "Especially with implanted devices, where there's no going back."
Only recently has the FDA proposed guidelines to improve the representation of women in clinical device trials. Intended for the medical device industry, which sponsors most of the research submitted for review, the guidelines are expected to become final by year's end. Similar standards for drug testing were put in place some 20 years ago, following a long period during which women of childbearing age were explicitly excluded from most studies.
In practice, the vast majority of medical devices reviewed by the FDA are cleared for use without human testing if they are deemed "substantially equivalent" to devices already on the market. Only 1 percent of devices undergo rigorous review and clinical trials before they can be marketed.
Even so, the new guidelines for device trials are an important advance, experts say. The proposed FDA guidelines are nonbinding, however, and some experts who favor the new recommendations are skeptical that the medical device industry will comply.
"Industry is always most attentive to the bottom line," said Christine Carter, vice president for scientific affairs at the Society for Women's Health Research (SWHR) in Washington. "So companies will continue to lament that trials are expensive and that recruiting more women is a problem." Device makers will change their study protocols just enough to meet FDA requirements, Carter predicted, but protocols will be "less than ideal for those of us concerned with sex differences and women's health."
A Sunday New York Times article by David Streitfeld has the feminist and tech worlds up in arms. Reporting on a sexual harassment suit filed by a junior partner in a venture capital firm, Streitfeld begins by proclaiming that “MEN invented the Internet” (those CAPS are his). I came across Streitfeld’s article after a friend suggested I check out tech journalist Xeni Jardin’s Twitter feed. Jardin’sresponse to Streitfeld:
WTF: “MEN invented the internet.” I’m sorry, did NYT just breeze past half a century of women in computer technology?
Herein lies the issue: Though Streitfeld primarily covers Ellen Pao’s lawsuit, he undermines his piece by leading with an emphatic and incorrect statement about men as sole inventors of the Internet. I’m not certain if Streitfeld was being tongue-in-cheek or if he simply has a narrow view of Internet history. But his article does incite, albeit unintentionally, necessary dialogue about the roles women–and racial and ethnic minorities–have played in Internet innovation. While some apparently assume that men alone developed the Internet, a quick glance at the Internet Hall of Fame’s 2012 inaugural inductees and the Early Internet Leaders list prove otherwise. (I also recommend reading History of the Internet).
In reality, the genesis of the Internet was a collaborative effort. It took decades of developments in computer programming and network technology. We can’t let the current cult of tech fandom around “white” men–such as Steve Jobs, whom Streitfeld name checks–obscure the women and the racial and ethnic minorities from around the world who contributed to the birth of the Internet.
Reshaping a time-worn narrative isn't easy. Social revolutions rarely are, especially when you're a woman trying to break into the boys' club that is Silicon Valley.
But an emerging class of early-stage tech start-up executives is helping dispel the notion that there isn't a leading role for them in the male-dominated valley.
Company founders and leaders are coming out of Google, Salesforce.com and elsewhere for the excitement of shaping a young business.
The emergence of young female tech founders and executives reflects sweeping change in the worlds of start-up companies and angel funding, where wealthy investors give money in return for a stake in a company. It underscores the enormous purchasing prowess of women online that is transforming the Web economy. As more consumers reach for their smartphones and tablets to shop and communicate, there is a pressing need for commerce sites that cater to women, who control 70% of online purchases worldwide, according to Lisa Stone, CEO of BlogHer, a digital media company.
Many of these inroads are being made by female-led start-ups that are fueling innovation and the digital economy. Women will influence the purchase of $15 trillion in goods by 2014, according to Boston Consulting Group.
Click through the slideshow for a firm-by-firm breakdown of the numbers.
The FEM Study: METHODOLOGY
All the data for assets under management comes from the National Venture Capital Association, which sent us their latest list from Thomson Reuters, current as of Q1 2012. The list included private equity firms that also do venture capital investing, which we attempted to identify and omit. However, some may still be included in the final list of 71 firms.*
Next, we went to each firm’s website and tallied up the number of partners and managing directors, noting how many were women. Obviously, the structure is different at different firms. For consistency, and to give firms the greatest benefit of the doubt, we counted anyone as a partner who had “partner” in his or her title, including venture partners, founding partners, administrative partners and other variations. We also included managing directors, who are senior partners. We did not include vice presidents, principals or associates. When partner titles were unlisted or ambiguous, we called and asked for the numbers.
We then calculated, for each firm on the list, the percentage of partners who are female. Rather than call it POPWAF, we decided to call this number the Female Equality Metric, or FEM. (At first we called it the Kleiner number, but decided to reserve that term for “number of discrimination lawsuits filed.”)
A firm with all male partners has a FEM of zero. A firm with all female partners (LOL, JK) would have a FEM of 100. If you think gender diversity is important, a low FEM is bad and a high FEM is good. If you think women should stay at the receptionist’s desk and out of the corner offices, a low FEM is good and a high FEM is bad. And if you think Silicon Valley is a meritocracy, as does Greg McAdoo of Sequoia Capital, which coincidentally has zero women partners, then you’ll probably dismiss these numbers as meaningless.
But page through this list of venture capital’s heavyweights, and it’s striking to see how few women have made it to the upper ranks. Also striking was the perfect 100 POFR, or percentage of female receptionists, at the 26 VC firms we called. We paged through team page after team page—the staff at a venture capital firm is almost universally called the “team”—where men’s faces lined the top rows and women’s faces appeared further down, if anywhere. “We have female administrative assistants,” explained one woman who picked up the phone, when asked whether any of the partners and managing directors were women.
We’ve seen this movie before and the ending still stinks.
The sex-discrimination lawsuit by Ellen Pao against the Silicon Valley venture-capital firmKleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers may be the gender and workplace story of the moment. But let’s get one thing straight: This doesn’t describe anything that’s new. It seems to happen routinely. Just yesterday, at a hearing in London, a lawyer for Latifa Bouabdillah, a former Deutsche Bank AG director, said the woman’s male colleagues were paid bonuses “double or triple that of the claimant” for the same work.
Swap out Pao for Pamela Martens, who led the class-action “Boom-Boom Room” lawsuit against Smith Barney in the 1990s, or Allison Schieffelin, who sued Morgan Stanley in 2001, or Carla Ingraham, who sued UBS AG in 2009, and you wind up with some combination of the same old complaints: coworker come-ons, power meetings for guys only, higher pay for men and retaliation against the uppity women who have the nerve to complain.
In the venture-capital world, where you get more than the usual share of people who are prone to thinking their every experience is novel, there is shock over news that a highly qualified woman has filed a suit against a celebrity firm. But sex discrimination isn’t the iPad, folks. It’s more like the electric typewriter.
The late Tuesday assault was the last straw for many. Protesters and activists met Wednesday to organize a campaign to prevent sexual harassment in the square. They recognize it is part of a bigger social problem that has largely gone unpunished in Egypt. But the phenomenon is trampling on their dream of creating in Tahrir a micro-model of a state that respects civil liberties and civic responsibility, which they had hoped would emerge after Mubarak's ouster.
'It shouldn't be happening' "Enough is enough," said Abdel-Fatah Mahmoud, a 22-year-old engineering student, who met Wednesday with friends to organize patrols of the square in an effort to deter attacks against women. "It has gone overboard. No matter what is behind this, it is unacceptable. It shouldn't be happening on our streets let alone Tahrir."
No official numbers exist for attacks on women in the square because police do not go near the area, and women rarely report such incidents. But activists and protesters have reported a number of particularly violent assaults on women in the past week. Many suspect such assaults are organized by opponents of the protests to weaken the spirit of the protesters and drive people away.
Here are America's top women financial advisors, as identified by Barron's. The ranking reflects the volume of assets overseen by the advisors and their teams, revenues generated for the firms and the quality of the advisors' practices. The scoring system assigns a top score of 100 and rates the rest by comparing them with the top-ranked advisor. A ranking of "N" indicates the advisor was not ranked in the specified year.
Special Features » Infographics » Gender Pay Gap Find Out Exactly What YOU Should Be Paid Get a precise salary range for your exact position. Job Title
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Do Men Really Earn More Than Women? [infographic]
inShare 29 Yes, men do earn more than women on average, but not that much more when they work the same job and they have similar experience and abilities. Take a look at what PayScale has discovered about the gender pay gap.
See the methodology for the infographic below.
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Difference in Annual Pay: To compare male and female pay on a level playing field, we found the median pay for all men in a given job, as well as breakdowns of important compensable factors such as years of experience, location, education level, etc. Then, using PayScale's proprietary MarketMatch™ Algorithm, we determined what the female median pay would be using the exact same blend of compensable factors as our control male group.
What we created was an apples-to-apples comparison of what men and women make, all other factors held equal, according to actual market data. For example, the male software developer median, annual salary is $65,700, which is 4 percent more than the median female value of $63,300.
MEN invented the Internet. And not just any men. Men with pocket protectors. Men who idolized Mr. Spock and cried when Steve Jobs died. Nerds. Geeks. Give them their due. Without men, we would never know what our friends were doing five minutes ago.
You guys, ladies suck at technology and the New York Times is ON IT.