February 11, 2009 posted by admin According to a recent report by the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the United States ranks 69th in the world in female representation in our national legislature (just below Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, which tied for 68th). And the situation isn’t improving quickly; it’s been estimated that if we continue adding women in Congress at the current rate, we will reach parity in about 500 years. Women are grossly underrepresented not only in politics but in business; while we make up 51.3% of the population, but we account for only 15.7% of Fortune 500 corporate officers and 2% of Fortune 500 CEOs. This is not only a flagrant waste of brainpower, it’s dangerous; a number of people have made the observation that a higher proportion of women on Wall Street might well have prevented the economic meltdown we’re all suffering from. In other words, we have a leadership problem in this country,
January 23, 2009 posted by Shyama Venkateswar, Kyla Bender-Baird, and Lisa Rast The room was filled to capacity at Demos’ latest panel for their Women’s Leadership Initiative. Women (and a few men) from all sectors joined together to discuss gender equality as an investment concept. Anne Black from Goldman Sachs discussed their 10,000 Women initiative. The driving idea behind this timely initiative is that investing in women’s business skills is the fastest way to grow GDP. Joe Keefe from Pax World Mutual Fund, which recently took over Pax’s Women’s Equity Fund, argued that gender equality should be framed as an investment imperative, not a moral one. In fact, gender equality helps to grow the bottom line. Finally, Ritu Sharma, co-founder of Women Thrive Worldwide, demonstrated the importance of building crucial infrastructure to aid women across the globe, who otherwise spend much of their day gathering water and fuel, and caregiving.
Jacki Zehner, a former partner at Goldman Sachs and a dear and longtime friend of the Council's, has a powerful post up right now at Huffington Post, titled "Why Are Goldman's Women Invisible (Asks a Former Goldman Sachs Partner)." The piece takes Goldman to task for its under-representation of women in leadership. I urge you to comment on the post, and to read Jacki's blog, PursePundit, for the real deal on women in the financial sector. Jacki bravely tells it like it is! The Council is currently working on a paper with Jacki focused on the severe underrepresentation of women in fund management positions that