Wherever women are vastly underrepresented--whether in churches, high finance, or the highest levels of science--the argument for opening male preserves to women should not be based in dubious notions of female ethical superiority.
The empowerment of women is, above all, a matter both of common sense and justice. It is wrong to deny people power and opportunity because of their sex. And it is simply stupid to underutilize women's capacities. As to whether more women in power would reform Wall Street or the Catholic Church, we would have to wait and see. I think there will be many more women heads of Fortune 500 companies before we see the Catholic Church agree to a female priesthood.
Three women are flying aboard space shuttle Discovery. With another female astronaut awaiting them at the International Space Station, that makes for a record-setting four women in space at the same time.
A report on the underrepresentation of women in science and math by the American Association of University Women, to be released Monday, found that although women have made gains, stereotypes and cultural biases still impede their success.
The report found ample evidence of continuing cultural bias. One study of postdoctoral applicants, for example, found that women had to publish 3 more papers in prestigious journals, or 20 more in less-known publications, to be judged as productive as male applicants.
The report also found that girls have less confidence in their math abilities than boys with equivalent achievement levels. Because most people choose careers where they believe they can do well, the report said, girls’ lesser belief in their skills may partly explain why fewer young women go into scientific careers. Both the university women’s report and the Bayer survey stress the need for more female mentors and role models.
But even as women earn a growing share of the doctorates in the STEM fields, the university women’s report found, they do not show up, a decade later, in a proportionate number of tenured faculty positions.
ABC announced yesterday that Christiane Amanpour will be the new anchor of the Sunday morning political talk show This Week. In August, Amanpour will join Candy Crowley, the new host of State of the Union as the only women currently anchoring Sunday political shows. Amanpour will be replacing George Stephanopoulos, who left This Week to become the anchor of Good Morning America in December 2009. Amanpour will also contribute to other ABC news programming and will anchor primetime documentaries for the network.