On a sunny afternoon in late March, before an audience of 1,200 students at the Tec de Monterrey’s satellite campus just outside of Mexico City, Josefina Vazquez Mota, the first female presidential candidate in the country’s history, talked about her campaign. “Michelle Bachelet [the former president of Chile] gave me some great advice, she said ‘never put on a mustache to govern, govern as a woman.’”
Since Lord Davies’ independent review of women on boards a year ago (February 2011), the impetus to seek out female talent for the boardroom has never been greater. FTSE 100 companies appointed 26 women to their boards in the first eight months of 2011, a jump by 227% from the whole of 2010. Of these 26 appointments, 31% were women with financial services backgrounds, i.e. the most in-demand demographic.
This paper considers why women from the world of alternative investments could be appropriate for publicly quoted corporate boards. Working with senior members of 100 Women in Hedge Funds, we have conducted a study into the potential among women in alternatives for board. Of the 100 participants, 85% felt they were ready for a corporate board role within five years or less and 58% within two years or less.
It's just 37 words, 37 plain and grammatically clunky words hiding inside a large education bill, 37 words that didn't seem to be a big deal at the time, 37 words that would change everything:
"No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."
Those are the words of Title IX, a section of the Education Amendments signed into law by President Richard M. Nixon on June 23, 1972. Not exactly "We hold these truths to be self-evident ... " but, then again, the Founding Fathers knew they were on to something back in 1776.
The Founding Mothers of Title IX were just looking for a more level playing field in academics. "We had no idea," says Bernice "Bunny" Sandler, who helped draft the legislation and now works as a senior scholar for the Women's Research and Education Institute in Washington, D.C. "We had no idea how bad the situation really was -- we didn't even use the word sex discrimination back then -- and we certainly had no sense of the revolution we were about to start."
You'll notice that not one of those 37 words is "athletics" or "sports," the very words that have come to be associated with Title IX. "The only thought I gave to sports when the bill was passed," Sandler says, "was, Oh, maybe now when a school holds its field day, there will be more activities for the girls."
They ended up having much more than a field day. The number of girls playing high school sports jumped from 294,015 in 1971-72 to 3,172,637 in 2009-10, an increase of 1079 percent. (The number of male high school athletes grew from 3,666,917 to 4,455,740 during that same period, an increase of 22 percent.) The number of women playing varsity sports in college rose from 29,972 in 1971-72 to 186,460 in 2009-10, a 622 percent increase that still leaves them behind the total of NCAA male athletes, whose population grew from 170,384 to 249,307 (46 percent) in that time frame.
Of course, the true significance of Title IX has been the accompanying increase in opportunities for women off the field -- a level of female empowerment so strong that Sandler calls the law "the most important step for gender equality since the 19th Amendment gave us the right to vote."
PolitiFact Ohio decided to focus on this simple statement about the economic plight of women.
Kaptur’s communications director Steve Fought provided PolitiFact Ohio with U.S. Census data and a National Women’s Law Center report to back up his boss’s statement.
The numbers indeed show that the poverty rate for women in the United States was 14.5 percent in 2010, which was 3.3 percentage points higher than for men.
Women also fared worse when comparisons were made within ethnic groups, such as white (non-Hispanic), black, Hispanic, Asian and native American. For instance, slightly more than 25 percent of all African-American women were in poverty in 2010, compared with 19.1 percent for African-American men.
Over the past 14 years, the number of women-owned businesses has grown at a rate that exceeds the national average—one and a half times the national average to be exact. The release of the latest business statistics in December 2010 by the U.S. Census Bureau allows for an updated analysis of trends. This new investigation reveals a slowdown in this growth of the number of women-owned businesses as well as a lag in employment and revenue growth—but not where you might think. New statistics on firm size, sales, revenue and employment trends can help inform future business planning, public policy development and entrepreneurial support activities. The State of Women-Owned Businesses Report also highlights some of the issues preventing women-owned businesses from reaching their full potential.
Women have moved into top jobs at some of America's biggest and most recognized corporations including IBM, Pepsico and Archer Daniels Midland. But in their shadows, at the second tier of big U.S. companies, it's a different story.
For perhaps the first time in recent history, male reproductive health is at the forefront of political debate.
In at least six states, lawmakers — all women and all Democrats — have proposed bills or amendments in the last few weeks that aim to regulate a man's access to reproductive health care. It's their way of responding to the ongoing debate around contraception and abortion, said Jennifer Lawless, director of the Women & Politics Institute at American University.
Some would prohibit men from getting vasectomies, such as Georgia's House Bill 1116, which states:
"Thousands of children are deprived of birth in this state every year because of the lack of state regulation over vasectomies."
Others, like an amendment proposed by Oklahoma State Sen. Constance Johnson, restrict where a man can ejaculate, effectively outlawing all manner of sexual acts. The amendment says:
"Any action in which a man ejaculates or otherwise deposits semen anywhere but in a woman's vagina shall be interpreted and construed as an action against an unborn child."
And Ohio State Sen. Nina Turner recently put forward legislation that would require men seeking drugs like Viagra to first get a cardiac stress test to ensure their heart is ready for sexual activity. Oh, and they would also have to obtain certification from one of their recent sexual partners that they are indeed experiencing problems with erectile dysfunction. And they would be required to see a sex therapist before getting a prescription.
"The physician shall ensure that the sessions include information on nonpharmaceutical treatments for erectile dysfunction, including sexual counseling and resources for patients to pursue celibacy as a viable lifestyle choice."
Politicians and employers recognise that gender should be no barrier to career progression. Yet women continue to be under-represented at senior levels across the UK, particularly in the banking sector.
Research by the Institute of Leadership & Management, sponsored by RBS, investigates why so few women are promoted to senior management positions in banking and identifies the challenges they face. The report also propose solutions for the future.
Last week at a stellar gathering of leaders from business, philanthropy, government, and non-profits, the National Council for Research on Women kicked off 30 years of transforming the way the world looks at women and girls at its annual Making a Difference for Women Awards Dinner.
The Council will honor: Beth Brooke of Ernst & Young; Abigail Disney, Pamela Hogan, and Gini Retiker of theWomen, War & Peace series on PBS; Anita Hill of Brandeis University; and Soledad O’Brien of CNN at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City.
“Our honorees reflect the depth and breadth of our network of researchers, policy specialists, and advocates across business, communication, academia, and the arts. We will not only celebrate all that we’ve accomplished but also focus on all that still needs to be done to improve women’s economic security and advance a critical mass of women into leadership positions by 2015,” said Linda Basch, PhD, President of NCRW.
The Council also recognized 30 outstanding leaders for their contributions to changing the way the world looks at women. Immediately preceding the Awards Dinner, the Council will presented expert roundtable: Women 2012: Taking a Worldwide Reading at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (RSVP details at www.ncrw.org) which featured top experts from the World Bank, the World Economic Forum, the White House Domestic Policy Council, as well as the Harvard Kennedy School.
Among those who were honored were two women of Filipino descent – Analisa Balares, CEO of Womensphere and Stephanie Mehta, Executive Editor of Fortune Magazine.
Since 1999, the annual Female FTSE benchmarking report has provided a regular measure of the number of women executive directors on the corporate boards of the UK's top 100 companies.
The Female FTSE Index is announced each year in November, and attracts considerable press attention in the UK and internationally. The study was hosted at the Chancellor of the Exchequer's offices at No. 11 Downing Street in 2004. Reports are available from 2001 onwards. The Index is incorporated in the Reports.