Watch out, Mitt. Barbie has stepped onto the campaign trail and will officially announce her bid for President on Thursday.
The I Can Be…President Barbie doll by manufacturer Mattel and in partnership with The White House Project, a nonpartisan nonprofit that aims to involve more women in politics, will be in mass distribution. Presale begins tomorrow, but Mattel expects it to hit shelves everywhere in August in four different races: Caucasian, Hispanic, African-American and Asian.
Girl Scouting Works: The Alumnae Impact Study is national research report investigating the effects of Girl Scouting on its alumnae population of women. The study was designed to explore questions such as:
Lorna Duphiey Edmundson, Ed.D., President Emerita of Wilson College, is recognized as an effective leader, fundraiser, and facilitator of sustainable growth and change in higher education. Dr. Edmundson helps educational institutions build on their distinctions; strengthen finances and planning; create ethnic, racial and gender equity; encourage women and students of color to pursue the sciences; diversify and internationalize campuses; and forge international partnerships. She served as President of Wilson College from 2001-2011 and has held leadership roles at Columbia University, the American University of Paris, Marymount College, Trinity College, and Colby Sawyer College. Dr. Edmundson was honored with the Athena International Leadership Award, an Honorary Degree from Rhode Island College, and an Honorary, Lifetime Membership in Rotary International. She is featured among Asian and U.S. leaders in Women at the Top, by Cheung and Halpern.
In the next five years, STEM jobs are projected to grow twice as quickly as jobs in all other fields according to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics. While all jobs are expected to grow by 10.4 percent, STEM jobs are expected to increase by 21.4 percent. Similarly, 80 percent of jobs in the next decade will require technical skills.
By this measure, future STEM jobs represent a huge opportunity to today's students. But to put these numbers into perspective, of the 3.8 million ninth graders in the U.S., only 233,000 end up choosing a STEM degree in college, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. This means only 6 percent of ninth graders will become STEM graduates. And of these graduates, women will be even more underrepresented in most STEM fields.
These are alarming statistics. How do we get more young boys and girls to be interested in STEM-related fields? It isn't an easy task. Schools do not always adequately prepare students for these rigorous subjects, and college programs are designed to weed out the less persistent. Nationally, only 41 percent of initial White and Asian American STEM majors who begin a degree in STEM-related fields complete their degree in less than six years.
In addition, societal pressures continue to loom over girls who might otherwise consider the STEM fields. A couple of years ago, I met amazing parents, both of whom had a background in engineering and hoped their 10 year-old daughter would follow in their footsteps. They encouraged her to take an after school science/robotics program. When she got there, she found she was outnumbered 6:1 by boys in the class. As the only girl, she came home crying much of the time because she was teased and told that geeky girls are not welcome in the boys' club. Ironically, by the time young adults are entering college programs in STEM fields, many complain about the lack of gender diversity.
"Redefining the impact and perception of women leaders is something I have focused on throughout my career," says Davia Temin, CEO of reputation and crisis management consultancy Temin and Company.
"Helping girls and women realize their leadership potential is why I became so heavily involved in organizations such as Girls Scouts of the USA and the White House Project. I wanted to help develop the pipeline of female leadership in this country, from Girl Scout Daisies and Brownies all the way up to the U.S. Presidency," she says. "And, making a difference in the U.S. also has an impact globally, especially in countries where women's leadership is more challenged by societal expectations."
Ms. Temin is among the "30 Outstanding Women" being celebrated by the National Council for Research on Women for their efforts in advancing women's issues, promoting women's leadership and changing the way women and girls are viewed globally. Nominated by their peers for their achievements, the honorees will be recognized at this year's Making a Difference for Women Awards Dinner on March 6th in New York City, where the NCRW will also be commemorating its 30th anniversary.
GOP women are poised for gains in Congress in 2012, either by leaps or baby steps. ShePAC is optimistic, despite Jean Schmidt's March 6 upset in Ohio. Judy Biggert's race to keep her seat in Illinois is a lynchpin race.
The first primary of the season, on March 6 in Ohio, was a disappointment for GOP-women-spotting. Incumbent Rep. Jean Schmidt the lost.
Suzanne Terrell, co-chair of ShePAC, a new super PAC supporting Republican women, isn't fazed. "I think there is a good chance that we'll elect four new women [to the Senate]. I think that we will be electing new women to the House."
Those Senate hopefuls, Terrell says, are Linda Lingle of Hawaii, Heather Wilson from New Mexico, Sarah Steelman from Missouri and Deb Fischer from Nebraska.
If ShePAC meets its $25 million fundraising target, it could play a major role in influencing many of these elections.
Super PACs can raise unlimited sums to run political ads so long as they do not "coordinate" with candidates.
But ShePAC faces the formidable and unpredictable effects of other Super PACs.
The Campaign for Primary Accountability, for instance, which runs ads against incumbents, has been credited with knocking Schmidt out of her seat. [...]