From Connecticut Public Radio:
Women make up just under half of the American workforce, but for the first time in US history, they’re poised to surpass the 50% mark in the next few months.
The last 50 years have represented an educational and professional revolution for women. Females now earn 60% of the university degrees being earned at American universities. But hurdles for women at work remain—even for women at the top of their fields. In board rooms across the country, fewer than 13% of board members are women. And a female CEO is still only compensated at 85% of what her male counterpart earns.
Awareness Rises, but Women Still Lag in Pay NY Times, March 8, 2010
The findings, which were timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, follow the announcement Friday by the European Union of an initiative aimed at significantly narrowing the union’s average 18 percent gender wage gap, which has changed little in the past 15 years.
A study by the 27-member union last year estimated that closing the wage gap could lead to a potential increase of 15 percent to 45 percent in gross domestic product.
Gosh, good thing we have no need to boost our GDP.
A 2009 report by the International Labor Organization found an average 20 percent difference in pay for men and women employed full time in the Group of 20 largest developed and developing economies. Yet the World Economic Forum’s report found that 72 percent of the companies in its survey had no systems to track salary differences by gender.
Herminia Ibarra, a professor of leadership and organizational behavior at Insead, an international business school, and a co-author of the forum’s report, said of the findings, "Study after study shows that, in most countries and industries, women enter the workplace pipeline in representative numbers. Then, something fails to happen."
Getting Women Into Boardrooms, by Law NY Times, January 27, 2010
Arni Hole remembers the shock wave that went through Norway’s business community in 2002 when the country’s trade and industry minister, Ansgar Gabrielsen, proposed a law requiring that 40 percent of all company board members be women.
Many prominent business leaders dismissed the 2003 law as a political stunt and argued that Norway, with just 4.8 million people, did not have enough experienced women to meet the quota. One chief executive of a software company told the business newspaper Dagens Naeringsliv that companies would have to recruit "escort girls" to meet the target.
In the European Union, 9.7 percent of the board members at the top 300 companies were women in 2008, versus 8 percent in 2004, according to the European Professional Women’s Network. In the United States, roughly 15 percent of the board members of the Fortune 500 companies are women, while at the top of Asian companies, women remain scarce: In China and India, they hold roughly 5 percent of board seats, in Japan, just 1.4 percent.
Let's all say "neener neener neener" to China. At least we discriminate 10% less against women than those bigots! Yay us!
German Companies 'Know They Have Too Few Women' Der Spiegel, March 23, 2010
"I'll support it!" Deutsche Telekom CEO René Obermann said when [Thomas Sattelberger] his human resources officer put forward a bold proposal at a board meeting in Bonn two weeks ago: He wanted Deutsche Telekom to make a commitment to filling 30 percent of management positions with women by the end of 2015. The measure would affect roughly 10,000 jobs.
[Sattelberger] believes that many German companies are guilty of "self-deception." "They know that they have too few women. They convince themselves that they're doing a great deal. And if their efforts are unsuccessful, they set up mentoring and coaching programs. Then they pitifully complain that they have done everything they can. In reality, however, nothing has changed." He calls this "a subtle deception, coupled with a modern trade in indulgences."
That doesn't sound familiar at all, does it?
Most major corporations don't care. Allianz and Adidas, Bayer, Deutsche Bahn and BASF, all are opposed to a set quota, so as to avoid discrimination against men, as officials at consumer goods manufacturer Beiersdorf put it.
Well, you gotta admit they've got a point...we must protect the poor, poor persecuted men! I mean, I'm a man and I could never compete if women had a real shot at my job.
C'mon, how much commentary on this is even necessary?