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An important new study conducted for the Brookings Institute by Tuugi Chuluun and Kevin L. Young provides a novel view of women’s representation in organizations around the globe. The authors, by using a new network analysis technique, note that the lack of representation of women in leadership positions in the United States is well documented: thirty-seven Fortune 500 companies have women CEOs, and only three of these CEOs are women of color.

They note that globally, many initiatives exist that promote more women to leadership and increase diversity in boardrooms and in government. “However,” Chuluun and Young state, “women, and especially women of color, remain dramatically underrepresented, and the coronavirus pandemic threatens progress we have made on this front because of gender inequality in the division of housework.” …

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It is always exciting when new barriers are broken by women. Kim Ng and Erika James recently became the first Asian American and woman of color, respectively, appointed in their roles, and Abby Phillip and Savannah Guthrie are being recognized as rising stars. What follows is some information about their accomplishments.

For the first time ever, a woman, Kim Ng, has ascended to the role of full-time general manager of a major league men’s baseball team, the Miami Marlins. Tyler Kepner and James Wagner of the New York Times report that Ng is only the second person of Asian descent, after Farhan Zaidi of the San Francisco Giants, to lead a baseball operations department. …

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Christine Lagarde, who became the first female president of the European Central Bank (ECB) in 2019, is already demonstrating the difference that women leaders can make. In an interview conducted by Alison Smale and Jack Ewing of the New York Times, Lagarde lays out her vision for the European Central Bank, which represents a significant departure from past ECB presidents, who were traditionally focused on managing European economic and monetary policy. Lagarde’s vision is broad:

  • Fight climate change
  • Encourage global cooperation
  • Strengthen the credibility of international institutions

Lagarde also articulates what she thinks women leaders bring to leadership that is value added. The authors note that “one year into her eight-year term at the bank, Ms. Lagarde, 64, hopes to use her experience not only as an international lawyer, former French finance minister and head of the International Monetary Fund but as a woman to accelerate change, with a particular focus on saving the planet.” …

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The Roosevelt Institute and John Jay College of Criminal Justice published a new study that reveals important information about the wage gap for highly educated African American women in the workforce. Much has been written about the gender wage gap for women in general in the United States. Michelle Holder, the author of this study and assistant professor of economics at John Jay, points out that corporate profits have increased over the last few decades while wages in general in the United States have stagnated. In 2018, domestic corporate profits totaled $2 trillion while full-time workers’ (median) annual salary sat at $46,800. …

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I have always been outraged by stories of sexual and emotional abuse of young women athletes. I remember how vulnerable I was as an adolescent to the power of authority figures such as teachers, bosses, and landlords. The stories of the more than five hundred victims of sexual abuse by the team doctor of the USA Gymnastics organization, Lawrence G. Nassar, revealed in 2017 when eighteen of his victims filed a federal lawsuit raise huge questions about how Nassar was able to continue this abuse for decades without consequences. …

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I am always pleased to stumble on an obituary for a woman who died long ago printed in the New York Times. The Times has been belatedly publishing these obituaries to make amends for overlooking the accomplishments of women in the past. Here are the stories of three more women who are new to me.

Charlotta Bass (1880–1969)

Charlotta Bass was the first Black woman to run for vice president of the United States on the Progressive Party ticket in 1952. Jessica Bennett of the New York Times notes that Bass’s shoulders are one of many that Kamala Harris now stands on. …

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Recent events in the United States have raised the awareness in many white people about the terrible costs of structural racism for people of color in our country in terms of safety, education, access to opportunity, and the wealth gap. In a previous post I wrote about research on the increase in Black infant and maternal mortality in the United States due to the stress of racism. New research conducted by Dnika J. Travis and Jennifer Thorpe-Moscon, published by Catalyst, demonstrates what they call the “ Emotional Tax “ paid by women and men of color in the workplace. They note that the cost of the Emotional Tax for both individuals and organizations is high. …

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As soon as Kamala Harris was named as Joe Biden’s running mate, “ a steady drip of racism and sexism” was unleashed, writes Maggie Astor of the New York Times.

Many of the racist and sexist tropes thrown at her are similar to those aimed at Michelle Obama when she stepped onto the public stage as Barack’s spouse, such as calling her an “angry Black woman” when she spoke of her convictions or showed herself to be a strong woman. At the same time, the intersection of Harris’s particular combination of identities creates some different challenges for Harris. Astor explains that intersectionality is a term coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw, a lawyer and civil rights activist, three decades ago to describe “how various identities can overlap to produce discrimination more complex than just, for instance, racism plus sexism.” …

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It is always important to verify the truth of claims that our leaders make in order to be informed citizens. The purpose of my posts is to report information from current research to keep readers informed of new knowledge about gender issues in the workplace. While the Trump administration has consistently made claims about their commitment to gender equality, new information reveals a mixed record in that regard. Here are some of the claims from the Trump administration about their accomplishments, reported by Chabeli Carrazana of The 19th:

  • Kayleigh McEnany, the Trump administration press secretary, said that the president has taken “unprecedented action to support women and girls.” The Trump administration has implemented some helpful policies, but the rhetoric does not match reality in many ways. …
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I don’t know about you, but I really hate being interrupted. I don’t like it when either women or men interrupt me, but men interrupt me so much more often, especially in professional settings, than women do. Research shows that it is not just my imagination. In a previous post, I wrote about research showing that women do, in fact, get interrupted more. I was surprised to see, when I located this previous article, written in 2017, that the picture at the opening of the article was of Kamala Harris with reference to the interruptions both she and Elizabeth Warren had experienced in the Senate. …

About

Anne Litwin

Author of ‘New Rules for Women: Revolutionizing the Way Women Work Together', OD Consultant, Keynote Speaker, and Workshop Trainer

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