I believe it is important to check in on top stories in other parts of the world on the topic of gender issues in the workplace to balance out our US-centric media. Today’s headlines take place in France, Japan, and Nigeria.

France

In Paris, France, Mayor Anne Hidalgo has announced that she will run for president as the Socialist candidate in the April 2022 presidential election. Elected as the first woman mayor of Paris in 2014 and reelected in 2020, Hidalgo is known as a charismatic and divisive mayor. In 2018, she was fined $110,000 by the French government for…


New research, collected and released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and analyzed by the Brookings Institute, shows that in 2020, the mothers of young children spent about eight hours a day on childcare while spending six hours on average working. Chabeli Carrazana, reporting for the 19th, explains that the data are averages based on thousands of interviews by the Bureau of Labor Statistics with people across the country about how they spent their time on a daily basis between May and December 2020 when the pandemic closed down schools and childcare centers. Specifically, Carrazana reports that

  • On average, moms…

I am the oldest of four children. After my mother gave birth to me and my sister, she had two late-term miscarriages, and I remember her intense sadness and depression after each loss. Even though she went on to deliver two more healthy babies several years later, the sadness never fully lifted for her. Twenty years later, my father asked me to help him help her. We talked with her about the fact that she had never been able to grieve the two lost babies. It was simply taboo at the time for her or anyone else to bring up…


The media coverage of the recent Tokyo Olympics Games has featured a number of “ Olympian-mother success stories,” reports Lindsay Crouse of the New York Times. Crouse notes a few examples:

  • Aliphine Tuliamuk and Sally Kipyego, both with babies and young children, represented the United States in the Olympic marathon.
  • When the sprinters Quanera Hayes and Allyson Felix qualified for the Olympics, they brought their toddlers onto the track to celebrate.

Crouse also points out, however, that while motherhood in elite sports is something to celebrate, there is also another reality for athletes who have children: having children puts their…


Much has been written about the impact of the pandemic on the careers of working parents, especially for working mothers, because of the pandemic childcare crisis. The number of women in the labor force has decreased during the pandemic, called the “ shecession,” because they carried up to 70 percent of the burden of childcare and home schooling in their families when schools and childcare closed, and women in large numbers either dropped out or were fired from their jobs. Claire Cain Miller, in an article published by the New York Times, notes that new research shows that mothers, and…


Many men are reluctant to take paternity leave, even when it is available as paid leave, because they fear it will hurt their careers. This reluctance results in an extra burden for working mothers, who often face career-limiting choices regarding balancing careers and parenthood. A new study conducted in Norway, reported by Seema Jayachandran, shows that indeed, men who took paternity leave earned 2 percent less than if they had not. Norway is fertile ground for this type of research because of a major policy change in 1993 that gave fathers of children born after April 1 of that year…


In 1991, after law professor Anita Hill described the lewd behavior of her boss, Clarence Thomas, during his hearing in Congress to become a Supreme Court Justice, the term sexual harassment was born. Thanks to Hill, we now had a phrase to describe the ancient practice used by powerful people (usually men) over less powerful people (usually women) in the workplace. For much of the 1990s, lawsuits paying huge settlements to victims were regularly announced, and workshops on stopping sexual harassment along with new policies and procedures designed to protect workers were prevalent. I was one of those trainers and…


Charlotte Cowles, writing for the New York Times and who is about to take maternity leave as a freelance worker, asks “how to take family leave if you’re a freelance worker.” This question is of particular interest to me as a self-employed worker for more than thirty years (also known as an independent worker, contract worker, or gig worker). Cowles points out that this question is more important than ever because

  • About 35 percent of American workers freelanced in some capacity in 2019.
  • One-third of them freelanced full-time.
  • Research, yet to be conducted, will probably show that the pandemic reshaped…


Charlotte Cowles, writing for the New York Times and who is about to take maternity leave as a freelance worker, asks “how to take family leave if you’re a freelance worker.” This question is of particular interest to me as a self-employed worker for more than thirty years (also known as an independent worker, contract worker, or gig worker). Cowles points out that this question is more important than ever because

  • About 35 percent of American workers freelanced in some capacity in 2019.
  • One-third of them freelanced full-time.
  • Research, yet to be conducted, will probably show that the pandemic reshaped…


I remember the Beijing World Conference on Women in 1995 when Hillary Clinton created a global scandal by declaring, “Women’s rights are human rights.” Her speech was considered so outrageous that the Chinese government cut off her microphone in the middle of her speech. Clinton was the first lady at the time, and the United States government asked her to “soften” her speech, which she refused to do. There had never been a global summit on women’s rights before, and I remember hanging on every word reported about the proceedings and wishing I could be there too. As noted by…

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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