Why smart women still don’t make it up the career ladder

May 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

It might be hard to believe if you are a woman who attends an institute with demographics  like those of Georgia Tech, but women actually comprise a larger percentage of college degree graduates than men do. That means that in terms of education, women are climbing the ladder. They might have had to work harder to get to college by staring down and fighting back against the perils of sexism (and for many the additional obstacles created by racism, ableism, classism, nationalism, and the like) but, by golly, they made it to college and are becoming highly educated. U.S. census data (2010) showed that for the first time in history, more women earned undergraduate and graduate degrees than men.

With all of these historic educational gains for women, one might expect to see those gains being reflected post-graduation as well. Not so, says feminist journalist and author Courtney E. Martin,  “While nearly half of law schools grads are women, only about 16 percent of equity partners at the top 200 largest law firms are. Nearly one-third of MBAs are earned by women today, but corporate boards of Fortune 100 companies are still comprised of just 15 percent women. About half of those earning MFAs are women, and yet about 23 percent of solo shows in New York galleries feature work done by women.”

In a recent article in the Christian Science Monitor, Martin breaks down why things aren’t looking so rosy for women after they graduate. She identifies and explores several reasons ranging from, ” the last vestiges of old-fashioned patriarchy – job opportunities doled out over beers with buddies, unexamined misogyny in hiring and promotion practices, and blind eyes turned left and right to sexual harassment,” to women downplaying their own successes and strengths.

For more on Martin’s fantastic article go here.

Feminist Round Up!

May 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

I thought I’d share a couple of the really interesting things related (loosely or closely) to feminism that I have stumbled upon recently.

The Slutwalk movement is making a lot of headlines and causing lots of chatter. Sources tell me there are plans in the works to bring the movement to Atlanta.

It’s summer time and in my book that means it’s time to grow some yummy vegetables and pretty flowers. Get some tips from You Grow Girl on planting in not-so-ideal spaces and on a limited budget.

Bridesmaids. Have you seen it yet? I haven’t but I’ve got plans to see it this week. I love Kristen Wiig, I think she is hysterical and I love it when we get to see all female leads in a movie, especially when they are funny.

And last but certainly not least, how to have a feminist Dungeons and Dragons group. Awesome. Some of these guidelines should definitely be rules for life.

In Honor of Mother’s Day

May 6, 2011 § Leave a comment

Some of us have really complicated relationships with our mothers. Some us have deep, incredible friendships with our mothers. Some of us don’t know our mothers. In honor of the women who mothered you- whether they are your biological mother, your adoptive mother, your grandmother, your older sister, your best friend’s mom, your aunt, your cousin, or anyone in between, take a moment to reflect on the ways they shaped you, challenged you, supported you, made you grow.

Me and my mom at a sunflower festival. There was a thunderstorm rolling in but my mom stuck it out with me so I could pick all of the sunflowers my heart desired. One of the many reasons I love her. Thanks, Mom.

If you are lucky enough to tell your mother(s) thank you for all they have done to make you exactly who you are, do it. Don’t wait until Mother’s Day. Do it now.

If you can’t tell your mother(s) thank you or even if you can, find a way to honor them:

Write a letter to your senator or representative demanding that all women who are pregnant have access to good pre-natal and post-natal care, are guaranteed paid maternity leave, have the right to birth where they want (either at home or at a hospital).

Volunteer to babysit for free for a single mom, or for a mom that can’t afford to pay a babysitter and go out to dinner or see a movie.

Organize a canned food drive for a shelter that supports mothers and their children.

Ask a mother who is really busy, when the last time was that she took time to do something for herself. Encourage her to do it by offering to go out with her or by taking something off her plate.

Volunteer for an organization that raises awareness about the issues faced by girls and women.

What are some of the ways that you will honor the mother(s) in your life this weekend? How do you do it everyday? One of the things I’m going to do for my mom is  make her french toast from a really fancy recipe and write her a letter that tells her exactly how thankful I am to be her daughter.

Check out this post thanking a mother for being a feminist. It’s awesome.

Earned Doctorates (NSF Study)

May 6, 2011 § Leave a comment

The National Science Foundation (in collaboration with a lot of other foundations and organizations) has been collecting data on earned doctorates since 1970. They have recently released the statistics from their 2009 survey. In honor of our graduates I thought I’d share a few of the tables from their report, detailing trends in earned doctorates from 1989-2009. For more information (like the actual numbers that are represented by these tables) and analysis be sure to check out their website as well as the NORC website (they’re the agency that conducts the survey for NSF).


Lara Logan Breaks the Silence

May 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

In case you missed it last night, CBS News correspondent Lara Logan, spoke out in depth about the sustained sexual assault she endured while covering the Egyptian revolution in February. Logan is well known for her courageous reports on often dangerous and important foreign news stories and in particular, her coverage of war.  Although many have participated in victim blaming since she originally came forward and reported the attacks, claiming that as a woman, she never should have been in Egypt during an uprising, she has remained incredibly brave and has been determined to tell her story.

Here are some highlights:

On what she believes saved her life:

(CBS News)  It was a fight she endured about 25 minutes.

Logan: I was no doubt in my mind that I was in the process of dying. I thought, not only am I gonna die here, but it’s gonna be just a torturous death that’s going to go on forever and ever and ever.

Lara was dragged along by the mob until they were stopped by a fence. At that spot, a group of Egyptian women were camped out.

Logan: And I almost fell into the lap of this woman on the ground who was head to toe in black, just her eyes, I remember just her eyes, I could see.

Pelley: Wearing a chador.

Logan: Yes. And she put her arms around me. And oh my God, I can’t tell you what that moment was like for me. I wasn’t safe yet, because the mob was still trying to get at me. But now it wasn’t just about me anymore. It was about their women and that was what saved me, I think. The women kind of closed ranks around me. And I remember one or two, maybe three men standing with them and throwing, the women were throwing water in the crowd. And they were pouring water over me, ’cause I couldn’t breathe.

On why she is telling her story and what her female colleagues said to her after she came forward about the assault:

Pelley(interviewer): Why are you telling this story now?

Logan: One thing that I am extremely proud of that I didn’t intend is when my female colleagues stood up and said that I’d broken the silence on what all of us have experienced but never talk about.

Pelley: What did they mean by that?

Logan: That women never complain about incidents of sexual violence because you don’t want someone to say, “Well women shouldn’t be out there.” But I think there are a lot of women who experience these kinds of things as journalists and they don’t want it to stop their job because they do it for the same reasons as me – they are committed to what they do. They are not adrenaline junkies you know, they’re not glory hounds, they do it because they believe in being journalists.

For more:

See 60 Minutes and 60 Minutes Overtime

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