I have been aware for some time that women are woefully under- represented on corporate boards—just 17% of the total in the U.S. But I somehow missed that in Europe government is moving to achieve what we have not been able to—greater board membership for women.
Last Friday, Germany, which is headquarters to some of the world’s largest corporations, passed legislation requiring that these companies must give women 30% of the seats on their boards starting next year. Smaller companies will be required to do the same later on. Here is an excerpt from the New York Times on this game-changing move to greater equality for women in the corporate world:
Norway was the first in Europe to legislate boardroom quotas, joined by Spain, France and Iceland, which all set their minimums at 40 percent. Italy has a quota of one-third, Belgium of 30 percent and the Netherlands a 30 percent nonbinding target.
Britain has not legislated boardroom quotas, but a voluntary effort, known as the 30% Club, has helped to substantially increase women’s representation. The group, founded by Helena Morrissey, a money manager, has used persuasion to help double the percentage of women on the boards of major British companies since 2010, to 23 percent.
Unfortunately, a study last year by economists in the U.S. and Norway found that increased female membership on boards did not increase the number of women in executive positions or decrease the gender pay gap. That means we need to push harder here at home for greater representation in the upper ranks of business.
We think sometimes that North Carolina is not a particularly hospitable state for women-owned business. But as the American Express Annual Survey reveals we are the third in the country in terms of growth in the number of women-owned businesses--up a robust 91% since 1997. Good work ladies--let's keep it up~!
Here are the worst and the best paying cities for women. Check out the url at the bottom for the full list in each category. Even in Fresno, the best paying city the spread is over 10 percent. We need to do something about this for ourselves, our daughters and their daughters.
> Women’s pay as a pct. of men’s: 59.8%
> Median earnings for men: $52,170
> Median earnings for women: $31,209
1. Fresno, CA Metro Area
> Women’s pay as a pct. of men’s: 89.6%
> Median earnings for men: $39,697
> Median earnings for women: $35,557
Read more: The Best (and Worst) Paying Cities for Women - 24/7 Wall St. http://247wallst.com/special-report/2015/03/06/the-best-and-worst-paying-cities-for-women-2/#ixzz3Ttpu8pC8
International Women's Day (IWD) was celebrated on March 8. The earliest Women’s Day observance was held on February 28, 1909, in New York; it was organized by the Socialist Party of America in remembrance of the 1908 strike of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. The next year, at a meeting in Copenhagen, the idea of an international women’s day celebration was adopted by the 100 women attending from 17 countries. The goal was to promote equal rights, including suffrage, for women. Let us not forget that women did not get the right to vote in the U.S. until 1920 when the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified.
In recent years, the U.N. has promoted the goal of equality. In 2015, International Women’s Day, will highlight the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, a historic roadmap signed by 189 governments 20 years ago that sets the agenda for realizing women’s rights. There are thousands of events planned globally—over 200 in the U.S. alone. To learn more go to www.internationalwomensday.com.
As you probably know Leonard Nemoy died last week. Before he died he tweeted a beautiful message that I am going to repeat here in case you missed it:
"A life is like a garden," he wrote. "Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory."
Emma Watson, the UN Women Goodwill Ambassador recently took the stage in Davos, Switzerland to speak about the HeForShe campaign, the influence it has had on her own life and the new initiative Impact 10x10x10. "Women share this planet 50/50 and they are underrepresented -- their potential astonishingly untapped," she told the crowd of leaders from around the globe.
The HeForShe campaign encourages men to join the movement towards achieving gender equality. As the campaign's website reads, it "brings together one-half of humanity in support of the other half of humanity, for the benefit of all."
Beyond the importance of her message, Watson is proof positive that young women do not have to be afraid to speak out on issues. All you have to do is to know your subject, practice your delivery and believe in what you have to say.
This morning on "Reliable Sources" I had to agree with Gail Shuster, TV Newser.com. , when discussing the Joe vs. Mika confrontation from last week. I suspect Joe is not a true chauvinist and Mika did not call him that: she said he was being "chauvinistic" about this one issue...and he was! Mika should have bee more assertive in showing her anger. Joe disagrees with Mika and leaps in, pointing his finger and raising his voice and snapping his fingers (come on---snapping your fingers at your co-host)! Mika pulls back, almost cowering...Mika certainly could have "shown" her anger and not just "talked" about her anger. She could have raised her voice to match his for example. The whole scene was too "gender-like" with Mika bringing up an issue that was important to her, calling Joe "chauvinistic" and Joe "figuratively" jumping down her throat. I like Mika and she should have stood up for herself. She is bright and articulate. She could have used her brains and brawn here to stand up for what she believed. BTW, the issue being discussed was that President Obama's new cabinet is like a "Boy's Club" (it is) since there are no women Cabinet appointments to date.
You have to love Jodie Foster (if you didn't before) after listening to her touching speech when she accepted the Cecil B. DeMIlle award last nite. Obvious it came from her heart--notice tears from other actors in audience--nary a misspoken word or blurb; what she said was heartwarming--the tribute to her Mother--; 47 years as an actress--she started in her profession at 3. Her words: "I have fought for a life that felt real and honest"...talk about balance: "I have lived my life the way I want to live it." Work, family, self. Beautiful, smart, and 50 (the year AARP fist solicits you).