A stunning chart from Business Insider shows how the gender wage gap translates into the top 2% of earners, and at the top the problem gets a lot bigger. In Texas for instance, top women earn just 35 cents for every dollar men make. These statistics put into sharp relief the fact that even when women make it to top jobs, their compensation is still stunted. The full article can be found here.
Former NY Federal Court District Judge, Shira Scheindlin, who spent 22 years on the bench before stepping down worked on a recent report for the New York State Bar Association. The goal of the report was to observe the instances of women speaking in court. They asked judges to take note of the gender of the lawyers speaking in their courtrooms over a period of 4 months. The study included over 2,800 responses and out of those responses, women were the lead lawyers for private parties barely 20% of the time. Interestingly in these cases, it is most often women who are preparing the briefs but it is the men who take the lead role in the courtroom. Ms. Scheindlin notes that there are several concrete steps judges and corporate clients can take to address the lack of opportunity for women. The full article can be found here.
Google made headlines last week with the engineer who wrote the manifesto as to why women were not biologically suited to work in technology. I am sure you have all followed the story, but I wanted to highlight 2 articles that came out of last week’s events. The first, from Bloomberg, notes a solution – if an industry wants to get away from the gender debate, they could follow Iceland’s lead and mandate parental leave for both men and women “as a non-discriminatory way to bridge the gender gap. Icelanders have the narrowest gender gap in the world, meaning that men and women are almost equally represented in the workforce including leadership and tech positions and receive nearly equal pay. They are also the world’s 12th richest country ranked by per capita output. Note to the economists out there: when 51% of the population is more fully engaged in the workforce, economic growth takes care of itself. The full article can be found here.
The second article calls to mind a favorite quote of mine borrowed by John F. Kennedy in a speech of his, “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Business Insider published an “open letter to the ‘fair minded men of Silicon Valley’ from a woman who works in tech.” The author notes that misogynists (and racists etc.) are perhaps an inevitable part of any population, but what is not inevitable is that good men stand on the sidelines while this poor behavior occurs again and again. The article makes for a powerful read and can be found here.
And speaking of good men, kudos to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella for his letter to the Microsoft staff commenting on the events in Charlottesville this weekend and at Google last week. I quote: “there is no place in our society for the bias, bigotry and senseless violence we witnessed this weekend in Virginia provoked by white nationalists.” He notes that “it’s insufficient to merely tolerate differing viewpoints,” and calls on employees to “truly understand and share the feelings of another person.” The full article and memo may be found here.
We have some terrific events lined up for you this Fall and look forward to seeing you all at an event in 2017! To learn more about our 2017 events, please visit www.txwsw.com.