A Woman's View from The Street 5/30/18

Happy Wednesday!
Graduation season is upon us and I am proud as punch to report that the Young Women’s Preparatory Network has graduated 358 seniors from 7 of its network schools. Ysleta, the 8th school to join the network does not yet have a senior class, but soon! These 358 graduates have been awarded a total of $47 in academic and merit-based scholarships! As many of you are aware, TXWSW is a decade-long sponsor of YWPN’s college preparatory program, and that program is working exceptionally well! I also wanted to share YWPN’s Founder’s Day video, created by YWPN students, that gives a great history of the schools – where they started and where they are going. It is an inspiring and worthwhile use of your time. The video can be found here.
Kudos to Daryn Dodson and his Illumen Capital for tackling the problem of diversity in the asset management business. Even though studies show portfolios run by diverse team outperform, less than 1% of capital is allocated to these managers. To learn more about his approach, the full article can be found here.
It seems that even a firm focused on the female consumer, Destination Maternity, was averse to having more than one woman on its board. The slate of directors proposed by the board had just one woman on it. The winning slate, backed by dissident investors, includes three women. In Destination Maternity’s 25+ year history, there have only ever been three women on the board. Seriously? How many men have experienced pregnancy and childbirth? Why would a company not want domain expertise represented on its board? The full saga can be found here.
Speaking of children, a recent Huffington Post article posits that the decline in the US birthrate may have its roots in the fact that women in the US are essentially punished for having children. According to the CDC, the US birthrate is the lowest it has been in thirty years and is now below the replacement rate needed to sustain the population. The author believes that the dramatic decline is due to the fact that “most women in the U.S., even before they get pregnant, know how little social support exists for them as mothers. A shocking 88 percent of workers get no paid leave in the United States, according to the Labor Department. About 1 in 4 mothers go back to work less than two weeks after giving birth, according to a 2015 report. This often leads to devastating health outcomes for parents and babies.” The full article can be found here.
The article also noted that having children is often not financially viable – for low-income women, motherhood can throw you into poverty which may help explain why 21% of all US children live in families with incomes below the federal poverty level. In the wealthiest country in the world. For higher-earners, pregnancy knocks you off track for promotions and pay raises. Even though more than 70% of families rely on a mother’s income, moms working full time earn just 71% of what working dads bring home or a full 9 points lower than the average gender wage gap. This of course brings us to the next article detailing the overall wage gap between workers and CEOs. This year marks the first year that publicly traded companies in the US had to disclose the comparison between what a company pays its CEO and the median compensation for all employees and the results are nothing less than shocking. The full article can be found here.
From the good news file, the city of Boston is taking concrete steps to help women in their city close the gender pay gap. The steps have included offering free salary negotiation workshops and partnering with Boston employers. The full article can be found here.
Finally, due to the departure of a number of high profile female CEO’s the number of women at the helm of Fortune 500 companies has slipped to 24 from 32. And up in that rarefied air, the pipeline of women is slim with women holding just 20% of c-suite roles, the outcome of years of women not being given roles with P&L responsibility along their career path. The article also notes that so few women are offered CEO roles, that many take on a CEO role in situations that are largely viewed as too late to save. Yahoo anyone? The full article can be found here.
We have some terrific events lined up for you in 2018 including our ten-year anniversary celebrations in August! We look forward to seeing you all at an event in 2018! To learn more about our 2018 events, please visit www.txwsw.com
To help us celebrate our ten-year anniversary, I would ask each of you to consider corporate sponsorship of TXWSW. Benefits include attendance at our flagship events and recognition for your firm. To learn more, you may find our sponsor information here. Additionally, we would be happy to create a custom sponsorship for you. Please contact Bianca King at developmentdirector@txwsw.com.
Kind regards

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