Australian Parliament makes Progress/Ambition vs. Marriage via Harvard/ Men Avoid Some Jobs/Gender Gap in VC Funding

Happy Monday:
I hope you all had a terrific Mother’s Day on Sunday. The first article features an Australian Senator who made headlines while breast-feeding in the Parliament following new rules passed that allows politicians to briefly care for their children from the floor. The rules change acknowledged that if a woman elected to public office gives birth, she should not have to choose between her job and her physical health. The rules change also recognizes the fact that we use our bodies for different things including having and feeding children, and if men are so sensitive and easily distracted by breastfeeding, then perhaps they aren’t fit to hold public office. The Australian Parliament is leading the way to demonstrate that our workplaces are changeable entities of our own construct and we can make them better. The full article can be found here.
From the Harvard Business Review, it seems women face a trade-off between ambition and marriage. Their research shows that men still prefer partners that are less professionally ambitious than they are which sets up a real conflict for women that want to pursue a career. Interestingly when questioned in all-female groups, 79% of single women chose a job with quicker promotion to partner but substantial travel. Interestingly, when there were men present in the group, only 37% of women chose that option. The full article can be found here.
A PBS segment explores the phenomenon that men shy away from careers that are seen as women’s work in spite of the fact that these are well-paying jobs in growing industries. While unemployment is at an all-time low right now, one in six prime-age (25-54) men are unemployed or out of the workforce altogether and it is not because they are in school or caring for children. It is fascinating that gender or cultural stigmas are enough to keep these men on the sidelines. The full article can be found here.
And finally, from the Columbia Business School Network, Dr. Dana Kanze explores the gender gap in VC funding. Although women-owned businesses represent 40% of all start-ups, only 2% of venture funding is allocated to female entrepreneurs. When Dr. Kanze was raising money for her own start-up, she noticed a difference in the types of questions VCs asked male entrepreneurs versus what was asked of the women. The findings make for enlightening reading and can be found here.
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