Daffodils on the doorstep, that’s how my blog begins. There were six of them, three stems of two cuddled together, an impromptu nosegay. Picked earlier in the day they were still perky but on the downside of fresh. My benefactors were the girls next door. They are six and four and delight in leaving me secret gifts. The six-year-old loves school, is polite and shy. The four-year-old rocks the teeter-totter in the other direction. She hates to wear shoes, ignores directions and rules, and can shriek like a zoo animal.
I arranged the flowers in a vase in the kitchen window so they could see I’d discovered their surprise. I sat down with a cup of coffee to read Newsweek, and found I could not get the two little souls next door out of my mind as I read the article “Are We There Yet.” See article
The piece discusses a 40-year-old gender-discrimination case against Newsweek. Forty-six women sued the magazine in 1970. In interviews these women were told they’d never get to the top of the magazine hierarchy, but they were young and believed the glass ceiling could be broken, so took positions at Newsweek anyway. They were wrong. Realization lead to the successful lawsuit. The article asks the question, “Just how much has changed and how much hasn’t?” Considering my pixies next door, I read on. The facts are discouraging.
- U.S. Department of Education data show that a year out of school, young women will earn 80% of what men do. That’s averaging across professions and applies even if young women have higher college GPAs.
- According a study by Catalyst, a woman’s research firm, female MBA’s earn $4,600 less on their first job out of college. See article
- And more women are breadwinners as their husbands lose their jobs in the recession. If they bring home 20% less than men, the impact on the family is clear.
- The founder of Men With Pens, a copywriting Web site, admitted last year that ‘he’ was, in fact, a ‘she.’ “I assumed if I chose a male name [I’d] be viewed as someone who runs a company, not a mom sitting at home with a child hanging off her leg,” she says.
- Women who ask for higher starting salaries are considered to be “less nice” and have a harder time getting the job, according to a Harvard study.
- Then there is the question, if women rise to the top of their profession, does it have something to do with their looks or out-of-board-room behavior.
- The World Economic Forum found that between 2006 and 2009 the United States fell from 23rd to 31st on the Global Gender Gap Index, behind Cuba, but ahead of Namibia. Namibia?
So I ponder the futures of my young daffodil-gifting neighbors. What can I do to make sure the types of statistics listed above do not apply to them?
What can we all do?