We all know that there are fewer women at the top than men, but it's still shocking to see the actual numbers. Only 22 of Fortune 500 CEOs are women, and only three – Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo, Ursula Burns of Xerox, and Lisa Su of Advanced Micro Devices – are women of color. Women aren't just underrepresented in business leadership roles, either; they also make up just 19 percent of the U.S. Congress and 26 percent of college presidents. Recently, the American Association of University Women released a report, Barriers and Bias: The Status of Women in Leadership to examine why there are so few female leaders, and what we can do to close the gap.
On the surface, PayScale's latest report on the gender pay gap seems like good news: when controlled for factors like job title, experience, and education, the data show that women currently earn 97 cents for every dollar a man earns. That 2.7 percent gap isn't the 0.0 percent we'd like, but it's a lot better than the 78-cents-on-the-dollar figure we often hear reported. But, if we look at the uncontrolled data, and compare all working women's earnings to those of all working men, the gap gets significantly larger – 74 cents to the dollar, for a gap of 25.6 percent.
Unless you're a raving extrovert – or a manager who needs something to put on that annual review – you probably hate meetings. For the vast majority of office workers, they're essentially time away from the real work that makes up the bulk of our jobs. But a recent survey shows that men are more likely to respond to a boring meeting by doing something else entirely, whether it's check email, text, or play fantasy sports. Are women just super responsible, or what's going on?
If you're a woman and work in an office, you're probably longing for fall, and not because you enjoy autumnal fashion and Pumpkin Spice Lattes. No, for many of us, the end of summer will mean the end of freezing to death under the arctic blast of the office air conditioning. Before you roll your eyes, menfolks and other warm-blooded people, go put your hands in the freezer for a few minutes and then come back and try to type something. We'll wait. When you return, cast your eyes on the abstract of a recent study, published in the journal Climate Change and entitled Energy Consumption in Buildings and Female Thermal Demand, which demonstrates what many female office workers have been saying for years: the office thermostat is set with men in mind.
We've all heard the myth of the "career pause" – it's used as an excuse when bosses decide not to hire young women. To explain it in the simplest terms, it's the idea that a woman will plan to take time off from her career to raise a family, in some modern iteration of the cult of domesticity. After all, bosses (and journalists) claim, young women will just get pregnant, and go on leave. Then, they'll stay home, need a flex-schedule, choose a lesser job, or in other ways divert from what could be considered a standard career path.
What does a soccer game have to do with your career? If the soccer game in question is last night's World Cup clincher and you're a working woman, a lot. Most of us probably won't experience what it's like to be a world-class athlete fighting for dominance on a global playing field, but even if you're not a sports fan of any stripe, you can learn a lot from the US women's national soccer team.
When you're a kid, the message about apologies is clear: when you're wrong – or even if you hurt someone by mistake – say you're sorry. The problem is, as kids grow into adults, one half of the human race seems to retain the message ... while the other half reserves their apologies for special occasions. (You know which is which.) Why, exactly, do women feel that they must apologize all the time, and how can they curb the impulse, especially at work?
Women, amirite? When they're not weeping or scheming, they're tearing each other down at work. Or, at least, that's how the theory goes. It's called Queen Bee Syndrome, and it's occupied a place in workplace lore for as long as women have been represented in the labor force. There's just one problem. A recent study shows that it's probably not true.
Someday, Dorothy will pull back the curtain on the internet and we'll discover not a man pulling levers, but the greatest communication tool of the 21st century, entirely powered by human outrage. Look no further than the recent flap over social researcher Wednesday Martin's forthcoming book Primates of Park Avenue, which examines the phenomenon of the "glam SAHM" – real Real Housewives who probably don't change a lot of diapers, but spend their time managing the careers of the future one percent. The inspiration for the furor? Like their financier husbands, these ladies apparently get a cash bonus for their efforts.
American working moms have it tough, no matter where they live. The U.S. lags behind every other developed nation when it comes to maternity leave. The United States has no federally mandated paid leave, and the Family and Medical Leave Act provides only 12 weeks of unpaid leave for qualified workers. Work for a company with fewer than 50 employees, or find yourself pregnant at a new job, and you might be out of luck. At the state level, however, some places are easier for working moms to call home than others.