NY Times: Women Have a Long Way to Go

November 1, 2011 | Elizabeth

Today in the NY Times is an article in The Female Factor Section about how this year has been pretty great for women, what with women winning the Nobel Peace Prize, making a name for themselves in politics and the end of male succession to the British throne. But with this progress comes a reminder that women are behind men in the areas of economic equality and political power.

According to the World Economic Forum, women hold fewer than 20 percent of all decision-making national positions. They had a conference talking about how governments should implement and enforce laws and policies that promote women’s economic and political roles.

“These reports help us look over time at changes in countries and show us where the gaps are and where to look to improve business practices,” Laura Liswood, secretary general of the Council of Women World Leaders and a senior adviser on diversity at Goldman Sachs, said in an interview. “We are seeing progress in education and health, but we’re not seeing much progress on the economic and political side, which is a big concern.”

The study was trying to figure out if the size of the nations economy was directly related to the progress of women. It is not. The U.S. ranked 17 on the list of 135 nations as having women’s progress.

Catalyst’s studies show that “companies with more women in leadership tend to outperform those with fewer — and not by a little.” Ms. Zahadi remains optimistic. “The next wave of change will come from how to actually close gender gaps. We know how to measure them, we know why it’s important to close them, and there’s some new research on policy and on practices in business. That’s going to be the game changer.”

What do you think? Is progress linked to economic equality? What I want to know is where is the discussion about the equality of opportunity, rather than the equality of outcome? I don’t  want to be discriminated against just because I am a woman, but I shouldn’t make more money just because I am a woman, I should make money based on my experience and what I can bring to the company. We should be evaluated on an equal level without being given a subsidy due to gender. Women have a long way to go if they don’t accept this and start fighting for opportunity instead of outcome.

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