Business

The first time I heard it was around 2000, about two or three years after I'd stopped working to stay home for our two kids. It was at a party put on by my wife's company, and the woman who said it was the wife of one of my wife's bosses. "I guess in a way you're the man behind the woman..." I’ve heard it dozens of times, from people of every race, creed, and color. I’ve heard it said as a compliment, an insult, a question, and an observation, and each time, from what I can tell, the person who said it thought I’d never heard it before. But you know what? I’m OK with it.

A new infographic from Ultraviolet looks at how the Paycheck Fairness Act could help address wage discrimination against U.S. women. "Women are losing $431,000 over the course of their careers because wage discrimination continues to be a huge problem for women in our country," the graphic reads. "Worse, women can be fired for trying to fight it and get fair pay. The Paycheck Fairness Act would help bring an end to wage discrimination by closing a set of loopholes in current labor laws that make it near impossible for workers to expose and fix pay discrimination." View it after the jump.

Over the last decade, the number of men in female-dominated professions has increased notably, according to New York Times reporters Shaila Dewan and Robert Gebeloff. Men are becoming teachers, nurses, and bank tellers in greater numbers than ever before. Not that men are about to outnumber women anytime soon; the number of male nurses nearly doubled between 2000 and 2010, but coupled with an increase in the overall number of nurses, men now hold about 10.5% of all nursing jobs.
"Ford is out to prove that women are just as capable as men when it comes to modifying vehicles with aftermarket parts by getting a team mostly made up of women to help design and build a custom 2013 Ford Mustang GT for this year’s SEMA show," Motor Authority reports. "Dubbed the SEMA Mustang Build Powered by Women, the new initiative is being run by Ford together with the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN). Ford will donate the Mustang GT that will be customized by a team at SBN headed by Theresa Contreras."
Sexual harassment was big in the news last week. A college student was sentenced for having videotaped his roommate having sex with a man. And famed venture capitalist firm also made headlines when an employee filed charges after having been subjected to six years of harassment. This kind of behavior is rooted in the culture, which is why Hollaback is trying to eradicate harassment closer to the source, on college campuses with a new campaign.
"Kleiner Perkins Caulfield and Byers, one of the most storied and well-respected venture capital firms in Silicon Valley, has been sued by Ellen Pao, an investment partner with the firm," TechCrunch reports. "In the complaint filed May 10 in San Francisco Superior Court...Pao claims that she was the victim of sexual harassment by Ajit Nazre, a former Kleiner Perkins investment partner who left the firm late last year....The suit also alleges that Pao, along with other female employees at the firm, were regularly left out of meetings held by the firm’s male partners and that she was unfairly passed over for promotions because of her gender and her response to Nazre’s advances."
"Research reveals that, while men benefit from the use of well-judged banter, the brand of humour used by leading businesswomen often leads to awkward silences and could be undermining their careers," the Guardian reports. "The claim is made by linguistics expert Dr Judith Baxter, who undertook an 18-month study into the speech patterns of men and women at meetings in seven big companies." According to the study, 90% of male humor received "an instant, positive response," while women's jokes, which tended to be self-deprecating, were met with silence 80% of the time.

One of the most prestigious venture capital outfits in Silicone Valley is facing a harassment suit.  Kleiner Perkins Caulfield and Byers whic

You wouldn't think dance would be useful training for an entrepreneur, but former dancer Sara Winter has just launched a tech business in a mostly

It's difficult to find books with strong girl characters. Harry Potter and Percy Jackson have only recently been supplanted by Catniss Everdeen. To make sure your daughters can read their role models, there's a new website called "A Mighty Girl" It's a "repository of books and movies with girl empowerment themes." They don't even have kids, but Carolyn Danckaert and Aaron Smith who started the website do have a bunch of nieces.
Back in 2008, the Gender Equality Principles Initiative, a partnership between the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women, the Calvert Group, and Verité, released a set of gender equality principles to help organizations assess how well they are doing on the gender equality front. The principles are organized into seven key areas, including employment and compensation, work-life balance and career development, management and governance, and business, supply chain, and marketing practices.
"According to official data, India's IT and BPO services industry employs some three million worker," about a quarter of whom are women, CNET reports. Although significant diversity challenges in the industry remain, "Thanks to women-friendly policies, including escorts to the doorstep on nightshifts, generous maternity benefits and 24/7 childcare, the gender imbalance in the industry is slowly being evened out." Some experts predict that more Indian women will start to reach higher levels in business within the next five to six years.

When it comes to women in leadership, business has not as yet had its “aha” moment. Gender stereotyping continues despite a significant body of research evidence that links gender diverse boards and senior executive teams with improved performance on both financial and non-financial dimensions of business excellence. Study after study finds that the exclusion of women from higher paying positions with higher promotional opportunities is based on discriminatory decisions based on gender bias.

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