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Women in the News: It’s a Numbers Game

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Romney’s 5 (children)

The latest battle in the war on women’s votes seems to have been another Blitzkrieg that ended as abruptly as it started: Working mothers, a delicate and important topic – that I am sure everyone agrees, needs to be discussed and changes have to be made – was blown up into (yet another short-lived) war to get attention and votes. This strategy seems to have become a popular way to create hype but when it comes to delivering actual ideas to resolve any obvious issues, something else will simply be blown out of proportion for a few weeks.

DOL’s 80 (cents)

A “holiday” that will hopefully become either obsolete or an actual cause to celebrate is Equal Pay Day. According to the Department of Labor, women still only earn about 80 cents on a man’s dollar – the gap widens the more educated the employees are. There are a lot of explanations and reasons out there and it’s a topic that makes for heated water cooler discussions: Laws, changes in minimum wages, rules and regulations are all well and good but they take time – and time is money (lost). One way to make sure that we might be able to celebrate 90 cents to a dollar next year is so simple, yet effective: Ask for more. Negotiate. Know what your worth and be courageous enough to ask for it. [side note: Check out how The Levo League turned Equal Pay Day last week into Ask for More Day.]

Pew’s 66 (percent)

Another set of numbers that has been released by the Pew Research Center might be an indication that Equal Pay Day will soon be an actual holiday. Having a successful and high-paying career has become more important for women (66%) than it is for men (59%). The way our generation looks at and plans family and career has changed and it has become possible to have it all, or at least most of it. Being a good parent and having a successful marriage are still ranked higher than having a successful career, but Pew’s research shows an important shift in young women’s values: It’s possible – not necessarily easy – to have both a fulfilling career and a family and you do not have to wipe off your ambitions and wrap them into a dirty diaper.

TIME’s 100 (people)

This very optimistic and promising outlook blends beautifully into our next topic: TIME released its annual list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. It’s an illustrious list of people who currently have a more or less obvious impact on all our lives. This year’s list features 61 men, 38 women and the hackers from Anonymous.
To tie in with the above mentioned research: Many of the women on TIME’s list are mothers and have a successful career – whereas men are often “just” portrayed as having a successful career and we are left in the dark about their duties as fathers and husbands.
The list also shows us that you do not have to lead a country or big company to make the cut – no, there are many more assets that will put you on the list (I am looking at you, Pippa Middleton) – so I would say there is hope for all of us!

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