Category Archives: Working Women

The Socialist Roots of International Women’s Day

Source: Lindsay Beyerstein, In These Times, Working In These Times blog, March 8, 2016

Today, as the world marks the 99th annual International Women’s Day, it’s clear that the occasion enjoys an aura of mainstream respectability. IWD is an official holiday in 15 countries. But the radical roots of the IWD have been largely forgotten…. International Women’s Day was born during a time of great social upheaval, as women and workers began to organize and assert their rights, often in concert. In 1908, 15,000 women marched in New York to demand shorter hours, better working conditions, and the right to vote. The famous slogan “Bread and Roses” made its debut at this protest. It was a poetic answer to a basic question: What are we fighting for? Bread represents survival and roses represent quality of life and human dignity. The slogan has been associated with the overlap between women’s rights and workers’ rights ever since…..

International Women’s Day

Source: IWD, 2016

International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
International Women’s Day (IWD) has been observed since in the early 1900’s – a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies. International Women’s Day is a collective day of global celebration and a call for gender parity. No one government, NGO, charity, corporation, academic institution, women’s network or media hub is solely responsible for International Women’s Day. Many organizations declare an annual IWD theme that supports their specific agenda or cause, and some of these are adopted more widely with relevance than others….

…The International Women’s Day website has been operating for over 15 years as a shared global digital hub dedicated to everything IWD, and has supported many gender-focused initiatives for companies around the world like EY, Accenture, HSBC, Cisco, Deloitte, Allianz, MetLife, Scotiabank, African Development Bank, BP, Avanade, EBRD, PwC, E.ON, Western Union and more….

International Women’s Day 2016 campaign resources
Across the world, useful resources from reputable sources inform and support the pursuit of gender parity. Below is a selection of impressive and meaningful resources to guide your own focus on working to achieve gender parity – and to help run your own #PledgeForParity campaign.
Further gender parity resources:
EY’s The time for gender parity is now survey documents the economic imperative of gender parity and outlines three accelerators to help achieve it

EY’s Women. Fast forward on is a digital hub with resources and guidance for women in the workforce, women in leadership, women entrepreneurs and women athletes

McKinsey & Company report Unlocking the full potential of women at work features 60 companies that show how women have fuelled the US economy and its largest corporations

McKinsey & Company study, in partnership with LeanIn Women in the workplace discusses the state of women in America

EY’s Women in the public sector report reveals women are woefully under-represented in the public sector but a significant part of the workforce

EY study: Global generations is a survey of workers in eight countries about what they want from their jobs

Who Values Diversity? Comparing the Effect of Manager Gender Across the Public, Private, and Nonprofit Sectors

Source: Morgen Johansen, Ling Zhu, American Review of Public Administration, Published online before print February 26, 2016
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Researchers have focused on the role of managerial gender on attitudes toward diversity issues mainly in either the public or private sector, but there is little research that compares managerial attitudes on diversity across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. This article identifies important distinctions among the sectors that may influence gender differences in managerial priority placed on diversity. Using a national survey of nearly 1,000 top-level managers in public, private, and nonprofit hospitals in the United States, we analyze how managerial gender combined with cross-sector differences shape managerial priority on diversity. We find female managers place a higher priority on diversity than their male counterparts in nonprofit and private organizations compared with managers in public organizations. The differing effects of managerial gender on the priority placed on diversity are shaped by the organizational contexts of the three sectors. This research provides systematic evidence of sector differences in the patterns of managerial priorities regarding diversity.

Black Women in the Labor Force

Source: Joan Farrelly-Harrigan, U.S. Department of Labor Blog, February 26, 2016

As Black History Month comes to a close and Women’s History Month begins, it’s a good time to take a look at the progress we’ve made toward equality in the workplace for black women and the challenges they still face.

We’ve undoubtedly made substantial progress over the past few decades. Black women earn more than ever and continue to be more likely than other women to participate in the labor force. In 2015, six in 10 black women were employed or actively looking for work.

However, we still face significant challenges, including a stark wage gap. The latest data on annual earnings shows that black women earn nearly 20 percent less than white, non-Hispanic women and 40 percent less than white, non-Hispanic men. This wage disparity has a detrimental effect on black women and the families they support. Black women are raising families, often alone, or at least as a primary breadwinner. In fact, four in 10 black families with children were headed by a single working mother in 2014….


Status of Women in the South

Source: Julie Anderson, Elyse Shaw, Chandra Childers, Jessica Milli and Asha DuMonthie, Institute for Women’s Policy Research, February 2016

From the summary:
IWPR’s The Status of Women in the South is the first report to provide a comprehensive portrait of the status of women, particularly the status of women of color, in the southern states, grading each state on six different topic areas related to women’s economic, political, health, and social status.
For purposes of the report, the South is defined as Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia , and the District of Columbia.

The Status of Women in the South report is part of the Status of Women in the States project, a tool for leaders and the public to access information at the state and national level since 1996. It is the most accessible, comprehensive source of state-level data on women of color in the United States.

Chapters include:
Political Participation
Employment & Earnings
Work & Family
Poverty & Opportunity
Reproductive Rights
Health & Well-Being
Violence & Safety

Executive Summary

The Gender Wage Gap: Extent, Trends, and Explanations

Source: Francine D. Blau, Lawrence M. Kahn, National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), NBER Working Paper No. w21913, January 2016
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Using PSID microdata over the 1980-2010, we provide new empirical evidence on the extent of and trends in the gender wage gap, which declined considerably over this period. By 2010, conventional human capital variables taken together explained little of the gender wage gap, while gender differences in occupation and industry continued to be important. Moreover, the gender pay gap declined much more slowly at the top of the wage distribution that at the middle or the bottom and by 2010 was noticeably higher at the top. We then survey the literature to identify what has been learned about the explanations for the gap. We conclude that many of the traditional explanations continue to have salience. Although human capital factors are now relatively unimportant in the aggregate, women’s work force interruptions and shorter hours remain significant in high skilled occupations, possibly due to compensating differentials. Gender differences in occupations and industries, as well as differences in gender roles and the gender division of labor remain important, and research based on experimental evidence strongly suggests that discrimination cannot be discounted. Psychological attributes or noncognitive skills comprise one of the newer explanations for gender differences in outcomes. Our effort to assess the quantitative evidence on the importance of these factors suggests that they account for a small to moderate portion of the gender pay gap, considerably smaller than say occupation and industry effects, though they appear to modestly contribute to these differences.

Do Women Still Care? Cohort Changes in US Women’s Care for the Ill or Disabled

Source: Eliza K. Pavalko, Joseph D. Wolfe, Social Forces, Vol. 94 no. 3), March 2016
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Increases in women’s labor-force participation and the time families spend at work have reduced the time families have available to care for one another. Recent evidence suggests that responses to these challenges vary for different types of care. While time spent on housework has declined, time devoted to care of children has increased. This paper examines cohort changes in another form of unpaid work, care for ill or disabled friends or family members, and assesses the influence of employment, attitudes, and need for care on age and cohort trends in carework. Using data from the National Longitudinal Surveys, we estimate age and cohort differences in carework among women born between 1922 and 1952. We find a decline in overall levels of carework among more recent birth cohorts of women. However, we do not find cohort changes in the probability that women will provide more intense levels of care, defined as nine or more hours of care per week. The amount of illness and disability among family members partially reduces differences between cohorts, but women’s employment and attitudes about work and family do little to clarify changing patterns of care. Overall, our findings suggest that, even after the large-scale social changes of the twentieth century, women will continue to provide carework when necessary. Thus, the real concern for families is not whether ill or disabled members will have care, but rather, whether their careworkers receive the institutional support required to successfully balance paid and unpaid work.

Union Revitalization: How Women and Men Officers See the Relationship Between Union Size and Union Tolerance for Sexual Harassment

Source: Steven Mellor, Lisa M. Kath, Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal, Volume 28 Issue 1, March 2016
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Larger memberships resulting from union mergers and consolidations have heightened the issue of union responsiveness to economic and noneconomic needs of members. In this study, we focused on a gender-moderated relationship between union size and perceived union tolerance for sexual harassment, in which low perceived tolerance (a desirable outcome) was anticipated as a noneconomic need relevant to union women. Data were collected from women and men officers (N = 120) in various unions. Officers were viewed as well-positioned informants on tolerance in relation to union policies and practices. As hypothesized, the data confirmed that women in larger unions rated tolerance significantly higher (an undesirable outcome) than women in smaller unions. No such tolerance variation was found for men in relation to smaller and larger unions. Implications for union revitalization and future research on union size are discussed.

Impact of Work-Life Imbalance on Health of Women

Source: Sarang Shankar Bhola – Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil Institute of Management Studies & Research, and Jyoti Nigade – Shivaji University – Department of Commerce & Management, January 4, 2016
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Work-life balance is effective management of juggling act between paid work and other activities that are important to people. In case of working woman it is a state of equilibrium in which the demands of both, her job and personal life is equal. But when they can’t maintain this equilibrium what should be the consequences? Present research paper focus on health related consequences, since it is intended to find out whether work-life imbalance affects health of working women, and if yes then to what extent they suffer from. 691 working women were taken as samples which consists 379 from service industry, 176 professionals and 136 entrepreneurs. Schedule consist of 17 variables depicting physical health, 13 variables deals with psychological health and 7 variables deals with reproductive health problems. Samples were asked to opine on suffering with respective health problem measured on dichotomous scale and the extent of suffering from such health problem using five point likert type scales. The null hypothesis i.e. Women working as employee/professional/entrepreneur suffer from medical problems is accepted since majority of medical problems considered in this study are not suffered by majority of samples included in this study. Binomial test is used to test hypothesis. Researcher found that work-life imbalance takes a toll on the health of working women since they are suffered from different physical (exhaustion, frequent headache, server back pain, acidity, eye sight disorders and hair loss), psychological problems (emotional strain, anxiety disorders, sleep disorders and becoming sluggish) and reproductive health problems (irregular periods and miscarriage) due to their work.