With all the articles and events around women's issues in the last year, women still lag behind men in pay and seats on corporate boards. According to Fortune.com, only 24 S&P 500 companies have women COO's.
As to pay equity, the often-quoted statistic that women earn 80% of what men earn has changed little over the last few years. AAUW goes more deeply into this figure by stating that:
- women in every state experience the pay gap, but some states are worse than others,
- the gap is worse for women of color,
- the gap exists in nearly every occupation,
- the gap grows with age,
- the gap exists at every educational level, and
- the gap exists for women without children.
Today is International Women's Day. The Theme for International Women's Day 2019 is #BalanceforBetter #IWD2019. The International Women's Day official website describes the history and focus of the day. It also lists worldwide events that range from film screenings to golf challenges.
As in years past, in recognition of this event I take the time to add my voice to the celebration.
- I remember my recently departed mother who worked in a ship building facility near the end of World War II after my father returned from service in the South Pacific. She oversaw a team of men who first resented and then admired her.
- I honor my grandmother who in the 1920's cut her hair in spite of discussion about casting her out of the small Baptist church that was the center of her family's spiritual and social life.
- I celebrate the women in many countries who are speaking out against rape and assault in spite of intimidation and physical danger.
- I celebrate Malala Yousufza who continues her fight for girls' education in spite of her traumatic injuries.
- I celebrate my daughter-in-law who started a career as an engineer and decided she wants to own and run a bead shop.
- I honor the women who made it possible for me to vote in spite of harassment, jail and harsh treatment.
- I recognize the women who made it possible for me to go to public school and then to college.
- I applaud the groups who help and protect victims of domestic violence.
- I treasure the cherished female friends from high school, college and beyond who have listened, talked, laughed and cried with me.
- I honor the women who were the "first" in any endeavor. Their courage and persistence make these experiences possible for women today.
- In addition, I celebrate the men who supported them then and support them today.
Weisul, K. Globally, Women Gain Corporate Board Seats --But Not in the US. Fortune, 2015.