Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Women Make News, the Ivory Ceiling, and the Davos World Economic Forum

This past week, I was contacted by Amy-Willard Cross, the Editor of
Women Make
based at the Centre for Social Innovation in Toronto, Canada.

Women Make is an editorial page for women where experts, advocates, and academics contribute editorials on important issues of the day.

Its goal: to increase women’s participation in the public debate.

According to its website, the percentage of women’s bylines in the major papers is only 10-15%: this site makes use of neglected female intellectual capital.

I was intrigued and in checking out its website I found fascinating articles so I was delighted to be able to contribute my piece on The Price Paid by Women Who Serve: Gender Disparities in Academia, which the Editor had requested to reprint, and which had appeared earlier on this blog. As a further followup to this article on the Misra, Hickes Lundquist, Dahlberg Holmes, and Agiomavritis study, a female colleague, who is an Associate Professor, told me last week that she attended 35 additional meetings last year because of a committee that she was serving on. This added up, according to my calculations, to over a full week of work, and just for a single committee, for which she received no additional compensation and it took precious time away from teaching preparation and research!

Also, Women Make brought to my attention the following:

Davos Makes Quota for Women

Usually just 15-17% of attendees of The World Economic Forum are women. Now organizers of the Davos meeting will require that women make up 25% of delegates from major corporations which pay the highest membership fees. The WEF has other equity goals: by 2014, the organisation wants 50 per cent of its Young Global Leaders program to be women. @Read more at E-financial News

Some positive news on this front -- my colleague at UMass Amherst, Jane Fountain, was recently appointed Council Chair of the Global Advisory Council on the Future of Government by the World Economic Forum.

Thanks to Amy-Willard Cross for educating and informing about so many important issues and for having more voices heard! Then again, she is based in Canada, where I was born!

Let's get more females represented in forums from the World Economc Forum in Davos to TED so that society and technology can advance and the world can be made a better place for all!