Women, Work and Worth

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When more women take the lead in business, the financial picture gets brighter. Not just for the ladies at the top, but for the companies that they direct.

The research proves it: Corporations with a consistent female presence on their boards report better returns on sales, invested capital and equity than those whose board rooms lack gender diversity. Still, in the U.S. today, women hold fewer than 17 percent of the seats on corporate boards.

Women are clearly good for business. But is business good to women?

Check out this cool infographic about women and work, and see for yourself.

For instance: When it comes to gender equity, we’ve made huge strides in everything from education (women earn 60 percent of college degrees) to C-suite stature (check out Marissa Mayer’s annual compensation). But, Ms. Mayer and her cohorts aside, women are paid just 78 cents for every dollar a man makes.

Clearly, it’s not enough to quote statistics. How do women build momentum to move toward full equity? The infographic also captures upbeat advice from female CEOs and offers 10 tips to inspire women to go for the brass ring.

Take the long view with a clear snapshot of the progress, the obstacles and the path to women’s leadership.

(This was the guest post by Jason Gilbert – thank you!)

Women, Arts and Social Change

IMG_2349[1]What percentage of art currently on display in US museums was made by women? According to the National Museum of Women in the Arts, it is 5%.   Even worse, less than 3% of the artists in the Modern Art section of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art are women, but 83% of the nudes are female. So hmm… it is 27 times more likely that a woman is featured nude in a painting, then to have been the featured artist.  Not good.

The statistics on women in art are staggeringly poor, yet not widely publicized. Even though I am known as ‘fact girl’, these were ones I had not heard until  I had the pleasure of hearing Susan Fisher Sterling, Director of the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA), speak at an art talk in Park City this week. I also learned that this museum is the only major museum in the WORLD solely dedicated to recognizing women’s creative achievements in the arts.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts has been working to bring awareness to the lack of women represented on museum walls and in collectors portfolios since 1981, when the museum was founded by Wilhelmina Cole Holladay and Wallace F. Holladay. In addition to advocating for women in the arts, the museum has worked to collect, preserve and display over 4,500 art works created by women. The Museum, which is located in downtown Washington DC, has 5 floors and over 80,000 square feet 100% dedicated to work by women. NMWA spotlights remarkable women artists of the past, while also promoting the best women artists working today.

My dear friend, and fellow Park City local, Susan Swartz, had her first major solo exhibit at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in 2011. It was called  Seasons of the Soul  and since that time her work has become international recognized.  She is but one example of amazing women artists whose careers have been enhanced and supported but this awesome institution. Another amazing woman to have a show at the museum is Carrie Mae Weemes. She is preeminent  photographer that I just happen to have in my collection. If you have not heard of her, please check out her web-site. One thing Susan Fisher asked in her remarks were “how many famous women artists can you name?” Think about it. The answers are likely a lot fewer in number than  for male artists, and that needs to change.  Thanks to this museum, it likely well.

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In 2014  NMWA launched a bold new programmatic initiative called Women, Arts and Social Change. Through a series of public programs, the initiative will highlight the power of women and the arts as a catalyst for solutions to society’s most pressing issues, particularly those affecting women and girls. I am really excited to see where this new initiative will take the museum and how it will continue to engage new and younger audiences about the importance of women in the arts. This aligns beautifully to the work I am doing with Women Moving Millions to promote documentary film as a tool for social next. Next week I will be in New York for a full day workshop, and I will travel to Dallas for a similar event on May 7th.

I invite you to suport NMWA  and please visit their website at http://nmwa.org/

 

Photo above – Robin Marrouche, Director of the Kimball Art Center in Park City, Susan Fisher Sterling, and yours truly.

 

The Locust Effect

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Posted on LinkedIn Influencers on February 5, 2014

An estimated 4 billion people worldwide are not protected by their justice systems. Let that number sink in for a minute. 4 billion people. That is more than half the world’s population. Half of the men, women, and children on earth will find no support from the very systems that are meant to protect them. Instead, these people live in fear of every day violence such as assault, rape, slavery, theft, and abuse, and these people are almost exclusively the poorest citizens of our world. The statistics surrounding the violence these people endure on a daily basis is shocking, and when presented with the facts, I had one question: How did it get this bad?

The epidemic of systematic violence against the world’s poorest people is a complex and horrifying issue, and there are many people who are trying to address, understand, and find solutions to this problem. However, in a new book published this week, The Locust Effect, authors Gary A. Haugen and Victor Boutros argue that the simple answer is that there simply is no one to stand between these people and the violence. The justice systems have failed them, and when the only thing that can protect you and your family is money, it is the world’s poor who suffer the most.

As a resident of one of the world’s most developed countries, it is hard to comprehend the challenges these people face on a daily basis. Many of the crimes perpetrated against the world’s poor are actually illegal in their countries, but even though a crime is on the books, there is no guarantee of enforcement. Many of the justice systems in the world’s developing countries are systematically corrupt and overwhelmingly favour the wealthy, and in the face of such staggering odds it’s hard to know what to do to help. Thankfully, there are solutions, and they have been proven to work, such as the case of Project Lantern. Using funds from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the International Justice Mission (IJM) set up an office in Cebu in the Philippines to combat child trafficking by working with local law officials to better prosecute traffickers. Amazingly, the number of children available for prostitution in the area dropped an astonishing 79% over four years thanks to the efforts of this group, and IJM is now looking to expand this program worldwide. When the justice systems in these countries are strengthened, the poor are better projected, and we can all help by supporting and donating to institutions that work to do just that. All author royalties from The Locust Effect will go towards IJM, and for every book purchased this week, a generous donor has agreed to donate an additional $20 towards IJM to help fund their work. You can purchase your copy here, and you can sign a petition to the United Nations to include ending violence against children in their 2015 Millennium Development Goals here.

4 billion people live in fear of violence every day. 30 million people worldwide live in slavery. Women between the age of 15 and 44 have higher odds of experiencing physical harm or death due to gender-based violence than cancer, motor accidents, war, and malaria combined. These horrific threats to personal safety are in addition to the alarming statistics surrounding hunger, access to clean water, and health, and the fact that nearly two and a half billion people worldwide live off of less than $2.00/day, categorized by the United Nations as extreme poverty. It is a grim picture, and one that is far removed from most of our privileged realities here in the United States. The simple fact that 4 billion people are unable to fully contribute to the world because the reality of everyday violence is keeping them in poverty is unacceptable. If we can remove this barrier and protect these people from violence, imagine what the contributions of 4 billion people could do to change the world economically, socially, environmentally, and emotionally? That’s a world where everyone wins, and one that I want to see in my lifetime. Who’s with me?