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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation January 24, 2020


Dear friends,
Bridgette Bruno, Research and Communications Manager for the Barbara Lee Family Foundation, wanted to make sure that readers know about the webinar "Ready, Willing, & Electable: Women Running for Executive Office" that they are hosting on their new research which asks about hypothetical Asian American, Black, Latina, lesbian and white women candidates of the two major political parties to comprehensively examine what it takes for a woman to prove to voters she is ready to serve in executive office.
  • 1pm
  • Wednesday, January 29th
  • Register here:
  • Speakers include BLFF’s Amanda Hunter, Lake Research Partner’s Celinda Lake, and Bellwether Research and Consulting’s Chris Matthews.

And it's always nice to help promote events like this so here is some info for posting to your networks on social media:



Drafted social posts are below. Please feel free to adapt as needed.

  • Don’t miss the 1/29 @BLFF_org webinar, examining what it takes for a woman to prove to voters she is ready to serve in executive office. #BLFFresearch Register today!
  • Join the @BLFF_org team on 1/29 to explore findings from “Ready, Willing & Electable: Women Running for Executive Office.” #BLFFresearch Register here:


Graphics for social and/or email blasts are saved in a folder here.


(graphic on gender disparity from the World Economic Forum)
I found a terrific article in my Google Alerts from the World Economic Forum (where there is a lot of discussion about women's equality) which discusses the importance of systems thinking and systems strategies to win true gender equality:

The data is clear: an equal world is a better world for all of us. When equality grows, communities are healthier, businesses are stronger, economies rise – and the world is a better place for everyone.

But today’s approaches to gender equality are still largely ineffective. The latest World Economic Forum Gender Gap Report now estimates a staggering 257 years to close the gap on economic participation for women – compared to 202 years in last year’s report.

Unfortunately, this is no surprise.

Getting to 50/50 requires intentional, long-term talent planning at every level, including targets or quotas. But here, too, the typical approach of setting targets only for women is too narrow. We must tackle the numerator and the denominator by declaring hiring targets and representation quotas for women and for men. Our talent plans must encompass our total talent pool – not just a piece of it.

As world leaders internalize the stark realities in the Gender Gap Report, and as we look within our own organizations, we need every individual, every CEO and every leader to check their blind spots and embrace a broader set of steps required to close the gender gap.

It’s time to acknowledge that gender inequality must be fixed – but women don’t need to be. As counterintuitive as it may seem, taking the focus off women allows us to search more broadly for solutions and take a holistic approach. When we eliminate our blind spots, a bigger picture comes into view – of the systems, norms, cultures and biases that must be addressed before our workplaces and world can see equal.
I am running short on time this afternoon but I do want to share links to these stories for your weekend reading list:
  • Greece elects its first woman president, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, by a sizable majority according to this story in The Hill
  • Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon announces to only take companies public that have "diverse" boards according to this story in Fortune
  • Elizabeth Warren pledges to appoint a gender-balanced cabinet if elected president according to this story on Huffpost Politics
  • Emma Goldberg interviews 37-year-old women in public office to answer this question "Would a 37-Year-Old Woman Be Where Pete Buttigieg Is?" in this piece in The New York Times


Finally, The New York Times broke with tradition this week and endorsed two women for the democratic nomination - the entire editorial is worth reading but here is their conclusion which I find compelling:

Any hope of restoring unity in the country will require modesty, a willingness to compromise and the support of the many demographics that make up the Democratic coalition — young and old, in red states and blue, black and brown and white. For Senator Klobuchar, that’s acknowledging the depth of the nation’s dysfunction. For Senator Warren, it’s understanding that the country is more diverse than her base.

There will be those dissatisfied that this page is not throwing its weight behind a single candidate, favoring centrists or progressives. But it’s a fight the party itself has been itching to have since Mrs. Clinton’s defeat in 2016, and one that should be played out in the public arena and in the privacy of the voting booth. That’s the very purpose of primaries, to test-market strategies and ideas that can galvanize and inspire the country.

Ms. Klobuchar and Ms. Warren right now are the Democrats best equipped to lead that debate.

May the best woman win.


(Gender-balanced cabinet from our cherished resident artist, Melanie)
I hope you all have a great weekend!
P.S. Suffrage milestones this week include the anniversary tomorrow of the 1st vote in the U.S. Senate on women's suffrage in 1887 - the bill was resoundingly defeated and The New York Times called the women "unreasonable" in their story about the proceedings but concluded that " there is no doubt that the right of suffrage may properly be, and gradually will be, extended to women. That process has already begun, and if carried on guardedly and with sense it may go a good way..."
We are also noting that milestones in women's leadership including the swearing in of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State in 2009 and of Madeleine Albright who was the first woman to become Secretary of State in 1997.

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