Weekend Reading on Women's Representation October 4, 2019

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on October 04, 2019

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Hello friends,
Another busy week of work and travel in and around the world of women's representation! Yet again, I do not have time to do justice to the many interesting threads that tell the story of this week's news of the progress and challenges that women face in politics in the US and around the world. But I will cobble together what I can glean from Google Alerts and headlines.
Last week, I featured Melinda Gates' article in the Harvard Business Review that discussed her support for a collection of strategies to advance women's representation and leadership across a number of sectors. This week Gates announced that she will give 1 billion dollars toward the work for women's equality which Time Magazine covered in this story - listen to a terrific interview with Melinda discussing her work for women's equality on the Harvard Business Review podcast. This unprecedented commitment to the work for women's equality will not only provide a wide range of organizations the support they need to build strategies for significant impact, it will also signal ( I hope) to other philanthropists that investing in strategies that advance and normalize women's equality is vital.

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I have been in Boston this week to attend the Massachusetts's Women's Political Caucus annual dinner that this year celebrated Natasha Lamb of Arjuna Capital who is doing incredible work on gender-lens investing. It was great to see Julia Frost there as well who was instrumental in nurturing the ReflectUS coalition of non-partisan women's representation organizations in our early stages.

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Cynthia with Natasha Lamb
 

BOSTON (MEDIA ADVISORY October 3, 2019) – One of Boston’s most recognized financial professionals, Natasha Lamb, will be honored by the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus (MWPC) tonight at a ceremony to bestow honorees with the Abigail Adams Award and the Good Guys Award. The Abigail Adams Award is reserved for women who have demonstrated a firm commitment to advancing the political, economic and social rights for women; and the Good Guys Award for men who have worked in their personal, professional, and civic lives to achieve parity for women. 

MWPC announced online that Natasha Lamb, MBA, Managing Partner & Co-Founder of Arjuna Capital, will receive this year’s Abigail Adams Award for her commitment to gender pay equity and for investing globally in women.  Lamb is a high profile investor advocate for gender pay equity, widely considered to be the foremost expert applying pressure on major US companies to level the playing field for women.

In 2019, Lamb led a broad-based median gender pay gap campaign on behalf of Arjuna’s investors, targeting 12 US banks, technology, and retail companies to disclose company-wide gender and minority wage data, including: Adobe, Amazon, Citi, Intel, Facebook, Google, Bank of New York Mellon, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, American Express, JPMorgan and Mastercard.

 

It was also great to catch up quickly with Jenn Nassour who has also provided terrific leadership to the RelfectUS Coalition and is now running for a seat on the Boston City Council.
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Cynthia with Jenn Nassour

Amin Abari, husband of RepresentWomen board member extraordinaire Mehrnaz Teymourian, shared this very interesting article on a new law that was passed in Iran regarding citizenship of children born to Iranian women and foreign nationals - I have been following this issue closely as it has come up in a number of countries I have visited recently:
Iran will for the first time grant citizenship to children born to an Iranian mother and foreign father after a long-awaited bill was signed into law by the powerful Guardian Council in a significant victory for women’s rights.

The law was passed by parliament with an overwhelming majority in May, and ratified on Wednesday by the panel of senior clerics and judges, the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reported, citing council spokesman Abbas Ali Kadkhodaee.

The measure is significant in the Middle East, where many countries don’t allow mothers to pass their nationality onto their children if the father is a foreign national. In Iran, the new law will give tens of thousands of children access to social and health-care services previously denied them on the basis that they were foreigners.
Finally, the great team at RepresentWomen has been working with the terrific team at Veracity Media to refresh the RW website which is getting close to completion. I am happy to report that you can find the 2019 Gender Parity Index live on the current site - so check out where your state ranks on our map - and stay tuned for a better organized site in the coming weeks!
P.S. Mattel announced this week the release of the first gender-neutral doll - here is a clip from The Washington Post coverage of the launch. My mother died some years ago but I am grateful that she was the sort of grandmother who believed that all children should be able to choose the clothing and toys they wanted. She made sure everyone had a copy of William's Doll  and she honored my son's wish to wear dresses by buying him new ones in his favorite color to match his sisters' - my mother also bought my son some beautiful dolls which he cherished. 
I have also been thinking of my parents as I roamed around the Harvard campus today with my dear friend Ellen Brodsky, checking out the places my father studied - nearly 70 years ago -  and popping into the Schlesinger Library to do a little quick research on the Seneca Falls Convention and Lucretia Mott. 😊
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With my dear friend Ellen Brodsky - an amazing filmmaker....