One of the most widely-shared stories this week was this one from the Washington Post that reflects on the role of women staffers in the White House and how they have helped to 'amplify' the voices of their colleagues - changing norms through example...
The atmosphere has changed considerably in Obama’s second term. Many of the original players have moved on. Today, Obama’s closest aides — the ones who sit in the 7:30 a.m. meeting and earn the top White House salary of $176,461 a year — are equally divided between men and women. Overall, the average man still earns about 16 percent more than the average woman. But half of all White House departments — from the National Security Council to the Office of Legislative Affairs — are headed by women.
Andrea Dew Steele, Founder and President of Emerge America had a terrific piece in Huffington Post on all that they have accomplished - 330 Emerge graduates will be on the ballot this November (!) - and the work that remains. I had the pleasure of meeting with Andrea in San Francisco this very week!
The Center for American Women and Politics released a tally of general election candidates who are women - see their press release for details - and this sobering teaser:
While history is being made in 2016 by Hillary Clinton as the first female major party presidential nominee, there is little progress for women further down the ballot. Numbers of nominees for the Senate and House are close to past levels, with 168 women nominated for the U.S. House of Representatives and 16 for the Senate.
The proposal would impose penalties on companies not having achieved corporate boards composed of at least 40% women by 2019, Omni reports. So far there is no indication the law would concern itself with genders outside of the male-female dichotomy.The law would affect 280 companies listed in Sweden and about 50 state-run companies,
African companies with boards that are at least one-quarter female experience, on average, 20% higher earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) than the industry average. Open Democracy ran an interesting piece on women's representation in Great Britain by Sarah Childs entitled The Problem of Women and Politics Has Not Gone Away - the United States inherited her winner-takes-all, single winner district voting system from Britain a few centuries ago - both countries are long overdue for a switch to the multi winner districts with proportional voting that contribute to the electoral success in the 95 countries that rank above the US.
Informed by the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s framework of a gender-sensitive parliament, the report makes 43 recommendations addressing three dimensions: (i) Equality of Participation in the House — ensuring a diverse composition of MPs and achieving equality of participation amongst MPs once elected; (ii) Parliamentary Infrastructure — how parliament organises itself and supports the work of members; and (iii) Commons Culture — making this more inclusive.
Rose Mofford died this week. In 1988 she became the first woman to serve as governor of Arizona when, as secretary of state, she completed the term of Evan Mecham after he was suspended and impeached. Since then, Arizona has had three woman governors: Republicans Jane Dee Hull and Jan Brewer and Democrat Janet Napolitano. Napolitano is the only woman in history to be elected governor to succeed another female governor.
The Washington Post amplified the stats of women's under-representation with this story and image: