The Guardian: If the gender pay gap is a 'feminist myth', then why not disclose salaries?

By Arwa Mahdawl

2 February 2019

Equal pay requires honest discussions

The gender pay gap, as every right-thinking person knows, is a feminist myth. Those figures you’ve seen about white women earning around 80% of what white men make, and black women earning just 61%, are probably wrong. And if they’re not, then, as many conservatives have pointed out, there are rational explanations for the disparity. Such as the fact that, as Jordan Peterson has explained, women are just more agreeable than men, meaning they don’t ask for more money. Which is a very agreeable explanation if you don’t want to confront structural inequality.

While many on the right insist the gender pay gap doesn’t exist, they also appear keen to block legislation that would strengthen equal pay protection and make it easier for employees to share wage information. Which would appear to be a contradictory position. As congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Wednesday “If ‘the wage gap is a myth’ as some allege, then workplaces should have no problem with workers disclosing our salaries with one another.”

Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet followed a news conference in which she, along with other Democrats, re-introduced the Paycheck Fairness Act, which strives to close the gender wage gap by giving women tools to challenge unequal pay. For example, it would stop employers retaliating against workers who discuss their salaries with each other. The bill was first introduced in 1997, but has been repeatedly blocked by Republicans.

Read the full article in The Guardian.

The Guardian: Oracle systematically underpaid thousands of women, lawsuit says

By Sam Levin

18 January 2019

Thousands of women were systematically underpaid at Oracle, one of Silicon Valley’s largest corporations, according to a new motion in a class-action complaint that details claims of pervasive wage discrimination.

A motion filed in California on Friday said attorneys seek to represent more than 4,200 women and alleged that female employees were paid on average $13,000 less per year than men doing similar work. An analysis of payroll data found disparities with an “extraordinarily high degree of statistical significance”, the complaint said. Women made 3.8% less in base salaries on average than men in the same job categories, 13.2% less in bonuses, and 33.1% less in stock value, it alleges.

The civil rights suit comes as the tech industries faces increased scrutiny of gender and racial discrimination, including sexual misconductunequal payand biased workplaces. The case against Oracle, which is headquartered in Redwood Shores and provides cloud computing services to companies across the globe, resembles high-profile litigation against Google, which has also faced repeated claims of systematic wage discrimination.

Read the full article in The Guardian.

New York Times: A Woman’s Plea: Let’s Raise Our Voices!

Anonymous Reader to Editor

31 January 2019

To the Editor:

In 1855, Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote to his publisher, “America is now wholly given over to a damned mob of scribbling women.” Although he was referring specifically to sentimental novelists, his letter expressed the larger belief that women’s writing was not worth reading or publishing, that their words and ideas didn’t matter, and that their work was, to use the language of Hawthorne, “trash.”

As a historian, I see this playing out not only in the antebellum period, but also in the postwar era when I read letters to the editor. As I scan through various national newspapers, day after day, year after year, I find myself hoping that someday, eventually, women will be represented proportionally. I am always disappointed; they always skew male.

Perhaps Hawthorne’s disdain for scribbling women is not such distant history.

This problem is especially concerning because unlike an Op-Ed — where the writer presumably has some expertise in the subject matter — anybody can submit a letter to the editor. It is, I’d argue, the most democratic section of the paper because children and adults, billionaire philanthropists and minimum-wage workers, and people of all genders can contribute. 

Read the full article in the New York Times.

New York Times: Is the World’s Most Powerful Woman Finally a Feminist?

By Emily Schultheis

30 January 2019

BERLIN — The day after the British Parliament voted down a deal on Brexit, with political instability dominating international headlines, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany sat down for a 45-minute interview with a journalist from the German newspaper Die Zeit.

They didn’t talk about Britain, however, or the future of Europe or even really about German politics. Instead, Ms. Merkel gave a rare and candid account of her experience as a female politician, her thoughts on feminism and how she has been shaped by her gender. It was her first time broaching the topic at such length in more than 13 years as chancellor.

Ms. Merkel is the most visible and powerful woman in the world: whether consciously or not, she’s served as a role model to women and girls across the globe, and as proof of the political heights to which a woman today can rise.

But she has built her political persona precisely by downplaying that female identity. When she was climbing the ranks of the conservative, male-dominated Christian Democrats in the 1990s, Ms. Merkel consistently sought to create a brand that transcended her gender, rejecting the label of feminist and opting not to vocally pursue women’s issues

Read the full article in the New York Times.

Luma Wealth: Breaking the NFL’s Glass Ceiling

In an advertisement, Luma Wealth had this to say to those looking forward to the Super Bowl:

This Sunday, the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams face off in Atlanta for Super Bowl LIII. Friends and families across the country will huddle around their big screen TVs cheering great plays and debating questionable calls over chicken wings and chili – but will anyone be talking about the role women play in the NFL?

Once relegated to the sidelines, women have been fighting to level the playing field and break down the NFL’s glass ceiling, tackling careers as:

Referees. In June 2017, Terri Valenti became the first female instant replay official for the NFL, and in January 2019, Sarah Thomas became the first woman to officiate an NFL playoff game as the down judge in this year’s AFC divisional playoffs.

Owners. Several NFL clubs have women who are either primary or part owners of teams, including Martha Firestone Ford, who is the principal owner of the Detroit Lions, Virginia Halas McCaskey, is the principal owner of the Chicago Bears and Dee Haslam, who co-owns the Cleveland Browns with her husband, Jimmy.

Coaches. Kathryn Smith paved the way for women coaches in 2016 when she became the first full-time female NFL coach for the Buffalo Bills. Today, women coaches include Katie Sowers, Offensive Assistant for the San Francisco 49ers and Kelsey Martinez, the strength and conditioning coach for the Oakland Raiders.

In addition, advertisers, who spend more than $5 million per 30-second Super Bowl spot, are beginning to appreciate football’s female fans, recognizing that women represent half of the NFL’s fan base and control the majority of an estimated $40 trillion in household spending across the world.* In 2017, P&G targeted women with their “You gotta love a man who cleans” ad, featuring a sexy Mr. Clean. This year, P&G will run a 30-second Oil of Olay spot in the first quarter, which they say is intended to empower women. And Bumble, the dating app, will run a fully female-produced ad featuring Serena Williams, empowering women to make the first move in dating and in business.

The Washington Post: ‘Please, listen to us’: What it’s like being female at America’s biggest economic conference

By Heather Long

Every January, 13,000 economists gather for a weekend of networking, research sharing and fun. It’s the marquee event of the year for economists, and, at first glance, this year’s gathering could almost be mistaken for a #MeToo conference.

Economist after economist took the stage at...

Read the full article with a subscription to The Washington Post.

If Citicorp Can Do It, So Can The Ballet World

By Isabelle Vail

21 January 2019

DDP calls for lay transparency in all artistic salaries: from choreographers and composers to set and lighting designers. A recent article from Bloomberg News, entitled, “Citigroup Reveals Female Employees Earn 29% Less Than Men Do,” addressed the pay gap that we’ve heard about time and time again.

Rebecca Greenfield breaks down the facts, as DDP will soon do for compensation in the dance world.

Citigroup Inc. offered an uncharacteristically blunt assessment of the pay gap between men and women in its global workforce Wednesday, revealing that female employees earn 29 percent less than men do.

The disclosure -- a comparison of median total compensation -- offers a more complete picture of pay, compared with the figures Citigroup and other big banks released last year under pressure from shareholders in the U.S. and regulators in the U.K.

Read Greenfield’s article in Bloomberg News.

The Mary Sue: Natalie Portman Points Out the Bias in Resistance to Inclusion Riders

By Rachel Leishman

18 January 2019

Inclusion riders are nice in theory, but listening to Natalie Portman talk about them makes one thing very clear: The system is a lot more messed up than people realize and an inclusion rider may not be the only thing that can fix it.

The common argument against them is that you should hire based on talent, not gender/race/sexuality/or any other factor, but the problem with that mindset is that there is a systemic belief that the talent of women and people of color is inherently less than that of white men.

Talking with Deadline, Portman pointed out why it is both important to have inclusion riders and why Hollywood is still reluctant to the change it desperately needs:

“There is a resistance because I think a lot of people are making the argument that you’re hiring someone for their talent, not for their gender. It goes to show that we have so much bias in not recognizing talent and allowing it to express itself.”

The problem is that the “talent” people are seeing is inextricably linked to an internalized bias in those doing the hiring. If any person from a marginalized community wants a job, they’re scrutinized in a way that their white male counterparts aren’t, because our culture is still inherently unbalanced in many ways.

Read the full article on The Mary Sue.

Irish Times: The arts are evolving and so must the Abbey Theatre

By Frances Ruane

12 January 2019

The January 12th article by Frances Ruane, published in the Irish Times, took the form of an open letter to the Abbey Theatre and the public concerned with its operations. Ruane highlighted gender equity as an area of focus for the organization’s direction and compensations, writing:

I am pleased to have this opportunity to set out the board’s view on the current direction of the Abbey Theatre and the governance context.

The board’s most important roles are to appoint the director(s) and set strategy and overall policy for the theatre. On artistic programming, our role is to ensure the directors’ programming choices reflect our strategy, showing creativity, diversity and ambition while maintaining financial sustainability and meeting the board’s commitment to increased gender equality.

In all areas of the arts, sustainability is key, but just as important, as Ruane highlights above, is the equality of members both male and female in an organization. This letter stresses the growing awareness and prioritization of female equity in arts organizations around the world. It is essential that arts leaders take not of such letters and support, as Ruane has done, because, as this leader put it best:

Artistic decisions and the day-to-day running of the theatre are the remit of the directors.

Read the full article in the Irish Times.

Medium: An open letter regarding harassment and discrimination in the economics profession

The “Advocates for Diversity in Economics” published an open letter in December following the resignation of Harvard economist Ronald Fryer of the American Economic Association.

The letter reads:

…he created a hostile and sexualized work environment for the research assistants in his lab.

This is a painful moment for our discipline. Abuses of power, bullying, and harassment damage peoples’ health and happiness, ruin careers, and reduce the quality of scholarship in economics. Moreover, it is well documented that these abuses of power disproportionately harm womenminorities, and queer individuals. These frustrating realities have pushed us to ask how economics can address the power imbalances that drive out talented individuals, prevent the inclusion of underrepresented groups, and collectively damage our discipline.

As current graduate students and research assistants (RAs), we offer a unique and useful perspective on the opportunities our departments and the AEA have to protect us and ensure that our discipline is as diverse and vibrant as possible. Here are our suggestions.

To read the suggestions, read the letter on Medium.

New York Times: Female Economists Push their Field Towards a #MeToo Reckoning

By Ben Casselman and Jim Tankersley

10 January 2019

The economics profession is facing a mounting crisis of sexual harassment, discrimination and bullying that women in the field say has pushed many of them to the sidelines — or out of the field entirely.

Those issues took center stage at the American Economic Association’s annual meeting, the largest gathering of the profession, last weekend in Atlanta. Spurred by substantiated allegations of harassment against one of the most prominent young economists in the country, top women in the field shared stories of their own struggles with discrimination. Graduate students and junior professors demanded immediate steps by the A.E.A. to help victims of harassment and discipline economists who violate the group’s newly adopted code of conduct.

Read the full article in the New York Times.

New York Times: Female Composers Are Trying to Break Film's Sound Barrier

By Time Greiving

10 January 2019

Composers have been hired for two forthcoming blockbusters about warrior women — “Wonder Woman 1984,” directed and co-written by Patty Jenkins, and “Mulan,” directed by Niki Caro from a screenplay by three women.

The composers: Hans Zimmer and Harry Gregson-Williams. Both, plainly, dudes.

More than just a missed opportunity to lend flinty female heroes a female musical voice, the announcements were simply the latest examples of women being sorely unheard in film music. A 2018 studyby the University of Southern California revealed that for the top 100 fictional films at the box office every year from 2007 to 2017, only 16 female composers were hired, compared with more than 1,200 men.

Read the full article in the New York Times.

Bachtrack: Lenny Bernstein and Women Composers

7 January 2019

As we do every January, Bachtrack brings you the year in statistics: the world of classical music, that is to say, of course, the world of classical music as reflected by the 33,578 concerts, opera and dance performances in our database for 2018. You can pore over our full infographic here, but here are some of the things that caught our eye:

Women composers: improving, from a low base

Women in music continue to catch our attention. In the 2,891 contemporary orchestral works played last year and input to our database, just 12.8% were written by them versus 87.2% by men, with a great disparity according to different countries. In Germany and France, the figure is shockingly low at 5%, in sharp contrast to Sweden, where 37% of their contemporary work is by women (a look at the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra’s season highlights why). The figures for the USA and UK are 16 and 17% – the US figure would have been lower still but for a tweet at the start of 2018 by Alex Ross, which shamed the Philadelphia Orchestra into adding works by women to their 2018-19 season.

Read the full article on Bachtrack.

New York Times: More Black People Directed Top Films, Study Says

A recent article by Cara Buckley for the New York Times highlighted successful inclusion of diversity in the leading films of 2018. The January 4th article read:

A historically high number of top movies had black directors last year, according to a sweeping study, released on Friday, that examined diversity behind the scenes and in studio boardrooms.

While 2018 was a banner year for black directors — with 16 working on the top 100 films — 15 of those 16 directors were men; the one woman in that group was Ava DuVernay (“A Wrinkle in Time”). The overall figure was up from six black directors working on the top 100 films in 2017 and eight in 2007.

“While we do not see this finding mirrored among female or Asian directors, this offers proof that Hollywood can change when it wants to,” said Stacy L. Smith, who wrote the report with the University of Southern California Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, which released it.

This research and the article that supports it brings up the sensitive issue of gender disparity when trying to promote African American representation in the arts. The film industry successfully included black directors, but the tradeoff was a lack of women within that pool of directors.

Moving forward in one area of inclusion does not mean lagging behind in another. Black female directors must be provided equal opportunity as white and asian female directors, and the entire pool of female directors must be given the resources and funding, often devoted primarily to white men, to provide them with the opportunity of creating the top films of which they are capable of producing.

Read the full article in the New York Times.

New York Times: They Once Danced for Royalty. Now It's Mostly for Leering Men.

By Maria Abi-Habib

5 January 2019

LAHORE, Pakistan — Kiran remembers the days when she shimmied confidently across rooms adorned with plush velvet pillows and fine carpets, working alongside a troupe of trained musicians and commanding the attention of Pakistan’s wealthiest men.

Now, she travels with a crusty boom box and a few CDs of electronic music to dance in front of groups of ogling men who want one thing: sex.

“It used to be more about the art, the dancing and music,” said Kiran, 28, who asked that her last name not be used because of safety concerns. “Now, after one or two songs, all the men think about is the bed.”

Kiran is part of the dying tradition of the dancing girls of Lahore, a once famed and respected profession, with dancers employed for hundreds of years by the courts of the maharajahs to perform for royal audiences.

Read the full article in the New York Times.

The Guardian: Global pay gap will take 202 years to close, says World Economic Forum

By Rupert Neate

18 December 2018

The global pay gap between men and women will take 202 years to close, because it is so vast and the pace of change so slow, according to the World Economic Forum.

The WEF, which organises the annual meeting of business and political leaders in Davossaid the global gender pay gap has narrowed slightly over the past year, but the number of women in the professional workplace has fallen. In 2017, the WEF estimated that it would take 217 years to close the pay gap.

“The overall picture is that gender equality has stalled,” Saadia Zahidi, the WEF’s head of social and economic agendas, said. “The future of our labour market may not be as equal as the trajectory we thought we were on.”

The WEF found that on average women across the world are paid just 63% of what men earn. There is not a single country where women are paid as much as men. Laos, in south-east Asia, is the closest to achieving parity with women earning 91% of what men are paid.

Read the full article in The Guardian.

The Guardian: Is pay equality possible when all the hard work at home is done by women?

By Jean Hannah Edelstein

1 December 2018

That women make 80¢ to every dollar that men make in the United States is often cited as a fallacy by critics of feminism, and for once it seems that they were right – new research indicates that the gender pay gap is much bigger than previously accounted for. While the difference is usually calculated based on how much money men and women respectively make working full-time over the course of a year, the new data from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research takes a look at women and men’s income over 15 years.

They found that over this time span, women make on average 49¢ to every dollar that men make – yes, less than half. And the reason is simple: women are more than twice as likely than men are to leave paid work to look after their children, or their ageing parents, or both.

The problem gets worse – unsurprisingly – the longer that we drop out of the workforce. Men and women who take a year out suffer approximately the same penalty to their income, but women who stay at home for four years are paid 65% less than other women who continued working, whereas men who drop out for the same amount of time make 57% as much as other men who don’t take the same amount of time out.

Read the full article in The Guardian.

Washington Post Reports on Major Pay Gap Lawsuit Against Boston Symphony Orchestra

By Geoff Edgers

11 December 2018

On a winter day 14 years ago, the Boston Symphony Orchestra announced that it had finally found a new principal flutist. The search had not been easy. Two hundred fifty-one players had applied, 59 were called to Symphony Hall to audition, and when it was over, only one remained.

Elizabeth Rowe, just 29, had landed in one of the country’s “big five” orchestras. And as a principal, she occupied a special seat, the classical musical equivalent of cracking the Yankees’ starting rotation.

In July, Rowe, 44, filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the BSO seeking $200,000 in back pay. Her lawsuit came after years of appealing privately to management about the roughly $70,000 less a year she is paid than John Ferrillo, 63, the orchestra’s principal oboist. Rowe contends that she should make an equal salary and that her gender is the reason she doesn’t.

The BSO, in a statement, defended its pay structure, saying that the flute and oboe are not comparable, in part because the oboe is more difficult to play and there is a larger pool of flutists. Gender, the statement says, “is not one of the factors in the compensation process at the Boston Symphony Orchestra.”

Read the full article in The Washington Post.

New York Times: Where Are All the Female Architects?

By Allison Arieff

15 December 2018

To get a sense of the state of opportunity for women in architecture, consider that the firm getting the most high-profile architectural commissions in the world right now has just one female principal and this web address: big.dk.

Yes, BIG (for Bjarke Ingels Group) is based in Denmark (hence the “dk”), but the firm’s use of this cheeky address just about sums up the situation facing many women in the architectural profession today.

Until 1972 and the advent of Title IX, which forbade gender discrimination in federally funded education programs, most American architecture schools refused to admit women. The last major survey of the field found that women account for half of graduates from architecture programs in this country, but they make up about 20 percent of licensed architects and 17 percent of partners or principals in architecture firms.

Read the full article in the New York Times.

Vogue: Steph Curry's Players' Essay on the Gender Pay Gap

By Michelle Ruiz

27 August 2018

Not only is Steph Curry a champion on the basketball court, but he boasts the courage of his political convictions, freely calling out President Trump and powerful sports CEOs alike. In an essay for The Players’ Tribune titled “This Is Personal,” published on Women’s Equality Day, Curry turns his attention to the gender pay gap.

“I want our girls to grow up knowing that there are no boundaries that can be placed on their futures, period,” Curry writes of his daughters, Riley and Ryan, with wife Ayesha Curry. “I want them to grow up in a world where their gender does not feel like a rule book for what they should think, or be, or do. And I want them to grow up believing that they can dream big and strive for careers where they’ll be treated fairly. And of course: paid equally.”

Read the full article in Vogue.