They're starting revolutions, opening schools, and fostering a brave new generation. From Detroit to Kabul, these women are making their voices heard.
Yahoo, which has been bleeding market share for years, was lucky to snag Google executive Marissa Mayer as its new CEO. Yahoo’s move “elated” staff and garnered an avalanche of positive press. “Yahoo for Yahoo,” wrote Hanna Rosin, a senior editor at The Atlantic.
“Does this mean the glass ceiling has shattered?” a reporter asked me last week.
Hardly. Mayer recently said, “My maternity leave will be a few weeks long, and I’ll work throughout it.” While that may be feasible for a woman who could bring home $59 million this year, it’s not a model for the 99 percent. Only a tiny fraction of mothers can afford to hire round-the-clock help so they can work throughout leave, and most don’t want to anyway. Of those who are permitted time off for family caregiving but don’t take it, 78 percent say it’s because they can’t afford to. Besides, the 12-week leave barely scratches the surface; after all, it doesn’t take three months to raise a child; it takes nearly 20 years.
What parents need goes beyond leave: they need companies to abandon the outdated assumption that the ideal worker has no responsibilities outside of work—an assumption that needs to change for men as well as for women. While men have a right to parental leave under federal law, they’re often punished when they take it. According to a study under review at the Journal of Social Issues, fathers who take leave are seen not only as bad workers but as more feminine than other men. That’s not a compliment. Men who took leave were rated lower on performance, organizational commitment, and eligibility for rewards than women who took leave.
Companies aren’t just leery of parental leave; they’re leery of parenthood. One 2007 study found that mothers were 79 percent less likely to be hired and only half as likely to be promoted as identical women without children. “A pregnant founder/CEO is going to fail her company,” Silicon angel investor Paige Craig told The New York Times. While Craig did fund a company with a pregnant CEO, he noted that “the reality here is that I almost didn’t invest and I’m sure a ton of us decide not to invest, support, promote, or work” because of “this whole ‘marriage/pregnancy’ hurdle.”
In this context Mayer’s hiring signals progress: after all, the Yahoo board members looked at a woman six months pregnant and saw someone who could save their company. And they made adjustments that will allow her to do her job—for example, by moving their September board meeting from New York to California to accommodate her October delivery date.
This kind of flexibility can begin to crack the glass ceiling—but not if it applies only to Marissa Mayer.
Inspiring women from around the globe will convene in April for the 2013 Women in the World Summit. See who’s coming!
From invisible Iranians to dealing with an overweight body, see works from female photographers to watch.
Newsweek and The Daily Beast are excited to announce the 2013 Women in the World Summit on April 4 and 5. Get your tickets today.
DINKs, DILDOs, and other readers respond to Joel Kotkin and Harry Siegel’s Newsweek story about America's declining birthrate and share their reasons for remaining child-free.
Gail Sheehy looks at the new, strategic feminism, as PBS prepares to air the documentary ‘Makers: Women Who Make America’ tonight.
The mother of a domestic abuse victim speaks out
As Melanne Verveer departs, who could be Obama’s new champion for women and girls? By Katie Baker.
Diane von Furstenberg joins GMA's Robin Roberts to talk about the annual DVF Awards and reveals the courageous anchor will be honored at this year's event on April 5th.
“Fatshion” is a popular community on Tumblr, where plus-size bloggers post pictures of themselves as a way of celebrating their size. Judy McGuire reports.
The film, which will be released March 7, advocates for the education of girls around the world. Eliza Shapiro reports.
Three feminists from different generations revisit Friedan’s classic. By Jessica Bennett, Letty Cottin Pogrebin, and Alisa Solomon.
A new CDC study is just the latest news to buoy the pro-breastfeeding camp, reports Eliza Shapiro.
Ping Fu talks to Katie Baker about the online backlash to her new memoir, ‘Bend, Not Break.’
She changed the game irrevocably, and now she’s about to transform it again—by walking away. Plus, read the full transcript of her farewell speech.
Tina Brown and Angelina Jolie announce gathering strength for an education fund in her honor.
How two women’s online plea is pushing the lingerie giant to the ‘survivor bra’ market. By Nina Strochlic.
See locations of the country’s 724 clinics and distance to the closest clinic in different areas. By Michael Keller and Allison Yarrow.
When companies support women, write Melanne Verveer and Kim Azzarelli, their businesses and communities win.
Veteran Anthony Woods recalls a brave lieutenant who lost her life in Afghanistan.
After gifting his DNA via Craigslist, a Kansas man may be on the hook for $6,000 in child support. Fair?