Gender Gap

Women's World? Not Really

Despite a recent report that found mothers were the major breadwinners in 40 percent of families, Joanne Lipman writes that numbers are “spectacularly misleading” about the so-called women’s world we live in. In a column for The New York Times, the former editor of Portfolio writes, “Women haven’t come nearly as far as we would have predicted 25 years ago.” After she grew up looking derisively at the women’s liberation movement, Lipman now points to facts that show the slow growth of women in the workplace—when she graduated in 1983, women earned 64 cents for each dollar earned by a man. Now, women are up to 77 cents, and only 15 women run Fortune 500 companies. The aftermath of 9/11 is partly to blame, Lipman writes, as the trauma and the Iraq war tore America apart, giving rise to a louder, offensive soapbox on the Internet—not to mention cable pundits like Glenn Beck suggesting “ugly women” are probably “progressive as well.” Her advice? “After focusing for so long on better jobs and higher pay, maybe the best thing—the enduring thing—we can do is make sure respect is part of the equation, too.”