Finally, the first blog post on our new website!
We wanted to start our new blog with a brief reflection on our roots - an honest look at the status of women in the world we live in and the harsh statistics that compelled us to start Boston GLOW. The following statistics were published by the White House Project, a nonpartisan and nonprofit organization working to advance women in business, politics, and media, in their 2009 report entitled “Benchmarking Women’s Leadership.”
- In academia, female faculty have not made any progress in closing the salary gap with their male counterparts. in 1972, they made 83 percent of what male faculty made: today they make 82 percent of what male faculty make.
- Among Fortune 500 companies, women constitute only 3 percent of the CEO’s, 6 percent of the top paying positions and 16 percent of the corporate officers.
- Women of color account for less than 17 percent of female news staff, and only 6 percent of newsroom staff overall.
- Although women have been the majority of college journalism majors since 1977, the average male to female ratio for bylines at 11 of the top political and intellectual magazines is 7:1.
- Of the top 15 media corporations (which include a mix of print, online, television and radio businesses), all CEO’s are male and only 17 percent of board members are women.
- Despite being nearly half (48 percent) of law school graduates, women make up only 18 percent of law partners and only one in four judges.
- Women of color account for less than 2 percent of partners in major law firms and of Fortune 500 general counsels.
- In the military, women make up 11 percent of the officers in the top five officer categories today and 15 percent of all military officers. This represents significant progress into the top leadership positions, as in 1994 they represented 13 percent of all officers but less than 5 percent of the top five officer ranks.
- The military remains the only profession in the United States which under Department of Defense policy prohibits women from taking certain jobs. This hinders women from being promoted to the top levels of leadership.
- Despite Title ix and the influx of young women into sports, only 21 percent of collegiate athletic directors are female; only six of the 13 Women’s Basketball Association teams have head female coaches; and none of the National Basketball Association teams has a female head coach, general manager or president.
These staggering statistics are a reflection of cultural and societal barriers that must be reversed in the United States and far beyond our borders. Revolutionary change does not happen overnight, even at the micro level. Rather, it begins with small, steady steps toward improving access to education and opportunity for women on the grassroots level. Boston GLOW’s mission is to help identify and provide those opportunities and to facilitate mentoring and partnership among women of all ages to propel our common cause.
As we move forward as an organization, we continually seek to understand the barriers that exist for women in our community and in the world at large, and to encourage discourse on vehicles for change. It is our hope that this blog will provide fodder for discussion and a platform for dialog on women’s leadership issues as well as opportunities. We will regularly share current events and relevant media both local and beyond and encourage you to voice your views. We plan to highlight other organizations making a positive impact in our local community and to share updates on our work as often as possible. We encourage you to follow us here and welcome your feedback and contributions!
The Boston GLOW team