Thursday, July 8, 2010

Gender equality? Not really

Read Victoria Shannon's report in the New York Times here. She reports on a Pew Research Center poll, conducted in 22 nations in April and May, about gender equality. The poll found "that in both developing countries and wealthy ones, there is a pronounced gap between a belief in the equality of the sexes and how that translates into reality." Here's the story's lede:

People around the world say they firmly support equal rights for men and women, but many still believe men should get preference when it comes to good jobs, higher education or even in some cases the simple right to work outside the home, according to a new survey of 22 nations.

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In nations where equal rights are already mandated, women seem stymied by a lack of real progress, the poll found.

“Women in the United States and Europe are shouldering major responsibilities at home and at work simultaneously, and this makes for stress and a low quality of life,” said Prof. Herminia Ibarra, co-author of the 2010 Corporate Gender Gap Report of the World Economic Forum.

Monday, July 5, 2010

No relief on work-family front--even for super-privileged professional golfers

Even professional golfers--even professional women golfers--are expected to be what Joan Williams has called "ideal workers." Read Karen Crouse's New York Times story about Cristie Kerr, age 32, here. She is the number 1 female golfer in the world, following the retirements of two other high profile women who retired to start families. An excerpt from the story follows:
For Kerr, the impediment to motherhood is golf, and there is no automatic relief. A woman’s athletic prime and her peak child-bearing years are like carbon copy pages in her reproductive calendar. A woman’s fertility peaks in her mid-20s and declines sharply after the age of 35, a real conundrum for golfers, whose games, like the courses they play, take years to mature.
Michael Whan, the LPGA Commission is quoted as saying that it's “a tough, aggressive, highly paid career path, and people struggle with what kind of competitor they want to be and what kind of mom they want to be. ... We try to make it possible to be a mom and be competitive, but we can’t make it where nobody leaves because, quite frankly, that’s personal choice.”