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Tuesday Tidbits: Female Firsts - Women in the Workforce: Part 6

In this week's Tuesday Tidbits,  we conclude our highlight of Female Firsts: A Brief History of Women in the Workforce. This is Part 6: the 2000s.

Today -- You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby?

Female First: Some european countries, such as Norway and Sweden, have virtually closed the gender wage gap entirely.

Would You Believe: Silicon-Valley becomes the center of debate over gender-bias with women bringing lawsuits against male-dominated technology companies like Twitter, Google, Snapchat, Uber and Spotify for alleged discrimination.

Today, 80% of college-educated women, 67% of high-school graduates and 47% of women without a diploma are in the workforce. A full 72.7 million women are employed, an increase of 40.4 million since 1970. Women are at the helm of  some of the world's best companies, such as IBM, GM, PepsiCo, Lockheed Martin, Dupont and Hewlett Packard. Still, women make up only six percent of the leaders of Fortune 500 companies, and they continue to make less money. It was found that women with Stanford MBAs earn just $0.79 on the dollar to their male counterparts, and that women with graduate degrees earn the same amount as men with bachelor degrees. There is also a new trend of women opting-out of the business world entirely. The percentage of women in the workplace has actually dropped, following its peak in 1999. This fact is largely attributed to women struggling to find work/life balance and choosing to stay home voluntarily. The corporate climate for women with children is part of the problem. Childless women earn nearly what men do in corporate America, while women with children and a partner earn less and single mothers make even less.

 

And, this Election Day, no post about women in the workforce would be complete without a highlight of the accomplishments of Hillary Clinton in the political world. With her bid for the presidential election gaining momentum, America could be setting its sights on an historic event in 2016 with the swearing in of its first female POTUS. The presidency would be the culmination of over three decades in public service for Clinton, starting with a stint as first lady of Arkansas in 1979 and continuing in key political roles including first lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001 and US Senator of the State of New York from 2000 to 2009. In 2007, Clinton made her aspirations for the presidency public with the formation of an exploratory committee for the 2008 election. She failed to win the Democratic nomination in that election, but went on to serve in the Obama administration as Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013. Now that Obama’s second term is coming to a close, Clinton is primed to receive the Democratic nomination for the 2016 presidential election. Whether she wins the nomination and goes on to be elected president remains to be seen. But, whatever the outcome of the election, she has reached a level in American politics never seen before by a woman. Hillary Clinton is a role model for little girls around the country, who are now free to have dreams as big as “When I grow up, I want to be president.”

 

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