Our Commitment to Women’s Rights Needs New Parameters

Inequality towards women and potential changes need increased attention. Much of the focus on women is to highlight the progress of pathfinders like G.M.President, Mary Barra, soccer star Megan Rapinoe, charitable leader Mackenzie Scott and Supreme court justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. The dramatic changes these women are initiating are exemplified by Mackenzie Scott. She is changing the structure of charitable giving by giving more significant gifts to smaller organizations, giving them less bureaucracy and more freedom in receiving and executing gifts.

This attention to special examples masks several key issues like continued inequality, diversity of women, continued discrimination and cultural barriers. For example, several studies have shown that entry level management hiring by sex is about equal and includes general education ,experience and qualification parity . However. women still only represent 20-30% of C-suite and Senior V.P. positions .Similarly, they earn about 72 % of men for equal positions and experience .

Some more comparisons: Women make up 47% of the U.S. workforce. In 1984, 35% of tech roles were held by women. In 2018, 32% were. As of 2020, women make up 25% of the tech industry workforce and 26.5% of executive, senior-level and management positions. Women only hold 18% of Chief Information Officer and Chief Technical Officer roles in 1,000 of the largest tech companies in the U.S. Women are most underrepresented in physical science (40%), computer (25%), and engineering (15%) jobs.

We need to focus more on specific demographics and needs of various groups. There are 100,000 women who graduate elite colleges each year. They are generally from middle class and wealthy backgrounds, good high schools, two-parent families and given all the tools to succeed. While upper-level jobs and salaries still favor men, college admissions entry level jobs, skills and early success are equal to men. These trends are changing very slowly and masked by women statistics cited above. 

In contrast, there are about 158,000 new teenage unwed moms each year. This population in general is disproportionately poor, lacks a high school degree, does not get married, and is more likely to experience drug, social issues, depressions and mental issues. Thus, the likelihood of success and leaving poverty is significantly diminished  

We also downplay the overall unacceptable treatment of women in our society . For example , many of the problems of sexual harassment, income inequality , discrimination and child care are well known and have some proven solutions. Much of the conversation revolves around economy, education, taxes, discrimination, family and traditions. I argue first the issues are international, historic, and multiple. I also argue that we need to focus more on culture to understand the issues and develop solutions.

A disturbing aspect of improving womens rights is masogenous men and certain cultures .Three of our wealthest executives Bezos, Gates , and Musk  have been involved in impoper relationships .The NFL has had two owners  censored for improper behavior. The military refuses to devleop new standards for sexual harrassment.These old cultual traditions inhibit  real progress on resolving sexual misbehavior  While there are multiple causes ,much of it is blatant discrimination . 

Womens progress is also afected by supreme court and state  laws and practices. While there are legal restrictilnd being placed on women ,the social stigma may be more important. Specifically many women feel violated by the recent legal changes . These efforts also disproportionately afect the poor and minorities.

In summary many laws, practices and proceses are being been modified to affect equality for women. However, progress is still slow and much of the cause is culture and tradition. We need both more atteniton to realities and practices and needed changes to our environment. New work at home rules and practices from the pandemic is an example that should allow more freedom for women to care for their kids without sacrificing prodcutivity.We need to review more parameters of our society to devlop more fair and productive practices.

Related: Explaining the Explosion in DEI Adoption