November 7, 2011

Women's Economic Gains

What’s truly interesting is how many gains women have made over the past few decades.  I remembered reading a TIME Magazine article in high school (1972!) that was devoted to how women were now progressing through the new movement “women’s lib.”  There was a sense at the time that women were making no gains – that the women’s movement had stalled. 

But I remembered reading Gloria Steinem’s view: “in terms of real power – economic and political – we are just beginning.”  So I wanted to look at how much progress we’ve actually made since that article came out:

×          In 1972, 7% of students playing high school sports were girls; now the number is now over six times as high.
×          The female high school dropout rate has fallen by more than half.
×          College enrollment was about 60% male, now it’s over 60% female.
×          Less than 10% of law and medical degrees were granted to women, today it’s over half.
×          There was only one women’s foundation – MS – and today there are over 170 worldwide.


×          Half of Ivy League college presidents our women.
×          Until just recently, 2 of 3 network news anchors were women.
×          Four of the five most recent Secretaries of State have been women.
×          The last election cycle involved 2 women – Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin.
×          The President of the US was raised by a single mother and is married to an attorney who has out-earned and outranked him in the corporate world.

There also seems to be greater acceptance of women’s economic power:

×          89% of both women and men are comfortable with the idea of a woman earning more than the man of the household.
×          74% of men and 71% of women disagree with the notion that women in the workplace need to behave more like men.
×          71% of men agree that they are more comfortable than their fathers with women working outside the home.
×          Over 70% of women say they are less financially dependent on their spouse than their mothers were.

It’s amazing how much has changed in just one generation – but there is certainly plenty that needs to change.  Our work is to continue sharing the research and evidence that the power of women is evolving – socially, professionally, economically, politically – and that Chrysalis intends to continue being an engine pushing for this change.

Thank you for being a Chrysalis “engineer!”

See you Tuesday at INSPIRED: Financial Health!