By Erin Wiley • November 03, 2009•Sexism, Sexual Harassment, and Other Forms of Discrimination
In her recent article for the New York Times, Joanne Lipman, a former deputy managing editor at The Wall Street Journal and founding editor in chief of Conde Nast Portfolio magazine, makes the case for re-assessing the way that we measure the progress of women.
With the recent release of the Shriver Report, finding, among other things, that mothers are the major breadwinners in 40 percent of families, all indications point to the fact that women have truly made major advances. Lipman argues, however, that "women haven't come nearly as far as we would have predicted 25 years ago." She believes that our progress has stalled and that, most importantly, "attitudes have taken a giant leap backwards."
Many of the 'numbers' do not show substantial progress. "According to the American Bar Association, women in 2008 made up almost half of all associates, but only 18.3 percent of partners. Only 15 women run Fortune 500 companies." But, according to Lipman, attitudes are where the major problems for women lie. For example, "women these days are portrayed as either witches or bimbos, with pretty much no alternative in between."
Lipman concludes with a truly resonating point: women have become focused on the numbers, when we really need to turn our attention to changing attitudes and making sure that "respect is part of the equation."
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