Extracts on what’s being said about gender equality in our world.
Chilean Students Demand Gender Equality in Universities
Telesur, May 10, 2018
At least 30 institutions and hundreds of protesters are calling for university directors to promote gender equality on campus.
A new ‘Feminism Takes’ movement is challenging Chile’s education system as female students march to demand a university environment free of sexism, harassment and sexual abuse.
Over 30 institutions and hundreds of protesters have picked up the call for university directors to foster programs which promote equality and mutual respect as educators from at least 35 facilities enter their third week of strikes.
Danae Borax, spokeswoman for the faculty of law at the University of Chile, said the movement was born out of students’ concerns about the levels of physical, psychological and sexual violence they are exposed to. “An assembly with more than 1,000 women shows that this is a real problem and that is a concern,” she said.
After realizing their complaints about gender violence were falling on deaf ears, 600 students decided to launch a protest which has since spread across the nation.
“We have been witnesses of different acts of violence that women constantly experience in every social space, and universities are no exception,” one engineering student told La Tercera.
Organizers are calling for mandatory gender-equality training for students and faculty; the curriculum and required reading to be broadened to include female artists and authors; professors to be held accountable for sexist language and off-color comments; to make careers less gender-specific; the improvement of protocol in regards to sexual crimes, and broadening the curriculum to include gender studies.
According to Eva Saavedra, a representative of the coordination of Social Workers of the University of Bio Bio, providing non-sexist education is the least that university heads can do. Inappropriate and sexist “jokes” common in the classroom need to end, Saavedra said.
“There is a large number of serious complaints that never reach port; we ask that the discretion of the prosecutors is lowered and that a centralized office is created to take charge of gender complaints in an integral manner,” said Millaray Huaquimilla, of the University of Chile. Including gender studies would help law students such as herself be better prepared to enter the workforce, she said.
We crunched the numbers on the world’s 1,500 biggest companies and found sexism everywhere
Olivia Goldhill & Dan Kopf, Quartz at Work, May 11, 2018
Companies are keen to champion women’s empowerment. Board members attend diversity panels, female leaders are invited to give inspiring speeches, and nearly every CEO has read Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In. Altogether, this suggests that the corporate world is finally ready to treat women the same as men. The data, though, tell a very different story.
Quartz analyzed 1,500 of the largest public companies from 27 countries worldwide—the 500 largest listed companies in Europe, and Asia, and the United States—and found out just how badly companies around the world are doing when it comes to empowering women.
Only a minuscule percentage of firms have more than 50% of leadership positions filled by women: 2.3% have a majority female board, just 1.2% have more than half of their C-suite positions filled by women, and only 4.6% have women in a majority of management positions. In other words, more than 95% of companies have majority male management.
And it’s not like the gender split is close to even. Women make up, on average, 20% of company boards, 14% of C-suite positions, and 23.3% of management roles.
Out of the 1,500 companies in our sample, just 18 (that is, 1.2%) had women in 35% or more positions in management, the C-suite, and on boards. Commonwealth Bank of Australia, L’Oreal, and French supermarket Carrefour are among this depressingly small group.
Progress in achieving a more equal gender balance is painfully slow. Though it’s not a direct comparison, the Pew Research Center showed that women made up 9.6% of Fortune 500 board members in 1995, and 20.2% in 2016. That means it’s taken more than 20 years for a 10 percentage point increase. And since the vast majority of new directors are recommended by other board members, the tendency to promote people like yourself enables the old boys’ club to live on.
Forget ‘lean in’: Topple the system to reach true gender parity, says former CEO
Helena Morrissey says equality in the workforce needs to reflect the modern world
CBC Radio, May 11, 2018
“Lean in” was a message that inspired many women to work toward getting ahead in the workforce. But a prominent U.K. businessperson argues it’s not enough if we want to build a truly inclusive modern society.
Instead of leaning in, Helena Morrissey’s manifesto is to focus on rebuilding a patriarchal system that encourages a broader equality — women who aren’t privileged but have ideas, ambition and a lot to offer.
Morrissey has held many top jobs in the finance industry, and is the founder of the 30% Club, which advocates for more women on the boards of top businesses.
“I think leaning into the existing workplace, which frankly probably isn’t relevant for many men in today’s digital world, isn’t enough to really achieve equality for lots of women,” Morrissey, author of A Good Time to Be a Girl, told The Current’s Anna Maria Tremonti.
She sees promise in the latest generation of young men who she said are keen to work quite differently than their fathers.
“I think that gives us a golden opportunity to work with men, not in any way against them, to create different ways of working where we share responsibilities around bring up families.”
Gender equality and female empowerment
US Agency for International Development, May 11, 2018
Promoting gender equality and advancing the status of women and girls are vital to achieving our development objectives.
Gender equality is defined in USAID’s Gender Equality and Female Empowerment Policy as a state “in which both men and women have equal opportunity to benefit from and contribute to economic, social, cultural and political development; enjoy socially valued resources and rewards; and realize their human rights.” The U.S. Agency for International Development Regional Development Mission for Asia (USAID/RDMA) is committed to collaborating with partners to bridge gender inequality gaps in programming to advance inclusive growth by strengthening women’s economic empowerment and increasing women’s and girls’ voices in decision-making, leadership and science.
STRENGTHENING WOMEN’S ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT
We support regional economic platforms of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) through networks of women entrepreneurs. The Gender Responsive Economic Actions for the Transformation of Women in ASEAN initiative was launched in 2015 and helped promote products for greater sales to employ more workers and improve livelihoods. The initiative continues to help women-led small and medium-sized enterprises to sell products internationally and protect products’ intellectual property rights from being illegally copied and sold. Also, USAID Green Invest Asia, an activity that identifies and develops promising climate smart business deals with solid profit potential for investors, is making the case for increased women’s participation in agriculture and forestry.
Gender equality: Why WA is still a boy’s club
Kate Campbell, Perth Now, May 12, 2018
JUST 10 women run public companies based in WA, in another example the old-fashioned “blokey” culture is more entrenched here than anywhere else in Australia.
Analysis by Deloittes of the 638 companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) that are “domiciled” in WA reveals only 10 of those headquartered in Perth have women CEOs, and just five have female chairwomen.
Director of the Federal Government’s Workplace for Gender Equality Agency Libby Lyons said the climb to the top for women in the business world shouldn’t be made this hard and slammed WA’s ingrained culture that has led to a lack of diversity in senior management ranks and a “lack of transparency” in the appointment of those positions.
“We cover 11,000 organisations nationally and our data shows only 13.6 per cent of CEOs in WA headquartered organisations are female. That is the worst State, it takes the wooden spoon,” she said.
Cannes Film Festival opens with focus on gender equality
Jake Coyle, The Associated Press, May 8, 2018
CANNES, France — The 71st Cannes Film Festival was opening Tuesday with the premiere of Asghar Farhadi’s “Everybody Knows,” but the spotlight at the first post-Harvey Weinstein edition of the glamorous French Rivera gathering was focused on the issue of gender equality.
Ahead of the premiere of the Iranian filmmaker’s Spanish-language debut, starring Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem, Cannes jury president Cate Blanchett introduced the female-majority jury that will decide this year’s Palme d’Or, among the most prestigious honours in cinema.Blanchett, a prominent member of the Time’s Up initiative, said the #MeToo movement will play a role in this and every following Cannes festival but will not factor into their deliberations.
“Would I like to see more women in competition? Absolutely. Would I expect and hope that that’s going to happen in the future? I hope so,” said Blanchett. “But we’re dealing with what we have that’s here. Our role is to, in this next almost two weeks, is deal with what’s in front of us.”
Competing for the Palme are 21 films, including new releases from directors Spike Lee, Pawel Pawlikowski (the Oscar-winning “Ida”) and Jean-Luc Godard. Three of the films in the competition are directed by women: Nadine Labaki, Eva Husson and Alice Rohrwacher.
Blanchett noted the festival has improved the gender parity of its selection committees. Juries, she noted, have in recent years been split equally, with the president tilting the scales.
Cannes has come under criticism for years for not selecting more women directors. Only one female filmmaker, Jane Campion, has won the Palme.