Posted October 28, 2016
Thanks for reading the thirteenth edition of the 162 Report, a bi-monthly tip sheet from SKDKnickerbocker’s new Women’s Leadership & Advocacy Practice. Know someone who would enjoy the 162 Report? Anyone can subscribe by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WOMEN IN POLITICS
Is Image Everything?
What does it take to be a woman running for office – and win? As Secretary Hillary Clinton recently told Jimmy Fallon, “it’s especially tricky for women” to come across as both serious and likable.
The Barbara Lee Family Foundation, an organization that studies women in politics, recently released a report echoing the experiences of women in politics and quantifying some of the inherent complexities in how voters perceive and react to women running for office.
Although women tend to win elections at the same rate as men, they are viewed differently from men by the media and voters. Research found that for a woman to successfully run for office, voters want their female candidates to espouse certain – often contrasting and impossible – qualities. They must be compassionate, competent, and strong, but not too strong. They must be funny, but only in a certain way, and they must be smart, but they can’t take the credit for all their work. These befuddling requirements represent the unique challenge of being a woman politician and emphasize how differently voters and the media perceive them.
However, according to some, times are changing. Read the story here, and read more about how political strategists, and even more importantly, voters, think about the future of women in politics in the New York Times.
WOMEN IN ADVOCACY
One hundred years ago, Margaret Sanger, her sister, and a fellow activist opened the first birth control clinic in the U.S. in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. At the time, as Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s president Cecile Richards shares in TIME, disseminating information about birth control was a crime and the clinic was closed nine days after opening.
Over the last century, Sanger’s Brooklyn storefront has become the nation’s leading provider of sexual and reproductive health services, comprised of 650 centers across the country that serve 2.5 million patients each year. In large part due to Planned Parenthood’s work, 95 percent of sexually active American women have used contraception, which has given women the opportunity to make reproductive choices and go on to become “half the workforce, more than half of undergraduate students, and earn half of all doctorate degrees.”
Richards discusses her organization’s impressive contributions to women’s progress, and looks ahead to the work left to do. “If our first century was about securing our rights,” she writes, “our second century must be about ensuring everyone has full access and also full reproductive autonomy.” Here’s to another 100 years of fighting.
To read more, click here.
WOMEN IN BUSINESS
Bring Your Child To Work (Every) Day
Patagonia has reimagined Bring Your Child to Work Day: the company’s onsite childcare center allows employees to bring their kids to work every day, where they do things such as learn to compost, pick vegetables, and go on field trips to horse rescue centers. The result? High retention rates for new moms and more opportunities for parents to connect with their children throughout the day without having to sacrifice the quality of their work or their jobs.
The U.S. lags behind other countries in maternity and paternity benefits. Less than a quarter of U.S. corporations offer paid maternity leave and only 4 percent offer onsite or nearby childcare services. As a result, women often leave their jobs before they reach higher-level senior management positions – the national average for women returning to work after giving birth is 69 percent.
But Patagonia is doing something right: 100 percent of women on maternity leave come back to work and women make up half of its senior leadership and half of its management. In addition to onsite childcare, Patagonia offers 16 weeks of fully paid maternity leave and the opportunity for parents to bring nannies along with them on business trips free of charge.
While many companies are shifting childcare and maternity leave policies, Patagonia offers a model for these policies that focuses on more than just retention rates: it prioritizes caregiving and work-life balance.
Read more here.
WOMEN IN SPORTS
Martina Navratilova, winner of 18 Grand Slam singles titles and a record 9 Wimbledon titles, has been using her platform to advocate for issues important to her. Navratilova recently spoke at a State Department event to improve human rights at large international sports events. She called on the International Olympic Committee and FIFA to ensure that events are safe and free from discrimination, a bold move considering the fear most athletes have of speaking openly at the expense of tarnishing their own or their sport’s brand.
Born during the former Czechoslovakia’s totalitarian regime, Navratilova experienced oppression first hand. Since immigrating to the U.S., she has refused to silence herself. Immediately after gaining citizenship, Navratilova came out as bisexual and later as lesbian. She lost millions of dollars in endorsements, but according to Navratilova, speaking out on other issues became easy in comparison. Since then, she has been vocal in criticizing politicians and fighting for children’s, animal, and LGBT rights.
Navratilova has also spoken out in favor of NFL player Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the national anthem. Navratilova believes that athletes should be encouraged to use their fame as vehicles for change rather than fear losing money, endorsements, or public favor. She recognizes the costs many athletes face in speaking their mind, but doesn’t believe that anything should come at the expense of who you are.
To read more about Martina Navratilova’s advocacy click here.
Trump Sexism on Election Day
Sexism has taken center stage this election in an ugly and unsettling way. Was this backlash inevitable with the first female candidate for a major party? According to strategists from the past two Republican presidential campaigns, Trump’s “own words have fostered sexism rather than tamping it down.” Trump accused Clinton of playing the “woman’s card,” said she doesn’t have a “presidential look,” and now infamously, called her a “nasty woman.”
But as we have highlighted week after week, women will get their final say at the polls. For more information on how to vote visit: vote411.org.
Read more here.
WHAT ELSE WE’RE READING
- The New York Post writes that Ann Lowe, the country’s first black high-fashion designer and the woman behind Jackie Kennedy’s iconic wedding dress, is finally getting her due at a new exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum.
- Mashable reports on the ‘Ask for Angela’ campaign that gives women who feel threatened on dates a code word to ask bartenders for help.
- Business Insider talks to IBM Vice President Claudia Brind-Woody about her work to promote LGBT diversity in the tech industry.
- The Atlantic introduces us to the women who are protesting outside of Trump’s businesses across the country.
- Teen Vogue covers the Icelandic women who left work 14 percent early on Monday to protest the country’s 14 percent gender gap in wage equality.
- Slate writes why we need more women in politics to advocate for reproductive rights after Hillary Clinton’s impassioned plea in the last debate.