Hanna Rosin is the co-founder of Slate’s Double X blog and is also a senior editor at The Atlantic. In her new book The End of Men and the Rise of Women, she makes the case that women have benefited from the recession, that they’ve been more flexible than men. Of course, this is not true for “macho” industries like tech and finance which cling tightly to their “frat culture,” as Rosin called it in an interview with NPR’s Morning Edition.
Rosin explains that since the recession, many of the jobs that involved physicality and were dominated by men have disappeared. She reports that the latest job numbers show men are at their lowest labor force participation rate since 1948. While the manufacturing economy has lost almost 6 million jobs, nearly the same number of jobs have been added to the health-care industry and the service economy, jobs largely dominated by women.
Women reacted strategically to the changing economy and have benefited job-wise. But women do still make 78 cents to men’s dollar. Rosin agreed that people are still “uncomfortable with female power.” For this reason she made an effort to talk with women in Silicon Valley and Wall Street to see what their lives were like. Rosin believes finance will be the last industry to welcome in female CEOs with open arms.
“I actually think finance is going to be the last one to go. They’re going to hold on the hardest. But I definitely imagine that for a lot of other industries [women will soon fill positions of leadership]. If you look at someone like Marissa Mayer who gets a CEO job at Yahoo when she is visibly pregnant and gets to say that she doesn’t want to take all that much maternity leave — whatever we think about that — it’s wonderful that that model exists and that women can be that person because they’re figuring it out — we’re figuring it out.”
While women are now 50% of the workforce, we’ve only been working at rising-to-the-top for the past 30-40 years. Obviously we can’t have occupied every single CEO position in every single industry. In the meantime, there are many successful female CEOs to look up to like Marissa Mayer and Sheryl Sandberg.
Anne-Marie Slaughter’s controversial piece” Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” deeply analyzed whether feminists have been selling young women a crock of sh#$ regarding personal and professional success.
“Sheryl Sandberg recently acknowledged not only that she leaves work at 5:30 to have dinner with her family, but also that for many years she did not dare make this admission, even though she would of course make up the work time later in the evening. Her willingness to speak out now is a strong step in the right direction,” she said. “Seeking out a more balanced life is not a women’s issue; balance would be better for us all.”
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