Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Slouching Toward Feminism

Nate: "I had a feminist moment the other day."

Me: "What do you mean?"

Nate: "I was working on a project and pulling a list of all the town planners, firefighters and police in a certain region and I noticed they were all men. There weren't any women at all."

This led to a discussion about why that might be, beyond general hiring sexism. That part of the conversation isn't what I wanted to write about.

I wanted to write that I am so proud of Nate's ability to notice the issue, and willingness to acknowledge there was a lack of women in these types of leadership roles.

Not everyone takes the time to look around them and see these things. For myself, I see a huge gap between the number of male leaders and female leaders. I don't worry about this so much for myself, as I do for women and humanity in general. Half of our country's population is made up of women, and yet the majority of the decisions about women's health issues, including birth control are made by men.

The way toward progress is for people to recognize the gap, and to ask themselves, why aren't there more women leaders? This goes for the local level up to the White House.

Look around you today. Do you see women in powerful positions? Who are they?


  1. I think the glass ceiling is rising, but for myself, I see a lot of women in second-banana roles. For example, I work for a school where almost all the deans and administrators are women, but the president is male. I've seen that in a lot of organizations I've reported on as well. All the vice presidents or second-tier directors are often women, but a guy is usually the top boss. Don't get me wrong - I like to see so many high-ranking women, but I'd also like to see women being promoted to top leadership positions.

  2. I'd like to see more women in the top spots myself. When I got my MEd, I really wanted to be a college president, and it was seriously disheartening to see the lack of women who were leading colleges. It's gotten better over time, but the problem with academia is that hiring new people takes forever, and most only stay if they can get tenure. Once you have tenure, that person will never leave.

    I'm hoping there will be more turnover as the baby boomers age into retirement and we'll see more women heading institutions and companies from Gen X.