Limited Ambitions

Why Women Can’t Win for Trying

Women make 80¢ on the male dollar, even accounting for time off to raise kids. If that factor is not accounted for, women make 56¢.

Over her career, the average working woman loses $1.2 million to wage inequity.

Since 1963, when the Equal Pay Act was signed, the wage gap has closed by less than half a cent per year.

In 1963, RFK withdrew his nomination to a club that had spurned a black official and formed a club that didn’t admit women.

3 board members of Catalyst—a workplace-equity advocacy group—belong to Augusta National Golf Club, which bans women.

One is the CEO of GE, which won a 2004 Catalyst Award, although the company has a below-average rate of female executives.



Companies with women in top jobs see 35% higher returns than those without.



74% of female executives have a spouse who’s employed full time. 75% of male execs have a spouse who’s not employed.



42% of female execs over 40 don’t have kids.



For full-time working fathers, each child correlates to a 2.1% earnings increase. For working moms, it’s a 2.5% loss.



Every industrialized country except the U.S. and Australia has paid parental leave with a guaranteed job on return to work.



86% of guests on Sunday-morning political talk shows are men. So are 80% of the guests on The Daily Show.




Only 5 of 20-odd “thought-leader” magazines have ever had a woman as editor-in-chief. Two of those jobs were held by Tina Brown.



Only 24% of recent works in The New Yorker, the Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, Vanity Fair, and the New York Times Magazine were written by women, according to



1/3 of those were articles on gender or family or were short stories or memoirs.



41% of Mother Jones’ writers during the same period were women. This issue only 11% are.




Magazines that run lists of “best” firms for women to work for often accept pay-to-play advertising or use self-reported data. Working Mother lists firms facing class-action suits for sex harassment and pregnancy discrimination.






Working Mother recently found Allstate, American Express, and General Mills among the 8 best firms for women of color. At each, 30% of new hourly hires are women of color, but 0% of newly hired executives are.


Women over 65 are almost twice as likely to be poor as men.



Actresses over 40 account for 9% of movie roles. Actors over 40 account for 30%.



Anne Bancroft was 36 when she played Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate. Dustin Hoffman was 30.



Chances that a Best Actress winner portrayed a prostitute, a nun, or a mute: 1 in 8.



Since orchestras started requiring musicians to audition behind screens, the number of women hired has increased 20%.



40% of married professional women feel their husbands do less work around the house than they create.



Each teenage girl increases a mom’s weekly housework by 1.5 hours, but leaves a dad’s unchanged. A teenage boy adds 3 hours to mom’s chores, and an hour to dad’s.



Heavyset women get fewer promotions and face more job discrimination. Heavyset men do not.



Models weigh 23% less than average women. In 1986 it was only 8% less.



The above statistics were quoted in a press release for a Dove product whose adcampaign uses full-figured models but the use of which is claimed to reduce cellulite.



Asked to pick a partner for a relationship, college men tend to choose women in subordinate jobs. College women show no preference, nor, for a one-night stand, do men.


Men only earn 3/4 as many B.A.s as women. Some colleges now admit to practicing affirmative action for male applicants.



Only 1/3 of female Ph.D.s who get on the tenure track before having a baby ever do so.



31.5% of Iraq’s parliament are women. Only 15% of the U.S. Congress are women.



15 African nations have a higher percentage of female legislators than does the U.S.



69% of men believe America would be better off if women occupied more top political jobs. Only 61% of women agree.



Among Republicans, that split is 52% to 34%.



Under Bush , the Labor Dept. has eliminated 25 publications on pay inequity and child care.



After a woman filed a sexual-harassment complaint against her Merrill Lynch superior, he circulated an article titled “Stop Whining,” which warned that “constant complaining can cost you your job.”







We recently wrapped up the crowdfunding campaign for our ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project, and it was a smashing success. About 10,364 readers pitched in with donations averaging $45, and together they contributed about $467,374 toward our $500,000 goal.

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