Alice Herz Sommer is not only 108 years old but also Holocaust survivor and born optimist. She describes music as her religion and teaches a lesson of good life.
The group of scientists from Denmark and USA made recently an analysis of the impact the daughters of male CEOs have on their father’s attitude towards gender policy in their companies. Their assumption was, that despite the evident progress towards reducing gender differences in education and workforce in the last decades, the “unequal pay for equal work” persists and women’s wages are steadily 9% to 18% behind men’s wages for comparable work. There are many reasons for it, but not all potential factors influencing this fact have been investigated. One of them is namely the topic of the research: the potential influence of a chief executive officer (CEO) on a firm’s gender-related wage policies. The experiment was made based on the observations of the employees, CEOs, and families of CEOs in Danish firms – and the results of this research was astonishing.
We argue that CEOs’ concepts of fairness and attitudes about gender in the workplace will impact a firm’s gender-related wage policies, and that these attitudes are influenced by the gender of CEOs’ children. Specifically, based on research showing that daughters influence fathers to adopt more feminist attitudes and behaviors (…) we hypothesize that having daughters prompts male CEOs to implement wage policies that ultimately increase the wages of female employees relative to those of male employees. We find strong confirmatory evidence for this hypothesis.
Read the full raport below or at the website of Columbia Business School.
Germany is not only one of the very few countries, where a woman holds a leading position as a chief of country’s government, but Chancellor Angela Merkel is also routinely called the world’s most powerful female politician. However the matters of gender issues and the steadily decreasing birth rates, still seem to be taboos and topics that are not politically correct to discuss.
The statistics speak for themselves: the birth rates in Germany are alarming: in 2010 the number of births per 1,000 inhabitants was 7.88. That’s down 16% in the last ten years and the lowest in the country’s history.
There are many factors that influence this status, but one of the main reasons is incredibly strong cult of the German mother and consequently, the old fashioned and traditional school system which does not leave any space for flexibility:
Ten years into the 21st century, most schools in Germany still end at lunchtime, a tradition that dates back nearly 250 years. That has powerfully sustained the housewife/mother image of German lore and was long credited with producing well-bred, well-read burghers. (…) Westerners are quick to denounce customs in, say, the Muslim world that they perceive as limiting women. But in Germany, despite its vaunted modernity, a traditional perception of motherhood lingers.
The half-day school system survived feudalism, the rise and demise of Hitler’s mother cult, the women’s movement of the 1970s and reunification with East Germany. (Source)
And it is still the major school-system that day today.
The feminine ideal has been ideologically defended, even to the limits of the absurd, where looking after your own children was regarded as one of the core “western” freedoms. At the same time, the Western ‘freedom’ of German women looked bizarre:
There was no golden age for the women’s movement: until the late 1970s, there were laws, such as men could forbid their wives to work if the housework wasn’t done well enough.
Until even later, a husband had to sign a consent form if his wife wanted her own bank account. Women won’t describe themselves as feminists; if they do, they’re Kampflesbe (warrior lesbians; not camp ones). (Source)
The working mother leaving her children in the daycare for 8 hours a day is still more often the case in the post-comunist East Germany rather than in the traditional Southern part of the country.
As we read in the New York Time analysis from January 2010:
When the wall came down in 1989, East German women and West German ones had had very different experiences. In East Germany, there was universal early-years childcare, women were encouraged to have children then go straight back to work; it was rigid and it horrified West Germans. Photos circulated of 20 toddlers, sitting in a line of potties, instructed to pee at the same time, as if bodily functions could be collectivised if you started young enough.
And in German Times back in 2007:
For decades, West Germany dismissed the question of childcare as a private family problem. Under Chancellor Helmut Kohl (1982-1998), the desire for the compatibility of raising children and having a career was considered the work of the devil. Germany has a nationwide quota of childcare spaces for children under the age of 3 of just 13.5 percent. This places the country fifth from the bottom in the European Union – 35 percent is considered the EU standard.
A single-income household with mother at home as a cook, caretaker and taxi driver for the kids is naturally the ideal in conservative circles. Yet the reality is different – 80 percent of young women insist upon the compatibility of career and family. Because the state isn’t supporting them, many are putting off having children.
The image of working mother is consequently connected with the description of ‘Rabenmutter’ – a ‘rave mother’ who does not care well for her children. Ursula von der Leyen, the former Family Minister and a mother of seven, tried to challenge this status, which gave her in increasing popularity among voters, and decreasing popularity among the bishops and politicians.
Her stand on this issue was clear:
“This is a taboo we just can’t afford anymore; the country needs women to be able to both work and have children”
It sounded well, it sounded like a long time awaited wind of change on the field of gender issues in Germany. However, Ursula von der Leyen’s ideas have been challenged by her successor, the current minister for families, Kristina Schröder, who is openly uninterested in women’s rights….
Sandra Bullock showed her humanity and support for the offers of the Japanese disaster by offering 1 million USD for the Red Cross supporting this cause.
The organisation said in a statement: ‘The American Red Cross is extremely grateful for this generous support from Sandra Bullock and her family.
‘This contribution is vitally important as the Red Cross works to provide critical assistance and essential relief items in this time of urgent need for so many people in Japan.’
It is not the first time, when Sandra Bullock offers her support for people in need: the actress who is estimated to be 22nd highest earner in Hollywood in year 2010, has previously given $1 million to Doctors Without Borders to aid the Haiti relief effort after the devastating earthquake.
Endangered Species is happening NOW – and this initiative is a must-see, must-hear and must-follow: it is a series of international summits to take place in March focused on the body image issues. The aim of the initiative is to talk about, present and change the toxic culture that is teaching women and girls to hate their own bodies.
The target of the criticism is the system which promotes thinness, beauty and homogenised perfection – driven by the logic of economics and commerce – and which instils only a constant sense of inadequacy in the minds of countless young girls around the world.
The first in the series of summits took place in London on 4 March and will take place in New York on 18 and 19 March. Speaking at the event will be the model Emme, Jessica Weiner, the Global Ambassador of the Dove Self-Esteem Fund, Wendy Naugle, Executive Editor at Glamour, Erica Watson, who starred in Precious, as well as Susie Orbach and Courtney E. Martin, the summit coordinator.
The other summits will be held in Melbourne, Buenos Aires and San Paulo. (Source)
The summit in London was coordinated by Susie Orbach, the founder of the Endangered Species initiative, psychotherapist, psychoanalyst, social critic and author of the book ‘Bodies’ (available on amazon.com). In her introductory speech she said among others:
“This is the beginning of a campaign to wrest back power from the merchants of body hatred who influence how girls and women come to feel about their bodies. We want every girl to grow up feeling a matter of fact right to her body…..without attack, without self criticism, without being watchful. We want girls to be able to see their bodies as the place they live from. Not a complicated place of fear.”
See also her appearance at the guardian.co.uk:
One of speakers was Sharon Haywood, the activist, author, freelance editor and the founder of the website Adios Barbie as well as the initiative Any-Body, adressing the women body image issues.
On the summit in London, she presented the extreme body image issues in Argentina, caused by the media image of a perfect female body as well as the clothes manufacturers and retailers, who are not consequently violating the Size Law. Video by Elena Rossini, (The Illusionists).
The actress Emma Thomson is a supporter of the initiative. In the short video promoting the Endangered Species, she talks about the SPACE every person has in the world:
Next summit will take place in Buenos Aires, on 17th March 2011 – follow @SharonHaywood on twitter for more information.
The Daily Beast and Newsweek organized the second annual Women in the World Stories and Solutions summit taking place in New York on March 10-12, where extraordinary leaders, brave dissidents, dedicated journalists, foreign correspondents and brave women from all over the world has come together to report the potent stories that are often ignored. Some of the highlights from the summit are below, more information are under:
Newsweek and The Daily Beast editor-in-chief Tina Brown welcomes the participants at the Women in the World summit.
Malika Saada Saar, founder and director of The Rebecca Project for Human Rights, tells a story of how women who had once been trafficked through Craigslist came up with a solution to end it.
Amy Chua, author of “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” tells a story about how her book and parenting methods, that provoked a controversy in the Western World has been perceived as normal in China.
Actress and activist Ashley Judd introduced the panel “‘No Such Thing’: Trafficking of Girls in the United States”. Her story was the heart wrenching personal anecdote about a young woman who was forced into prostitution in Atlanta.
Yem Chhoun husband’s mistress attacked her and her newborn baby with acid. With the help of panelist Dr. Ebby Elahi, both have recovered.
Madeleine Albright and Condolezza Rice in the discussion about the Absence of Women’s Rights in the society
See more stories from the Women in the World 2011 Summit under this link.
How can it happen that a young and healthy girl suddenly develops an eating disorder? The statistics for bulimia and anorexia are still high, despite the rising awareness and campaigns about the beauty image issues of women and girls.
Angela Jones, the co-founder of Plus-Size Models Unite, survived the eating disorder and broke on through to the other side of the mirror to a life with passion and appreciation of herself and her own body. She shares her very personal story in order to help other girls and women with similar experiences.
The story has been originally published on the Plus-Size Models Unite website, re-published below with the permission of the author.
I am Angela Jones. I am a mother, daughter, sister, wife, friend, and a plus-size model. I have not always felt great about my body, but I have gained strength, and learned to love myself – just the way I am.
My friend, Elizabeth, and I decided to start Plus-Size Models Unite to create an on-line community where women can share their personal stories; exchange ideas; discuss the plus-size modeling world; create a supportive and positive atmosphere; and promote self-acceptance, positive body image, and self-love – no matter what our size or shape.
Plus-Size Models Unite is for women who have struggled, do struggle, will struggle, or have attained self-acceptance, self-love, healthy living, and a positive body image. Our hope is that you will find comfort in reading the stories and advice other women share, and that you will contribute your stories, ideas, tips, pictures, videos, and modeling experiences to help inspire other women along their journey.
When I was a little girl, I remember being referred to as sturdy, strong, bigger-built, and big-boned. I remember my grandparents commenting on my build, and other people commenting on the physical differences between my sister and me. I did not think about the comments or comparisons when I was a child. It did not faze me.I was in fourth grade the first time someone made fun of me. One of the neighbor boys called me “fat,” and I honestly had no idea what he was talking about. However, after a few times, I started to realize that he was being mean, and I ran home crying to my mom. My mom was wonderful, supportive, and my greatest advocate. She called the boy’s mother, and the boy apologized. Unfortunately, that was only the beginning of my trouble with body image.
In sixth grade, I started to become frustrated with my body. Our class had to “weigh-in” for P.E. It was the first time that I was embarrassed about how much I weighed. I couldn’t relate to any of the girls in my class. My classmates were sharing with each other how much they weighed, and I was horrified. My weight was up there with the boys’, and I was embarrassed. It was the first time, of many, that I lied about how much I weighed. I ate healthy food, exercised regularly, and took good care of my body. I was active in sports, and loved the feeling of being part of a team. I should have felt good about myself, but I did not.Kids teased me and laughed at me because of my freckles, mole, and butt. My mother called my mole a “beauty mark.” I took pride in that, and I felt unique and special. On the bus, boys would tease me about having a “big butt.” I never had a comeback – I would just take it. I did not know what to do, and I was shocked that people could be so mean. It really hurt.
I had great family friends that attended both elementary and high school with me. They were boys around my age, and they stood up for me. They were respectful and always nice to everyone. I will never forget their kindness, and we are still friends today. Other kids were so mean. I knew a girl at school who was overweight. Kids called her “Heavy Evy,” and that made me furious. I remember watching her run into the bathroom crying. I knew how she felt. To this day, I wish I would have followed her in there and given her a hug…I still feel bad about that.
In high school, I remember a girl calling me a “whale” and a teacher telling me that he “liked my butt.” I did not understand why people were making such inappropriate comments about my body. I had many friends, and I was active in school activities and sports. It was all so confusing and made me feel self-conscious. I didn’t like to wear snug, tailored clothing or draw attention to myself. I was embarrassed. I tried to cover up my mole with foundation and thought about having it removed many times. I always felt like I never looked good enough.
Every morning, I became frustrated when trying to get ready for school. I searched for something to wear that seemed acceptable, and I would panic and sweat from anxiety. I would become so frustrated that I would throw a fit and yell at my mom. It was horrible. I did not feel pretty. In high school, I constantly asked my mom if I was fat. She always told me “Angela, you are perfect just the way you are.” I never believed her.
I continued to struggle with body image, even though I had my mom as a solid role model. She treated her body with respect, took good care of herself, and was never controlling about what we ate. As time went by, I went through many different eating habits. I would only eat a potato with mustard or cabbage with mustard. I would eat only salads and no carbohydrates. The only condiments I used were mustard, ketchup, and salsa. I never starved myself, but if I started feeling hungry, I would preoccupy my mind with a bike ride, walk, or run.
My bout with bulimia started right after I graduated from high school. I moved to Hawaii to attend college. I was living by myself in a dorm room, I did not know many people, and I was lonely. I met some girls, and I immediately noticed how skinny they both looked. I wondered how they stayed so slim. I soon found out. They would eat tubs of ice cream and then throw up.
I had never heard of such a thing, and I was disgusted. I went home alone, and started picking myself apart. I stood in front of the mirror grabbing my fat, thinking that I would feel so much better if I could only make “it” go away. The first time I made myself throw up I was in my dorm, and I threw up in a grocery sack. I didn’t binge and purge. I would eat healthy and purge. My problems with body image intensified, and I began throwing up in the bathroom at work. A co-worker caught me purging once. She was very kind and offered her support. I told her I was fine and it wouldn’t happen again. Shortly after that, I moved back home…to be with my family.
I started receiving positive reinforcement regarding how “good I looked.” I was always confused by the compliments because I felt like I was dying on the inside. I put on a happy face, and said I looked “good” because of healthy diet and exercise. I was running religiously. I ran a marathon, several half-marathons, and worked out constantly. I eventually ruined my teeth from all the acid that I produced while throwing up, and I have two fake molars now because of my bout with bulimia.
I moved to Beverly Hills to become a nanny. For the first few months in California, I did not purge. I didn’t know anyone there, and I became lonely again. I didn’t feel like I fit in and the purging started. My frame was the smallest it has ever been. A woman, who I worked for as a nanny, called my mom to express her concerns. My mom had already suspected something was wrong.
When I moved back home, I confessed to my mom, and she was heart-broken. I continued abusing my body up until the day I met my husband. The timing was good, and I was ready to make a positive change. I promised him and myself that I would never abuse my body again, and I have kept that promise. I have thought about doing it, but I have kept my promise. I had my priorities wrong, but I am not ashamed of what I went through.After having children, I developed a deeper respect and appreciation for my body. I realized a woman’s body is amazing and capable of creating wondrous miracles. I have a daughter now who is looking up to me as her role model. I am teaching my children to respect and love their bodies.
I pretended for a long time that the unhealthy part of my past never existed, but I am hoping this experience helps bring me closure, and will help other girls and women, who may be going through a similar experience. We want Plus-Size Models Unite to be a great place for women to inspire each other.
The days that I deal with body image issues are far from over, I do have those days where I wake up and feel blah, or wish a shirt wasn’t so tight or jeans weren’t so snug, but I deal with those feelings differently now and I acknowledge the fact that it is completely normal to feel this way and it isn’t the end of the world! I realize now that is not a priority for me, my priority now is my health, my happiness and my family. I have a family who needs me, a husband who loves and respects me and kids who adore me, they need me and I LOVE me. I love me for who I am, I love my mole on my face, I love my butt, these physical features make me unique and different. I have learned the importance of being healthy and living a healthy and active lifestyle. I want to set a good example to our kids show them how to respect our bodies and take great care of them. After all, they are the only ones we’ve got!
This blog has helped me grow so much as a woman, wife, mother, and friend. I have also come to realize something else very important and that is having a passion. For me, sharing this story and hopefully helping others who may be struggling with body image issues or an eating disorder is my passion. I felt so alone during my darkest time and I want everyone to know that they are not alone, it will be okay, and it is possible to heal and make it through tough times. Having a passion, helps us feel alive, gives us something to look forward to and work towards. A few months ago, I spoke to Placer High School in Sacramento, California, with the Healthy is the New Skinny team for our Perfectly UnPerfected project. I shared my story along with my very inspirational team. Those students needed us, they needed to hear our stories. Kids today are wanting to see healthy, vibrant, and happy role models. I am still on a high from our trip to Placer High. There is no amount of money that could ever come close to the fulfillment I receive daily from being a wife, mother, and living with my passion.
As we read in the press release: The Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology announced that IBM is the recipient of the 2011 Anita Borg Top Company for Technical Women Award, a new annual award recognizing an organization that has demonstrated measurable results in the recruitment, retention and advancement of technical women at all levels. Grounded in organizational research and based on quantitative data, the award measures the current representation of technical women as well as improvement in women’s representation over time.
“IBM is the Anita Borg Top Company for Technical Women Award winner because of its commitment to having a strong representation of technical women at all levels. The company has demonstrated leadership in its ability to recruit, retain and advance technical women,” said Telle Whitney, CEO and President of the Anita Borg Institute. “The accomplishment of IBM will be recognized at our annual Women of Vision Awards in May, alongside some of the very top technical women in the world.”
IBM exemplifies many of the acknowledged best practices in the creation of a diverse and vibrant technical workforce. These include having a strong pipeline of technical women from entry to executive level. Women have significant roles in the technical management, executive level and individual contributor career tracks, which lead to strong role models at the top and allows for the significant benefits of diversity in innovation at the highest level. IBM’s mentoring culture is tightly integrated into its advancement requirements.
“IBM is an excellent example of the benefits of a corporate culture that embraces diversity. Executive commitment to diversity translates to commitment to diversity throughout the corporate culture,” said Caroline Simard, Vice President Research and Executive programs, Anita Borg Institute.
Kay Hymowitz is one of the ‘women not laughing’. In her new book ‘Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men into Boys’ she analyses how the feministic revolution influenced the new generation of men creating the phenomenon of the child-men. As a typical representative for this type of men Hymowitz names the American actor, producent and director Adam Sandler, who has produced a number of movies filled with ‘jokes about pee, vomit, spit, feces, farting, Hooters, breasts and sex, and people falling out of windows, being eaten by crocodiles and getting hit by golf balls’ – which made him a millionaire.
Not so coincidentally, the same decade that brought us the girl-powered pre-adult and built the foundations for the New Girl Order introduced a contradictory cultural type and the source of Sandler’s fortune: the child-man. The child-man is the fun house mirror image of the alpha girl. If she is ambitious, he is a slacker. If she is hyper-organized and self-directed, he tends toward passivity and vagueness. If she is preternaturally mature, he is happily not.
The phenomenon of the child-men is directly challenging women’s biological clocks…
A new and impressively large demographic group (is) hanging out mostly in metropolitan areas and in no hurry to change their status: single young males–SYMs as marketers put it–between the ages of 18 and 34. SYMs have always existed, of course, but now they dominate the ranks of the 20somethings. (…) That’s a lot of men blissfully free of mortgages, wives, child-care bills, and–as we’ll see, this is hugely important–biological clocks. …
Kronos Inc. found their own way of celebrating the working women in the 100 anniversary of the Women’s Day. They created a short video praising women’s achievements through the years and mentioning some of the female inventors of XX century:
Melitta Benz – coffee filter 1908
Ida Forbes – water heater 1917
Ruth Wakefield – chocolade chip cookie 1937
Mary Andreson – windshield wipers 1903
Stephanie Kwolel – Kevlar 1966
See the full video below:
(Thank you, Kronos!)