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News, Commentary and Blog posts from the Independent Women's Foundation.(...)IWF RSShttp://iwf.org/images/email-logo.pnghttp://www.iwf.org33968Facebook's top woman says men ruining the world<p> <strong>Comments from a female executive at Facebook did not go over well with a conservative women&#39;s group.</strong></p> <p> Speaking this week at the University of the Pacific, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg called for better public and private policies to benefit working moms and dads.</p> <p> &quot;The truth is,&quot; she said at one point, &quot;men still run the world and I&#39;m not sure it&#39;s going that well.&quot;</p> <p> Sandberg is the author of &quot;Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead.&quot;</p> <p> <span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Carrie Lukas, president of the </span></span><a href="http://iwf.org/"><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Independent Women&#39;s Forum</span></span></a><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">, says she appreciates that Sandberg is taking about ways to support working parents.</span></span></strong></span></p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">&quot;But it bothers me,&quot; says Lukas, &quot;that she seems to be continually trying to pit men and women against each other and kind of blame men for the world&#39;s ills.&quot;</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">One issue raised by Sandberg is equal pay.&nbsp;Sandberg says women earn about 79 cents to every dollar their male counterparts make.</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">&quot;It bothers me that she&#39;s parroting statistics that she has to know are misleading,&quot; responds Lukas. &quot;Women aren&#39;t making 80 cents on the dollar for doing the same work.&quot;</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">According to Lukas, that statistic doesn&#39;t take into account the different occupations that men and women choose and the number of hours they put in.</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">If women want to get ahead and want to earn more, telling them they are earning 80 cents on the dollar for the same work is misleading and not empowering or encouraging.</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">&quot;That&#39;s what I find frustrating,&quot; she says.&nbsp;</span></strong></span></span></p> http://iwf.org/media/2804755/Carrie L. LukasMon, 18 Sep 2017 08:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumGovernment rules can make workplaces less accommodating to women<p> The Sept. 10 editorial &ldquo;<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/pay-transparency-could-help-close-the-wage-gap-the-eeoc-shouldnt-write-it-off/2017/09/09/9d262f44-93f6-11e7-aace-04b862b2b3f3_story.html?utm_term=.9fa5f5f24ed8">Casting light on the &lsquo;wage gap&rsquo;</a>&thinsp;&rdquo; explained that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is reviewing an Obama-era rule to require companies with more than 100 employees to provide the government with additional data related to employees&rsquo; earnings, sex, race and other factors. The editorial described the need to balance added costs for businesses against the benefits of additional transparency, which would discourage discrimination and help close the gap between women&rsquo;s and men&rsquo;s earnings.</p> <p> The editorial overlooked that additional reporting requirements can discourage companies from offering women (and men) nontraditional work opportunities and providing flexibility for employees.</p> <p> Research <a href="http://www.iwf.org/media/2797374/Release:-What-Do-Women-Really-Want-In-The-Workplace">shows</a> that female workers value flexible work arrangements and are sometimes willing to trade some income for other accommodations. Under the new rule, a company would be less likely to consider the request of an employee who wanted to leave the office every day at 4 p.m. in exchange for a reduction in pay. Businesses would be concerned about how such decisions would show up in the statistics as government officials searched for evidence of discrimination.</p> <p> Government forms cannot capture the many factors that employers and employees consider when making decisions about work and compensation. Even well-intentioned regulations can backfire in making workplaces less flexible and less accommodating to women.</p> <p> <strong>Carrie Lukas, Great Falls</strong></p> <p> The writer is president</p> <p> of Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum.</p> http://iwf.org/news/2804742/Carrie L. LukasFri, 15 Sep 2017 06:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumHow a new Washington, D.C. regulation is pushing women to lean out<p> It&#39;s back to school time &mdash; and not just for kids. Thanks to a new regulation from Washington D.C.&#39;s government requiring that, by 2020, all childcare workers must have at least an associate&#39;s degree and center directors must have bachelor&#39;s degrees,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wusa9.com/news/local/dc/dc-first-in-country-to-require-university-degrees-for-daycare-workers/435120912" target="_blank">about half</a>&nbsp;of the city&#39;s childcare workers must soon head back to school or lose their jobs.</p> <p> Getting these credentials won&#39;t be easy for these workers. Two years of tuition to obtain an associate&#39;s degree at a public schools costs about $<a href="https://trends.collegeboard.org/college-pricing/figures-tables/average-published-undergraduate-charges-sector-2016-17" target="_blank">7,000</a>; a four-year bachelor&#39;s degree,&nbsp;<a href="https://trends.collegeboard.org/college-pricing/figures-tables/average-published-undergraduate-charges-sector-2016-17" target="_blank">$40,000</a>. City officials are promising to help workers shoulder these costs, but undoubtedly this will still be a big barrier to entering a profession that promises modest pay at best. The&nbsp;<a href="https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes399011.htm" target="_blank">Bureau of Labor Statistics</a>&nbsp;estimates that childcare workers in Washington earn an average of about $26,900 per year. That will make it difficult to shoulder any tuition costs, let alone also pay for the supplies and transportation, and find the time to attend classes and complete school work.</p> <p> Note that childcare workers are overwhelmingly female (women account for&nbsp;<a href="http://www.epi.org/publication/child-care-workers-arent-paid-enough-to-make-ends-meet/" target="_blank">96 percent</a>of childcare workers nationwide), and disproportionately Hispanic (20 percent) and African American (14 percent). These are populations that policymakers are supposed to support and help facilitate work; not make it harder for them to get and keep jobs.</p> <p> Presumably, the regulations&#39; advocates hope that the childcare workers will be able to demand higher wages once they have better credentials, but Washington already has some of the nation&#39;s highest childcare costs: In 2015, full-time care for an infant at a daycare center exceeded&nbsp;<a href="http://washington.cbslocal.com/2015/12/09/report-childcare-in-d-c-is-most-expensive-in-u-s-by-a-large-margin/" target="_blank">$22,000</a>&nbsp;a year. If it were a state, Washington would be one of the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.care.com/care-index" target="_blank">33 states</a>&nbsp;where average childcare costs are more than in-state college tuition. How much more can working parents afford to pay before working outside the home no longer makes sense?</p> <p> The average Washington household earns more than&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nbcwashington.com/the-scene/events/DC-Average-Salary.html" target="_blank">$84,000</a>&nbsp;&mdash; that&#39;s the highest in the nation, according to the Census Bureau. But a $20,000 childcare bill still eats up more than a quarter of wages, before paying taxes. Many two-earner couples face a situation in which the majority of the secondary earners&#39; income pays for childcare, encouraging more parents, particularly more women, to cut back or stay home. Single parents face a similar, only more difficult, dilemma.&nbsp;<a href="https://www.mercatus.org/system/files/Thomas-Regulation-Child-Care.pdf" target="_blank">Scholars</a>&nbsp;have found that a 1 percent increase in the price of childcare leads to a drop in single mothers&#39; employment of between 0.3 and 1.1 percent. Discouraging these women from working, and presumably relying instead on public assistance, has a lasting impact on their families&#39; prospects.</p> <p> Of course, there are many very worthy reasons why a parent might opt out of the workforce to care for children. But needlessly exorbitant childcare costs shouldn&#39;t be what drives that decision. Public officials shouldn&#39;t be promulgating regulations that effectively encourage women to lean out.</p> <p> Even more depressingly, Washington&#39;s new regulation is even unlikely to result in higher quality care for children. Parents know that having a college education isn&#39;t what&#39;s most important in a caregiver. They want their children cared for by people who are patient, kind, and engaging. Studies such as this&nbsp;<a href="https://www.mercatus.org/system/files/Thomas-Regulation-Child-Care.pdf" target="_blank">Mercatus Center paper</a>&nbsp;found that regulations intended to enhance daycare quality tend to fail, as they encourage daycare centers to focus on the wrong criteria and only succeed in driving up the price.</p> <p> As Preston Cooper, education analyst for the American Enterprise Institute,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.aei.org/publication/d-c-s-college-mandate-for-child-care-workers-is-something-to-cry-about/" target="_blank">put it</a>, the only winners from this regulation are the &quot;thousands of colleges that get to charge childcare workers thousands of dollars to churn out those credentials.&quot; The biggest losers are daycare workers, working parents, and children.</p> <p> This is public policy at its worst. City officials would do far better to help families by joining the movement to roll back counterproductive rules that do far more harm than good.</p> <p> <em>Carrie Lukas (<a href="https://twitter.com/carrielukas?lang=en" target="_blank">@carrielukas</a>) is president of the Independent Women&#39;s Forum.</em></p> http://iwf.org/news/2804704/Carrie L. LukasFri, 8 Sep 2017 15:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumNew York Times Opinion Writer Slams Ivanka for Supporting the Rollback of a Useless EEOC Rule<p> In this New York Times screed against Ivanka Trump, Lindy West blames her for not stopping everything the President has done that West opposes&mdash;which, of course, is just about everything.&nbsp;</p> <p> Yet a big part of her fury focuses on Ivanka&rsquo;s support of a move from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to rescind a pending regulation that would have required larger companies to report additional data related to their compensation practices.&nbsp; The Obama Administration had claimed these new reporting requirements would discourage discriminatory practices and reduce the wage gap.&nbsp;</p> <p> Ms. Trump explained in a statement why she supported the Administration&rsquo;s decision:&nbsp; &ldquo;Ultimately, while I believe the intention was good and agree that pay transparency is important, the proposed policy would not yield the intended results.&rdquo;&nbsp; West isn&rsquo;t buying it and questions Ivanka&rsquo;s commitment to helping women, in a most demeaning manner, writing:&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;"> Ivanka Trump&hellip; is more a logo than a person, a scarecrow stuffed with branding, an heiress-turned-model-turned-multimillionaire&rsquo;s-wife playacting as an authority on the challenges facing working women so that she can sell more pastel sheath dresses.&nbsp;</p> <p> West not only seems inappropriately vicious toward the first daughter, but she doesn&rsquo;t bother to address the entirely legitimate reasons for why the EEOC rule was pulled.&nbsp; These onerous new paperwork requirements would not only have been costly to businesses, but they could actually backfire on women and result in less workplace flexibility.&nbsp; Here&rsquo;s how the Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum explained our concerns with the proposed rule in a letter to the EEOC:&nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;"> .&nbsp;.&nbsp;.&nbsp;the EEO-1 report overlooks that general job flexibility (e.g., telework, predictable scheduling) is something highly valued by women. Many women, particularly those with children, are often willing to trade additional salary for a more customized work environment that suits their individual and family needs&hellip;. Employers will be less likely to accommodate requests for flexible or alternative work schedules or positions if they are concerned that government officials will be examining these data points and statistics without this important context, and passing judgment on their compensation practices.</p> <p> West makes fun of Ivanka for being out of touch, but it&rsquo;s West and too many other cheerleaders for regulations who seem unfamiliar with how managers and human resources departments actually operate, and how these requirements will work in practice.&nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> http://iwf.org/news/2804691/Carrie L. LukasFri, 8 Sep 2017 08:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumIWF Signs Coalition Letter on Reciprocal Switching<div> <p> WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Independent Women&#39;s Forum today joined the Competitive Enterprise Institute and 24 other policy leaders and advocacy groups from across the country in sending a letter to&nbsp;Chairman Thune, Chairman Fischer, Ranking Member Nelson, and Ranking Member Booker, urging the Committee and Subcommittee to put the re-regulation on freight railroads to bed by empowering two new board STB board members.&nbsp;</p> <p> Additional groups that signed the coalition letter include American Commitment, Citizens Against Government Waste, and Small Business &amp; Entrepreneurship Council.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <span style="font-size:16px;"><strong><a href="https://cei.org/sites/default/files/20170907_CEI_Coalition_Letter_on_STB_Nominees.pdf">VIEW PDF OF LETTER</a></strong></span></p> <p> ****<br /> <br /> Dear Chairman Thune, Chair Fischer, and Ranking Members Nelson and Booker:</p> <p> As you return to work following the August recess, we write today on the forthcoming process to appoint and confirm two new members of the Surface Transportation Board (STB). Most notably, we believe that you should vet nominees to ensure they have a sound understanding of the economic principles surrounding the freight railroad sector and who will reject misguided efforts to re-regulate our nation&rsquo;s freight rail industry.</p> <p> As evidenced by the signers of this letter, the issue is not ideological&mdash;it is just common sense. But given the importance of the railroad industry to the national economy, it is nonetheless imperative to install Board members who will carry out their congressional charter, not embark on wholesale policy changes supported only by those seeking backdoor price controls&mdash;the same sort of over-regulation and government meddling that nearly drove the industry to ruin four decades ago.</p> <p> As you know, partial freight rail economic deregulation, which culminated in the Staggers Rail Act of 1980, represents one of the most significant economic policy successes in the history of the United States. These reforms for pricing and routing independence must be preserved, not reversed.</p> <p> Since 1980, the industry has invested more than half a trillion dollars of its own funds into its networks, with annual investment averaging more than $26 billion over the last few years. According to Towson University&rsquo;s Regional Economic Studies Institute, major U.S. railroads in 2014 alone supported approximately 1.5 million jobs, $274 billion in annual economic activity, nearly $90 billion in wages, and $33 billion in tax revenues. Moreover, average inflation-adjusted freight rates are down more than 40 percent since 1980.</p> <p> Unfortunately, some powerful industrial shipping interests have succeeded in opening a proceeding before the STB framed in the language of promoting &ldquo;competition.&rdquo; The proposed rule regarding revised reciprocal switching rules that was opened by the STB would reverse three decades of precedent. The STB shockingly argues that its inability&mdash;and the inability of the Interstate Commerce Commission before it&mdash;to uncover any evidence of anticompetitive conduct on the part of the railroad industry justifies its call for eliminating the post-deregulation requirement that anticompetitive conduct be found before mandatory reciprocal switching could be imposed. The STB is in essence proposing to convict freight railroads for crimes the STB itself concedes they did not commit.</p> <p> Many industry observers have expressed concern that imposing forced reciprocal switching and reducing rate flexibility will come at the expense of network investment. This unprecedented action threatens railroads, shippers, and consumers with degraded service quality and higher prices on goods, which would naturally follow the resulting reduction in operational efficiencies and private railroad investment.</p> <p> Over the last 20 years, Congress has repeatedly rejected railroad re-regulation, regardless of political control. On numerous occasions, it has explicitly rejected attempts to eliminate the anticompetitive conduct requirement, recognizing that reducing private railroad investment is not in the public interest. We strongly urge the Committee and Subcommittee to put the re-regulation of freight railroads to bed for the foreseeable future by empowering new Board members who understand this basic economic reality.</p> <p> Sincerely,</p> </div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div> <p> Marc Scribner, Senior Fellow<br /> Competitive Enterprise Institute</p> <p> James L. Martin, Founder &amp; Chairman<br /> 60 Plus Association</p> <p> Phil Kerpen, President<br /> American Commitment</p> <p> Steve Pociask, President<br /> American Consumer Institute</p> <p> Lisa B. Nelson, CEO<br /> American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)</p> <p> Ashley N. Varner, Executive Director<br /> ALEC Action</p> <p> Steve Forbes<br /> Americans for Hope, Growth &amp; Opportunity</p> <p> Norman Singleton, President<br /> Campaign for Liberty</p> <p> Andrew F. Quinlan, President<br /> Center for Freedom and Prosperity</p> <p> Timothy Lee, Senior Vice President for Legal &amp; Public Affairs<br /> Center for Individual Freedom</p> <p> Tom Schatz, President<br /> Citizens Against Government Waste</p> <p> Matthew Kandrach, President<br /> Consumer Action for a Strong Economy</p> <p> Hycall Brooks, President<br /> FaithWorks</p> <p> Jason Pye, Vice President of Legislative Affairs<br /> Freedomworks</p> <p> Carrie L. Lukas, President Independent Women&#39;s Forum</p> <p> Heather R. Higgins, President &amp; CEO<br /> Independent Women&#39;s Voice</p> <p> Andrew Langer, President<br /> Institute for Liberty</p> <p> Seton Motley, President<br /> Less Government</p> <p> Harry C. Alford, President/CEO<br /> National Black Chamber of Commerce</p> <p> Pete Sepp, President<br /> National Taxpayers Union</p> <p> Brady J. Buckner, Director Partnership for Innovation &amp; Empowerment</p> <p> Ian Adams, Associate Vice President of State Affairs<br /> R Street Institute</p> <p> Karen Kerrigan, President &amp; CEO<br /> Small Business &amp; Entrepreneurship Council</p> <p> David Williams, President<br /> Taxpayers Protection Alliance</p> <p> Judson Phillips, Founder<br /> Tea Party Nation</p> </div> <p> &nbsp;</p> http://iwf.org/media/2804688/Carrie L. LukasThu, 7 Sep 2017 14:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumMissed opportunity with raising debt ceiling and not controlling spending • FBN AMhttp://iwf.org/media/2804686/Carrie L. LukasThu, 7 Sep 2017 13:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumCongress and Trump need to start delivering policy rather than drama • MSNBC Livehttp://iwf.org/media/2804624/Carrie L. LukasSun, 27 Aug 2017 09:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumNew Data on Women’s Earnings<p> The Bureau of Labor Statistics just released this new report on women&rsquo;s earnings in 2016.&nbsp; The difference&nbsp;in men and women&rsquo;s earnings hasn&rsquo;t changed much&nbsp;&ndash; on average women earned 81.9 percent of men&rsquo;s earnings in 2016, compared to 81.1 in 2015.&nbsp;</p> <p> Undoubtedly some will use this occasion to create headlines about the stubborn &ldquo;wage gap&rdquo; and imply that rampant workplace discrimination is what causes men to earn more.&nbsp; But the details in the report tell a different story.&nbsp;</p> <p> Dig into the numbers a bit and you&rsquo;ll see that the wage gap is much smaller among younger workers than older workers.&nbsp; Women age 16-24 earn 95 percent of their male peers&rsquo; earnings, compared to 75 percent for the oldest age group.&nbsp; This is likely due to a combination of factors:&nbsp; younger women are increasingly well-educated compared to men, earning more bachelor&rsquo;s, master&rsquo;s and doctoral degrees.&nbsp; Also, the impact of the different choices men and women make about children and work accumulates over time.</p> <p> The report also highlights how women and men cluster into different professions:&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p> Across all occupational categories, the three most common jobs for women were elementary and middle school teacher ($981), registered nurse ($1,143), and secretary or administrative assistant ($708). Each of these occupations employed more than 2 million women in 2016, collectively representing 13 percent of women in full-time wage and salary jobs.</p> <p> Among men, the most common job by far was truck driver (driver/sales workers and truck drivers, $787). In 2016, 2.7 million, or 4 percent, of all male full-wage and salary workers were truck drivers. Although engineering jobs are shown separately by specialty (civil, mechanical, etc.) in this report, if combined, engineer would be the second most common job for men. In 2016, a total of 1.9 million men were employed full time in the 16 designated engineering specialties (median weekly earnings ranging from $1,526 to $1,901).</p> <p> Feminists frustrated by stubborn gender roles will undoubtedly be unhappy to see that teacher, nurse, and secretary&mdash;classically female professions&mdash;still top the list for women. And while, of course it is worth considering how to make sure that women feel welcome in and consider other more potentially lucrative career paths, these women are still better positioned than many men.&nbsp; Certainly the future of women in nursing and teaching seems more secure than that of the millions of men who are in trucking, an occupation which could be largely displaced by automation.&nbsp;</p> <p> This report is worth reading in full.&nbsp; The sober presentation of data about women and men&rsquo;s work life provides important insights into our economy and is a welcome change from the usual highly-politicized commentary about anything related to differences between the sexes.&nbsp;</p> http://iwf.org/news/2804598/Carrie L. LukasWed, 23 Aug 2017 08:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumPolicy Focus: Flexible Scheduling<p> As much as 17 percent of the American workforce&mdash;which means about 25 million people&mdash;have irregular work schedules. They work in shifts or are oncall, which means that employers can assign them to work just shortly before that work period begins. While employers have long used shift workers, in recent years, employers have increasingly used &ldquo;just-in-time&rdquo; scheduling. Under this arrangement, employees must be available to work, and it&rsquo;s up to the managers to decide whether to use them based on business needs.</p> <p> There are obvious benefits for this approach: It&rsquo;s efficient, meaning businesses can avoid costs when workers aren&rsquo;t needed. And businesses can respond when workers request last-minute schedule changes. But just-in-time scheduling can create problems, too. When shifts are added at the last minute, it can be hard for workers to make plans and to have a reliable income. For example, it can be difficult for working parents to juggle childcare arrangements if their work schedule is unpredictable.</p> <p> Lawmakers have sought to discourage employers from using these arrangements through law and regulation. However, these well-intended efforts can backfire on workers, making it more likely that employers will reduce workers&rsquo; hours, and automate and consolidate their workforce in response to higher employment costs. These regulations also overlook how employees benefit from this flexibility. The best way to help workers is not to micromanage scheduling practices but to focus on job creation so workers can find employment relationships that meet their needs.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> <a href="http://pdf.iwf.org/flexible_scheduling_PF17.pdf"><img alt="" src="http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb366/IWF11/Policy%20Focus/click-for-pdf_zpspauhaxeu.png" style="width: 550px; height: 91px;" /></a></p> <div> &nbsp;</div> http://iwf.org/publications/2804574/Carrie L. LukasFri, 18 Aug 2017 09:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumFemale Leaders Say Google ‘Intolerant’ in Firing Engineer for Memo on Gender Differences<p> Women in leadership roles are among those expressing disappointment that tech giant Google fired a&nbsp;<a href="https://www.theverge.com/2017/8/8/16111724/google-sundar-pichai-employee-memo-diversity">senior software engineer</a>&nbsp;for writing and distributing a memo ruminating on evidence that men and women are different.</p> <p> Heather Mac Donald, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute and contributing editor to City Journal, told The Daily Signal in an email that conclusions reached by the fired Google employee, James Damore, were fair.</p> <p> &ldquo;Google&rsquo;s intolerance for scientific research bodes poorly for America&rsquo;s long-term competitiveness,&rdquo; Mac Donald said, adding:</p> <blockquote> <p> Damore&rsquo;s memo was a reasoned, careful analysis of the emerging knowledge of gender differences, as well as a thoughtful call for a reassessment of Google&rsquo;s monolithic political culture. And yet like Harvard&rsquo;s former president, Larry Summers, he has lost his job because he dared to challenge the dominant narrative about absolute gender equality in every cognitive competence and emotional orientation.</p> </blockquote> <p> Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. But this can&#39;t be done alone.&nbsp;<a href="http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/08/female-leaders-say-google-intolerant-firing-engineer-memo-gender-differences/#dear_reader">Find out more &gt;&gt;</a></p> <p> Larry Summers, a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.harvard.edu/about-harvard/harvard-glance/history-presidency/lawrence-h-summers">past president</a>&nbsp;of Harvard University, drew controversy in 2005 when he&nbsp;<a href="https://www.theguardian.com/science/2005/jan/18/educationsgendergap.genderissues">said&nbsp;</a>men perform better than women in academic areas such as math and the sciences, and that mothers&rsquo; wariness of long office hours helps account for a shortage of women in senior positions in science and engineering.</p> <p> Damore said men and women are especially gifted in various abilities due to biological makeup.&nbsp;In his&nbsp;<a href="https://www.scribd.com/document/355823379/Google-s-Ideological-Echo-Chamber#download&amp;from_embed">memo</a>, he wrote at one point:</p> <blockquote> <p> The distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and &hellip; these differences may explain why we don&rsquo;t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership. Many of these differences are small and there&rsquo;s significant overlap between men and women, so you can&rsquo;t say anything about an individual given these population level distributions.</p> </blockquote> <p> <span style="font-size:16px;"><span style="color:#c93b2e;"><strong>Carrie Lukas, president of the Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum, said in a statement sent to The Daily Signal that Google was wrong to fire Damore.</strong></span></span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:16px;"><span style="color:#c93b2e;"><strong>&ldquo;This is another sad example of how afraid too many people&mdash;and companies, organizations, and even colleges&mdash;have become of actual discussion of ideas,&rdquo; Lukas said. &ldquo;This employee offered a thoughtful and entirely defensible perspective on a topic that needs honest debate, and was sadly punished for it.&rdquo;</strong></span></span></p> <p> &gt;&gt;&gt; Video Commentary:&nbsp;<a href="http://dailysignal.com/2017/08/08/why-did-google-freak-out-and-fire-an-employee-for-spurring-an-honest-discussion/">Why Did Google Freak Out and Fire an Employee for Spurring &lsquo;Honest Discussion&rsquo;?</a></p> <p> Christina Hoff Sommers, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, where she studies the politics of gender and feminism, told The Daily Signal in an email that Damore&rsquo;s firing is political:</p> <blockquote> <p> Google has excommunicated James Damore for crimes against the Pink Police State. Damore&rsquo;s memo was awkward&mdash;but civil and mostly reasonable. Women who disagreed were free to shoot back a reply&mdash;or better yet, challenge him to a code-off. Instead, moral panic ensued.</p> </blockquote> <p> &ldquo;Google claims to welcome viewpoint diversity&mdash;[but actually does so only] as long as those viewpoints accord with their own,&rdquo; Sommers said.</p> <p> Damore,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.newsweek.com/who-james-damore-alt-right-furious-after-google-fires-engineer-over-anti-647716">28</a>, had worked for Google&nbsp;<a href="http://www.newsweek.com/who-james-damore-alt-right-furious-after-google-fires-engineer-over-anti-647716">since 2013</a>&nbsp;after receiving his doctorate&nbsp;in systems biology from Harvard.</p> <p> In his memo, Damore&nbsp;<a href="https://www.scribd.com/document/355823379/Google-s-Ideological-Echo-Chamber#download&amp;from_embed">said</a>&nbsp;fewer women than men may work in technology because of different interests:</p> <blockquote> <p> Women generally also have a stronger interest in people rather than things, relative to men, also interpreted as empathizing vs. systemizing. These two differences in part explain why women relatively prefer jobs in social or artistic areas. More men may like coding because it requires systemizing.</p> </blockquote> <p> In a&nbsp;<a href="https://www.blog.google/topics/diversity/note-employees-ceo-sundar-pichai/">prepared statement</a>&nbsp;provided to The Daily Signal, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said parts of Damore&rsquo;s circulated memo violated the company&rsquo;s code of conduct because of its &ldquo;harmful gender stereotypes&rdquo;:</p> <blockquote> <p> [W]e strongly support the right of Googlers to express themselves, and much of what was in that memo is fair to debate, regardless of whether a vast majority of Googlers disagree with it. However, portions of the memo violate our code of conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.</p> </blockquote> <p> Penny Nance, president and CEO of Concerned Women for America, told The Daily Signal in a phone interview that she expects Damore&rsquo;s case to go to court.</p> <p> &ldquo;I am surprised that Google fired him &hellip; because I believe it is illegal,&rdquo; Nance said, adding:</p> <blockquote> <p> The Supreme Court under Rutan v. Republican Party of Illinois in 1990 specifically said that viewpoint discrimination is illegal for employment purposes. And the other thing is I don&rsquo;t think they are doing women any favors.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </blockquote> <p> In&nbsp;<a href="https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/88-1872.ZO.html">Rutan v. Republican Party of Illinois</a>, the high court held that &ldquo;promotion, transfer, recall, and hiring decisions involving low-level public employees may be constitutionally based on party affiliation and support,&rdquo; according to Cornell University Law School.</p> <p> But Ryan T. Anderson, a senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation, noted that a private company makes its own decisions on who to hire and fire.</p> <p> This firing, suggested Anderson, author of<a href="http://www.tinyurl.com/RTAamazon">&nbsp;the book&nbsp;&ldquo;Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom</a>,&rdquo; highlights an inconsistency on the left. &nbsp;</p> <p> &ldquo;Google is free to operate in accordance with its anti-science androgynous belief system,&rdquo; Anderson told The Daily Signal in an email.</p> <p> &ldquo;So, too, Americans who believe we are created male and female, and that male and female are created for each other, should be free to run their organizations in accordance with their beliefs.&rdquo;</p> <p> The Manhattan Institute&rsquo;s Mac Donald said the story may have been different if Damore was a woman.</p> <p> &ldquo;Firing a female would put you further in the red, so you want to hold on to your females at all costs,&rdquo; she said, adding:</p> <blockquote> <p> So it is a question of whether the diversity imperative here [that is] improving the female to male ratio trumps the imperative for ideological conformity. They certainly would have had to think more about their decision, but whether a female would have ultimately been spared the ax is difficult to predict. &nbsp;Maybe she would have been sent to re-education camp. &nbsp;</p> </blockquote> http://iwf.org/media/2804524/Carrie L. LukasWed, 9 Aug 2017 10:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumSexism May Affect Women’s Careers, but It’s Not What Sank Hillary Clinton<p> Why do so few women become the CEOs of major corporations, despite the tremendous gains women have made in terms of academic achievement and throughout the rest of the workforce? That&rsquo;s a hot topic among social scientists and other researchers, and the New York Times&rsquo; Susan Chira is the latest to delve into it, with an article featuring stories from women who fell just short of that elusive corporate throne. Chira sums up her findings: &ldquo;What their stories show is that in business, as in politics, women who aspire to power evoke far more resistance, both overt and subtle, than they expected would be the case by now.&rdquo;</p> <p> It&rsquo;s important to listen to women who have had an insider&rsquo;s view of the workings of our country&rsquo;s most powerful corporations. Sexism, both overt and subtle, may help explain the dearth of female CEOs, and the public &mdash; and particularly industry leaders &mdash; ought to consider how stereotypes and assumptions about the necessary qualities for a good chief executive impact hiring decisions.</p> <p> That&rsquo;s why it&rsquo;s too bad that researchers and reporters ended up politicizing this discussion. Rather than letting these female executives speak for themselves, Chira tries to tie them to Hillary Clinton, suggesting that the bias they might have faced was also at the root of Clinton&rsquo;s loss in last year&rsquo;s election:</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;"> The parallels with politics are striking. Research in both fields, including some conducted after Mrs. Clinton&rsquo;s loss, has shown it&rsquo;s harder for assertive, ambitious women to be seen as likable, and easier to conclude they lack some intangible, ill-defined quality of leadership. . . .</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;"> For her part, Mrs. Clinton is writing a book and speaking out more acidly than she allowed herself on the campaign trail. &ldquo;Certainly, misogyny played a role&rdquo; in her defeat, she told a rapt, partisan crowd at the Women in the World summit in April. She described what she saw as the thought bubble among some voters for President Trump: &ldquo;He looks like somebody who&rsquo;s been president before.&rdquo;</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;"> The fury and revulsion aimed at Mrs. Clinton &mdash; as well as the more open misogyny in some quarters in the wake of the election &mdash; has led many women to question whether they&rsquo;ve underestimated a visceral recoil against women taking power in any arena.</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;"> Many fear they already know the answer.</p> <p> This claim needlessly alienates readers who didn&rsquo;t support Mrs. Clinton&rsquo;s candidacy for reasons that have nothing to do with her sex. Also, Chira undercuts her credibility: If she buys into the idea that sexism explains why Hillary Clinton lost, then I can&rsquo;t help but wonder if she also cherry-picked the stories of the other women profiled in her article and guilelessly bought the sexism charge when there were other, more plausible explanations for why a woman didn&rsquo;t become a CEO.</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;"> Some studies show that many voters have a bias for female candidates and are more likely to want to vote for a woman absent other information.</p> <p> After all, while female politicians, including Mrs. Clinton, face unique challenges &mdash; such as a press corps that&rsquo;s more likely to fixate on a female candidate&rsquo;s appearance and family life than they would that of a male candidate &mdash; being a woman also has tremendous advantages. In Mrs. Clinton&rsquo;s case, the Democratic National Committee did just about everything possible short of a full-on, Soviet-style election rigging to ensure that Mrs. Clinton won her party&rsquo;s nomination. Why did they go to such lengths? A big part of it was the drive to shatter the glass ceiling and finally put a woman into the Oval Office. In fact, it&rsquo;s hard to imagine that a candidate with Mrs. Clinton&rsquo;s background and baggage would have been considered by her party if she hadn&rsquo;t been a woman. For all the challenges that being a woman brings, it was also Clinton&rsquo;s biggest asset and the foundation for her campaign.</p> <p> Studies of people&rsquo;s attitudes about female candidates are similarly mixed. Undoubtedly, there are plenty of disadvantages, such as challenges getting financing and accessing local political networks, but other studies show that many voters have a bias for female candidates and are more likely to want to vote for a woman absent other information.</p> <p> Much like the constant use of wage gap statistics that dramatically overstate the differences between the earnings of men and women in similar jobs, the reluctance to acknowledge that sexism can work both ways complicates public discussions of these issues and undermines progress. That&rsquo;s a shame. We should all want to live in a society that helps everyone fulfill his or her potential, which means we should take seriously the issue of how lingering stereotypes impact the workplace, particularly at the highest levels. That requires honest discussions and resisting the instinct to blame outcomes we don&rsquo;t like &mdash; from statistical differences between men and women to election results &mdash; on sexism.</p> http://iwf.org/news/2804439/Carrie L. LukasFri, 28 Jul 2017 09:07:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumBias Against Female Corporate Executives? Maybe, But Sexism Didn’t Sink Hillary Clinton<p> Why do so few women become the CEOs of major corporations, despite the tremendous gains women have made in terms of academic achievement and throughout the rest of the workforce? That&rsquo;s a hot topic among social scientists and other researchers, and the New York Times&rsquo; Susan Chira is the latest to delve into it <a href="https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/07/21/sunday-review/women-ceos-glass-ceiling.html">with an article</a> featuring stories from women who fell just short of that elusive corporate throne. Chira sums up her findings: &ldquo;What their stories show is that in business, as in politics, women who aspire to power evoke far more resistance, both overt and subtle, than they expected would be the case by now.&rdquo;</p> <p> It&rsquo;s important to listen to women who have had an insider&rsquo;s view of the workings of our country&rsquo;s most powerful corporations. Sexism, both overt and subtle, may help explain the dearth of female CEOs, and the public&mdash;and particularly industry leaders&mdash;ought to consider how stereotypes and assumptions about the necessary qualities for a good chief executive impact hiring decisions.</p> <p> That&rsquo;s why it&rsquo;s too bad that researchers and reporters ended up politicizing this discussion. Rather than letting these female executives speak for themselves, Chira tries to tie them to Hillary Clinton, suggesting that the bias they might have faced was also at the root of Clinton&rsquo;s loss in last year&rsquo;s election:</p> <p> The parallels with politics are striking. Research in both fields, including some conducted after Mrs. Clinton&rsquo;s loss, has shown it&rsquo;s harder for assertive, ambitious women to be seen as likable, and easier to conclude they lack some intangible, ill-defined quality of leadership. &hellip;</p> <p> For her part, Mrs. Clinton is writing a book and speaking out more acidly than she allowed herself on the campaign trail. &ldquo;Certainly, misogyny played a role&rdquo; in her defeat, she told a rapt,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/08/opinion/sunday/hillary-clinton-free-to-speak-her-mind.html">partisan crowd</a>&nbsp;at the Women in the World summit meeting in April. She described what she saw as the thought bubble among some voters for President Trump: &ldquo;He looks like somebody who&rsquo;s been president before.&rdquo;</p> <p> The fury and revulsion aimed at Mrs. Clinton &mdash; as well as the more open misogyny in some quarters in the wake of the election &mdash; has led many women to question whether they&rsquo;ve underestimated a visceral recoil against women taking power in any arena.</p> <p> Many fear they already know the answer.</p> <p> This claim needlessly alienates readers who didn&rsquo;t support Mrs. Clinton&rsquo;s candidacy for reasons that have nothing to do with her sex. Also, Chira undercuts her credibility: If she buys into the idea that sexism explains why Hillary Clinton lost, then I can&rsquo;t help but wonder if she also cherry-picked the stories of the other women profiled in her article and guilelessly bought the sexism charge when there were other more plausible explanations for why a woman didn&rsquo;t become a CEO.</p> <p> After all, while female politicians, including Mrs. Clinton, face unique challenges&mdash;such as a press corps that&rsquo;s more likely to fixate on a female candidate&rsquo;s appearance and family life than they would that of a male candidate&mdash;being a woman also has tremendous advantages. In Mrs. Clinton&rsquo;s case, the Democratic National Committee did just about everything possible short of a full-on, Soviet-style election rigging to ensure that Mrs. Clinton won her party&rsquo;s nomination. Why did they go to such lengths? A big part of it was the drive to shatter the glass ceiling and finally put a woman into the Oval Office. In fact, it&rsquo;s hard to imagine that a candidate with Mrs. Clinton&rsquo;s background and baggage would have been considered by her party if she hadn&rsquo;t been a woman. For all the challenges that being a woman brings, it was also Clinton&rsquo;s biggest asset and the foundation for her campaign.</p> <p> Studies of people&rsquo;s attitudes about female candidates are similarly mixed. Undoubtedly, there are plenty of disadvantages, such as challenges getting financing and accessing local political networks, but <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/01/06/abacus-data-poll-gender-stereotypes_n_6425758.html">other studies</a> show that many voters have a bias <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/sabrinaschaeffer/2015/04/21/the-gender-bias-that-just-isnt-there-voters-are-ready-for-a-woman-president-who-fits-their-ideology/#6c8033c34b9e">for female candidates</a> and are more likely to want to vote for a woman absent other information.</p> <p> Much like the constant use of wage gap statistics that <a href="http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/433991/equal-pay-days-misleading-math">dramatically overstate</a> the differences between the earnings of men and women in similar jobs, the reluctance to acknowledge that sexism can work both ways complicates public discussions of these issues and undermines progress. That&rsquo;s a shame. We should all want to live in a society that helps everyone fulfill his or her potential, which means we should take seriously the issue of how lingering stereotypes impact the workplace, particularly at the highest levels. That requires honest discussions and resisting the instinct to blame outcomes we don&rsquo;t like&mdash;from statistical differences between men and women to election results&mdash;on sexism.</p> http://iwf.org/news/2804408/Carrie L. LukasWed, 26 Jul 2017 11:07:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumWATCH: How would the GOP health care plan affect women?<p> My colleague Amanda Marcotte and I sat down for Salon Talks with Carrie Lukas, president of the &nbsp;<a href="http://www.iwf.org/">Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum</a>&nbsp;(IWF), to discuss how the unresolved debate over health care policies in the Republican-dominated Congress impact women&rsquo;s health issues.</p> <p> IWF is a conservative and libertarian organization that creates&nbsp;messages about how women and families can be empowered by the free market rather than big government. With headlines like, &ldquo;<a href="http://www.iwf.org/blog/2804348/In-the-Poconos,-Another-Small-Business-Falls-Victim-to-Unnecessary-Licensing">In the Poconos, Another Small Business Falls Victim to Unnecessary Licensing</a>&rdquo; and &ldquo;<a href="http://www.iwf.org/blog/2804340/Who-Cares-for-the-Caregivers--">Who Cares for the Caregivers?</a>&rdquo; and &ldquo;<a href="http://www.iwf.org/blog/2804311/Trump-Education-Department's-Likely-Changes-in-Campus-Sexual-Assault-Policy-Causes-Angst-Among-Activists">Trump Education Department&rsquo;s Likely Changes in Campus Sexual-Assault Policy Causes Angst Among Activists</a>,&rdquo; IWF writes about health care, women at work, education, women in politics and more.</p> <p> <strong>When it comes to women&rsquo;s health, is there an imbalance in health care costs?</strong></p> <p> <strong>Carrie Lukas:</strong> If you&rsquo;re an infertile woman, let&rsquo;s say &mdash; or a woman who doesn&rsquo;t want to have kids &mdash; I can imagine saying, &ldquo;You know what, my insurance has gone up the same as a woman who&rsquo;s had five kids.&rdquo; I don&rsquo;t know why everybody should have to be subsidizing maternity expenses.</p> <p> <a href="http://www.salon.com/2017/07/24/watch-how-would-the-gop-health-care-plan-affect-women/"><strong><span style="font-size:14px;">WATCH HERE</span></strong></a></p> http://iwf.org/media/2804376/Carrie L. LukasMon, 24 Jul 2017 07:07:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumEnough palace intrigue, Americans want real solutions to real problems • Happening Nowhttp://iwf.org/media/2804354/Carrie L. LukasThu, 20 Jul 2017 12:07:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumIn Defense of High-Tech Parenting<p> Summer presents a lot of challenges for parents. Finding (and paying for!) childcare, keeping kids at least a little engaged in academics, and helping kids learn to grapple with boredom and entertain themselves are all on the list. Many people would also add controlling their kids&rsquo; access to technology: We don&rsquo;t want our kids wasting the summer months inside playing mindless video games or watching YouTube clips of other kids opening Shopkins packages.</p> <p> I&rsquo;ve written about this challenge and the discipline of maintaining a healthy relationship with <a href="https://acculturated.com/kids-alright-parents-need-limits-technology/">technology</a> and not letting it rule your life. But this summer, I&rsquo;m also appreciating anew all the ways that technology makes parenting&mdash;and just about everything else&mdash;much easier.</p> <p> Take shopping, which is one of my least favorite chores to do with the kids. I dread dragging everyone in and out of the over-heated car, buckling up car seats, and then repeatedly saying no to all the requests for toys and treats that they don&rsquo;t need and I don&rsquo;t want to pay for. Obligatory shopping trips are now less and less frequent since I can go online for most of what our family needs. I no longer put together a long shopping list so I can remember scotch tape, laundry detergent, and a present for my son&rsquo;s friend&rsquo;s birthday party. Those are purchased in real time, without having to drive anywhere, with a couple clicks on my phone.</p> <p> I&rsquo;m still in the habit of regular grocery runs to replenish fruit, bread and meats. But I know others who are turning online to take care of that too, with services like <a href="https://www.amazon.com/fmc/offer">AmazonFresh</a> and <a href="https://www.freshdirect.com/index.jsp">FreshDirect</a> that deliver groceries to your door. WalMart, Kroger, and others are also making it easier for moms by giving them the option to pick out their groceries and pay for them online before coming to the store. Someone then just loads the bags right into your trunk so the shopper never even has to leave the car.</p> <p> This kind of convenience means a lot for busy parents, especially those juggling work responsibilities. People often complain about how the availability of technology can make it feel like you are never fully away from the job&mdash;we find ourselves returning work emails on Sunday or just before we go to sleep at night&mdash;but they also create flexibility that can be a big help, particularly when you are trying to make the most of the summer. If your work revolves around a computer, you can spend more time visiting family and at new destinations while still keeping the ball rolling at work. With a phone doubling as a hotspot and a laptop, the travel day on a road trip can also serve as a productive work day, reserving vacation time for the fun stuff.</p> <p> And technology also provides a lot of fun stuff, particularly for kids. My knee-jerk response to my son&rsquo;s request to play a game on the computer is a groan. But when I looked at what he was actually asking to play, it turned out it was a program that they introduced at school. It was a typical video game platform, with a character trying to break through to a higher level, but the core challenge was a series of math drills. I&rsquo;d been bothering him to complete worksheets to keep those skills fresh over the summer, so it seemed like an easy call to say yes to a video game that he wanted to play but that also checked off a bit of summer homework.</p> <p> I try my best to limit the time my almost twelve-year-old daughter spends talking with her friends on one of the (too many) interactive platforms that are available, but recently she&rsquo;s been asking to go online and work on a long story that she and a friend are writing together using Google docs. She&rsquo;s also rallied her younger brothers and sisters to create plays and other videos that they record on a phone. Sure, much of the time is spent trying out all of the different effects and they end up clustered around another screen. But at its core, it&rsquo;s creative and I&rsquo;ll take it as a harmless way to fill the summer hours.</p> <p> I still like the idea of low-tech kids who rely on their imaginations and can enjoy nature without the distraction of a smart phone, and work to make sure that phones and computers don&rsquo;t become the centerpiece of our lives. But done right, technological innovation really is progress, solving real problems and making our lives easier and richer.&nbsp; That&rsquo;s something for parents to appreciate this summer.</p> http://iwf.org/news/2804334/Carrie L. LukasTue, 18 Jul 2017 10:07:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's Forum