BPW Foundation's Women Misbehavin' Blog

Well behaved women never make history

Posts Tagged ‘White House Council on Women and Girls’

White House Council on Women and Girls Releases New Report

Posted by egehl on March 2, 2011

Yesterday the White House Council on Women and Girls held a conference call to discuss a report entitled Women in America  prepared for them by the Office of Management and Budget and the Economics and Statistics Administration within the Department of Commerce. 

This comprehensive report pulls together information from across the Federal statistical agencies to compile baseline information on how women are faring in the United States today and how these trends have changed over time.  The report provides a statistical portrait showing how women’s lives are evolving in five critical areas: People, Families, and Income; Education; Employment; Health; and Crime, Violence, and Criminal Justice. 

BPW Foundation was interested in learning about all of these areas, especially how the data pertains to women veterans.

Overall the report gives mixed news for women.  It shows that young women now are more likely than young men to have a bachelor’s or master’s degree, and the numbers of women and men in the labor force are almost equal.  Yet wages and income for women remain inequitable.  At all levels of education, women earned about 75 percent of what their male counterparts earned in 2009.  Among the health findings, women still live longer than men, but the gap is closing as women are more likely to face certain health problems, such as mobility impairment, arthritis, asthma, depression and obesity.

This report gives a significant overview of women’s lives today.  The facts help paint a picture of how women are changing over time and the current challenges they are facing.  It is important that as a country we gain a better understanding of women’s social, health and economic well-being so that public policies can be reflective of these needs and changes.  Moving forward this report will be a useful tool in helping stakeholders with a vested interest in women make more sound decisions. 

To see the full report visit the White House Council on Women and Girls website

Here are some of the interesting statistics included in the report about all women, including women veterans:

  • Women are marrying later and have fewer children than in the past.
  • Although more adult women live in married-couple families than in any other living arrangement, an ever-growing number of women are raising children without a spouse. 
  • More women are remaining childless, although eight out of ten adult women have children.
  • Because women live longer, women continue to outnumber men at older ages. 
  • Women are more likely to live in poverty than are adult men.
  • Women’s gains in educational attainment have significantly outpaced those of men over the last 40 years.  Today, younger women are more likely to graduate from college than are men and are more likely to hold a graduate school degree.  Higher percentages of women than men have at least a high school education, and higher percentages of women than men participate in adult education.
  • Female students are less well represented than men in science and technology-related fields, which typically lead to higher paying occupations.
  • The participation of women in the workforce rose dramatically through the mid-1990s, but has been relatively constant since then. 
  • Despite their gains in labor market experience and in education, women still earn less than men. 
  • Because women earn less and because two-earner households have higher earnings, families headed by women have far less income than do married-couple families.
  • Women are disproportionately more likely than men to be affected by certain critical health problems, including mobility impairments, chronic health conditions such as asthma, arthritis, or depression.  Women are less likely to be physically active and are more likely to be obese.
  • Women generally use the health care system and preventive care more than men, but many women still do not receive recommended preventive care such as pap smears or flu vaccinations.
  • Attacks on women by their intimate partners have fallen since the passage of the Violence Against Women Act in 1994, although women are still much more likely to be victimized and injured by this type of violence than are men.  
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Posted in Career Advancement, Economy, Equal Pay, Families, Health, Lifestyle, Pay Equity, Research, STEM, Successful Workplaces, Women Veterans, Women's History Month | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Workin’ Outside the Box or Cubicle

Posted by espressodog on April 9, 2010

Today’s guest blogger is Tal Schapira, BPW Foundation intern and Senior at George Washington University.  Tal double majors in Political Science and Dance and is splitting her day between her internship and auditioning for the Rockettes. 

A college semester lasts about 14 weeks.  Around mid-semester, however, many students stop coming to class.  We are sick of the routine, it is predictable and we need a change.  College, unfortunately, is not real life; it is a gift – a four year hiatus before a lifetime career.  In real life, it is not feasible to change your career ever three and a half months, and, in most cases, you are subordinate to someone else’s rules and expectations. 

For four years I had the flexibility to make my own schedule, choose if and when to come to class, and decide when and how to study.  Each professor gave out a syllabus outlining assignments, objectives, and due dates.  I followed the syllabus and stayed on task, but didn’t necessarily attend or pay attention in class. With these freedoms, I maintained an excellent GPA, gained vast amounts of knowledge, and lead a relatively stress-free college life. 

If I’ve proven to be productive with such flexibility in college, why can’t I have flexibility in my future career?

Last week, the White House Council on Women and Girls hosted a Workplace Flexibility Forum bringing together a diverse group of participants from academia, labor, government, media, non-profits, and business.  (BPW Foundation CEO Deborah L. Frett was there.) The forum focused on implementing flexibility at all levels in both the public and private sector.

Workplace flexibility is not a benefit or perk, it is a tool for success for both businesses and employees alike.  Flexibility promotes worker productivity and engagement with hourly as well as professional workers.  “Virtual Offices” reduce business overhead costs, save jobs and improve family life. Companies can benefit by reduced absenteeism, and lower turnover.  Flexibility policies can help incorporate people into the workforce that may have not been able to join before, due to physical disabilities or other reasons. Low-wage workers benefit from Flexible Work Arrangements that provide flexibility in the scheduling of hours worked, in the amount of hours worked, and in the place of work. Flexible policies may include job-sharing, alternative start and end times, and compressed workweeks.

Now, let’s think a little outside of the box… 

I work at BPW Foundation three times per week.  It takes me 15 minutes to walk from my dorm to the office in the morning and another 15 minutes to walk back in the evening.   Although I “endure” a modest commute, eliminating my travel time would give me an additional 30 minutes per day, the perfect length for a leisurely run!  Moreover, instead of eating out, both costly and generally unhealthy, I could prepare a healthy meal in the comfort of my own home, in turn saving me time and calories!  

Click here read the White House report on Work-Life balance and Flexible Work.

Posted in Successful Workplaces, Uncategorized, Worklife Balance | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »