From the British “Economist” magazine: Women in the workplace cover story

On Dec. 30, 2009, the Economist loudly proclaimed:

The rich world’s quiet revolution: women are gradually taking over the workplace

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AT A time when the world is short of causes for celebration, here is a candidate: within the next few months women will cross the 50% threshold and become the majority of the American workforce. Women already make up the majority of university graduates in the OECD countries and the majority of professional workers in several rich countries, including the United States. Women run many of the world’s great companies, from PepsiCo in America to Areva in France.

Women run many of the world’s great companies??? What does “many” mean? I have to admit, they do try to address a lot of the issues that have plagued women’s progress in the workplace. It’s a short article, full of quick facts, lots of sound bites, basing all its discussion on statistics — as if numbers tell the whole story.  It’s worth reading if only to see the 195 comments that it generated from its readership (some of my favorites are below. Here’s the URL:

via http://www.economist.com/opinion/displaystory.cfm?story_id=15174489.

And here are just 3 of the comments:

mahagwa’s comments

The disparity between men and women’s wages has been proven to not be systematice but more so due to the fact that many women leave and re-enter the workforce and other factors which are insitigated by women…
My greater concern is what is going to happen to society. With women being the greater number of college graduates, and with women becoming more INDEPENDENT, and hence either postponing motherhood or somehow integrating it into their work environment, you will now see within the next 10 years women actually earning more than men. This new economic power will translate into political power..because women fight for their causes (even if they make things up) — like all this ENVIRONMENTALISM and SMOKING CESSATION..dubious claims which have gained mainstream acceptance.
So, you now have a world where women control the money, and women control the laws. You have a world of CASTRATED men, who no longer have any sense of worth. Because remember, for many, many years, men were wired to be the breadwinners, the protectors, and so forth. Now all of a sudden, the women make the laws, and control the money…men will be in a state of confused dementia.
What will happen then? Will gender roles reverse (as is now happening– i no longer understand the difference between men and women). WIll men now be the homemakers? Will women now support their men (as is already begining to happen).
What will the sons envison themselves as? What will the sons aspire to be when they grow up?
There is a very dangerous shift happening in society today. And it has nothing to do with conservatives or liberals. It has nothing to do with sexism or feminism. It is a very dangerous societal shift taking place, and many people are sleep-walking down this path to oblivion. I fear what the world will be like in 10 years.

Mz. Hubriz’s comments

not… sure… as one of two women, (the 2nd woman came on board a few months back), in a reporting structure of ~50 men at an Ivy League University, I am wondering where the progress is.

generated2173760’s comments

What bothers me is what has always bothered me, has anybody asked whether this is a good thing? I mean it forced nearly all households to become dual income and I am not quite sure children or people are any better / happier than they were of yesteryear. To me its seems like the greatest coupe by industry ever, get 50% more consumers with no real social or lifestyle gains. Plus I hate when people throw income disparage around, it could be women make less because they often do less work, less productive, etc etc …. over my years I rarely have seen a woman as productive as a man in the same position; also in most families the men are still the breadwinner with women working a lower skilled or part-time job.

I also am amazed how many women see this as a good thing, I mean honestly any man I know would happily trade the toil of forty hours in a deadend job to be a kept man sitting at the pool with his friends playing games while his wife slaves away sixty hours a week supporting them …men call that housewives, women call it deadbeat husbands.

Lastly I have a hard time with the numbers. Nearly every man I know (I lived in a middle class inner ring suburb) wife is a housewife; hell as far as I can tell from Google nearly 30% of all women are still housewives. Giving women only outnumber men by a percent or two how is it that 30% of women can be housewives yet outnumber men in the workforce .. what are all the men doing?

I still thinks insane though to call a family working more and harder for less happiness and purchasing power progress.

Many more. I thank the AAUW for keeping an eye on the news and their efforts on all women’s behalf.

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