Glass ceiling study: Women have less power than men named 'John'
Through an analysis of popular names vs. gender in leadership positions, The New York Times compiles a 'so sad it's almost funny' report on how real the glass ceiling is.
One figure that stood out to me when I read 'The Leadership Roles in America Where Women Are Outnumbered By Men Named John' in The New York Times’ Upshot section: Men with the name 'John' are 3.3% of the population and women make up 50.8% of the population—but there are more men named 'John' as senators than there are women as senators.
That’s just one of the conclusions drawn from a study of what the glass ceiling actually looks like.
The same applies to Democratic governors: There are fewer women as Democratic governors than there are men named John who are also Democratic governors.
It all comes from a New York Times study of the Glass Ceiling Index, which calculates both men and women in leadership positions from politics, law, business, and tech to academia, film and news media.
— Both CEOs and directors of the top-grossing films last year have the lowest rates of women in those positions.
— There are less women as chief executives of Fortune 500 companies than there are men named 'James' as CEOs.
— 10% of board members are women.
— All of these things are true despite the fact that women earn more college degrees than men.
— One of the primary reasons women are so outnumbered at the top? Discrimination. In the last three years, the numbers aren’t getting much better.
— And in some cases, worse, which is expected given the political powers that currently exist in our country. Here’s a handy graph from The New York Times about that very phenomenon.
The glass ceiling is real, and the data about it is, too. It’s about time we recognized that and made changes to our world to begin to fix it.
And here's why even the phrase "Glass ceiling" might be misleading, from author Alice Eagly.
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The results come from a 15-year study that used ultrasound scans to track blood vessels in middle-aged adults starting in 2002.
- The study measured the stiffness of blood vessels in middle-aged patients over time.
- Stiff blood vessels can lead to the destruction of delicate blood vessels in the brain, which can contribute to cognitive decline.
- The scans could someday become a widely used tool to identify people at high risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's.
Journalism got a big wake up call in 2016. Can we be optimistic about the future of media?
- "[T]o have a democracy that thrives and actually that manages to stay alive at all, you need regular citizens being able to get good, solid information," says Craig Newmark.
- The only constructive way to deal with fake news? Support trustworthy media. In 2018, Newmark was announced as a major donor of two new media organizations, The City, which will report on New York City-area stories which may have otherwise gone unreported, and The Markup, which will report on technology.
- Greater transparency of fact-checking within media organizations could help confront and correct fake news. Organizations already exist to make media more trustworthy — are we using them? There's The Trust Project, International Fact-Checkers Network, and Tech & Check.
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