I generally try to stay away from things overly political, but I see frightening trends (and actual votes) at the state and national level that will take women back to the 1950s when we had no ability to legally plan for families. And the recent vote to de-fund Planned Parenthood could mean that low income women will also have less access to maternal health care.
Why does this matter to women in leadership? Well, several years ago the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston published a study that indicated that access to family planning was one of the most significant factors in enabling women to have careers.
How are women and men allowing this trend to happen? I think it's because we take our rights of access for granted. Rights of access to family planning, rights of access to credit, rights of access to jobs. We believe that these rights are the norm and can't be rescinede and/or we buy into the myth that there is no inequality - in spite of statistics that shows that there is. For example, Ginka Toegel's Fortune story and the HuffPost article illustrating wage gaps by industry (visual above).
Lest We Forget...
This week, Congresswoman Jackie Speier courageously spoke against the de-funding of Planned Parenthood
"As the night wore on, the vitriol and grotesque commentary got worse and worse," Speier, a second-term Democrat from California, told HuffPost. "I sat there thinking, none of these men on the other side have even come close to experiencing this, and yet they can pontificate about what it's like. It just overwhelmed me."Conservative, republican legislators in Wyoming told their personal stories when they spoke out against exceedingly restrictive and intrusive anti-choice state laws.
Recently a colleague sent me a link to a Story Corps story about a woman in the 1970s who was a pioneer in her profession. Thanks to her and women like her, we have the access that we do to various professions. Listen here as Dee Dickson describes how she made her way as an electrician.
Stephanie Coontz has a new book about the life of women in the 1960s. Worth watching:
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Susan Colantuono is CEO of Leading Women and author of No Ceiling, No Walls.
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