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Old Fight, New Approach: Companies Profit from Parity



So you have an important job interview. Your sitter cancels. What do you do? When it happened to First Lady Michelle Obama, she packed up baby Malia, carted her into that job interview, and was completely surprised when she still landed the job.

The First Family's efforts to make sure our workplaces are not something out of a "Mad Men episode" comes from a very personal place.

This month is National Work and Family Month. It is a public awareness campaign to encourage companies to respond to America's modern dual income family paradigm. 

Why they would have to be encouraged at all defies economic sense.

A study of 2400 companies by Credit Suisse -- shows the more women in leadership the more successful companies are. Consumers, workers, and even investors demand a more modern approach. Yet antiquated workplace policies are blamed for the hemorrhage of female talent.

Pipeline Problems

Woman's voice silenced by gun laws!

Take Action!

Horrifying. An anonymous emailer wrote that if Utah State University didn’t cancel Anita Sarkeesian’s speech about women's rights within 24 hours, then he would commit the “deadliest school shooting in American history.”

The warning letter, purportedly from a USU student, was sent to dozens of Utah State University school administrators several days before Anita Sarkeesian was scheduled to speak at the public university in Logan, Utah. 

Sarkeesian, the feminist cultural critic who has become a lightening rod for challenging how women are portrayed and treated in videogames, has been dealing with such violent harassment and threats for years. She was planning to speak anyway… until she learned that audience members would be permitted to carry concealed weapons into the event space, and there was nothing the school could do about it.

This is NOT okay on so many levels. 

Good News for Children When Congress Works Together

While we rarely hear good news these days about Congress, I have some to share.  Continuing a long tradition of bipartisan leadership on behalf of abused and neglected children, last month both the House and the Senate passed and the President signed into law the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act (H.R. 4980/P.L. 113-183). This new legislation improves the child welfare system to prevent children and youths in foster care from becoming victims of sex trafficking and protects foster care youths who are already victims. It offers new hope of permanent families for children and extra support for those youths who end up aging out of foster care.

What School Lunch Can Teach Us

The statistics are alarming: One out of two public school students lives in poverty. Two out of three public school students qualify for free or subsidized lunch. Three out of five teachers in America report they have children who regularly come to school hungry.

If teachers and school support staff are on the frontlines fighting the war on poverty, we know that students are often the forgotten casualties. Fellow students sometimes do notice though—despite the utmost discretion by teachers and support staff—who gets a snack from their teacher during a test, or who gets a borrowed backpack filled with food on Fridays so they can eat over the weekend. So, as we celebrate National School Lunch Week, it's worth discussing how, as parents, we talk to our kids about the economic inequities, in addition to the racial inequities, that are deeply rooted in our neighborhoods and our schools. 

#FoodFri Tweetchat: Food Justice & Equality Affects Foods Sold & Served in YOUR Community


We envision a world in which all people have access to healthy, affordable food that nourishes our bodies and environments. Yet right now, that vision is plagued by severe inequality. Due to a food system skewed by the financial interests of transnational corporations, we live in a society in which unhealthy food is cheap, heavily marketed, and abundant, but healthy food is more expensive and can be difficult to come by. In this chat, we'll discuss this issue of food justice and how it reflects the corporate abuse of our food system.

Join #FoodFri with @MomsRising and @StopCorpAbuse on Friday, October 17, 2014 at 1pm, EST to chat about food justice and equality.

Together, we can raise our voices and spread the word because every child deserves the right to healthy, affordable food.



To join and follow the conversation on Twitter use the #FoodFri Hashtag in each tweet.

Today’s Lesson: Inequality

I remember learning about inequality in math class back in the day.  I’m sure you remember too—the lessons usually involved Pac-Man—and the terms “greater than” and “less than”. 

I encountered mathematical inequalities again when I taught them to my third graders.  But since becoming a part of the team at the National Women’s Law Center, I’ve learned a lot about the other types of inequality in schools.  Unfortunately, it’s no math lesson—and too many African American girls are on the “less than” side of it.

Our new report: Unlocking Opportunity for African American Girls: A Call to Action for Educational Equity describes the barriers that African American girls encounter in school and the educational and employment outcomes that stem from these barriers.  Unlocking Opportunity also offers recommendations for addressing these barriers and changing these outcomes.

Here are just a few of the inequalities discussed in the report—and my own two cents about how to solve each.

Ulises’ American Dream Deferred

This post, authored by Josie Raymond, originally appeared on Undocumented immigrants like Ulises and his family need immigration reform to alleviate poverty. is dedicated to demonstrating that we know how to dramatically reduce poverty; we just need to build the political will. Make sure to like TalkPoverty on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

“As time went on, I saw how my own country, the place where I lived, was actually a bad place. I would see people fight and I thought that would be my life. I thought, that’s me–then I turned 4.”

That’s not a joke. Ulises, an undocumented 16-year-old high school junior living in the Bay Area, is a living example of poverty prematurely aging a child’s soul while impeding him in so many other ways.

Head Smacker: Voter ID Laws Further Silence Those Whose Voices Need To Be Heard The Most

Check out this post from the Coalition on Human Needs' Senior Policy Writer Lecia Imbery:

“There is only one motivation for imposing burdens on voting that are ostensibly designed to discourage voter-impersonation fraud, if there is not actual danger of such fraud, and that is to discourage voting by persons likely to vote against the party responsible for imposing the burden.” – 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Richard A. Posner, in his dissenting opinion about the voter ID law in Wisconsin.

Making Women's Public Leadership Visible to the Next Generation

I have three young daughters, and like any parent, I am anxious for them to grow up believing they can be anything they want to be – I want them to dream big, as they say. But too often I am reminded that the world hasn’t quite caught up to my expectations.  Last year, my oldest daughter learned about composers in her music class.  Every month or so, she came home with new information about Beethoven, Bach, or Mozart, among others. One day, she asked me: “Mommy, aren’t there any girl composers?”  In all fairness to her music teacher (who is excellent), both history and traditional education curricula have been unkind to women. My daughter and I spent some time online and found information about some lesser known female composers, many of whom would have presumably been more well-known if given the opportunity to shine in their own time. 

Do colleges support the Satya Nadella effect?


College is on my mind.

My oldest son has been preparing for his SATs these last couple months, and took the test (again) on Saturday. The next steps of applications and personal statements are all part of a busy year of preparation for young adulthood, which of course includes starting to make choices about his future career. So the realities of college, from the costs of tuition, room and board, books, and travel, to testing and application fees, not to mention the enormous amount of time my husband and I will dedicate to helping him navigate the higher education labyrinth, are never far from my thoughts.

Meanwhile, there are other college thoughts. The increasingly prevalent hook-up and rape cultures at college campuses, and the tragedy at UC Santa Barbara (now becoming an-almost-distant memory) are troubling examples of the intersection between life at our colleges and universities, our society’s views of both men and women, and how the genders relate to each other.

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