#ThrowbackThursday: Gender Pay Gap by State, 2016

Gender Pay Gap by State (Business Insider)

Gender Pay Gap by State (Business Insider)

You know the old saying that women make 75 cents for every dollar a man makes? (Gah, that makes me want to punch something.) Well, it’s not strictly true. Yes, women on the whole make less than men, but it’s not always exactly 75 cents.

The above graphic comes from “Business Insider,” which broke down the gender pay gap by state. Notice from the key at the bottom of the map that no percentage range rises about 90%. So no state pays women 90 cents for every man’s dollar. The closest states are New York with 87% and Nevada with 85%.

This is just depressing, There’s so much more progress to be made.

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School Districts Shutting Down For “A Day Without A Woman”

1950s female teacher (Masterfile)

1950s female teacher (Masterfile)

Tomorrow is A Day Without A Woman, a day to call attention to women’s economic power and labor (including the unpaid and emotional kind). Because women do have economic power: Studies show that “women make up nearly half of the U.S. labor force and influence about 73% of all household spending.”

One profession that is traditionally female-dominant is teaching. The National Center for Education Statistics found that for the 2011-2012 school year, female teachers comprised 76% of all public school teachers. (This gap is especially prominent in elementary schools.) These so-called “pink collar” jobs are ones where women dominate, but can be considered to be “lower” in status because of the feminine association (which is wrong, wrong, WRONG!!).

Naturally, the public school system might be hit hard tomorrow. Some school districts have already cancelled classes as a result of teachers taking the day off to strike. The Alexandria, Virginia public school system reported receiving over 300 requests for the day off. Brooklyn preschool The Maple Street School and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro public school system in North Carolina (where 75% of employees are women) will also be closed. All schools in Prince George’s County, Maryland, will also be closed, after 1.7K teachers and 30% of transportation staff requested the day off.

#ThrowbackThursday: Working Women, 1950s

Working women, 1950s (Minorities in the 1950s)

Working women, 1950s (Minorities in the 1950s)

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), women ages 16-55+ comprised 18K+, which was less than 30% of the labor force. (By contrast, working men numbered 43K+ and over 70%.) Out of the 12% of American women who worked outside the home, only 6% of women held management positions.

Today, things have changed…slightly. It’s still difficult for women to climb the corporate ladder and make it all the way to the C-suite.

 

China’s Sex Ratio: How Skewed Is It?

Chinese One-Child Policy poster (The Galloping Beaver)

Chinese One-Child Policy poster (The Galloping Beaver)

Late last year, China ended its one-child policy, where each family was only allowed to have…one child. (Bet you didn’t see that one coming.) Though its rules have relaxed in recent years, this is the first time the practice has been officially abolished. (But we’ll see how long it takes for the policy to actually die down, data-wise.)

We’ve all heard about how skewed China’s sex ratios are; we’ve heard about how the country overwhelmingly favors male children to the detriment of an equal sex ratio. But what are the numbers behind this phenomenon?

Consulting firm Nomura Research Institute, Ltd. released data in 2010 that revealed that Chinese women bear .71 of female births during their lifetime. That year, men outnumbered women by 50M+. The birth rate at that time was 120 boys per 100 girls, which works out to a sex ratio of 1.2.

If you’re a visual learner, here’s what that ratio looks like, especially in context with other countries:

China's male births compared to other countries' male births ('Business Insider')

China’s male births compared to other countries’ male births (‘Business Insider’)

As Business Insider notes:

That means lots of single, possibly angry males. Hard to imagine anything good coming out of this.

The policy was made into law in 1979, and abolished in 2015. That’s 36 years. Thirty-sex years of selected sex-selection in favor of boys at the expense of girls. (Fun fact: Kim Kardashian West participated in this when she was trying to get pregnant with her now-son.)

Scary, right? We’ll see how the new policy helps attempt to reverse this long-running trend.

 

#ThrowbackThursday: Mark Zuckerberg and Pregnant Priscilla Chan, 2015

Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, 2015 (Business Insider)

Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan Zuckerberg (Business Insider)

On July 31, 2015, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced on (where else?) Facebook that he and his wife Priscilla were expecting a baby girl. He also revealed that the couple had weathered three miscarriages in the span of two years.

Zuckerberg rarely posts personal things on his own site, so this was a break from routine for him. The confession earned him praise.

The Zuckerbergs’ daughter Max was born on Dec. 1, 2015.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is Pregnant with Twin Girls

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer (The New Yorker)

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer (The New Yorker)

Last week, Marissa Mayer, best-known as Yahoo’s CEO (one of the most-well known female CEOs in tech, if not the world), announced that she’s pregnant with twin girls. She made the announcement in a way befitting her industry: on Yahoo’s Tumblr.

The twins will be the second and third children for Mayer and her husband, Zachary Bogue. Mayer gave birth to her first child, her son Macallister, in September 2012. (That year was a momentous one for her: She became CEO of Yahoo earlier in July.) Mayer announced her pregnancy the same day that Yahoo announced her as their new CEO.

Mayer has said she’ll work through her pregnancy before her due date in December. She also worked through most of her first pregnancy.

After her son’s birth, Mayer famously didn’t take a break for maternity leave, returning to work only two week after giving birth. She also installed a nursery right next door to her office.

It’ll be interesting to see if having to care for two babies at once slows her down at all, and if she changes her views on feminism and working from home.

 

FDA Approves “Female Viagra” Addyi

The experimental drug flibanserin, made by Sprout Pharmaceuticals, is at the center of a regulatory controversy.

The experimental drug flibanserin, made by Sprout Pharmaceuticals, is at the center of a regulatory controversy.

Yesterday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Addyi (also known by its generic name Flibanserin) for public consumption. The drug, produced by Sprout Pharmaceuticals, is being touted as a “female Viagra,” a way to “even the score” sexually against men (who have many option to treat waning sexual desire). In some circles, it’s seen as a big breakthrough for women’s sexual health.

Interestingly, Addyi is the first drug to specifically treat waning sex drives for both men and women. (Viagra solved a purely medical/physical issue rather than a psychological one.) Addyi targets the central nervous system, putting it in line with an antidepressant.

Addyi purports to help women with hypoactive sexual disorder (i.e. lack of sexual desire.) But it works on a woman’s mind instead of her body. Rather than facilitating blood flow to the genital region, as Viagra does, the drug takes a two-pronged approach:

Flibanserin targets two neurotransmitters in the brain that can help inspire sexual desire. The first is dopamine, which helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers and could help drive up our interest in sex. The second is norepinephrine, which affects parts of the brain that control our attention and our response to things in our environment and could help direct our attention to a sexual partner.

The ultimate goal is that a woman’s level of desire would increase over time.

(Side note: Apparently, Viagra was marketed to women in 2004. The drug did increase blood flow to the women’s genitals, but didn’t affect their level of sexual desire.)

But the drug isn’t completely out of the woods yet: there are still some concerns regarding side effects. Doctors and pharmacists will need to undergo specific training of the drug before dispensing it, and will need to keep track of the women who take it. The biggest side effects include low blood pressure, sleepiness and “sudden fainting,” especially when taken with alcohol. (I have to say, I don’t really understand the point of making a drug to help with sex that can’t be paired with alcohol, but that’s just me.)

There’s also an argument that the drug “doesn’t work safely enough to justify its approval:” Women who took the drug during clinical trials reported a 37% increase in sexual desire, which averaged out to not even two more “satisfying sexual experiences” per month. The boost over the placebo group was even smaller.

It’s expected that Addyi will be covered under most health insurance plans, requiring a co-pay, and will inhabit a price range similar to that of Viagra. The drug should hit the market as soon as October (i.e. less than two months), with some outlets reporting an exact date of Oct. 17th.

I have to say, I’m really curious to see how this will do. I want to see how well it’ll perform (heh) sales-wise, and how many women report the side effects. But most of all, I want to see how this drug will influence the female-desire drugs that will surely come after it.