12 July 2009

You've Come A Long Way, Baby

Given any thought to the future of your job lately? What about the balance of power in your relationship? Any consideration at all to the girl in the Honda Civics next to you on I-Wherever?
You might want to. I read this Washington Post article today and I have to admit that I sorta liked it. I used to be neighbors with Claire Shipman who now is senior national correspondent for "Good Morning America" and reading her thoughts on the future of our global economy was interesting. I liked that she listed Russian examples because I know she used to be based there as a reporter for CNN and probably retains strong contacts and excellent insights. And I am, afterall, a woman.

The article discusses the shift of economic power on a world-wide basis. In short, the end of economic power being held by an all-male culture of good old boys who block economic progress for women. While the Washington Post article also links to this lengthier article in Foreign Policy Magazine, I'm guessing a lot of the reason that Claire and her writing partner, Katty Kay of the BBC wrote it was to hype their newly released book, "Womenomics" available from Harper Collins Books.
The article (and the book, I assume) details Shipman and Kay's theorems of how government stimulus projects in the past, ie The New Deal and every road and infrastructure project ever devised, have been devised to prop up the male-dominated economy and keep women out of the workplace.
Hmmmmmm. Interesting premise.
Except that now, great minds are starting to think alike. Financial statisticians are churning out research showing that companies with more women in upper management report consistently higher corporate earnings.
Democracy is getting the message, too. Norway requires 40% of any corporation's board to be female. Iceland, after its last economic meltdown, elected a woman to head its government. Same for Lithuania. The Vilnius newspaper headline proclaimed, “Lithuania has decided: The country is to be saved by a woman.”
I bet Hilary is choking on this. I bet Bill is even more angry.
So, it's an interesting concept to read about. And whether you agree with "Womenomics" or not, Shipman and Kay are putting it out there.
And shaking it.

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