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economic equality

How NYC Wage Transparency Law is a major step to close the gender wage gap  

The NYC Salary Transparency Bill has been signed into law, a significant victory for workers’ rights and economic equality. 

On January 15, 2022, NYC took another step toward economic equality when NYC Int. 1208 became law. This law now requires all employers to include the minimum and maximum salaries in job postings for any position located within NYC. Under the NYC Salary Transparency law, it will now be an unlawful discriminatory practice not to include the salary range on job postings. 

This win marks another success in PowHerNY’s Equal Pay Campaign to address and close the gender and racial wage gap that has robbed workers and families of wages and perpetuated cycles of poverty and economic insecurity. 

Gender and racial discrimination in worker salaries have prevented many women and minority groups from advancing in their careers and attaining economic security. Currently, women of color in NYC—including Latinas—still earn between 55 and 65 cents compared to white, non-Hispanic men. The anti-discriminatory policy of the NYC Salary Transparency law aims to address this gender and racial wage gap that continues to persist today. 

Assemblywoman Latoya Joyner. (Photo source)

“Changing the culture at so many workplaces, New York City’s salary range disclosure law will make sure that workers benefit from greater transparency when it comes to wages and benefits,” Assemblywoman Latoya Joyner (D-Bronx, 77th AD), chair of the Assembly Labor Committee said. “When employers provide much-needed clarity to pay structures and make that information available to employees and job seekers, companies are encouraged to update antiquated practices that have led to patterns of wage discrimination.” 

The law, sponsored by outgoing Councilmember Helen Rosenthal, which takes effect in 120 days, will provide job seekers with the information needed to negotiate fairer salaries and help businesses efficiently hire and retain the best talent that matches their needs. In the current tight job market, this new law positions New York City as a leader in an equitable recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“This new law brings women one step closer to reaching pay equity in their search for employment,” said CWA Local 1180 President Gloria Middleton. “Women traditionally have accepted jobs for far lower salaries than men because they did not know how to value their worth during a job interview. By requiring job postings to include both the minimum and maximum salaries, women will no longer have to sell themselves short to get a job; they will be on a level playing field with men.”

“This transformative law will minimize bias, maximize transparency, shift cultural norms and level the “paying” field,” said Beverly Neufeld, President of PowHer New York. “Because all workers across the state need and deserve this proactive solution to ending wage discrimination.”

PowHerNY advocates and vows to fight for continued reforms, including an NYS Salary Range law, to combat historic disparities in opportunities and pay. 

Latinas Equal Pay Day, gender wage gap

Latinas are among the most adversely affected by the gender pay gap. They are paid just 55 cents for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men. (Source: latinaequalpay.org)

You might be interested: It will take two centuries for the gender wage gap to close for Latinas if we do nothing

About PowHerNY 

PowHerNY is an inclusive statewide network of individuals and organizations committed to accelerating and securing economic equality for all New York women. 

PowHerNY aims to amplify the efforts already in full swing around New York State, like the Time to Care campaign and the Women’s Equality Agenda, and take the lead on issues where good work needs to be done. They are committed to informing the community in real-time through social media, sharing resources, opportunities, and conversations with leaders. 

Focusing on key areas for advancement and equality, PowHer stands for: 

Poverty Solutions

Opportunity and Access

Workplace Fairness

Healthy Lives

Equal Pay

Representation at all Tables

What you can do now to help further equal pay efforts

Interested in getting involved with PowHerNY to help further the cause for economic equality? 

woman entrepreneurs

Women entrepreneurs thrive managing talented teams and balancing many investors

Richard A. Devine, of DePaul University and Siri Terjesen, Dean’s Distinguished Professor in Entrepreneurship at Florida Atlantic University share data that shows how women entrepreneurs thrive in business and leadership. 

Only a handful of the top companies in the U.S. are led by a woman.

Efforts to change that and promote more women into positions of leadership have relied primarily on questions of equality. But is there also a business case for putting more women in charge?

Previous research on differences in leadership styles between men and women has suggested the latter make decisions using more collaborative and relational methods, which enables them to better manage a range of groups and resources. But it wasn’t able to show whether this actually led to better results.

Thanks to a study we co-authored in 2019, we have data that shows women-led businesses, in certain scenarios, do indeed perform better than those run by men.

The case for female leadership

Our research, conducted with colleagues Gonzalo Molina-Sieiro and Michael Holmes, focused on entrepreneurs trying to grow their nascent companies quickly.

We began with the results of the Kauffman Firm Survey, which tracked 4,928 companies founded in 2004 by conducting annual surveys through 2011. The database includes lots of information critical to understanding what factors influence performance, including revenue, employees and intellectual property. For our purposes, it also includes many details about the main entrepreneur and top managers behind the venture, including education, experience and gender.

Most entrepreneurs run small operations with few employees and little desire to grow much. A small share, however, lead what we call “high-growth ventures,” which are often defined as companies that experience annualized employment growth of 20% or more during a three-year period.

These companies are a significant engine of economic activity, producing millions of jobs a year in the United States alone and are responsible for a majority of new jobs created in the U.S. over the last several decades.

For our purposes, we defined a high-growth venture as among the top 10% of all entrepreneurial businesses in our sample in terms of employee growth in any given year. While the majority of these were led by a male entrepreneur, about a quarter were run by a woman.

women entrepreneurs, team-work,

Photo by RF._.studio from Pexels

Collaborative management styles

In our research, we started by comparing how female-led companies performed in terms of employee growth versus those helmed by men.

In preliminary analyses we found that, overall, a female-led business was less likely to experience high growth. However, we knew that there was more to the story since other research has indicated the strengths they bring to organizations.

Given what we know about female leaders’ collaborative and relational know-how, we developed a theory that they should be particularly skilled at leveraging the talents of senior executives and managers. For example, many female leaders argue building relationships with employees helps create win-win scenarios where employees feel valued, which also helps them avoid the double bind of appearing too authoritative.

So we examined two markers of human capital and management talent: the number of top managers with a college degree or higher and how many had previous entrepreneurial experience.

The results were clear: Female-led companies with more educated managers were more likely to attain high employment growth than male peers with a management team with similar levels of experience.

Levels of entrepreneurial experience, on the other hand, didn’t make a difference for high growth.

Investors and capital

We also looked at two other variables: the number of ownership stakes and financial capital.

An important way companies grow is by raising funds. To do so, they often trade equity in the business for financial support. But giving investors a say on internal decisions like management and strategy can lead to conflict and division. It can also upset the balance of power among top managers.

An interesting finding from our research, however, is that female-led companies were more likely to hire rapidly and grow when there were more top managers or investors who held ownership stakes in the company. Research has shown that female leaders often excel at managing conflict, which helps explain our results.

As for capital, much has been written about the struggle women entrepreneurs face obtaining financing for their startups. But when they finally do secure financial capital, how do they fare?

To find out, we looked only at companies in our database that had received financial support from a venture capital firm. Again, we found that companies led by a woman experienced stronger hiring growth than those that had a man in charge.

Other research has found that female entrepreneurs do more with less and are able to generate more revenue per funds invested than their male counterparts.

Utilizing women’s skills and experience

The point of our study is not to show that female-led companies – high growth or not – perform better than men.

Rather, our research suggests that women do bring valuable and unique skills and experience to the table that can make a significant difference to business success. Yet, given so few companies are run by women, their skills and experiences are not fully utilized.

There are many well-known ways to help fix this, of course, such as implementing better family leave policies that are friendly to women staying in their careers, setting up development programs aimed at encouraging female entrepreneurs and finding ways to improve their access to financial capital – to name just a few.

Giving more opportunities to women entrepreneurs isn’t just good for them. It can be good for the entire economy.The Conversation

You might be interested: Gender washing: seven kinds of marketing hypocrisy about empowering women


This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

UN Women

Maria-Noel Vaeza of UN Women discusses key issues affecting women post-COVID

In the past year, due to the COVID-19 crisis, women have experienced job loss in record numbers and suffered from economic barriers. To address these issues UN Women is creating a variety of programs and initiatives that will help further the advancement of women globally, increase their access to capital, and promote gender equality.

UN Women, gender equality

Maria-Noel Vaeza, UN Women. (Photo credit: Pablo Sanhueza)

How UN Women is working to support women post-COVID Crisis

Maria-Noel Vaeza is the Regional Director of UN Women for the Americas and the Caribbean. A Uruguayan native, she holds a doctorate in Law and Social Sciences from the University of the Republic of Uruguay and a master’s degree in public policy from John Hopkins University in Washington DC. Prior to this role, Maria-Noel served as Director of the Program Division at UN Women headquarters in New York. 

Before joining the UN she also held various positions in the Uruguayan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including Political Counselor at the Uruguayan Embassy in Washington DC and delegate to the United Nations General Assembly. 

Currently, UN Women are working to develop various programs to support women in business, especially those struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the key objectives UN Women are working to address is advancing gender equality. 

“Advancing gender equality continues to be strategic, and becomes even more important in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to McKinsey Global Institute estimates from July 2020, the rate of job loss for women has been 1.8 times higher than that of men,” says Maria-Noel. 

UN Women

Maria-Noel Vaeza, Regional Director of UN Women for the Americas and the Caribbean. (Photo credit: Pablo Sanhueza)

According to their estimates, not taking gender-lens actions to address the impact of COVID-19 in a way that would widen the gap in labor participation between men and women would result in a decrease in global GDP by $1 billion in 2030, compared to its value if the crisis had affected women equally. In contrast, if actions were taken now to improve gender equality, so that gender equality improves over the next decade, global GDP could be $13 billion higher in 2030, an increase of 11% over the no-action scenario.”

To encourage advancements in gender equality, UN Women are creating a variety of programs to address gender biases and inequalities in business. One of these programs is the Win-Win program. 

Formed in collaboration with ILO and with financial support from the European Union, the Win-Win program seeks to contribute to the economic empowerment of women, recognizing them as beneficiaries and drivers of growth and development, in partnership with the private sector through the incorporation and/or improvement of corporate management with a gender lens, with the understanding that in addition to an ethical imperative and social justice, gender equality is good business for companies, for the market and society as a whole.

The Win-Win Program’s 3 Key Focus Topics

The Win-Win Program is framed within the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development focusing on 4 Sustainable Development Goals (5,10, 8 and 17). To address opportunities for economic empowerment and open spaces for women, the Win-Win Program addresses the issue in 3 dimensions of work: with entrepreneurs and businesswomen; with companies (supporting them in a gender-focused management) and with the financial sector to develop innovative financing initiatives with gender impact.  

Maria-Noel Vaeza at Forum WEPs. (Photo credit: Rodrigo de la Fuente).

There are three topics that have become essential for women’s businesses and that UN Women seek to promote through the Win-Win Program. Maria-Noel describes these three key focus topics below:

  1. First, the use of digital tools to reach their target audiences, position their businesses and sell, including digital marketing and e-commerce. This crisis is deepening the Fourth Industrial Revolution and digitalization processes, so it is essential to adjust to change and rethink the ways of doing business. 
  2. Second, access to financing. The evidence is clear: investing in women is good business. But for many women, access to capital remains a major barrier. According to the IFC, only 7% of private equity and venture capital is invested in women-led businesses. This lack of capital or funding is not only detrimental to women’s progress, but to social and economic growth itself. Therefore, from the Win-Win Program, we are working on an innovative financing initiative with an impact on gender equality. 
  3. Third, there are the strategic alliances and linkages that can be made between women’s companies and between companies committed to equality, to generate business opportunities or mutual benefit, as well as the promotion of gender-sensitive procurement in corporate or public procurement processes. By gender-sensitive procurement, we mean the review of procurement processes to identify barriers to the participation of women-owned businesses, as well as the possibility of implementing affirmative actions to include more women-owned businesses in supply chains.  

Within the framework of the Win-Win Program, the UN Women have also developed the Investors for Equality Initiative, a space for meeting and dialogue between the different actors of the financial, investment and entrepreneurship ecosystem to raise awareness and mobilize investments with gender impact.

The Investors for Equality Initiative seeks to become a space that puts women at the center of investments, making them visible as businesswomen, entrepreneurs and investors. It also seeks to involve more actors in this effort and to mobilize more capital flows and financial instruments to reduce the financing gaps that women face today and to generate a commitment to the principles involved in promoting gender-sensitive investments and gender equality within organizations in the financial sector.

“To this end, we call on more investors and financial institutions to join us, transforming their internal practices to promote women’s empowerment, generating more innovative financial instruments and mechanisms that incorporate a gender perspective and thereby achieve greater impact on gender equality and women’s empowerment,” says Maria-Noel.

The impact of Latina women and entrepreneurs

According to recent World Bank data, in the Latin American and Caribbean region, women represent approximately 40% of the economically active population. According to IDB data, the average rate of entrepreneurial activity of women in the region is 15%, of which 71% undertake out of opportunity and 29% out of necessity. 

“Latin America in general is one of the regions with the highest rates of entrepreneurial activity, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, the six countries with the highest rates are in the region, with Chile and Ecuador at the top of the list. This speaks of a huge opportunity,” says Maria-Noel. 

UN Women, gender equality

Marie-Noel Vaeza, UN Women. (Photo credit: Pablo Sanhueza)

“Women play a central role in our societies, not only because they are almost 50% of the population, but also because women control around 20 billion dollars in consumer spending, and generate around 18 billion, which widens their circle of influence. In Latin America, women make 64% of the purchasing decisions in their households. Data shows that women entrepreneurs generate 20% more income than men, even though 50% less is invested in them.” 

This begs the question: Why, if women generate more income, decide on consumption and undertake profitably, do they have fewer opportunities? According to Maria-Noel, one of the current challenges for women’s economic empowerment is the mobilization of the capital necessary to have impactful businesses, diversify sources of financing, and develop more innovative mechanisms.

Still, Latinas are innovative and eager to move forward,” Maria-Noel says, though they face  “enormous frustrations due to the barriers they face: no access to financing.” 

If these barriers are to be broken down, we must work on social norms and eliminate unconscious biases and stereotypes, which is what the UN Women are striving to do with their various programs focused on promoting the advancement of women. 

Marie-Noel Vaeza, taking a selfie with others. (Photo credit: Pablo Sanhueza)

We have to accelerate the pace for the advancement of women. It is absurd to continue discriminating. What we need to do as society is to start working and advocating toward gender equality. Women represent 50% of the world population, and women’s contribution to global gross domestic product (GDP) is 37%. Women are on the front line of the response and bear greater physical and emotional costs, as well as a higher risk of infection in crisis response.”  

And yet, Women are underrepresented as voters, as well as in leading positions, whether in elected offices, civil services, the private sector or academia. 

You might be interested: Mariela Dabbah, the perils of a global pandemic for gender inclusion in the workplace

“Investing in women’s economic empowerment sets a direct path towards gender equality, poverty eradication and inclusive economic growth,” says Maria-Noel. “What we need to guarantee is that human rights, that are women´s right, are respected, guarantee their participation in decision-making spaces, in political parties and in all aspects of society. And that is why the work that we do at UN Women is so important, we focus on priority areas that are fundamental to women’s equality, and that can unlock progress across the board.” 

Moving forward: UN Women’a 4 areas of focus

Moving forward, the UN Women will continue to focus on priority areas fundamental to women’s equality and create programs that will further the advancement of women. Four primary areas of focus are: Political empowerment, economic empowerment, eliminating violence against women, and promoting peace and security. 

Maria-Noel Vaeza, UN Women. (Photo credit: Rodrigo de la Fuente).

Political empowerment: For this, we are working with the electoral tribunals to train women candidates. We have a wonderful platform that is active and has more than 5,000 women who want to be candidates or who are already candidates so that they can continue to be trained in negotiation, public policies. Today, 70% of the parliaments are made up of men, 100% of the presidents are men and 85% of the mayors are men. We have to move the needle and reach this parity. Our goal is parity. 

Economic empowerment: In this line, our priorities are the care economy and gender-sensitive financing and investments. 

Eliminating violence against women and girls is fundamental. To this end, I place great emphasis on prevention, because not enough is being done, and on access to justice. 

And finally, everything related to women, peace and security. Working on how women are placed at the tables to negotiate social peace, for preventive diplomacy, to avoid the conflicts that occur every day in our region and all that is humanitarian aid.

Additionally, this year the UN Women will focus on having women at the center of the response for COVID-19, to ensure women’s needs are taken into consideration for the recovery plans. They will be working intensely with the establishment of care systems in the region, to recognize, redistribute and reduce unpaid care work. Innovation will be at the center of the UN Women’s work moving forward as they also continue to focus on the overall advancement of women and further gender equality. 

How sports-tech entrepreneur Victoire Cogevina is revolutionizing the world of soccer

Gloria is a Latin word that praises God but also, the highest feeling of triumph in the soccer field. Late Maradona, Messi or Ronaldinho would bring “la Gloria” to their fans and soccer teams with a “scissor” or a long pass but nothing like after converting a goal. That is the moment when your chess feels about to explode, and you are “en la Gloria.” 

Victoire Cogevina, a technology entrepreneur, chose the name GLORIA for the platform that has become the largest social network app in the world of soccer. 

Victoire Cogevina, women in sports tech, GLORIA app

Victoire Cogevina, creator and co-founder of the GLORIA app. (Photo Credit Enrique Tubio)

How GLORIA is revolutionizing the world of soccer 

Victoire’s love for soccer led her to becoming a sports agent and co-founding the first ever female owned and operated agency. (Photo courtesy Victoire Cogevina)

Born in Boston but raised in Argentina, Victoire developed a love for soccer from a young age. Her love for the sport led her to eventually becoming a sports agent and co-founding SR ALL Stars, an international sports agency specializing in the representation of LATAM professional footballers coming into the Major League Soccer. 

SR All Stars became the first ever female owned and operated agency in the soccer world and was recognized as so by FIFA in 2018. During her time at the agency, she also became more and more interested in the area of technology within the sports industry. She quickly realized there was an immense opportunity to build a home for soccer online. With no technical background and no experience fundraising, Victoire moved to Silicon Valley in the hopes of sharing her vision with the people that would ultimately help her build it.  

“In hindsight, I did not know I was choosing the path of most resistance when I decided to pursue a career path that was historically reserved for men. I was lucky to be brought up by a woman that made sure I would never once make my gender an excuse not to go after my dreams. Today, I am aware that my upbringing was an exception to the rule and a privilege most people never get access to – unless they meet organizations founded to fight for them,” Victoire said. 

With the help of investors and her co-founder, Matias Castello, Victoire’s vision soon came to life in the form of the GLORIA app. 

GLORIA is changing the landscape of the soccer world by helping players around the world get their big break and be discovered by scouts and coaches. In a world that is becoming increasingly tech driven every day, more and more athletes are getting discovered through social media and YouTube. Technology is the future, especially for the young generation of today who spend most of their time socializing on Instagram, TikTok, and SnapChat. 

You might be interested: Venezuelan tech entrepreneur revolutionizes social storytelling with video-sharing app FlickPlay

GLORIA app, soccer

GLORIA app is changing the world of soccer by leveraging the power of social media to help athletes across the world get discovered. (Photo courtesy Victoire Cogevina)

Advocating for women in sports tech 

As a woman in sports tech, Victoire is a passionate and outspoken advocate for gender equality in sports. She currently serves as a United Nations Women speaker fighting for gender equality in soccer and advocating for female footballers and professionals in the industry.  

She is also sharing her professional and advocacy experience with the Women In Sports Tech (WIST) team and fellows. 

WIST’s mission is to drive transformative growth opportunities for women at all stages of their careers throughout the sports tech and innovation landscape, while also introducing middle and high school young women to the wide array of career paths in the industry. Their vision is to be the ultimate global community of women and men that connects women at all experience levels with the business leaders who want to hire them, from internships to board seats. 

woman in sports tech, soccer

Victoire Cogevina speaking on ESPN. (Photo courtesy Victoire Cogevina)

WIST founder is the amazing mentor Marilou McFarlane. The program’s popularity is due in part to her incredibly inclusive and friendly personality, and her welcoming open arms.  

“We are humble, share our own stories of courage and failure freely, and provide a community of mentors and role models to encourage them to join this business, which may have felt intimidating before now. We are multi-generational, mutually respectful women and men working together, and dare I say, we have fun! We are in this business because we love to play and watch sports! We love the sports business and using technology to improve all aspects of the game, on the athlete performance side or the business side. We work in sports tech ourselves, across all categories, and can provide a role model for women in everything from sports tech startups, to business intelligence on the league and team side, to innovations inside larger sports and tech companies like Nike, IBM and Intel”, says Marilou. 

Victoire hopes that the GLORIA app will be a tool and resource for all athletes but especially female athletes who historically have struggled to be discovered in the male dominated soccer industry. GLORIA’s focus is on showcasing players’ talent, regardless of gender, giving female athletes a fair chance to stand out and shine. 

gender inclusion in the workplace

Mariela Dabbah, the perils of a global pandemic for gender inclusion in the workplace

As 2020 draws to a close, Mariela Dabbah, founder and CEO of the Red Shoe Movement, reflects on the Covid-19 pandemic impact for gender inclusion in the workplace. The pandemic has touched all communities and industries across the globe but most importantly, it has affected the lives of women. The consequential economic crisis is now being called the “she-cession” because women, especially those working full-time jobs, have been mostly affected by having to keep up with their jobs remotely AND managing children and their schooling at home. 

Mariela Dabbah, founder and CEO of the Red Shoe Movement (Photo courtesy Mariela Dabbah)

Mariela Dabbah, founder of a leadership development company powered by a global community of women and men allies who support each other for career success, is working to give women the support they need amid these challenging times. 

The TEDx and International speaker, award-winning, best-selling author and go-to corporate authority for Fortune 500 companies interested in inclusive cultures sat for an interview with LatinasinBusiness.us on this very specific and concerning topic. 

How the pandemic has affected women in the workplace

Despite much progress over the years in regards to the issue of gender equity in the workplace, women are still under-represented in higher level positions, with only 7% of women CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. “And while many organizations boast of having a higher percentage of women than men at lower levels of the pyramid, it continues to be very lonely at the top,” Mariela says. 

In the post-Covid landscape, some of this small progress is now being dialed back. The most recent research shows how women have been much more affected by the pandemic, with one in four considering downshifting their careers or leaving the workforce. Many organizations are now losing their female and diverse talent at higher rates than before. 

“This is connected to the fact that women and particularly women with diverse backgrounds and with disabilities have less resources needed to support them at this time. Primarily, reasons include women tending to be the person in charge of childcare, but also, they generally make less than their male counterparts. When a decision needs to be made of who in the household will quit their job, it’s usually women,” says Mariela. 

As the primary caregivers in most households, women were already in charge of the many hours of unpaid work related to raising a family and keeping a home. This past year they have had to shoulder even more of these responsibilities as lockdowns caused children to become homeschooled through distance learning. The struggle of juggling their careers while being a hands-on parent and maintaining their household has forced many women to compromise, step back or quit all together. 

Foreseeing a negative pandemic effect on women in the workplace early on, Mariela and her team developed programs and initiatives to support them. 

The pandemic shock first, the impact later 

“It’s been a very tough year for all of us,” says Mariela. “The first few weeks of the pandemic, I felt as lost as everyone else. It wasn’t so much the change of working from home rather than going to the office. I’ve been working mostly virtually for the last decade. It was more a feeling of unease. Feeling drained. Having no willpower, having not one spark of creativity. As if everything had literally been put on pause, even my brain.” 

This same feeling has been felt by many women struggling to adjust to this new post-Covid reality. It’s hard to figure out what to do next when the future feels uncertain, with no access to resources and support systems to help them navigate these tumultuous changes. 

Women across the globe coming together virtually in solidarity for gender inclusion in the workplace (Photo courtesy Mariela Dabbah)

“It wasn’t long before we started hearing horrible stories of women being overwhelmed by trying to juggle all the new responsibilities. For instance, stories of bosses micromanaging their teams to the point of asking associates to have their cameras on during the 8 to 10-hour workday so they could check on them,” Mariela shares. 

Mariela and her team immediately created a program to address this sense of impotence and being overwhelmed to provide women with a support system that helps them avoid making rash decisions. Additionally, they have launched an initiative that continues to propel the fight for gender inclusion in the workplace. 

 

gender inclusion in the workplace

#InclusionIsNotOnPause initiative (Photo courtesy Mariela Dabbah)

“We launched the #InclusionIsNotOnPause initiative to remind everyone that we needed to keep our eyes on the gender-inclusion ball or we’d lose a lot of our hard-earned gains of the past few decades. This initiative provides a set of tactics that organizations can implement to openly show their support for inclusion of all its talent.”

Continuing the fight for gender inclusion 

Join the #RedShoeTuesday campaign! (Photo courtesy Mariela Dabbah)

Despite the pandemic and the struggles this past year, 2020 has also been a time of growth for many, Mariela included. This strange year has had its ups and downs, and for many the “break” from our traditional routines has led to inspiration and sparked new ideas for innovation. 

“I’ve been very lucky this year just by staying healthy.  Also, the fact that we’ve been delivering our programs virtually for so long played to our advantage; we made tweaks and improvements to everything we offer. My team and I kept coming up with new ways to better serve our clients now that they are all working from home,” says Mariela.

One personal highlight of 2020 that stands out to her is her invitation to present at TEDx Deer Park Women

“It was an amazing opportunity to share my vision for promoting a Global Leap of Consciousness in gender equity with our #RedShoeTuesday campaign.”

What’s next in women equity in the workplace?

“As the pandemic has proven, it’s impossible to predict what will happen five years from now. But our mission is to level the playing field for women and we will continue to do whatever we can to achieve it,” says Mariela. 

The Red Shoe Movement continues to develop new programs to address the needs of its clients and communication campaigns that keep raising awareness to reach gender equity. One of their latest programs is the Allyship Circles to help people talk about problematic issues in a safe environment. “The goal is to foster a culture of inclusion as quickly as possible so that all associates feel like they belong and that they are valued for their contributions,” Mariela explains.  

gender inclusion in the workplace

Wear your red shoes too for gender inclusion in the workplace! #RedShoeTuesday (Photo courtesy Mariela Dabbah)

We have seen many women step into leadership positions this past year, especially in politics. Each time a woman rises in leadership, it shows others that this too is possible for them. That kind of mentality is what Mariela hopes to continue to foster moving forward. 

You may be interested: Gender diversity in the C-suite, where Latinas stand

“The ‘seeing is believing’ kind of effect really works,” she said. “But progress inside corporations continues to be very slow. At the higher levels, there tends to be more women in roles such as HR, Communications and Marketing and many less in other areas of the business. However, since #BlackLivesMatter, the country seems to have experienced an awakening and as a result, organizations seem to be honestly committed to real change. We’ll have to wait and see if these changes stick. For now, we are seeing a wave of companies looking for real solutions to the inequity situation and this will have an impact not only on Black associates but on all under-represented groups, including women.” 

The future ahead is still uncertain, but as we head into the new year, Mariela and the Red Shoe Movement are more focused than ever in ensuring that she and her team continue to help women prosper and thrive in their careers.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Her living legacy

When asked when will there be enough women on the Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg famously replied, “When there are nine.” Many people were shocked by this response. But why? As Ginsburg herself said, “But there’s been nine men, and nobody’s ever raised a question about that.” As only the second appointed female Supreme Court Justice, Ginsburg spent her entire career challenging preconceived notions about women and fighting for our rights.

She has become an icon for women and young girls and her recent passing on September 18th has left our country in mourning. Many fear for the future of gender equality in the U.S. now that Ginsburg’s seat in the Supreme Court will likely be filled by another conservative judge appointed by President Trump. But her legacy toward gender equality will not be forgotten and as a nation we will continue her fight for the future she dreamed of, where one day there will be nine!

The life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Joan Bader was born to Nathan and Cecilia Bader March 15, 1933. She grew up in a low-income, working class neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. Throughout her childhood, her mother was a major influence in her life, instilling in her the value of independence and a passion for education.

On her mother’s teachings, Ginsburg once said, “My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant be your own person, be independent.”

Cecelia Bader never attended college herself. Instead she worked in a garment factory and her earnings went toward paying for her brother’s college education. This selfless act left a tremendous impression on Ruth, who spend the rest of her academic career working diligently at her studies.

In 1954, Ginsburg graduated top of her class from Cornell University and later that same year she married fellow law student, Martin D. Ginsburg.

Her academic achievements in the years that followed include attending Harvard Law School as one of eight women in a class of over 500, becoming the first female member of the prestigious Harvard Law Review, transferring to Columbia Law School, graduating top of her class once more, and all while balancing new motherhood and caring for her ill husband.

Despite her outstanding academic record, Ginsburg still faced gender discrimination during this time. At Harvard, she was chided by the law school’s dean for taking the place of qualified males, and later after graduating from Colombia Ginsburg faced difficulty securing employment. However, Ginsburg would eventually rise up to become one of the most influential women in the country.

Fighting for gender equality

Her fight against gender inequality was fought slowly, incrementally, over many decades. People are never ready for sweeping change, and so to change the minds of those around her–who were predominantly men–she needed to play the long game.

In a recent article for The New York Times, Linda Greenhouse writes, “As a lawyer appearing before the Supreme Court, she presented herself as a modest incrementalist. She had to. If she had come before the court as a social revolutionary, the justices — never having viewed the Constitution as having anything to say about women — would have recoiled. Instead, they swallowed the bite-size portions she served to them, and assumptions about the respective roles of men and women — primary wage earner, primary caretaker — that had been baked into the law for eons disappeared, one case at a time.”

This was Ginsburg’s style. She brought people around to her ideas, and fought long and hard to bring about the changes she believed in.

“Fight for the things that you care about,” she once said, “but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”

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Throughout her career she worked to make changes for women and make our country a more fair and equal place. She has been honored with countless awards and recognition for her hard work. In 1999, she was awarded the Thurgood Marshall Award by the American Bar Association for her contributions to gender equality and civil rights and in 2002 she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. She received the American Bar Associations highest honor, the ABA medal, in 2010 and just last month she was selected as this year’s recipient of the National Constitution Center’s Liberty Medal “for her efforts to advance liberty and equality for all.”

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

U. S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, right, receives the LBJ Liberty & Justice for All Award from Lynda Johnson Robb, left, and Luci Baines Johnson at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 30, 2020. (LBJ Foundation Photo/Jay Godwin)

Ginsburg’s life was one of great accomplishment and we have become a better, more just nation because of her diligent work. Still, there is much more to be done. She has carved the path forward for us, now we must all follow in her footsteps to continue her legacy.

Continuing Ginsburg’s legacy

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The Courtroom doors draped in black following the death of Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Spetember 18th, 2020.
Credit: Photograph by Fred Schilling, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States.

In recent years, Ruth Bader Ginsburg gained almost a celebrity following among younger generations. Fondly dubbed “Notorious R.G.B.” as a play on the name of late rapper “Notorious B.I.G.”, Ginsburg has become a beloved icon to women and young girls who look up to her as a role model.

On her legacy, Ginsburg said, “To make life a little better for people less fortunate than you, that’s what I think a meaningful life is. One lives not just for oneself but for one’s community.”

Now her legacy is in our hands to continue. As we move forward as a nation, we should remember her words. We, as a society, must work together to make life better for everyone in our communities. Equality is not just for the privileged few, but for all. In recent years, many U.S. citizens seem to have forgotten what freedom and equality really means, and what this country stands for. But Ruth Bader Ginsburg never let her vision for equality waver. She fought until the very end, so that equality could prosper in our nation.

We must now channel her fierce energy and passion into our work as we continue to build a fair and just future for the next generation.

Here I leave you with some parting words from Ginsburg that we should all take to heart.

“Dissents speak to a future age. It’s not simply to say, ‘My colleagues are wrong and I would do it this way.’ But the greatest dissents do become court opinions and gradually over time their views become the dominant view. So that’s the dissenter’s hope: that they are writing not for today, but for tomorrow….We are a nation made strong by people like you.”

red shoe movement gender equality

Red Shoe Movement and Celebrity Cruises to ring the bell for gender equality

In partnership with the Red Shoe Movement Gender Equality Global Initiative, Celebrity Cruises had the privilege to ‘Ring the Bell on the 7 Seas’ in honor of International Women’s Day, March 8.

gender equality red shoe movement

Mariela Dabbah, founder and CEO, Red Shoe Movement, and Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises, at the “Ring the Bell on the 7 Seas” ceremony for gender equality on International Women’s Day.

Celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, the entire fleet of Celebrity Cruises ships positioned around the world – from the Caribbean to Australia, and in all global offices – will held a special bell ringing ceremony hosted by Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises, on Celebrity Summit, with the ship’s executive team and the Founder and CEO of the Red Shoe Movement, Mariela Dabbah. Each Celebrity ship and the global offices will then follow with their own ceremony.

red shoe movement gender equality

Celebrity Cruises ceremony in partnership with Red Shoe Movement for gender equality

“On International Women’s Day millions of people around the world will celebrate the accomplishments of women, and the men who support their efforts,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “I’m proud to stand with the Red Shoe Movement as gender equality is an ongoing commitment for all of us at Celebrity.”

Lutoff-Perlo added: “Women are breaking glass ceilings in every country and industry – and there are many, many success stories for gender parity. Yet we have to push for even more progress, and it takes all of us working together to show the world the power of unity.”

red shoe movement celebrity cruises gender equality

Ring the Bell on the 7 Seas ceremony

Dabbah, Founder and CEO of the Red Shoe Movement, said: “I am proud for Red Shoe Movement, whose mission is to accelerate the representation of women at the top, to partner with Celebrity Cruises to ‘Ring the Bell on the 7 Seas’ especially as Lisa Lutoff-Perlo is a CEO who walks her talk in everything she does. The thousands of crew members and guests around the world on a Celebrity ship or in any of their global offices will unite to take a stand on gender equality. This is a historic moment in this industry and for women worldwide.”

To learn more about the ceremony and Celebrity’s commitment to gender equality, follow along on social media using “#CelebratingWomen”, “#IWDleader”, “#IWD2018”, and “#GenderBell”.