What Do Women Leaders Have in Common?
Sharmilla Ganesan, The Atlantic
Female leaders have strikingly similar personal stories in their path to power, a few recent studies show. Most grew up in politically loquacious households with fathers who encouraged them not only to learn, but also to speak. “Every single one of [the women] talked about finding their voices at dinner-table conversations with their families…and when the women had something to say, their parents didn’t hush them,” says Susan Madsen of Utah Valley University, who conducted one of the studies. In addition to uncommonly supportive fathers, female leaders also tend to rise through grassroots organizations and activism. While men, who more easily see themselves in leadership positions, set a goal and go about achieving it in a linear way, women seem to find their power through what Madsen calls a “patchwork quilt” of experiences.
The Era of ‘The Bitch’ Is Coming
Michelle Cottle, The Atlantic
Hillary Clinton may become the first woman to win the White House, but that doesn’t mean gender equality will set in across the country. In fact, there’s likely to be a backlash, Cottle writes, pointing out that there has already been an increase in hate speech against women. While election season does bring out the more aggressive side of candidates and their supporters, political scientists say a Clinton win will likely lead to more sexist attacks. And it is likely that President Clinton’s failures will be associated with her being a woman, a connection not made with men. “We don’t ever say George W. Bush was a bad president because he was a guy,” says Farida Jalalzai of Oklahoma State University. “We don’t question men as political leaders because of their maleness.” Cottle calls on the public to speak out against any hate speech, but she also says that brutality is inevitable during profound social change.
Debt. Terror. Politics. To Seattle Millennials, the Future Looks Scary
Kirk Johnson, The New York Times
Tech by day, burlesque by night, Jillian Boshart, like many millennials, is struggling to find her way in a divided, terror-ridden, environmentally perilous and expensive world. At Ada Developers Academy, a highly competitive nonprofit coding school for women in Seattle, students from all walks of life come to change their careers. The women at Ada share concerns about the future with many others in their generation, whether it is paying off school debt, feeling safe on the streets or engaging in a hostile political climate. Under this cloud, some Ada women have plans to use technology for positive change, rather than to encroach on people’s privacy or build drones. In the meantime, however, they look desperately for places where they can belong and for modes of existence that can offer them some kind of future.
To Recruit More Women, Marines Turn to High School Sports Teams
Lolita C. Baldor, The Associated Press
The U.S. Marine Corps has a new goal: to increase the share of women in the Corps to 10 percent. The Marines has the most meager female presence of all the military services and so is eager to fill positions, including combat roles, with women. Major General Paul Kennedy, the head of the Marine Corps’ recruiting command has adjusted advertisements to better appeal to them, sent direct mailings to qualified girls and traveled to high schools to recruit female athletes — in particular, high school wrestlers. The Corps has also been actively assuring women that it is no longer a boys’ club and allay worries about sexual harassment and difficulties with starting a family. Though recruiting women is more difficult than recruiting men, the Marines approaches this challenge like it would any other: “We’re going to exceed the goal that was set for us. I feel confident,” says Kennedy. “I think we can blow through 10 percent like it’s an elevator stop.”
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