Saturday, December 14, 2013
That tinkling sound you hear is the chipping away at the glass ceiling, little by little. This past week saw a woman rise to the corporate top of GM and the confirmation of two women to the D.C. Circuit.
The feel-good story of GM's new CEO, and recognition of its top female VPs has dominated the news. See Changing of the Guard in a Traditionally Male Industry. Though it seemed to require some justification. "There’s a strong business case for including more women in decision-making positions, executives and analysts say, especially when women are making more than half of new car purchases."
But this focus on "corporate feminism" is not all champagne and roses. See Why Corporate Feminism is Convenient for Capitalism.
Few women will sit in boardrooms in their lifetime, and adding a few "golden skirts" in places of high responsibility doesn't translate straight to a hastening improvement in women's rights and quality of life. As comforting as the idea of "trickle-down feminism" might be, it's never borne out in reality...
The problem with corporate feminism's obsession with individual stories of success, and "having it all," is that many women don't have much at all. Women have been disproportionately affected by austerity, with single mothers and pensioners particularly affected. A few more women may be MPs or CEOs, but three times as many young women are locked into low-paid jobs than were 20 years ago.