Activism

Quick! What’s Happening August 26, Really?

by Gloria Feldt on August 25th, 2015
in Activism, Feminism, Gender, Women's History

If you said “Women’s Equality Day,” you’d be right. And if you said it’s the 95th anniversary of the date in 1920 when women’s right to vote officially entered the U.S. Constitution, you’d be spot on. But the greater significance …

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Boston Leads the Metropolis Charge to Erase Gender Wage Gap

by Gloria Feldt on December 11th, 2013
in Activism, Feminism, Gender, Leadership, Politics, Women & Work, Women's Rights

Boston Women Initiative
I was so excited to learn about Boston’s new initiative, designed to do something different to close the wage gap…The Women’s Workforce Council has created a compact to which businesses and companies of Boston are asked to pledge to pay their employees equal wages.

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How Women Lead: Not A Hero, Everyone as Hero

by Gloria Feldt on November 29th, 2013
in Activism, Feminism, Gender, General, Leadership, Power, Women & Work, Women's Rights

 L-R: Lauren Sandground, Rhoda Hassan, Cheryl Swain meet to plan Take The Lead Challenge Feb. 19 launch
I recently had the pleasure of meeting Arizona State University student Lauren Sandground at a meeting to plan the Take The Lead Challenge Launch event (happening February 19 at ASU—check it out here and plan to be there live or by livestream). Lauren, a senior, started an organization named Woman as Hero in 2009 after being surprised to encounter gender biases in her own life even today, when young women are told they can do or be anything.

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Mothers or Others? Why Choose? How Maternity Leave Policy Crushes Women’s Leadership Parity

by Gloria Feldt on October 29th, 2013
in Activism, Feminism, Gender, General, Health Care Reform, Leadership, Reproductive Health, Women & Politics, Women & Work, Women's Rights

parental leave policyJamera Lee Massop was an administrative assistant in New York when she became pregnant. She didn’t think being pregnant would or should impact her job.  However, with no reason other than “your contract says we can terminate you at any time for any reason,” Jamera’s company fired her when she was six months pregnant.

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A Vision, a Goal, some Mustard: Women’s Leadership @ ASU

by Gloria Feldt on September 25th, 2013
in Activism, Feminism, Leadership, Power, Women & Politics

Somebody once gave me a greeting card that read, “Just when you think you are done, you are really just beginning.” That is certainly my story with Take The Lead which I co-founded with my wonderful partner-in-good Amy Litzenberger. So when the question came up about how I came to be teaching this online certificate course, “9 Practical Leadership Power Tools to Advance Your Career,” I took a little trip down memory lane to recall why I became an advocate for women’s leadership parity and how I learned what makes a successful movement to achieve that–or anything else you want to make happen.

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Women’s Equality Day and the Civil Rights March

by Gloria Feldt on August 26th, 2013
in Activism, Feminism, Political Strategy, Politics, Power, Race, Women's History, Women's Rights

It was all over the news for days. Every pundit, every political talk show, every newspaper march-on-washington-widerunning big retrospective spreads. Op eds galore, and reminiscences of what it was like to march together toward equality.

Today, August 26 is Women’s Equality Day, the day that commemorates passage of the 19th amendment to the US constitution, giving women the right to vote after a struggle that lasted over 70 years. A big deal, right?

Right. But that’s not what all the news was about. In fact, though President Obama issued a proclamation and a few columnists like the New York Times’ Gail Collins gave it a nod, hardly anyone is talking about Women’s Equality Day. At least not in consciousness-saturating ways that garner major media’s attention, as Saturday’s March on Washington commemorating the 50th anniversary of a similar Civil Rights march.

Yet the two anniversaries are rooted in common values about equality and justice for all. They share common adversaries and aspirations. Racism and sexism are joined at the head.

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Women’s Campaign Fund Won’t Settle for Less Than Half

by Gloria Feldt on April 24th, 2013
in Activism, Leadership, Politics, Power, Women & Politics, Women's History

Monday night I attended the bipartisan Women’s Campaign Fund’s annual “Parties of Your Choice“.

Changetheplayers600

As always, they begin with a raucous reception at Christie’s for several hundred guests, after which we all scatter around town for intimate dinners in beautiful homes. At each party, there are several WCF-endorsed candidates or elected officials who tell their tales and make their pitches.

Here are a few photos I took during the evening, which was peppered with chants of “Change the players. Change the game.”

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The Young Politica: Why Be Politically Active After Elections

by Maegan Vazquez on December 10th, 2012
in Activism, Leadership, Politics, Power, Women & Politics, Young Politica

Now that the election is over, many young voters will likely retire their ‘concerned citizen’ badge until presidential primaries start up again. Being a politically active young person, however, is more than just voting for a president. There have been dramatic repercussion in the last four years due to youth voter inactivity between presidential elections.

In our own instant gratification generation psyche, many of us thought we had already created change by electing one man into the U.S. presidential seat. When it came to the midterm races in 2010, there was a 60% youth voter decline from 2008.

If more of us would have voted in 2010, perhaps there would have been tremendous changes. Perhaps the youth vote would have decided the election like it did in 2012.

Isn’t the rip-and-tear of the House over the past two years, all the ‘gridlock’, worth taking a stance?

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Faith-based Support for Abortion Rights

by Gloria Feldt on October 25th, 2012
in Activism, Feminism, Gender, General, Health Care Reform, Leadership, Politics, Women & Politics, Women's Rights

The Gallup poll is showing abortion as the #1 voting issue for women in key swing states, with the economy second. Though the pollster didn’t indicate whether the female registered voters polled were pro or anti choice, it’s clear there …

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Grace, Grit, and Paycheck Fairness – When?

by Gloria Feldt on May 3rd, 2012
in Activism, ForbesWoman, Leadership, Power, Women & Work

The annual hooplah over Equal Pay Day is over. At gatherings around the country last month, politicians and activists alike decried the persistent 20% plus pay gap between men and women. Now what? Back to work with our heads down as usual?

Not if you’re Lilly Ledbetter.

The namesake of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act—the first bill President Barack Obama signed into law while surrounded with the smart political optics of Ledbetter, bipartisan members of Congress, and other women leaders in red power suits—knows this:

  • Securing fairness and equality in compensation requires each woman to be persistently aware of what she’s worth and stand up for herself in the workplace.
  • Securing fairness and equality in compensation is a long haul process that requires changes to laws and policies so the system is fair to all.

The personal and the political are, as usual, intertwined.

Sure, negotiation expert Victoria Pynchon can coach you on how to negotiate compensation more effectively for yourself. And when I speak and teach about my book No Excuses and its 9 Power Tools, I emphasize #3—use what you’ve got—to help women identify just how much power they have in their own hands, including the power to make changes in their paychecks.

And sure, as the Daily Muse pointed out, it’s good that the U.S. Department of Labor held an Equal Pay App Challenge seeking an app to educate people about the persistent problems of equal—or rather, unequal—pay.

But clearly these individual actions, as important as they are, constitute isolated drops in the deep blue ocean of needed systemic change.

Ledbetter’s new memoir, Grace and Grit: My Fight for Equal Pay and Fairness at Goodyear and Beyond, takes the personal and weaves it together with the political as she describes how she became a leader in the fight for equal pay.

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