As my regular readers know, I was deeply involved in the Second Wave Women’s Movement eons ago.
That was in the early 1970s, when banks refused to issue credit cards to women unless they were based on their husbands’ accounts; when newspaper want ads still segregated available positions as “help wanted men” and “help wanted women,” and when an OB-GYN presumed to demand a permission slip from the husband of a friend who asked for a tubal ligation at the same time she was in divorce proceedings with that very husband.
Still, it was an amazing time, even in San Diego, California, then primarily a navy and defense contractor town.
The Center for Women’s Studies and Services for which I worked, first as a volunteer and later through the federal Program for Local Service (nowAmeriCorps) opened the First Federal Feminist Credit Union, counseled battered women, obtained federal revenue-shaing funds for a Skilled Trades Readiness Training Program and helped open up skilled labor jobs to women at San Diego’s largest employer, National Steel and Shipbuilding.
People were still fighting over the language of liberation – the use of Ms. rather than Mrs. or Miss and calling mailmen, policemen, firemen and the like mail carriers, fire fighters and police officers.
If you weren’t there, you’d be surprised that these proposals for gender- and marriage-neutral designations stirred passionate controversy along with predictions that the language would never change.
And, of course, abortion remained illegal in many states, with the horror stories of botched procedures abounding.
Today, we’re in the midst of an entirely different revolution but the scent of cultural, social and political transformation is in the air as surely as it was in the early 1970′s.
Today, the driving force of the new women’s movement is located in the camps of what used to be the opposition – business and finance.
As the Daily Beast recently wrote in an article entitled At Davos Investing in Women Emerges as a Business Strategy,
In the United States, women control or influence more than 80 percent of purchasing decisions. Globally they are responsible for $20 trillion in spending, a figure expected to rise to $28 trillion by 2014.
Goldman Sachs has found that it is women who are redefining markets and creating growth by focusing their spending power on purchases such as food, health care, education, clothing, consumer durables, and financial services. And, according to a Deloitte study, women’s earning power is growing faster than men’s in the developing world, where their earned incomes have increased by 8.1 percent compared with men’s 5.8 percent.
As the CEO of Coca-Cola, recently stated, “The truth is that women are already the most dynamic and fastest-growing economic force in the world today.
That’s the new revolution.
If you haven’t yet jumped on the pragmatic, barely ideological new women’s movement – powered by Gen-Y, -X and Boomer women in business, academia, the professions and government – please join us by following She Negotiates on twitter,Facebook, or LinkedIn.
We’ll not only keep you in the loop, we’ll keep your spirits up.
If you recognize that you’re a part of the problem – that you’re personally experiencing a gender wage gap – drop by our web site and engage ourconsulting services.
Unsurprisingly, our clients tend to average 25 to 30% compensation increases, which just happens to be the wage gap.
It’s not rocket science, but our consulting services provide you with the knowledge base, guidance and negotiation skills necessary to duplicate what our other women clients have achieved, often with promotions that should have been granted years ago.