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Monday, February 07, 2005

Hooray! Women are BIG losers

"For the First Time, Women Lead in Top Jobs." Woo hoo! Women rock. If you saw that headline as you were skimming the Sunday paper, you probably got a fuzzy feeling, thinking things are all worked out for the working women of the world. What a bubbling crock of warmed-over, misrepresented alphabet soup. You can string those words together, but it don't make it so.

That headline appeared in the Buffalo News last month. It was penned by James E. Challenger, President of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, an outplacement consulting company that helps people displaced by layoffs find new jobs.

Challenger wrote that "women represented just over half of the 48 million employees in management, professional, and related occupations." Okay, what the hell does that mean? Anyone working in an office is considered a "professional," aren't they? Does the night manager at 7-11 think they are holding down a top job? And what exactly are these "related occupations?" Welcome to Vague-ville. Population: 1 moron.

Women earned nearly 56 percent of all post-high school degrees in 1996, according to data collected by the Gender Issues Research Center. More women are getting degrees and landing better-paying jobs. But I'm not sure it would lead me to the roof-tops hollering that women have finally reached parity. Maybe the headline should have read: "Women Lead in Random, Unspecified Jobs."

Eight paragraphs into the article, we finally get to the real news: "Women currently hold 16 percent of corporate officer positions among the nation's 500 largest companies, up from nine percent eight years ago." Maybe the headline should have read: "Women Hold Sliver of Top Jobs."

After writing that women hold half of the 48 million management, professional, and related-occupation jobs, Challenger wrote: "39 percent of all women are now in managerial or professional jobs, up from 24 percent in 1977. The proportion of men in such jobs has been stagnant at around 30 percent over the same 25-year period."

Women hold 39 percent. I thought they held half? And men hold about 30 percent. Hhhmmm, I'm no math wiz, but I'm pretty certain that equals 69 percent. So who is performing the other 31 percent of these types of jobs?? Maybe it's a herd of Fiffer-feffer-feffs, or the quick Queen of Qunicy's quacking quacker-oos.

This guy makes no sense. Plus, he is taking serious issues affecting women and white-washing them.

  • "At the computer, women are just as productive as men. bringing an end to outdated concepts like the glass ceiling." (Hello, six paragraphs ago, Challenger pointed out that women hold just 16 percent of corporate officer positions. Those are the ones on the other side of that ceiling!)
  • " particularly popular among women as it allows them to fulfill their roles as mother as well as that of corporate leader." (Challenger states that women account for about half of all telecommuters, so it's no more popular with women than it is with men.)
  • Women earn just $78 for every $100 men earn. "However, it will not be long before that gap entirely closes." (He says that when 25- to 30-year-old women are in their 40s and 50s making more hiring decision, women will see a major increase in salaries. So that's not long at all.)

If you'd like to call and personally thank Challenger for working out all these issues, his company's number is (312) 332-5790.

It was brought to my attention that this piece was part of a special advertising section in the Buffalo News (that would explain why I couldn't find a link to it online).

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