July 22, 2016; No. CCXLV

eNews banner


No. CCXLV; July 22, 2016
THIS ISSUE’S HIGHLIGHTS:
I.
          WOMEN LEADERS ON THE “GLASS CLIFF”
II.         ROME ELECTS FIRST WOMAN MAYOR
III.        CLIMATE CHANGE’SEFFECT ON WOMEN WORKERS
IV.        MARKETING AND THE GENDER GAP


I. WOMEN LEADERS ON THE “GLASS CLIFF”  

With the appointment of Theresa May as the new Prime Minister of the UK amidst the Brexit situation, there has been much attention to the idea of a “glass cliff” that women leaders face when assuming leadership roles in precarious times.  The premise of the “glass cliff” is that women are more likely to be put into leadership roles during periods of crisis or downturns when possibility for failure is high.  As the UK enters a tumultuous period both politically and economically, May faces a daunting future in a role several male candidates backed away from out of fear for their political careers. (Click here to see current listing of Women Presidents & Prime Ministers)

Researchers from the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University show that women don’t just get fewer leadership opportunities, the opportunities women do get tend to be more high-risk.  Without the luxury of choosing which jobs they want and which ones they don’t, women more often end up filling spaces when there is a leadership vacuum.  (“Congrats, Theresa May, Mind that ‘Glass Cliff’”, Washington Post, 7/17/16)

New UK Prime Minister Theresa May and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer

New UK Prime Minister Theresa May and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer

The concept applies equally in the business world.  As Yahoo faces an imminent sale, many observers say that Marissa Mayer was pushed onto the “glass cliff” when she took the CEO position in 2012 with Yahoo on a steep decline.  Needing to engineer a miracle in order to turn around the struggling tech company, she may have been able to stabilize the company but unable to lead it to thrive in an industry where dying tech companies have little hope of regaining lost success. (“Was Yahoo’s Mayer Pushed Onto ‘Glass Cliff,’” Washington Post, 7/17/16)

While the reasoning is that women are set up to fail in these positions, it is also likely that some may see the hope in appointing a woman to leadership positions in a time of crisis.  Marianne Cooper, the researcher from the Clayman Institute, states that “Selecting women signals change, and that qualities typically associated with female leaders – collaboration, listening, working in the background, managing people – are particularly attractive in a crisis.”  As May begins her role in guiding the UK through the Brexit, these qualities can help produce the best possible outcome for the global economy.


II. ROME ELECTS FIRST WOMAN MAYOR

Virginia Raggi became the first woman mayor of Rome after receiving over two-thirds of votes in last month’s election. At the age of 37, she also became the city’s youngest mayor. In addition, the northern Italian city of Turin elected Chiara Appendino, a 32-year old woman, as mayor for the first time on the same day. Together, the two young female mayors present a fresh look at leadership of Italian cities.

Tasked with resolving Rome’s debt problem of over 13 billion Euros ($14.7 billion USD), plus a dysfunctional transportation and waste removal services, Raggi has pledged to reduce waste and corruption to put more money into public services. (“Virginia Raggi of Five-Star Movement Sweeps Election for Rome’s Mayor,” New York Times, 6/20/16)

mayors

(L) Mayor of Rome Virginia Raggi (R) Mayor of Turin Chiara Appendino

Raggi joins Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Madrid Manuela Carmena, and Mayor of Warsaw Hanna Waltz-Gronkiewicz as female mayors of leading European cities. Does female leadership of cities make a difference? In a dialogue at the 2016 Global Summit of Women in Warsaw, Poland, with Summit President Irene Natividad, Mayor Gronkiewicz-Waltz discussed the difference between the way men and women lead. She credited women for discussing any situation a city faces and seeking the opinions of others before deciding, then focusing on execution, while she implies that men, whom she defined as ‘ambitious’ in their political careers may not see implementation as urgent. (To hear more of Mayor Waltz-Gronkiewicz’ comments of leadership styles, click here)

3

Summit President Irene Natividad and Mayor of Warsaw Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz at 2016 Global Summit of Women


III. CLIMATE CHANGE’S EFFECT ON WOMEN WORKERS

New research shows that excessive heat fueled by climate change is leading to huge productivity losses and economic strain for dozens of countries. Parts of Asia and Africa, which are most affected by extreme heat, are losing 10-20% of their working hours as a result and the lost productivity is expected to double in the next decade. The reduced labor productivity will result in a reduction of annual GDP, which translates to billions of dollars even for small and mid-sized countries, the research shows.

4

Exposed workers in extreme heat — and the majority of farmers in the world are women — are at greater risk of stroke, exhaustion, and death. Beyond the health of the individual workers, the health of entire families of the workers also suffers as women, children, and the elderly face greater health risks with the loss of income.

The hope is that agreements reached at the Paris climate conference (COP21) to cut greenhouse gas emissions coupled with new technologies to cool workplaces even in poorer countries can limit further economic decline and danger for women workers and their families. (“Study Ties Record Heat, Economic Woes,” Washington Post, 7/19/16)


IV. MARKETING AND THE GENDER PAY GAP

The Spice Girls’ famous song “Wannabe” has been released in its 20th anniversary to highlight violence against women and girls, an end to child marriage, and and equal pay for equal work. The new version of the iconic video was produced by Project Everyone for the UN Global Goals campaign to eradicate injustice around the world. As part of the campaign, Global Goals and Project Everyone are asking women to share their hopes and dreams for gender equality around the world using the hashtag #WhatIReallyReallyWant.” (To see the video remake, click photo below)

The new video is in contrast to a recent ad by Anheuser Busch InBev for its BudLight product in which two well-known actors lament that women get paid less than men but are charged more for many everyday items. Although the ad drew attention to the gender pay gap, the company was exposed for its own poor practices with women within the company. There are no women in the parent company board, and it was sued by one of its highest ranking women for unequal pay! While the Bud Light ad attempts to exploit the issue to sell a product, the new Spice Girls video offers viewers ways to get engaged on the issue and make a difference.


5

BE A PART OF THE 2017 GLOBAL SUMMIT OF WOMEN
TOKYO, JAPAN
MAY 11-13, 2017


Don’t receive this e-newsletter regularly?
Subscribe by clicking here.
CONTACT US
Global Summit of Women
1100 G St. NW, Ste. 700
Washington, DC 20005 USA
tel: 202-835-3713 / fax: 202-466-6195
email: summit@globewomen.com