This morning the Today Show had a segment on working women, and a theory that women's hormones make them less competitive, and less aggressive in the workplace, than men. The theory, apparently, explains why women take jobs that offer less material rewards, and more warm and fuzzies (e.g. teaching). The research is explained in a book, The Sexual Paradox, which discusses the idea that "women tend not to seek out the highest status or the most lucrative careers: They're reluctant to take jobs whose demands won't allow them the choice to focus on other aspects of their lives."
In the meantime, many law firms are boosting maternity leave to 18 weeks, says the ABA.
Tons of articles have been written about equality in the workplace, and equality in the home. One that I have saved is one of many that states that regardless of income, wives still do more housework than their husbands. Which is why as often as these types of article are published, there's another one telling men that if they want more sex, they should do more housework.
In any case, it's not just that women aren't equal in the workplace, it's that they may not want the same type of jobs. We're seeing a backslide in numbers, "[k]ey indicators such as pay, board seats, and corporate-officer posts all reflect a leveling off or drop in recent years." This article about sexism and the workplace suggests that perhaps we think that we've conquered sexism, so there's no reason to address it. Additionally, many of the women who are powerful or top earners aren't incredibly feminine.
My friend was in town this weekend and it was something we discussed - not only our professional lives, but how they fit into our personal goals. We touched on the Presidential election, in the course of these discussions, and the general perception that sexism no longer exists. If this was true, however, feminism wouldn't be seen so negatively, it would just seem passe. So women who want the corner office are, according to the first article, less "feminine" and we see that women who succeed may, in fact, show less femininity, whether in manner or dress. In the meantime, men have learned to capitalize on the positives of being feminine without the baggage, and are excelling in the workplace. Oh, it makes me so glad I'm involved in the women's movement, however tangential.