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    Entries in women in government (4)

    Monday
    Jan092017

    In Phoenix, Women Are Breaking Public Safety's Brass Ceiling

    The city has an unusually high number of women in leadership positions, even in male-dominated departments like police and fire. Why is that?
    BY  JANUARY 9, 2017

    Excluding education, women make up nearly half of the roughly 9 million workers in state and local government -- but they remain underrepresented in management and leadership roles. In general, the higher you look on a government's organizational chart, the more likely a position is to be filled by a man.

    Not so in Phoenix.

    In that city, nearly half of the 36 department heads and other executive positions are held by women, a share that far exceeds the national average. Women head notoriously male-dominated agencies like transportation, water infrastructure and even public safety. In fact, the city of 1.5 million is the largest municipality in the country to have both a female police and fire chief. Women also lead the city's homeland security and emergency management departments, as well as the prosecutor's office.

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    Friday
    Jul082016

    The $4.3 Trillion That States and Localities Are Missing Out On

    Economic output would get a big boost if more women were in the workplace. A new report shows how far places have to go to close that gap.
    BY  JULY 8, 2016

    Want to grow your economy? Close the gender gap.

    That’s the advice from a new report that says states and cities could add up to $4.3 trillion to their annual economic output simply by focusing on policies that create a more equitable environment for women in the workforce.

    The report, produced by the think tank McKinsey Global Institute, looked at levels of gender equality in measurable areas like political representation; workforce participation and leadership; educational attainment and teenage pregnancy rates. Overall, researchers found high gender inequality in many states and in some of the top 50 largest metropolitan areas.

    "The real opportunity here is for a state to say, 'How could we do better? What are the levers that we can pull to get motivated and begin to address this?'" said Vivian Riefberg, one of the report's authors.

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    Friday
    Jun032016

    The Week in Public Finance: A Demand for Diversity in the Board Room, Bad Credit News and More

    A roundup of money (and other) news governments can use.
    BY  JUNE 3, 2016

    A Demand for Diversity in the Board Room

    State and local finance officers across the country got together this week to pressure corporations about the lack of diversity on their governing boards. The group, made up of 14 pension fund fiduciaries -- six of whom are women or minorities -- said boards “should cast wide nets in their search for the best talent and include nominees who are diverse in terms of race, gender and LGBT status.”

    Board diversification in recent years has been slow -- or even nonexistent. In fact, the percentage of all-white boards has actually increased over the past decade from 10 to 14 percent. Overall, white directors hold 85 percent of the board seats at the 200 largest S&P 500 companies, and men occupy 80 percent.

    “Maintaining leadership that is primarily white and male means these companies are potentially missing out on the many benefits diversity can bring to the board room," said San Diego County Treasurer-Tax Collector Dan McAllister.

    The Takeaway: This isn't the first time public finance officials have used their power to advocate for change.

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    Friday
    Apr222016

    Term Limits Don't Lead to More Women in Politics

    Term limits were billed as a way to get more women to run for office. It hasn't worked out that way.
    BY  APRIL 22, 2016

    In Oklahoma, half of its women legislators aren’t running for re-election this year because they're term-limited out. That rate may seem high, but in a state that ranks 49th for the percentage of women currently serving in the state legislature, it doesn’t take a lot to get there.

    “Our numbers to begin with are very low,” said Cindy Simon Rosenthal, director of Oklahoma University’s Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center. “This is a major turnover of women in the legislature.”

    In total, eight women are leaving -- seven because their terms are up and one because she is running for another office and would vacate her seat if successful.

    When term limits were implemented in the early 1990s, the policy was billed, among other things, as a way to get more women elected to the legislature. The idea was that term limits would periodically force open races, where women candidates have historically fared better.

    But in the early 2000s, it became clear that term limits were not the panacea for increasing women’s representation in politics. Since they were passed in Oklahoma and a number of other states in the 1990s, the level of female representation in state legislatures has stayed at roughly 25 percent.

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