For years, we women have kept our heads down and played by the rules. We’ve been certain that with enough hard work, our natural talents would be recognized and rewarded.
We’ve made undeniable progress. In the United States, women now earn more college and graduate degrees than men do. We make up half the workforce, and we are closing the gap in middle management. Half a dozen global studies, conducted by the likes of Goldman Sachs and Columbia University, have found that companies employing women in large numbers outperform their competitors on every measure of profitability. Our competence has never been more obvious. Those who closely follow society’s shifting values see the world moving in a female direction.
The authors, Claire Shipman (left), a reporter for ABC News, and Katty Kay (right), the anchor of BBC World News America. In two decades of covering American politics, they have interviewed some of the most influential women in the nation. They were surprised to discover the extent to which these women suffered from self-doubt. (Henry Leutwyler)
And yet, as we’ve worked, ever diligent, the men around us have continued to get promoted faster and be paid more. The statistics are well known: at the top, especially, women are nearly absent, and our numbers are barely increasing. Half a century since women first forced open the boardroom doors, our career trajectories still look very different from men’s. Read more here
Katty Kay and Claire Shipman
Illustrations by Edmon de Haro