When I got a job, it took years for my mind to work around my new reality: Women were not particularly successful here.
Yesterday, female leaders in entertainment, finance, education, law, and media joined a group of high school girls and college women to discuss the "status of women and girls" in California. Midway through the event, we learned that women in my state earn more associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees than our male peers. The crowd burst into applause. I didn't clap. I knew what was coming next.
Only 62 percent of women are employed full-time, versus 72 percent of men. We earn 84 cents on the male dollar. Though women still occupy traditionally female—and traditionally undervalued—occupations like health care, education, and administrative jobs, men still make more money than women in all of those fields, and every other occupational category. Women make up 9 percent of California mayors and 38 percent of its representatives in Congress. In children's films, only 20 percent of employed characters are female. (Even crowd scenes are composed of only 17 percent women). This report focused specifically on how women in my state are faring, but these trends are national: Women are educated better, occupy less prestigious jobs, are paid worse, and are rendered invisible everywhere.