Women’s Voices Are Still Not Being Heard

Source: New York Times

To the Editor:

“Women Interrupted” (Business Day, June 15) sheds important light on a phenomenon women know all too well.

As a member of Congress, I often need to ask, “Where are the women?” Whether it is a hearing on contraception or meetings about health care, women are too often left out and as a result left behind.

Women are half the population but make up only 19.4 percent of Congress, 20.2 percent of Fortune 500 board seats, and just 6.4 percent of Fortune 500 C.E.O.s. That’s not only unfair to women; it’s also bad for our economy. Study after study has shown that companies with greater gender diversity tend to generate greater profits and greater shareholder value.

To begin to remedy this, I introduced the Gender Diversity in Corporate Leadership Act (H.R. 1611) to encourage companies to achieve gender parity on their boards more quickly and to improve the Securities and Exchange Commission’s diversity disclosure requirements.


The writer represents New York’s 12th congressional district in the House.

To the Editor:

Gender inequity is not going to fix itself, but I wish I had a dime for every time someone tried to “mansplain” this problem for me

Men don’t interrupt women just in business or Congress. They also do so in public meetings and at dinner parties. They do so in college classrooms, though women seem to participate in online college discussions more frequently than men.

Men themselves have noticed these patterns. In a 2015 article in North Carolina State University’s newspaper, Austin Bryan, the student managing editor, made an impassioned plea for male students and professors to stop dominating classroom discussions and craft more inclusive environments.

I want to take his plea one step further. It’s time for men to call one another out when they interrupt women or take over discussions, from the dinner table to the conference table.

If you see or hear something, say something.


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