From a very young age, I knew that I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. But beyond that, I didn’t give too much thought to how this was going to happen or whether being female would, in any way, make achieving my goals more difficult. It was just a given that I would go to college directly after high school, and then I could do “whatever I set my mind to.”
So I did, and throughout my magazine publishing career (where I’ve worked on both the editorial and advertising sides of several major publications), I’ve never given much thought to being a woman in the working world. Not that I haven’t had my career struggles, but none of them seemed to have anything to do with my gender. Of course, publishing has always attracted a large number of women, and I know that my female contemporaries in more male-dominated industries have sometimes faced more obstacles, as well as outright discrimination. I am very grateful to all the women who have come before me and fought the battles that have allowed me — and future generations of women — to do “whatever we set our minds to.”
But there is still work to be done. Catalyst, a nonprofit organization that aims to expand opportunities for women, reports that the gender wage gap remains a huge issue. Note these stats: In 2011, women in the U.S. earned 77 cents for every dollar earned by men — a number that has barely budged for years. Minority women are hit particularly hard. In 2011, African-American women earned 69.5 percent of all men’s earnings; for Latina women that percentage goes down to 60.2 percent. In addition, the six jobs with the deepest gulf in pay between women and men are all in the financial sector.
Still, women continue to make great strides, not only in smashing the glass ceiling in corporate America but in venturing out on their own. A recent headline in Forbes magazine screams: “Entrepreneurship is the new women’s movement.” The article points out that “Women have been starting businesses at a higher rate than men for the last 20 years… Women will create over half of the 9.72 million new small business jobs expected to be created by 2018 and more and more are doing this from home offices across the country.”
In our inaugural Women in Business issue, I’m excited to present 11 amazing businesswomen who fall into both categories: entrepreneurs and those who have climbed (and sometimes clawed) their way up the corporate ladder. Their inspiring stories begin here. In addition, we’re planning our first Women in Business luncheon in late 2013, so please let me know of other inspiring businesswomen you think deserve a mention.
Also in this issue we take a new look at our favorite homegrown president — Franklin Delano Roosevelt. And we’re not the only ones: Hyde Park on Hudson, starring Bill Murray as FDR, hits the big screen this month and is already generating a fair amount of Oscar buzz. Both the movie and our article focus on one famous royal visit and one of FDR’s little-known lady friends — click here to read all about it.
And finally, don’t forget to take some time off from working (whether you are male or female!) to enjoy the holidays. From festively decorated historic homes to carol concerts, there are dozens of ways to make the most of this special season. Our Holiday Happenings can be found in our Web calendar here.
Olivia J. Abel
Editor In Chief
» Read more editor’s letters
» Write a letter to the editor