What is keeping American girls out of laboratories?
A study by the US Chamber of Commerce in 2011 found that women are vastly underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and math – the fields known as STEM. Women make up half the workforce, yet they hold less than a quarter of STEM jobs – and women with a STEM degree are more likely to work in education and healthcare – not research. Yet women in STEM earned 33 percent more than comparable women in jobs outside the science and math fields.
We studied the heroic myths in school, and our kids are drawn to books and games that let them access their own inner heroes and heroines. Think of Harry Potter, Twilight's Bella and just about every video game on the market. We long to be big, to do great things. Jean Houston is a widely respected philosopher and researcher, one of the founders of the Human Potential Movement.
With federal, state and local governments cutting funding for social services, many important programs are being pinched – or shut down altogether. The Rockefeller Foundation believes social impact bonds may be the answer. Investors pay for services, service providers do their job, and government pays the investors back if and only if the outcome meets expectations. I spoke with Kippy Joseph, Associate Director, Innovation at the Rockefeller Foundation of why social impact bonds might be the right idea at the right time.
Vice President Joe Biden was a key advocate of the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act – VAWA -in Congress this year – and despite what you might expect would be an easy vote – there was huge debate before it passed. More than 130 House Republicans voted against it.
Eighteen years ago, genetically modified crops were introduced in the United States. First there were tomatoes, then soybeans, potatoes and corn. As the years have passed, more and more farmland has been devoted to these plants, which have a gene added to their DNA, giving them helpful traits such as pesticide resistance. But that help may come with a cost. During that same period, a growing number of children have developed allergies to food. Despite assurances of safety from biotech companies and government agencies, the parallel timing has raised suspicion.
During Women's History Month, let's take a moment to consider what might hold women back from positions of leadership. For some, the turning point happens early.
A psychologist was shocked at the loss of confidence her daughters experienced when they entered middle school. She co-founded the Young Women’s Leadership Program at the University of Virginia, where college women pair with middle school girls to help them reach their potential. After more than a decade, the program is now a national model. Alison Quantz has more.
We hear a lot about political reform – and election and campaign finance reform in particular. This year in New York one race for the state senate was a stunning illustration of just how badly the election process needs review.
March brings a huge change in the European Union – animal testing for personal products will be banned…and companies that test on animals won’t be able to sell their products there. That’s bad news for China, which requires animal testing, and many American companies, which cling to testing despite new test which are cruelty free. Pascaline Clerc is senior director for animal research issues at the Humane Society of the United States.