Women in executive roles, whether business or political: how they advance, and what they overcome

Dear Readers:

Recent business and political news has precipitated my thinking even more than I had been about women who hold executive office, whether in business or in government. I’ve also had the opportunity to speak about this topic. So, I put pen to paper and thought to share these recent articles in one place with you.

For Crain’s Chicago Business:

For Huffington Post Politics:

One reminder of how important executive roles are: if Republicans win a majority in the U.S. Senate come Election Day, all the current women chairs of senate committees (and we’re talking big committees here) will be gone. And, since 16 of the current 20 women senators are Democrats, that doesn’t leave much room for the Republican women to take over in the same measure.

Dare I also say: #everydayiselectionday!

Best wishes.

Rebecca

 

 

Working Mothers in the Great Recession

http://www.tcwmag.com/blogs/working-mothers-in-the-great-recession

Dear Readers,

So, here we are, the day after the Senate failed to pass a jobs bill, to help the millions and millions of unemployed Americans.

So, I share with you (see above link) my June 2010 column for Today’s Chicago Woman because, at the end of the column, you’ll find a list of my faves for guidance for taking action. They are the: YWCA, Women Employed, and Women’s Business Development Center.

Let’s tell those Senators what we think!

Best wishes.

Rebecca

SiveSiftingsRebeccaSiveTalksBack

Coakley, Schmoakley: You’re Not Our Heroes Anymore

Dear Readers,

Here’s my take on tomorrow’s big U.S. Senate election, taken from the Huffington Post national Politics and Chicago pages. Go here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rebecca-sive.

Rebecca

http://www.rebeccasive.com/blogSubscribe.htm

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Here is the full text of my post, inspired by one of my favorite musicians, B.B. King, and doubly-inspired by thinking about Dr. King: Check-it-out.

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley may or may not be elected to the U.S. Senate tomorrow. I ask you: What difference will it make–one way or the other?

Badly, the Democratic guns-for-hire, Coakley’s would-be colleagues, and the President want Martha Coakley elected because they, badly, want their sixtieth vote for a healthcare bill that presently renders American women unequal, second-class to the men around them.

Coakley can’t wait to vote for it: In thrall to Ted Kennedy’s legacy and desirous of keeping the “Kennedy seat,” talk about entitlement, she campaigns with Vicki Kennedy to make her case.

So, let’s say Martha Coakley pulls it out of the bag. Then what?

Well, at the same time Friday that the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee was pleading with me to send money to help get Martha Coakley elected, I received a call from U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar’s (D-MN) fundraiser.

Now, Amy is a longtime and dear personal friend: A law school classmate of my husband’s, we have sent money to Amy since her first run for office back in the 90’s. So, when Amy decided to run for the U.S. Senate, I took it upon myself to introduce her to then Senator Obama’s donor-world: the world of big-money, progressive Chicago Democrats. The dividends (for her) have paid-off ever since.

But what about the dividends for me, for the rest of the women of Chicago, for the women of Minnesota, or for the rest of America?

Talk about the bag. Looks to me like we’ve all been left, holding the bag.

The reason for the formation of Emily’s List, say, and of other women’s organizations that raise money and work to elect pro-choice, Democratic women candidates, was crystal-clear: It was to increase the representation of Democratic women in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, so that these women would do what the Democratic men had failed to do: make the American world an equal one.

We were highly motivated; we worked really hard; we had a great interest in helping the interested women among us achieve this opportunity to serve—in order to serve our interests.

Instead, we find them serving their own.

As I’ve previously written in these pages, in lockstep with their male colleagues, the 13 Democratic women U.S. Senators voted for a healthcare “reform” bill that, tragically, takes millions of American women back to pre-Roe v. Wade days, i.e., to daily life in which they will, odds-are, be unable to obtain an abortion, in their very own state.

As to the Democratic women Members of the House of Representatives, well, yes, a group is fighting hard against the Stupak Amendment (talk about pre-Roe!), but their leader, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, birthed Stupak in the first place. Talk about failing to serve the interests of women.

You’re not my heroes anymore.



Your elections excited me. Your elections motivated me to (keep) helping you, because I believed that your election meant I would have representatives of me, fighting for me.

Well, as B.B. King would say: “The thrill is gone.”

Don’t come to me saying you represent me; don’t come to me saying that I owe you my financial support; don’t come to me saying that you are the defender of my rights; don’t come to me saying you matter to women, or, worse yet, for women.

For, right now, you don’t.

So, until further notice, my phone is on voicemail; my checkbook is closed; my e-mail contact list doesn’t include you; my living room chairs are empty of women donors; and my speeches for you won’t get written.

B. B. continues: “The thrill is gone away for good.”

Is it?

That’s up to you.

On this day of all days, on the day when we honor the work of a man assassinated for standing- up and acting on his belief in equal rights, the least you can do is:

· Stop making deals, stand-up to the enemy, and fight like Dr. King did.

· Stop thinking that being just a little bit better than the guys next-door is enough help for those who depend on you. Dr. King didn’t make this mistake, and neither should you.

· Stop thinking that being in proximity to power is sufficient (to our needs). The only thing that actually matters, on days like these, is having the power, and using it to do good.



· Stop thinking that fighting to “maintain the status quo” is a win, ‘cause, gee whiz, I tried really hard. It isn’t, not when women’s very lives are at-stake.

· Stop thinking “half a loaf is better than none.” Sometimes, some days, these days, this day,it’s not. We know that, and so should you.

On this day, of all days:

· Know that your male colleagues don’t understand what we need, in the way that you do. We need you to do what needs doing.

· Know that your sworn enemies won’t, ever, honor their word. The last few months of “healthcare reform” are ample proof of that, if any were ever needed. We need you to outflank our enemy, however you can manage to do that.

· Know that equal rights can’t be achieved by conducting business “as usual.” We need you to conduct the business that needs conducting, no matter the price you may personally pay for breaking away from the (male) norm.

· Know that you owe us a debt, and it’s time to pay it. We need you do what Dr. King did: Fight until you can’t fight anymore.



I close as B.B. closed: “I’m free, free now; I’m free from your spell, and now that it’s over, all I can do is wish you well.”

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In Solidarity: Healthcare Reform is No Holiday Gift for Women and Immigrants

Dear Readers,

Three cheers for Sylvia Henriquez at the the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health. Now, here’s a woman with conviction.
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December 24th, 2009

“Senate Passes Health Care Reform Bill

“This morning, the Senate voted through their version of the health care reform legislation. Unfortunately, what could be a tremendous opportunity has been used instead to deliver a blow to women and immigrants. Even though the restrictive abortion language passed in the House did not make it into the Senate bill, the compromise that was forged by Senator Nelson (D-NE) remains excessively restrictive; people who purchase insurance policies that cover abortion would be expected to write two checks – one for abortion coverage, and one for the rest. Though this may seem a small inconvenience, the added administrative processes that will be required is an incentive for insurance companies to drop abortion coverage altogether. Moreover, states can decide whether to prohibit plans that include abortion coverage in the exchange, meaning that women in more conservative states will be unable to purchase affordable health insurance policies that cover the entire scope of reproductive health services.

This is unacceptable.

“Immigrants fared no better; Senator Menendez’s (D-NJ) amendment to remove the five-year bar to Medicaid for legal permanent residents did not make it into the final bill. Even worse, the Senate version of the bill does not let undocumented persons buy insurance policies from the exchange with their own money.

“However, it is not over yet. There is another step in the legislative process where the House bill and the Senate bill must be reconciled during a procedure called “conference committee.” We must continue, and demand that health care reform not be passed on the backs of women and immigrants. Enough with divide-and-conquer politics – restrictive abortion language and anti-immigrant provisions must be removed from the final health care legislation in congress. We will stand for nothing less.

“In Solidarity,

“the NLIRH Staff”

(Go to: http:latinainstitute.org to learn more.)

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My best wishes to all for a safe, happy and just new year.

Rebecca
www.rebeccasive.com/blogSubscribe.htm