Proven, Principled Leadership for New Jersey LD-16
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VACCINE APPOINTMENTS AVAILABLE ON SATURDAY IN MONTGOMERY
The Montgomery Township Health Department is holding a Moderna vaccine clinic this Saturday, May 8, from 9 AM to Noon at the Otto Kaufman Community Center in Montgomery. The clinic is available to everyone aged 18 and older.
“New Jersey is reopening, so now is the time to get yourself vaccinated so you can confidently get back to the people and activities you love,” said Montgomery Health Officer Stephanie D. Carey.
To register for Saturday’s clinic, use the health department’s online sign-up form or call 908-359-8211 x2400. If you haven’t already, also sign up on the New Jersey vaccine scheduling system. ...
The MDO would like to wish you a Happy International Workers Day! During these unprecedented times it is imperative to recognize the hard work of all the workers that serve this nation. We thank all workers for the hard work that they do every single day ...
As Women's History Month ends today, our Founder and Chairwoman Kerri Kennedy shares this Op-Ed. #WomensHistoryMonth, #ElectWomenNJ
As we approach the end of Women’s History Month, we need to reflect on how we can increase the urgency of equality and representation of women in politics and leadership in the workforce. In many ways, life has improved dramatically for women. There are more girls and women in school than ever before. Women account for 57% of all bachelor’s degrees. Last year, women were in the majority in the workplace —occupying slightly more than 50% of positions.
We can and do aspire for the highest offices. We have our first female Vice President in the White House. The 2020 Women in the Workplace report noted advancements women have made in senior management in the past five years. Between 2015 and 2020, the percentage of women in SVP roles grew from 23 to 28 percent—and from 17 to 21 percent in the C-suite. Women remain dramatically underrepresented, especially women of color, but the numbers were slowly improving. We also see the rise and power of global activism in movements like #MeToo and organizations addressing sexual harassment and toxic work cultures.
Now on to the bad news. Though women have made global progress on social, economic, and political indicators, women are 25% more likely than men to live in extreme poverty. The UN reported that the poverty rate for women had been expected to decrease by almost 3% by 2021, but projections are now pointing to a 9% increase in women living in poverty by next year. This is largely due to the COVID -19 pandemic. This global pandemic will dramatically increase the poverty rate for women and widen the gap between men and women who live in poverty globally. Before COVID-19 existed, domestic violence was already one of the greatest human rights violations. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, this number is likely to grow.
In the U.S., the gender wage gap persists and are more pronounced between the earnings of Black and Hispanic women and white men. Though progress is moving at a very slow pace, all but 7 states have improved the gender wage gap in the past 10 years. Unfortunately, NJ is one of the 7 states that did not narrow the wage gap from 2010 to 2018.
In politics, women continue to be underrepresented in elected office. Globally, 1 in 4 congress or parliament seats are held by women. The United Sates ranks 75 out of 193 for women’s representation. While women in the US make up slightly more than 50% of the population, only 23% of the House of Representatives are women and only 8.8% are women of color. At our current rate of progress, it will be 200 years before we would have equal representation in politics in the U.S. At the glacial rate of progress we are making, our children or grandchildren will not see true gender equality - it will take many more generations.
These figures did not even account for COVID-19. Women started the year as the majority of the workplace for the first time ever in history with little fanfare. By September, women have left the workforce at four times the rate that men have. Among heterosexual couples, more than 70% of fathers think they are splitting household labor equally with their partner during Covid-19—but only 44% of mothers say the same. For the 1 in 5 women who are single parents, the challenges are even greater as they are more likely to do all the housework and childcare. Latina and Black mothers are more likely to be the sole breadwinner or to have partners working outside the home during Covid-19. Latina mothers are 1.6 times more likely than white mothers to be responsible for all childcare and housework, and Black mothers are twice as likely to be handling all of this for their families.
This is a critical moment for women in leadership in America. The global pandemic could push back women’s progress back years and possibly decades if we don’t guard against it.
Why does it matter? Research has consistently demonstrated that gender equality is good for the bottom line. Consulting firm McKinsey found that companies in the top quarter for gender diversity on executive teams were 21% more likely to outperform on profitability. We know that diversity breeds innovation. A Forbes report noted that transforming a single gender office to one that was a diverse mix of genders could increase revenue by 41%. Women in senior leadership have a positive impact on company culture and politics. We are more likely to sponsor bills, embrace employee-friendly policies and programs, and champion racial and gender diversity compared to men.
With the threats that COVID has made to women’s progress in the workforce, it is time for us to increase the urgency with which we address gender parity. We need to do this through policy changes, workplace initiatives to keep women in the workforce, and increase women’s leadership and representation in politics and business. When the voice and perspectives of half of the population aren’t adequately represented, our organizations and communities won’t be as strong or democratic. We are at risk of backsliding decades if we do not heed this moment with the seriousness and urgency that it demands.
Kerri Kennedy, Founder/Chairwomen, Elect Women NJ ...
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