Monday, May 01, 2006

Watch out Men ... The Women are Coming

Two interesting articles recently highlight the enhanced role that women will play in the future of the American economy and in Washington politics ...

Cited on the Post's blog, On Balance,is an article that appeared in The Economist on April 12th (available online only to subscribers). In The Economist article titled Women and the World Economy, the lead was ...
WHY can't a woman be more like a man? mused Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady. Future generations might ask why a man can't be more like a woman.…

Commenting on the article, the Post blogger points out that women have made phenomenal progress in the last 50 years ... so much so that their success (and economic power) is beginning to threaten men. However, the reality of the marketplace is that women continue to make less than men on average.

One question that the article provokes for me is that posed by Margaret Atwood in The Handmaid's Tale ... if men are threatened by women's economic strength, what steps might they take to stay in power and control rather than let "nature" and demography take its course?

And, if that weren't enough, today's K Street Confidential column in the business section of the Post is headlined "Women, Minorities Make Up New Generation of Lobbyists" Why the change? High powered women exiting government through the revolving door looking for work is one reason. Flexibility of the work is another. Here's a reason offered by a partner in a woman-owned lobbying firm:

"This town has shifted business models from the Old Boys Network to a focus on substance, competence and credibility," said Stephanie E. Silverman, a principal of Venn Strategies LLC, a woman-owned lobbying firm. "In the old model it was difficult if you were a woman. In the new model you can be a man or a woman and it doesn't matter."

Wow ... expertise over relationships or golf scores. What's this world coming to?

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