While affluent American women debate the merits of “leaning in” or “having it all,” U.S. women still earn 77-cents for every dollar earned by men, and the U.S. ranks 77th in the world for participation of women in government. And the economic stress is far greater for women worldwide. Today, 70% of the world’s poor and two-thirds of the world’s illiterate adults are women.
On Thursday, Chelsea Clinton, Jada Pinkett Smith and Zainab Salbi joined the NOW with Alex Wagner panel to discuss both the plight and the progress of women in America and across the globe.
One of most glaring gender disparities in the U.S. is the lack of women in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Women currently hold fewer than 25% of STEM jobs.
The U.S. Department of Commerce predicts the number of STEM jobs will grow 17% between 2008 and 2018–three times the growth rate for non-STEM jobs. “If we’re really going to own our own future,” Clinton said, “we can’t leave a gender behind. We all need to be a part of that.”
When it comes to investing in women, Zainab Salbi says, “it’s the one investment that will help everyone.”