Women Make .77 Cents for Every Dollar that Men Earn. {LOHAS Forum}

Via Brianna
on Jun 14, 2012
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Background from www.lohas.com/forum (if you’re familiar with LOHAS, skip ahead):

LOHAS, an acronym for “Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability,” describes a marketplace focused on health, the environment, social justice, personal development and sustainable living. One in four Americans is part of this group—nearly 41 million people and growing.

Since its inception in 1996, LOHAS has been the catalyst for the adoption of sustainable living and environment-friendly practices for the globally conscious business community. The LOHAS Forum is the leading annual gathering of thought and opinion leaders in the LOHAS marketplace. The LOHAS Forum features highly influential speakers and panelists who address and explore some of today’s most prominent issues and business challenges, in the world of health and wellness. Other events include musical performances, workshops and networking receptions.

What can we learn from women-led businesses?

This is the question put forth by Sylvia Tawse during a panel discussion on Wednesday afternoon at LOHAS in Boulder, Colorado

Sylvia is the founder Fresh Ideas Group (FIG), a Boulder-based business that focuses on natural foods marketing and public relations.

Sitting nearby on the panel are three leading women from three amazing companies:

Jodi Berg, CEO of Vitamix

Madeleine Buckingham, CEO of Mother Jones Magazine

Jane Iredale, CEO of Iredale Cosmetics

In discussing female-based leadership, Madeleine says, “It’s not about being male or female; it’s about sensibility.” She explains that being a mother has influenced her management style—she’s big on collaboration, team building and having a work-life balance.

Similarly, Jane tells us, “I lead based on how I think life should be.” She likes the work place to feel like an extended family and prefers the term, “marriageocracy” over “democracy.” This encourages problem-solving by investigating the deeper-lying issues, rather than just reacting. She also says that her work environment is dog-family and the staff shares a garden together, which they contribute to and take from as they like.

Jodi adds that a successful part of her leadership style has to do with knowing which employees are right for which job. She calls this, “Making sure the right minds are at the table.”

So even though all these women emphasize that their leadership isn’t exactly gender-based, it’s clear that there are some common threads that run through the way the run their businesses—collaboration being key.

Towards the end of the discussion, Sylvia asks the audience to throw out some words that they think of when considering female leadership. Here’s what they say:

Compassionate|Loving| Intuitive|Listening|Assertive|Non-apologetic|Nurturing|Appreciative|Being Present|Empowered|Witt|Honesty|Allowing|Integrative Co-creative|Courageous|Open|Communicative|Smart|Write Well

By: The Library of Congress

Currently women make .77 cents for every dollar that men earn.

In 2010, American women in leadership roles was 12 percent. In 2011, this went up to 16 percent.

(In Colorado, it’s only seven percent.)

Sylvia asks, “How do we change this?”

According to the panel, if you’re a woman wanting to climb the ladder, get out there and find a mentor. Women in leadership positions have a responsibility to mentor other women.

“The world can’t hold us back. We will get there,” says Jane.

And on a final note, Jodi shares an acronym to help all of us women in the business world:

It’s all about the D.A.N.C.E.

D — Determine what your destiny is.

A — Align what you do with what you believe in.

N — Network. You can’t do it alone. Make sure you have a safety net.

C — Care for yourself.

E — Embrace change. The roads will always be changing directions.


For more information on LOHAS, visit here.


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About Brianna

Brianna is a student of life. She lives with spontaneity but intention, playfulness but compassion, and ambition but flexibility. She is also a writer, photographer, outdoor junkie, traveler and dreamer.


10 Responses to “Women Make .77 Cents for Every Dollar that Men Earn. {LOHAS Forum}”

  1. oz_ says:

    I could not agree more that the world would benefit from female leadership which is authentically female (i.e. not patterned on male leadership styles), but this hoary myth about women making 77 cents on the dollar is nonsense. It's based on a flawed (and politically suspect) calculation methodology that doesn't allow for the choices women and men make in real life. More about this here:

    In other words, this 'women make 77 cents for every dollar men make' argument is based on a blatant oversimplification of a complicated reality, and is made in order to make reality 'fit' with ideas about gender discrimination, but it does so in such a way to encourage a 'victim mentality' and I would argue is more about poisoning the discussion that getting to the facts so we can solve real problems. As such, this is a political statement intended to inflame – not a reality-based statement intended to help solve problems. And that, in a nutshell, is one of the major problems with politics today.

    I think that there is gender discrimination, but as long as we cling to misleading and dishonest calculations like the one that titles this piece, we won't be able to discuss it honestly because the conversation is intentionally toxic.

  2. However says:

    However, women SPEND about 80 cents of every consumer dollar. Apparently, men are making money so they can give it to women.

  3. elephantjournal says:

    I hadn't thought about this before and really appreciate you sharing and putting the YouTube link here. I would love to read an article about this on elephant journal. ~ Brianna

  4. oz_ says:

    Agreed Brianna – I'd like to see that, too.

    It seems the hardest thing in the world in 21st century American politics is to have an honest convo about race, class, gender. I'm going to see the movie Arise this week – if I get inspired maybe I'll write a response. 😉

    I think one thing women could do is to stop accepting men's terms as legitimate criteria by which we measure. This cedes the high ground without a fight.

    I mean, should the argument revolve around how well women have adapted to a system whose ground rules were written by men, by rich men, by rich white men, for their benefit? Methinks the convo should be about how poorly those ground rules – like GDP being the only metric that counts – have served all of us.

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