“We all have an obligation, in as far as we are capable, to work to diminish human suffering (thoughtfully, carefully, as allies),” she writes. Always question, she advised. Policymakers told her there was no money for women’s programs, so she crunched the numbers and proved them wrong: “Turns out there is money to be had for these things. Turns out that with a calculator, a passing knowledge of tax policy, and a big love of data, a woman can show you the money.”
"Those babies-in-boardrooms images and their inevitable “Woo hoo, lean in!” commentary are totally counterproductive to advocating in any real way on behalf of working parents. I would argue strenuously that working parents can be just as productive, valuable and engaged as their counterparts without kids—but we can’t do any of that while we’re parenting. Pretending that we can or should is absurd and unhelpful."
Setting aside a fixed amount of leave just for fathers, acknowledges that home care is not just a job for the mother. Both parents have an abiding interest in bringing up their children and it’s appropriate for the state to recognize this. Providing fathers with a special benefit also triggers a whole series of favourable knock-on effects that work to tackle various gender gaps. In Quebec, for example, fathers are much more likely to be engaged in housekeeping and other domestic chores than their counterparts on the Prairies (41 per cent vs 25 per cent). At least part of this trend is likely attributable to the fact Quebec fathers spend more time at home with their newborn.
In 2018, men of all ages and all across the country, married or single, educated or not, are far more feminist than ever before. This needs to be acknowledged. The struggle to transform our institutions, our politics and our culture will succeed much faster if more men join the fight. But if you want an ally, you have to at least acknowledge they’re on your team, not your rival.
Academics have devoted decades to researching them; politicians have spent nearly as long pledging legislation to close the gap; businesswomen who’ve cracked the glass ceiling have spawned whole industries counselling other women to do the same. But since the second and third waves of feminism rolled in and ebbed, women’s wages have climbed a mere 10 per cent, adjusting for inflation. That snail’s-pace progress, according to Canadians polled in the latest Canadian Women’s Foundation survey, is the biggest barrier to gender equality.
Don’t be that dude who doesn’t quite believe in the wage gap, or heard something about these 10 factors that proves it all levels out, or that the whole thing is a myth you’re too wise to buy into. “There’s still a lot of resistance to accepting the wage gap as fact,” says Fay Faraday, co-chair of the Equal Pay Coalition. Replace your conspiracy theories with this hard fact: “No matter how the gap is sliced—hourly pay, weekly pay, annual pay in every industry and every sector—women are getting paid less,” she says.
All of the “good guys” in the world, who privately agree but never speak out and never take action, can’t change that. It’s just like driving uphill: you can’t do it in neutral. It will take men and women to address the problem and make concrete plans to change the demographics of this industry. We need people to frankly assess their current hiring practices, to set targets for change, to serve as mentors, and to offer paid internships. We need people who reach out and make a point of including photojournalists of diverse genders, cultures, races and backgrounds.
As algorithms play an increasingly widespread role in society, automating—or at least influencing—decisions that impact whether someone gets a job or how someone perceives her identity, some researchers and product developers are raising alarms that data-powered products are not nearly as neutral as scientific rhetoric leads us to believe. And this is a problem of optics, too: When the myth that science is objective combines with the much-hyped advances that AI portends, the view of AI threatens to swing the other way, leading some to believe that it’s the AI technology itself that is acting maliciously.