She Belongs Here: Celebrating GEN’s 20th Birthday
In honor of our 20th birthday, we’re releasing a series of images that capture our mission. For 20 years, we’ve been helping girls find their power. We continue this work, with the belief that girls deserve a seat at the table. She belongs in the board room, the computer lab, the director’s seat, the judge’s chair, the flight control tower, and wherever else she wants to be. She also deserves a seat in our programming, so that we can continue helping her build the skills to assert herself, believe in her power, and achieve her dreams. If you want to donate toward our scholarship fund to support the 70% of girls in our programs who are low-income and the 81% who receive our programming at no cost, donate here.
We’ll be using the above images throughout the year to enunciate how far we’ve come and why our work must continue. Here is why we selected the scenes we did:
As of 2014, only 26 women were serving as CEOs of Fortune 500 companies (5.2%). Only 5.4% were serving as CEOs of Fortune 1000 companies. In the board rooms, 16.9% of board members for Fortune 500 companies were women. A Pew Research Study showed that the major reasons they’re weren’t more women in top executive positions were “women are held to higher standards,” and “Not ready to hire/elect women leaders.” (Women and Leadership: Public Says Women are Equally Qualified, but Barriers Persist)
Women are moving the ball forward, however, and we’re impressed by these women CEOs leading the field in social impact.
As of March 2016, just 35% of the 170 active judges sitting on the thirteen federal courts of appeal are women. Only 33% of active United States district (or trial) court judges are women and there are still 6 district courts around the country where there has never been a female judge. For women of color, the numbers are even smaller. (Women in the Federal Judiciary: Still A Long Way to Go)
Yet in the court system, women are pressing forward in stunning ways. We’ve recently been impressed by Jasmine Twitty, who at 25 years old is the youngest person to get sworn in as a judge in Easley, South Carolina.
In 2014, women accounted for 17% of all directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers working on the top 250 (domestic) grossing films. This breaks down to women representing: 7% of directors, 11% of writers, 19% of executive producers, 23% of producers, 18% of editors, and 5% of cinematographers. The lack of women represented behind the scenes probably has something to do with the lack of women onscreen: in 2014, only 12% of protagonists featured in the top 100 (domestic) grossing films were women. (He, Himself, and Him)
More women in Hollywood have begun to speak out against the inequality, including Jennifer Lawrence who has been working to educate the public on the gender pay gap in Hollywood and advocate for fair wages.
A 2011 study by the Department of Commerce showed that only 24% of STEM jobs in the U.S. are held by women. The National Girls Collaborative Project states “Female scientists and engineers are concentrated in different occupations than are men, with relatively high shares of women in the social sciences (58%) and biological and medical sciences (48%) and relatively low shares in engineering (13%) and computer and mathematical sciences (25%) (NSF, Science & Engineering Indicators, 2014).” (Women in STEM: A Gender Gap to Innovation)
We’ve been thrilled to partner with the Thinkery and Dell to infuse our programming with more STEM and STEAM activities. We’re pioneering programming that explores the links between social-emotional development and design thinking that leads to innovation.