Take Action
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Take action

Together we can shorten the timeline, but we need everyone’s help to do it. Here’s what you can do.

Ways to take action

Start a conversation

How do you divide household responsibilities?

How do you divide up the cooking, cleaning, finance management, household maintenance, and other domestic tasks in your household? On average, women in the U.S. do 4 hours of unpaid labor in the household a day, compared to only 2.5 hours for men.

Why do certain tasks in your household fall to you and not other members of your family? How has that impacted your life? What would it take to share the load more equally?
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Why aren’t there more women in senior roles at work?

Why aren’t there more women in manager and senior executive roles at work?

For every 100 men who are promoted, only 79 women are promoted, regardless of differences in performance and past experience. By mid-career, men are 70% more likely than women to be executives.

What biases—explicit or implicit—may be driving this difference? How does unequal domestic work at home (e.g., cooking, cleaning, managing finances, household maintenance) play a role? What can companies do to address these issues and given women an equal chance to advance?
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Why are women of color under-represented in leadership positions?

Why are women of color so severely under-represented in senior roles in business and government? Currently, only 1 of the 500 largest companies in the U.S. is led by a woman of color. Only 10% of members of Congress are women of color.

What additional biases do women of color face that make it more challenging to climb the ranks of corporations and our government institutions?
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Create pathways for women in tech

Women represent only 26% of the tech workforce in the U.S.; African-American women are 3%; Hispanic women are 1%. And the percentage of women graduating with computing degrees in the U.S. has fallen in the past three decades—from 37% in 1985 to 19% today.

Support groups working to create pathways into tech for women and girls, like Black Girls Code, Code2040, and AI4All. Support groups building leadership, technical, and entrepreneurship skills for black, Latina, and Native American young women on their way to tech careers—a fully diverse tech sector could add more than $500 billion to the economy.
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Elect more women to public office

Despite being 51% of the population, women hold only 24% of the seats in Congress and 25% of the seats in state legislatures. This is driven in part by the fact that women are 25% less likely than men to be recruited to run for office.

Without representation in positions of power at all levels of public office, women are not helping shape the policies that affect our lives. Support groups that encourage and train women to run for public office, like ReflectUs, Running Start and Higher Heights.
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Advocate for paid family and medical leave

The U.S. is the only developed country that doesn’t have a law guaranteeing paid leave for new mothers. 23% of women return to work within just two weeks of giving birth. Only 17% of workers have access to paid family leave through their employers.

Support groups advocating for paid leave legislation at the state and federal levels, such as PL+US, the National Partnership on Women & Families, and MomsRising.
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Support solutions that save women’s lives

The U.S. has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world, and over the past two decades, that rate has more than doubled. Black and Native American women are three times more likely than other women to die in childbirth.

Support groups working to find solutions to cut the rate of maternal mortality in the U.S., especially for women of color, like the National Birth Equity Collaborative, Every Mother Counts, and HealthConnect One.
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Ignite change

Recognize the impact of unpaid care work

62% of parents have difficulty finding affordable, high-quality childcare. 42% of senior-level women say they don’t want to advance professionally because it would require too much of their families to make such a promotion possible.

Get engaged by recognizing the impact unpaid care work has on people and consider ideas that could better serve the needs of modern families. Explore The Care System to learn more.
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Take action on sexual harassment and discrimination

Up to 85% of women have faced some form of sexual harassment in the workplace over their careers. 80% of women who experience unwanted touching or other forms of sexual harassment in the workplace change jobs within two years.

Support Time’s Up, a national movement to fight for safe, fair, and dignified work for women of all kinds. If you sign up, they’ll send you periodic updates with ways you can get involved and take action.

Time’s Up recently joined with players from the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team to demand equal pay for every woman in every industry. Show your support for Time’s Up, Pay Up.
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Ignite change

Volunteer for candidates you believe in

In 20 states, including large states like Florida, New York, and Illinois, there has never been a woman governor. Only 21% of big city mayors are women.

Without women in positions of power to help shape policy at all levels, progress will continue to drag. Volunteer for a woman candidate you believe in who is running for office in your community, city, or state.
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Recognize bias

Why aren’t there more women in the workplace?

Why is the percentage of women in the workplace is lower than the percentage of men?

Women are 54% more likely than men to voluntarily leave the workforce, primarily due to family responsibilities. 61% of women who aren’t employed said that family responsibilities were the reason they were not working, compared to 37% of men.

How many of the women in your life are currently working outside the home? Why might those who aren’t working have left or never joined the workforce to begin with? Interview your mother, grandmother, daughter, aunt, favorite teacher, or another important woman in your life about the barriers, needs, and values that shaped their decisions.
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Recognize bias

Think about the authors you read. Do you notice any patterns?

Think about the last several books you read. Do you notice any patterns in who the authors are?

Black, Latinx, and Native American authors combined wrote only 7% of new children’s books published in 2017, despite representing 37% of the U.S. population. This trend has resulted in only 13% of the children’s books in the past 24 years containing multicultural content. And women make up just 20% of the non-fiction authors on The New York Times bestseller list.

Read more books written by women—and by women of color specifically. Buy them at bookstores. Check them out from the library. Give them as gifts to friends. Read them to the children in your life. Get great recommendations at Well-Read Black Girl.
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Recognize bias

Sponsor women in your workplace

Did you know that men are 46% more likely to have a sponsor at work than women? A sponsor is someone with power who advocates for your success at work and helps remove obstacles for your progress. In fact, 87% of women surveyed at large companies report they do not have a sponsor.

Women with sponsors are 19% more likely to feel satisfied with their rate of advancement in the company, 22% more likely to ask for a stretch assignment, and 27% more likely to negotiate for a pay raise

Think about a woman in your life who could benefit from your support. Now consider introducing her to people in your network, inviting her to key meetings, and creating opportunities for her to take on new assignments.
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Recognize Bias

Learn how to recognize and combat gender bias at work

Fewer women than men are hired for entry-level positions, and at every level of promotion, women’s representation drops further. Men hold 62% of management positions compared to 38% for women. This isn’t an accident of fate. It’s caused by gender bias, both deliberate and unconscious, and it holds women back every day.

Lean In’s 50 Ways to Fight Bias program is a great resource to learn how to recognize and combat gender bias in the workplace through videos, facilitated workshop tools, and research-backed solutions.
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