Woman Putting on PPE

The Impact of COVID-19 on Gender Equality

Jason Cheng

The economic downturn caused by the current COVID-19 outbreak has substantial implications for gender equality, both during the downturn and the subsequent recovery. Compared to “regular” recessions, which affect men’s employment more severely than women’s employment, the employment drop related to social distancing measures has a large impact on sectors with high female employment shares. In addition, closures of schools and daycare centers have massively increased child care needs, which has a particularly large impact on working mothers. The effects of the crisis on working mothers are likely to be persistent, due to high returns to experience in the labor market. Beyond the immediate crisis, there are opposing forces which may ultimately promote gender equality in the labor market. First, businesses are rapidly adopting flexible work arrangements, which are likely to persist. Second, there are also many fathers who now have to take primary responsibility for child care, which may erode social norms that currently lead to a lopsided distribution of the division of labor in house work and child care.

Remote Work Gender Disparity Chart, with More Women Preferring Remote Work

The Remote Work Report by Zapier

Jason Cheng

Will the office be obsolete by 2030? Knowledge workers think so.
About three-quarters of knowledge workers would be willing to quit a job that didn’t allow remote working for one that did.

Companies looking to attract and retain talent should think about their remote work policies. 95 percent of U.S. knowledge workers want to work remotely, and 74 percent would be willing to quit a job to do so.

Women value remote work more than men, but are less likely to have the opportunity.

62 percent of female knowledge workers say the option to work remotely is one of the perks they would most want an employer to offer, as opposed to just 53 percent of male knowledge workers. And yet there are significant gender disparities: 40 percent of female knowledge workers say they don’t work remotely because their company doesn’t allow it, compared to 25 percent of men of the same group saying the same thing.

Meet the Woman who Discovered a Whole New Type of Galaxy

Jason Cheng

Now a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Arizona’s Steward Observatory, Mutlu-Pakdil analyses data collected from telescopes to help unravel the mysteries of the universe—especially how galaxies form and change over time.

While Mutlu-Pakdil and her team continue to study the intriguing object, she hopes that her work and her story will inspire other immigrants and students, especially those from underrepresented communities.

Illustration of Charlotte Moore, by Daniel Hertzberg

This Computer Was an Astronomy Star: Charlotte Moore Sitterly

Jason Cheng

Computer used to be a job title, referring to a person who performed calculations on behalf of higher-ups who didn’t want to churn through data for hours or weeks at a time. In the early 20th century, most computers were women. (In the 1940s, one wag suggested we use the term kilogirl as a measure of digital computing power, where one kilogirl equals 1,000 hours of labor.) In 1920, a 22-year-old named Charlotte Moore, after dazzling the mathematics department at Swarthmore College, joined Princeton’s Department of Astronomy as a computer. She rose to astronomy’s highest ranks, a solar specialist who published five monographs and more than 85 papers.

Life of the Mind: Stories of Lives Upended

Jason Cheng

In 1992, Aleksandar Hemon traveled to Chicago on a journalistic exchange — and, when his native Bosnia was engulfed by war, found himself stranded. He wrote his first short story in English in 1995. Since then, the literary accolades have flowed, including a 2003 Guggenheim Foundation grant, a 2004 “genius grant” from the MacArthur Foundation, two PEN awards, and two National Magazine Awards. His first novel, The Lazarus Project (2008), was a finalist for both a National Book Award and a National Book Critics Circle Award.

Last fall, Hemon joined the Program in Creative Writing as a professor. His latest work is two conjoined memoirs: My Parents: An Introduction and This Does Not Belong to You (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). The family memoir came first. But as he revisited his childhood, Hemon says, “a lot of strange, interesting and baffling memories popped up,” and he assembled those “fragments and reflections” into This Does Not Belong to You.

The Average Age of Motherhood and Fatherhood are 26 years and 31 years respectively

Read this before you have a baby (especially if you’re a woman)

Jason Cheng

It seems so obvious: having kids affects men and women differently. Sure, emotionally and financially but most clearly in the simple way mothers and fathers spend their time. And when you actually look at how 10,900 Americans carve up 24 hours, the conclusion is pretty stark: if you’re a woman who enjoys paid work or relaxing activities, having kids will cramp your style. Being married with kids also isn’t looking like a great idea according to the numbers.

Portrait of Shirley Chisholm

These Black Women Changed The Course Of History In The Past 150 Years

Jason Cheng

The stories, accomplishments and lives of Black women have never traditionally had a place of importance in mainstream history. For centuries, achievements reached by Black women have only ever been celebrated in the Black community, amongst those who knew how big of a deal it was. But as the years have gone by, society has learned not only to embrace these milestones, but finally celebrate the noteworthy accomplishments Black women have brought to the table: Althea Gibson was the first Black woman to compete in the Wimbledon Championships (and win, paving the way for Venus and Serena Williams); Michelle Obama became the first Black First Lady of the United States, who used her platform to spread knowledge about equality, nutrition and general kindness.
But before the world knew the Gibsons, the Obamas and the Harrises, there were the Chisholms, the Hamers and the Mahoneys. From as far back as the 1800s to present day, Black women have been shaking up societal norms and becoming vanguards for positions now deemed normal for a Black woman today to have. These seven women took admirable steps in their respective fields over the last 141 years to become medical experts, politicians, inventors and the like so the Black woman of today could follow their dreams as well.

Pop Art of.a woman with an Atom for an Eye

Most Wikipedia Profiles Are of Men. This Scientist Is Changing That.

kendra

Jessica Wade has added nearly 700 Wikipedia biographies for important female and minority scientists in less than two years. “Our science can only benefit the whole of society if it’s done by the whole of society.” — Dr. Jessica Wade, a physicist who adds biographies of female and minority scientists to Wikipedia daily Fewer than 20 percent of biographies on Wikipedia in English are of women, …