Diversity Hiring and the Concept of ‘Fit’

In the newsroom diversity debate, some of the criticism has centered around this idea: that the reason why these new media ventures have such monochromatic, sausagey mastheads is that they are insulated from the wider culture, and therefore dependent on mostly white, mostly male, and mostly coastal networks for their hiring needs.

A Chat With a Woman Fielding Four Job Offers (Our Hero)

What's it like to get a bunch of job offers?

Women Choosing Lucrative Majors Often Don’t Choose Lucrative Jobs

Planet Money's Lisa Chow talked to an economist who has been looking at how majoring in certain fields affects the incomes of graduates, and she discovered that women like herself who study what are supposed to be high-reward majors (in the monetary sense) often take lower-paying jobs after they graduate. Chow says she loves her job and that matters so much more than money. Of course, people don't decide to study early childhood education or social work and think about the big bucks they're going to make—it's not always about that, which is why charts showing the highest paid majors aren't always that helpful (oh, engineers make a lot of money, and studio art majors don't? SURPRISE).

A Female Magician Is Called a Magician

And there aren’t that many of them, but there are some of them. Guesstimated reasons why in this Atlantic piece:

The way to “make it” as a magician involves being on the road a lot of time which some people choose not to do or are encouraged not to do, because of the kind of reproductive organs they have.

Also another reason is that young boys are encouraged to do magic while young girls are not, generally.

Here’s an anecdote about a magician in working in Vegas in the ’80s: “When I started out, I used to travel by myself–and if I was in Vegas, I’d go down to the bar to get a chili or something after my gig and the security guards would come over and check to see that I wasn’t a prostitute. So I started wearing pigtails and Keds downstairs to get my food!”

Movies Make $2 Billion in 2014 So Far Thanks in Part to Women and Children

Writing checks, it is still remarkably easy to slip up and write “2013.” Winter continues its gleefully brutal assault on much of the United States. The new year seems to have hardly begun — and yet, in these mewling kitten days of 2014, Hollywood has already collected $2 billion, Box Office Mojo reports:

As of Sunday, total domestic box office earnings have surpassed $2 billion in 2014. To date, the box office is up around eight percent from last year. If that pattern continues, 2014 would come close to being the first $12 billion year.

When speaking of billions, two is a lot, twice the number of cars in the entire world, and twelve is a-LOT-a-lot, the age of the oldest star clusters. What is behind this tremendous success? Well, a couple of Oscar-season carryovers from 2013, including ”Frozen,” which won Best Animated Film and Best Original Song AND is officially the fastest-selling digital release ever; and ”American Hustle,” which was all flirting and no followthrough, awards-wise, but still an entertaining entry.

Three 2014 originals of varying quality round out the top five earners of the year so far: ”The Lego Movie“ (with a score of 82 on Metacritic), ”Lone Survivor“ (60), and ”Ride Along“ (41). That is to say, Hollywood had made an ocean liner full of cash in just a few months, primarily from the following: two “prestige” pictures, one about women and one co-starring women; one highly regarded children’s film; one gritty war drama; and one urban buddy cop comedy. Not one is a sequel, or based on a comic book, or a board game, or a ride at Disneyland.

Does it really matter, you may ask. Even if original stories, taking seriously the experiences and points of view of children, women, African-Americans, soldiers, and toys, are making bank, will Hollywood ever change?

The Decline of Maternity Leave Is Affecting the Workforce

Bloomberg has a very good overview of how fully paid maternity leave has declined in the last decade and how this has affected women in the workforce.

Women and Financial Knowledge

The Times interviewed Billfold pal Helaine Olen, Julie Nelson, the chairwoman of the economics department at the University of Massachusetts Boston, Tahira K. Hira, a professor of personal finance and consumer economics at Iowa State University and a few others about how women know more about money than what the financial services industry claims. It's on point.

Women Do Have It All

All the stress: “If you happen to be a working woman and below the age of 33, congratulations – you belong to the most stressed-out demographic in America.”

Five Women

After doing the quintessential work of babysitting and accompanying choir soloists at auditions, Cheryl is my first real boss at my first real job—obnoxious state taxes, name tag, and all. The first weeks I am deferential and easily spooked by weekend rushes, realizing that I will always be battling to show up on time in the mornings.

How Many Top Orchestras Have Women Conductors Just Guess

Mother Jones has some very readable charts showing the number of orchestra conductors who are female versus the number of orchestra conductors who are male. I shall not hold you in suspense: There are more male orchestra conductors. (Of the 22 top-funded orchestras in the U.S., 1 has a female conductor.) As the number of orchestra conductors period is something of a tenuous number, it’s hard to be very upset by this or to imagine changing it, but perhaps we should all buy the girl children in our lives tiny suits and batons anyway. Tiny lab coats. Tiny power suits. Tiny astronaut helmets.

A Thing About Mothers and Working That Won’t Make You Scream

From Judith Shulevitz at The New Republic, some observations about everyone’s favorite subject: “To understand why female lawyers, doctors, bankers, academics, high-tech executives and other, often expensively pedigreed, professionals quit work to stay home, you need not search their souls for ambivalence or nostalgia. In fact, searching their souls guarantees that you won’t get the story, because it’s not to be found in individual decisions and personal stories, which are always complicated and hard to parse, but in the structural realities of the American workplace.”

The Women Who Worked at Lad Mags

Ever had a job where you were asked to do things that didn't feel right to you, but you did them anyway because you had to earn some money, and thought if you stuck around long enough, you could turn things around?