Tag Archives: Grrr

Civilization – not changing much.

Are the richest Americans any different? No. About 9/10ths of the wealthiest Americans are men. Only 1/10th of the Forbes’ list of America’s 400 richest people were women. To be precise, 42 out of 400. 

There’s a fair bit of inherited wealth on both sides of the gender divide, and quite a portfolio dispersion so it’s not possible to speculate about cultural fields and gender within the list. However, it would be interesting to check back over time and see if there is any significant increase in the numbers of wealthy women. I suspect that not a great deal has changed, but a sense of the timescale for changes relating to gender and racial equality might ensue. I think that African-Americans and Native Americans should be feeling justifiably left out. 

http://www.forbes.com/wealth/forbes-400/list


 

Fractions – or who doesn’t own the world.

Men own 9/10ths of the world. (For those who switch off the moment feminism is mentioned.) Following on from my previous post about power, if you do the math on the Forbes’ rich list, it becomes clear that men own the world. A good 9/10ths of it anyway.

This was Forbes’ 25th annual list of the richest people on the planet. Kind of interesting to see who owns the world isn’t it? “This year’s list broke records in size (1,210 billionaires) and total net worth ($4.5 trillion).” I did a quick survey for gender distribution of the first 15 pages. I random sampled the rest of the 221 total pages and the figures get even less female friendly as you drop down into the ordinary billionaires.

Male & Family: 21
Male: 115
Male & Female: 3
Female: 9
Female & Family: 4

So women have at best a 16:136 world wealth ratio. I’m betting that if you sample the lot then you can say less than 1/10th of world personal wealth is owned by women. Or that men own 9/10ths of the world.


Doing More Math – Death of Feminism

Why is feminism dead? Following on from my previous post about power, if you do the math on the Forbes’ rich list, it becomes clear that men own the world. A good 9/10ths of it anyway.

This was Forbes’ 25th annual list of the richest people on the planet. Kind of interesting to see who owns the world isn’t it? “This year’s list broke records in size (1,210 billionaires) and total net worth ($4.5 trillion).” I did a quick survey for gender distribution of the first 15 pages. I random sampled the rest of the 221 total pages and the figures get even less female friendly as you drop down into the ordinary billionaires.

Male & Family: 21
Male: 115
Male & Female: 3
Female: 9
Female & Family: 4
So women have at best a 16:136 world wealth ratio. I’m betting that if you sample the lot then you can say less than 1/10th of world personal wealth is owned by women. Or that men own 9/10ths of the world.


Doing the Math – Women and Power

Doing the math. Powerful women account for 5:63 of the Forbes ‘Most Powerful People on the Planet’ list. That’s 1:13 (rounded up). While that’s probably an improvement on the past, there is still a long way to go, given that the human sex ratio is still roughly equal. 

More interesting to me are the 5 powerful females, the fields they are in and the relation of their position in the All Powerful list compared to the Women’s Own list.
http://www.forbes.com/wealth/power-women#p_1_s_arank 

1st amongst Women is Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, 6th in the All Stars.
2nd Woman is Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State, 20th in the All Stars.
3rd Woman is Dilma Roussef, President of Brazil, 16th in the All Stars.
7th Woman is Sonia Gandhi, President of India NCP, 9th in the All Stars.
14th Woman is Oprah Winfrey, Media Personality, 64th in the All Stars. 

Doing the math. There are 9 women ahead of Oprah on the Women’s Own list who don’t get a look in on the ‘really’ powerful list. Why not? These women are largely in the business fields. They are CEOs and COOs and MDs. For women, that’s a pretty big deal obviously, but one that doesn’t cut it in the ‘real’ world. This gender imbalance is interesting because there are two apparent issues. 

One is that the methodologies for choosing each list were subtly different although Forbes appear to be selecting by the same criteria; power, as shown by wealth, size of empire and influence. Subtle differences in selection criteria, i.e. appearance perhaps, show the impact of that selection bias can sneakily have in many fields leading to gender and race imbalances. 

The second really interesting thing though is the evidence of female and male cultural spheres. This gender bias is still going strong from the bottom, to the pointy end of the most powerful people. Women are still nurses, teachers and entertainers. Men are still businessmen, bankers and engineers. 

The problem with that is the overt way in which power is not evenly distributed across occupations. Didn’t Angela McRobbie say that ‘if visibility equalled power, teenage girls would rule the world’. Still doing the math. The figures show an exponential decrease in power as occupation changes from ‘masculine’ to ‘feminine’. Oprah is 14th in the Powerful Women list but only 64th on the All Powerful list. 

The entire All Powerful list is comprised entirely of rulers, CEOs and MDs. The only entertainment aside from Oprah is the inclusion of Julian Assange in last place. Women’s power even in the rarified Forbes business world reflects a lower level of penetration and a feminine touch. About one third of powerful women are heads of small countries or large NGOs. About a third of powerful women are running female centric businesses, media, fashion and health oriented. The remaining powerful women are split between entertainers, women with inherited or partner given power and some really powerful people who nonetheless, aren’t powerful enough to make the top list of ‘really’ powerful people. 

No wonder women are bad at math. Nothing ever adds up right.


 

What does it mean? World’s Most Powerful Women – Forbes

Gallery: The Women Who Matter Most

They are politicians, CEOs, bankers, cultural icons, billionaires and entrepreneurs. A fresh look at power as reach and influence. Continue

It’s Forbes magazine, so the focus is on wealth. But what is there to disagree with in their methodology for calculating influence? Reach, power and wealth. I have two questions. Are we normalizing a masculine model of power, therefore downplaying areas in which women have power? (Or ought to be seen as powerful.) And would that not create an apples vs oranges scenario? Perhaps the interest is in exploring the areas in which women are most successful compared to men and vice versa and watching the shifting demographics. The feminization and subsequent remaking of certain industries, or occupations within them. These lists can only go so far.

Women are still more powerful in entertainment and politics than business or technology. Although, arguably a few women have always had strong political influence, so what is changing? These days a women is not always politically powerful through family and marital alliances.