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Remember how the socialists here wax eloquent about the superiority of European culture? Looking at facts as opposed to emotion proves the left wrong...again.
via Newsweek http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11435567/site/newsweek/ For all the myths of equality that Europe tells itself, the Continent is by and large a woeful place for a woman who aspires to lead. According to a paper published by the International Labor Organization this past June, women account for 45 percent of high-level decision makers in America, including legislators, senior officials and managers across all types of businesses. In the U.K., women hold 33 percent of those jobs. In Swedenâ€”supposedly the very model of global gender equalityâ€”they hold 29 percent.
Germany comes in at just under 27 percent, and Italian women hold a pathetic 18 percent of power jobs. These sad statistics say as much about Europe's labor markets, lingering welfare-state policies and corporate leadership as they do about its attitudes toward women. It's not that European women are stuck in the house. (After all, 57 percent of women in the EU 15 work, less than the U.S. rate of 65 percent, but not dramatically so.) The real problem is that Europe has been consistently unable to tap the highest potential of its female workers, who represent half of college graduates in most countries. Women, it seems, can have a jobâ€”but not a high-powered career.
Consider as well the double-edged benefits of part-time workâ€”also held up in Europe as a solution for working mothers. In reality, it's a trap for those who want to get ahead. A recent study by the U.K. Equal Opportunities Commission found that women part-time workers made 40 percent less per hour than menâ€”the same pay gap as 30 years ago. The two-tier nature of the European labor marketâ€”in which jobs tend to be either lucrative and protected or low-skilled and precariousâ€”makes it tougher to turn those part-time jobs into better full-time ones. Taken together, the combination of a very long leave and a part-time job "can give the impression that women aren't serious about investing in their careers,"
Europe's workplace culture may not be as hard-driving as America's, but it is certainly more rigid. Only one in five Europeans works some sort of flexible schedule, as compared with almost 30 percent in the United States. And because European companies have traditionally invested less in technology than their American counterparts, the notion of such accepted U.S. practices as "remote work" are less common. So-called face time also counts for much more in Europe than in America. "The problem is that management is command-and-control-focused, rather than objective-based," says Alexandra Jones, associate director of the Work Foundation in Britain. "When bosses make decisions about who is doing a good job based on who spends the most time at their desks, then women are inevitably disadvantaged."
A great culture, one where women systematically need to lie about their marital status and assert that they won't get pregnant. Meanwhile, demographics show that low Euro birth rates plus high immigration and subsequent birth rates coupled with lack of cultural assimilation forecast a very different Europe.
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Pissah, I lived in Europe for a number of years, including Sweden, and I agree there is a lot more sexism than people think. Europe is great in the way it promotes the arts and in its fascinating history.
Some of the European countries have great social welfare programs (Sweden and Norway come to mind), some are great for their individualism (France and Spain come to mind), some are great for their traditional values and conservative ways (such as Switzerland and Italy), and so on. Norway for a while had a government that I believe was more than 50% female, but countries like Spain and France have a long way to go in this regard. I think some of this has to do with the lingering effects of Catholicism.
Also, by and large the European countries are more restrictive in terms of immigration and less successful in terms of integration than we are. But, when it comes to great food, great beauty, and great history, yes, much of Europe has the advantage. I'm sure there are people here who think Europe is better than the U.S., just as there are people in Europe who prefer the U.S., but by and large what people want to do is cherry pick the best of each country, not take everything.
As a male, I see nothing wrong with sexism. I just wish Miss Gcat would see it that way.
There are problems with our work culture, but I'll take my 35 hours per week and six weeks' holiday, thanks. (My terms and conditions are good but I will never earn the equivalent of $100k). Many of us look at American work-life balance and think you are insane. You definitely have a higher standard of living than we do, but you most certainly pay the price for it.
The blog of our recent trip to The States (September and October 2012):
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