Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Need for Critical Mass (by Liz)

There's a great body of research showing the need for a critical mass of women, at least 30 percent, in leadership. The data exists for Wall Street, academia and politics. There is strength in numbers. Critical mass shifts a group's influence from "special interest" to representative. It gives a voice to the underrepresented. It is the point at which groups can move from survival to growth. And yet, despite this data, women make up just 17 percent of the U.S. Congress.

People ignore data all the time. I understand that. But how can you ignore this?

Senator Debbie Stabenow's response to Republican Whip, Senator Kyle of Arizona, last Friday is a perfect example of why we need more women in politics. Apparently Senator Kyl doesn't understand that maternity care is not a women issue. Prenatal care, ultrasounds, safe deliveries and postnatal care benefit all human beings, not just the females. Yes maternity care is critical for mothers. But it's also critical for fathers and babies -- both little girls and little boys. Sure, many men get that. But for those who don't, we need more women like Senator Stabenow to enlighten them.

On a related note: With permission from the Goddess, I want to invite you to visit starting Oct.1. I will be posting a story on maternity leave there this Thursday.