Women are on their way to becoming breadwinners in a majority of American families. Almost 40 percent of working wives out-earn their partners, a number that has been rising for more than two decades. So how will women’s economic power affect their personal lives? How will it impact men?
In a provocative talk that draws on statistics, social research and compelling personal stories, Liza Mundy argues that, while there will be growing pains for both men and women, in the end women’s rising economic power bodes well for both sexes, offering a range of new possibilities and more flexible roles. She explores the impact on dating, marriage, sex, children, and family life, with fascinating anecdotes gleaned from interviews around the world. She argues that for women, having supportive partners and stay-at-home husbands may be what it takes to break through the glass ceiling and inhabit the highest reaches of corporate life.
Women—who as recently as the 19th century were forbidden to own property in marriage, and did not have the right to their own wages—are now an economic force to be reckoned with. In this talk, Liza Mundy shows how the consumer marketplace is responding to women’s earning power, and to men’s increasing domestic inclinations. As women are spending less time in the kitchen, men are spending much more. Men, though, may have to ask permission to make these discretionary purchases: studies show that when women are breadwinners, they are more likely to retain control over purchases and investments.
How can we tap women’s full leadership potential, at a moment when doing so is more urgent than ever? Given this unprecedented degree of education and professional investment, it’s crucially important that we find ways to retain women in the workplace; promote them to leadership positions, identify their potential and ensure it is nurtured and realized. Doing so is not just fair; it’s key to innovation and economic growth.
What’s heartening to see is how the conversation has gained momentum in just the past year: Do women need to change themselves to get to the highest level, or does the workplace need to change to accommodate women? What remains to be done to get more women at the top, and what will the world look like when we get there? How different are women, really, in terms of work and leadership styles? In a lively talk that merges data, recent studies, and real-world scenarios, Liza Mundy will explore the latest news on women’s leadership and the many ways that successful organization empower women leaders.
Liza Mundy is an award-winning reporter and New York Times bestselling author of three books, including Michelle, a biography of First Lady Michelle Obama, which was translated into 16 languages. Her new book, The Richer Sex, explores the forces behind women’s rising economic power and the way this impacts marriage, dating, sex and family life. Her book was adapted for the cover of Time magazine and inspired a flurry of media coverage. She has appeared on The Colbert Report, The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, MSNBC, CNN, C-Span, Fox News, Democracy Now, Bloggingheads TV, the Leonard Lopate Show, and National Public Radio shows including Weekend Edition, All Things Considered, the Diane Rehm Show, Fresh Air with Terry Gross, Tell Me More, Talk of the Nation, On Point, and numerous other television and radio shows. A former longtime reporter for the Washington Post, she is currently director of the work and family program at the New America Foundation, and also a contributing editor at Politico Magazine. She has written for Slate, Time, the Guardian, the Washington Monthly, Huffington Post, and Lingua Franca, among others, and has received fellowships from the Japan Society, the Marine Biological Laboratory, and the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.