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Looking At The Lives Of Powerful Working Women

We look at the lives of powerful working women, and how their rise has created a less equal world.

Author and professor Alison Wolf. Her new book is 'The XX Factor: How the Rise of Working Women Has Created a Far Less Equal World.' (Kings College, London)

Author and professor Alison Wolf. Her new book is ‘The XX Factor: How the Rise of Working Women Has Created a Far Less Equal World.’ (Kings College, London)

For the first time in history, in much of the world, says my guest today, women are moving boldly into the ranks of the power and business elite.  Female billionaires in China.  Women doctors and lawyers and power players in the USA and beyond.  It’s great and it’s exciting, says Alison Wolf, but don’t assume it’s a victory for what used to be called the “sisterhood.”  A female elite, she says, is lining up with — often literally marrying — a male elite. Concentrating privilege.  Shutting down mobility. Up next On Point:  the rise of women — and its ripples.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guest

Alison Wolf, author of the book, “The XX Factor: How The Rise of Working Women Has Created a Far Less Equal World,” professor of public sector management at King’s College, London and education policy adviser to the U.K. government.

Katherine Newman, dean of the Znvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University, co-author of “Taxing The Poor: Doing Damage to the Truly Disadvantaged” and “No Shame In My Game: The Working Poor in the Inner City.”

From Tom’s Reading List

The Guardian: ‘The XX Factor’ By Alison Wolf – review — “The various studies make it clear that it is education that’s the key to success – no wonder the Taliban are so against it. But even education can be trumped by family: a qualified person may still lose an appointment to a favoured son – but equally to a daughter; and even in the US 90% of registered businesses are family ones.”

The Telegraph: It Can Be Lonely At the Top For Women With the XX Factor — “Because she pours all her efforts into work, the XX woman usually reaches the top of her profession. She thus wields immense influence, despite being in a minority. Not only do her colleagues and bosses bow to her will; the media megaphones her opinion on gender equality, a woman’s ‘human right’ to get out to work, and the need for more child-care places rather than a tax break for single-earner couples.”

New York Times: The Price Of Equality — “These women, like their male counterparts, now marry later and have fewer children than their less-educated sisters. They take shorter breaks from paid full-time employment (a reverse from past trends) and claim an ever greater share of overall female income while relying on nannies and other household help. And although the professional world of the elites is increasingly integrated when it comes to gender, most women, including those domestic helpers, tend to work in professions that are still very much segregated along gender lines.”

Read An Excerpt From ‘The XX Factor: How The Rise of Working Women Has Created a Far Less Equal World’ by Alison Wolf

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