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Edited by Diana Bilimoria and Sandy Kristin Piderit
Chapter 1: Myths in the Media: How the News Media Portrays Women in the Workforce
1 Myths in the media: how the news media portray women in the workforce Linda M. Dunn-Jensen and Linda K. Stroh* One of the most signiﬁcant changes to the workforce in the twentieth century has been the unprecedented number of women joining the labor market. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, by the year 2008 women will constitute 48 per cent of the labor force, up from 46 per cent in 1998 (Fullerton and Toossi, 2001). Even with these growing numbers of women in the workforce, women have been unable to make successful inroads into top management levels of corporate leadership. For example, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (2004), approximately 50 per cent of women hold managerial jobs, but these jobs are mostly at lower and middle levels of management. A number of women have been able to climb to the top levels of corporations, but the rate of change has not kept pace with the changes occurring in the pipeline. For example, the number of women pursuing graduate degrees has increased in the last decade. In 1995, over 50 per cent of Master’s degrees were awarded to women (Glass Ceiling Commission, 1995); by 2001, over 58 per cent of Master’s degrees were awarded to women (US Department of Education, 2002). Yet, in the Fortune 500, women ﬁlled only 15.7 per cent of the corporate ofﬁcer positions in 2002 (Catalyst, 2002). Many ask the question, why is it that women are not in...
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