Glossary

AAUW – The American Association of University Women (AAUW) is the nation’s leading voice promoting equity and education for women and girls. Since our founding in 1881, AAUW members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day — educational, social, economic, and political.

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Equal Pay Day – Equal Pay Day was originated by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) in 1996 as a public awareness event to illustrate the gap between men’s and women’s wages.  Equal Pay Day is on April 9.

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Executive Feminism – is the contemporary open-discussion about gender bias from top professional women, coined by HuffPost author Joan Williams.  Executive feminism encompasses the potential backlash from outside viewers who are skeptical of women in power, making any progress difficult.

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Feminism – the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of sexes, that could involve the organized activity on behalf of women’s rights.  U.S. history has been broken up into three waves of feminism: first-wave feminism focused on the women’s suffrage movement. second-wave feminism took place in the late 1960s and featured women of color and demonstration, while third-wave feminism was a post-modern movement featuring “Grrls” who conveyed a punk rock vibe in the 1990s.

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Glass Ceiling – An invisible upper limit in corporations and other organizations, above which it is difficult or impossible for women to rise in the ranks.  The term became popular in 1980s and is “glass” because it is an invisible barrier that women are not aware of until they “hit” it.  Critics of the glass ceiling believe that women are choosing the wrong job paths, women don’t get the right education for senior executive positions, and/or lack experience spent in working in corporations, among others.

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IWPR – the Institute for Women’s Policy Research is an organization founded in 1987 by Heidi Hartmann to meet the need for women-centered, policy-oriented research.  IWPR works with policy makers, universities, and other organization to create reports on issues of poverty, employment and earnings, family issues, health and women’s civic and political participation, among others.

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Lean In – the women empowering movement spearheaded by Sheryl Sandberg that includes a book, interactive blog and website, and circles of 8-10 women to promote breaking the glass ceiling.  The mantra suggests women to lean-in to their careers as opposed to lean-back when thinking about having children, pondering a promotion, switching careers, negotiating a higher salary, or any other obstacle women face in the work place.

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“Mommy Wars” – coined in 1986 after Leslie Morgan Steiner published her book, Mommy Wars: Stay-at-Home and Career Moms Face Off on Their Choices, Their Lives, Their Families, the phrase encompasses the argument between working mothers and stay-at-home mothers.  In recent events, “mommy wars” have been attributed to the argument between Sheryl Sandberg and Anne-Marie Slaughter for their opposing (yet somewhat similar) views on motherhood and work.

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NAWBO – founded in 1975, the National Association of Women Business Owners is the only dues-based organization representing the interests of all women entrepreneurs across all industries with over 70 chapters nationwide.

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Paycheck Fairness Act – a piece of legislation, sponsored by Democrat Sen. Barbara Mikulski from Maryland, that would prohibit employers from paying a man more than a woman for the same job and stop employers from punishing women who call them out for pay disparities.  The bill has been rejected by both houses many times, and critics argue that businesses will file many lawsuits up if the bill ever passes.

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Wage Gap/Gender Pay Gap – the difference between male and female earnings.  According to the HuffPost, women work free 59 days of the year and in 2011 made only .77 cents to every man’s dollar, creating a wage gap of about 23%.  The IWPR estimates the gap won’t close until 2056.

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