Seats at the Table: Women in Politics

You might have seen the March 9th posting on YaleWomen’s Facebook page that opened: “At least 494 women, both Republicans and Democrats, have said they’re running for Congress this year, according to the Center for American Women and Politics. That’s up from 312 women who filed to run for House or Senate in 2016.”

And it’s not just Congress.  Women are running at all levels of government. Recently, I met one at SOM’s student-led Philanthropy Conference, which draws professionals from throughout the tri-state area. She introduced herself by saying that she’d attended YaleWomen’s 2014 Gender Rules Symposium and that hearing Debbie Walsh, executive director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers, had changed her life. In what way, I asked. I am running for state senator, she said. YaleWomen never knows where its seeds might be planted, or when or how they might take root.

If you are considering running for political office, be sure to connect with the Women’s Campaign School at Yale. WCSY is a nonpartisan, issue-neutral political campaign-training program, the mission of which is to increase the number and influence of women in elected and appointed office in the United States and around the globe. For two decades, WCSY has launched hundreds of women into the world of political campaigns, including running for office and managing campaigns, as well as advancing their careers in public service.

The 2018 session runs June 11-15 in New Haven.  Registration is open through April 16th.

- Susan E. Lennon ’85 MPPM

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All Yale’s Treasures Will Be Yours Once Again! Yale for Life

On March 10th, Kathy Edersheim 87, founding YaleWomen Council member, posted on YaleWomen’s Facebook page: “Check out the fabulous opportunity to join a week-long, intensely-educational, delightfully-social and possibly life-changing educational program at Yale this summer, Yale for Life. Yale for Life is the only alum education opportunity to be a true Yale student once again: living with alums in the undergraduate dorms (they're better than you remember!); taking thought-provoking and highly-participatory discussion seminar classes back in good old Linsly-Chit (with its lovely Old Campus views) with Yale's finest and most-engaging professors; and studying, communing, and socializing with many other "alum scholars." For more information and to register, click here.

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YaleWomen Chicago Hosts Conversation with Author Joanne Lipman '83 To Discuss Ways to Bridge the Gender Gap in Workplace Culture


On February 26th, YaleWomen Chicago hosted author Joanne Lipman to discuss the gender gap between men and women at work -- the topic of Lipman’s recently published book, That’s What She Said: What Men Need to Know (and Women Need to Tell Them) About Working Together. (Elisa Spungen Bildner’s interview of Joanne Lipman – the former Chief Content Officer of publishing company Gannett and Editor-in-Chief of USA TODAY and the USA TODAY NETWORK -- appeared in the June 2017 issue of this enewsletter.)

Lipman’s book is particularly timely in the wake of the #MeToo movement and recent news about predatory behavior in the workplace.  To Lipman, predatory behavior in the workplace is just a sign of other systemic issues of gender inequality in the workplace. 

Lipman talked about how unconscious bias – bias that is buried so deeply that we don’t know it exists – affects workplaces and perpetuates the gender gap, even at companies that have implemented policies to push for gender equity.  She also highlighted how there is a sizeable respect gap between men and women: between a man and a woman with the same title, the man will get more respect and more power, which translates into more pay. 

Lipman recommended several strategies to help close the gender gap in office culture, including implementing a “no interruption” rule during meetings; using the strategy of amplification – having one colleague repeat another woman’s ideas so that she gets the credit for it; and also forming brag buddies – having a friend brag about your work – as a way to get more recognition for one’s work.

One of the rallying cries of the book – and a point Lipman emphasized during the talk -- is the importance of getting women back into the workforce.  Lipman asserts this could add up to $2.1 trillion to the gross domestic product of the U.S. economy over the next two decades.  

The YaleWomen Chicago event was a great success.  Over 30 Yale women alums attended and feedback was hugely positive, with a first-time YaleWomen Chicago event attendee praising the “open dialogue” with Lipman and the opportunity to meet alums in the area.  Another alum called it “a genuine treat” in a nice setting, with an interactive audience, welcoming environment, and engaging topic.

According to the organizers of the event, “Identifying the subliminal bias messages through conversation is our first action.  Recognizing the need for improvement, resisting old patterns, and being intentional about our strategies to increase respect, equal pay, and recognition will be a catalyst for change.”

Susie Krentz ’80, Margot McMahon ’84 MFA, Wendy Greenhouse ’77, MA ’82, MPhil ’84, PhD ’89, Becky Huinker ’93, and Stephanie Yu Lim ’00 contributed to this article.


Photo courtesy of YaleWomen Chicago.  

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YaleWomen Global Newsletter | December 2017

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Women Entrepreneurs at Yale ([email protected]) Initiative Launched with Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale

The newly formed Women Entrepreneurs at Yale ([email protected]) Initiative, led by Cassandra Walker-Harvey and Jennifer McFadden, aims to unite female leaders within the Yale community around discussions of innovation within their diverse fields of work and study. The initiative — part of the Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale — is a way to formalize the collective efforts of Yale’s female leaders, to engage with a broader set of stakeholders from across Yale, and to continue creating a more entrepreneurial community of women innovators at Yale.

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Support YaleWomen

Since YaleWomen’s inception in 2011, alums have contributed their time, talent, and treasure to make our vision of “Connecting women, Igniting ideas, and Transforming the world” a reality.

YaleWomen is an all-volunteer organization that exists for and by Yale women alums. We charge no dues. We receive no direct funding from Yale.  None of our achievements would have been possible without your help and financial support – from these quarterly enewsletters that tell the stories and amplify the voices of women alums and leaders at Yale, to webinars that connect alums around the world in addressing timely issues that women face today, to social media that offer places of inclusive, vibrant, respectful and meaningful exchange, and chapters that engage Yale women alums at the local level through a rich variety of events.

If you value this work, please consider making a charitable gift to YaleWomen. Your continued support will enable us to maintain existing initiatives and build vibrant new programs. Your donations will also allow us to enhance support for our website, this enewsletter, and social media platforms – crucial avenues for communication that connect YaleWomen around the world.

You can donate online here or by sending a check to:

YaleWomen, Inc.
206 Elm Street, Box #2196
New Haven, CT 06520-2196

Your gift may also qualify for your employer’s Matching Contributions plan.

YaleWomen’s future is bright and we believe the possibilities are unlimited: together, we can continue to build an organization of informed, engaged, and dedicated Yale women who have so much to share with the world and with each other!


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Call for Nominations for the YaleWomen Award of Excellence

Do you know of an individual (or individuals) who has been an exceptional advocate for justice, equality, and access for women?  If so, we encourage you to submit your nomination(s) for the YaleWomen Award for Excellence by January 15, 2018.

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Join the YaleWomen Council

“To create a vibrant, engaged community of alums, drawn together by the common thread of our Yale experiences, that is committed to advancing women's voices and perspectives and to enriching and inspiring one another, Yale, and the world.” (YaleWomen Mission, 2011)

The YaleWomen Council is responsible for advancing this mission. Consider joining us!

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YaleWomen Council member Anne Boucher ’80 receives the Yale Medal

Anne Boucher ’80, a member of the YaleWomen Council and co-chair of the Chapters Committee, was one of five individuals selected by the Association of Yale Alumni (AYA) to receive the Yale Medal during Assembly LXXVII in November.

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Do you know about the Yale Women Faculty Forum?

The Yale Women Faculty Forum has just released its 2016-2017 Annual Report detailing the organization’s progress on policy, awareness and gender equity initiatives over the past year. Established in 2001 during Yale’s Tercentennial year to highlight the importance of women faculty at the University, the organization aims to foster gender equity through policy, initiatives, research and innovative programs. The report includes a preview of highlights of Women, Men Faculty and Yale University: The View, which consists of data compiled every five years on the demographic breakdown of men and women faculty at Yale and in leadership positions. Key findings include: 47% (7/15) of Yale’s schools are headed by female deans following the recent naming of five new female deans, compared with 16.6% (2/12) five years ago. However, the number of female chairs at the Yale School of Medicine, where about 60% of the faculty are located, has not changed in 25 years. In 1992 there were 10% female chairs (2/21 departments) whereas today it is 11% (3/28 departments). To keep abreast of WFF news, sign up for their newsletter and follow them on Facebook.


Veena McCoole 19

Photo of Pauli Murray, Senior Fellow, Yale Law School. Office of Public Affairs, Yale University. Courtesy of Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library.

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