The World According to Tiff Sniff

Meandering ponderings and wonderings on the state of things.

No glass ceiling?

At our CABLE lunch Wednesday, we were given the first look at the results of study conucted in Tennessee by CABLE and Vanderbilt. The researchers studied the inclusion of women in corporate leadership. The results were shocking, to me.

Only 7% of seats on corporate boards in Tennessee are held by women. 52% of corporations in the state have no women at all on their boards. Only one has three (usually out of at least 10-12), and none have more.

Yet women make up 44% of the total workforce. If you ask me, that's a pretty serious discrepancy. The numbers for other minorities are equally bleak.

If you want to read more about the study, you can access the report here.

So what do we do about it? I'm not sure. For people working in corporate America, there are more options. For the rest of us, I think it's important just to be aware of what's going on. Not to operate under the mistaken assumption that we are now equals. The opportunities for women today are amazing, compared to what they were even 50 years ago. But there is room for improvment yet.

I hope this doesn't sound too negative. In fact, I think women today have wonderful opportunities. Before I was shown this study, I would not have thought that there was such a discrepancy. We have more choices than ever in our careers, lifestyle, even clothing. I am living in a situation women have really never experienced before - single, on my own, educated, and not considered an old maid! Well, at least by people other than my grandmothers. It's a new world created for us by the suffragettes and feminists and civil rights activists of the last century, and the quiet fighters from time beyond that.

But we can't take those fights for granted. The battle for equality - of gender, of race, of all lines and divisions - isn't over yet.

5 Responses to “No glass ceiling?”

  1. # Blogger Phil

    Hey Tiff.

    How do you think this plays out in our churches?  

  2. # Blogger Tiffany

    I used to believe, whole-heartedly, in what I had always been taught: that women were to remain silent in the worship assembly, that they were not to usurp authority over a man. Then one day, it hit me to wonder, "If it's just a matter of the women not taking what's not offered, then why don't the men share that authority freely?"

    My mother always used to ask why a woman can pass a communion tray side to side but not front to back.

    The more I have studied and listened, the less I buy into that old argument. I heard Rubel Shelley and John York speak on this, and what they said made a lot of sense to me. If you look at the few verses in the New Testament that address women's role in the body of believers, you would find restrictions on their participation. However, if you look at all of the stories of women throughout the Bible, you get a different story.

    Deborah was the spiritual leader of the entire nation of Israel. A woman was the first to know the Messiah was coming to earth at long last, and another was the first to know of the Resurrection. Women like Priscilla, Dorcas, and others were clearly leaders in the early church. We have no way of knowing exactly what their roles are. A restricted role for women was most likely a result of the patriarchal society the church was born into.

    I know change is a long way coming, and I'm not advocating that the churches of Christ catapult women into the pulput just for the sake of doing it, but it's time for expanded opportunities for half of the church. My church in California not only had women participate in leading prayer and serving the Supper, and the role of reading scripture was reserved only for women. After being in a church family where both sexes are treasured and treated with respect and equality, it's hard to listen to some of the more vocal leaders of our tradition insist that while women are gaining acceptance and new opportunities in every other part of our society, church is the one place they will always be second-class citizens.  

  3. # Blogger Tiffany

    ps - glad y'all are coming with us!!!!!  

  4. # Blogger Phil

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.  

  5. # Blogger Phil

    We're glad we're coming too.

    btw, if you get a chance, go to Judy Thomas' blog. There's a good story there and a bad story in the comments on this subject.  

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