The Wednesday Five: Chic Orange, Challenges for Corporate Women, and What’s on Susan Orlean’s Bookshelf?

January 11, 2012 by  
Filed under Newsmakers, Tech

Photo: Tom Wachtel (Flickr)

This week, blogs pondered barriers for women in corporate America, peeked into the bookshelves of writers we love, and showed us how WVFC’s theme color can keep us warm in winter.

  • Last month, we covered (as did CNBC) a report from Catalyst.org about Catalyst about women on corporate boards. While that report made a media splash, Catalyst’s Deborah Gillis writes that her organization has recently focused on “the biases that persistently hinder the advancement of women in many workplaces.”   Women are just as ambitious and focused as men, she adds, but Catalyst’s most recent report, Pipeline’s Broken Promise, “ found that among MBA grads who aspired to be CEO or senior executives, women progressed more slowly than men. And parenthood, industry, and previous experience didn’t explain the gender gap. The leadership and pay gaps balloon over time, suggesting that the problem lies with the system, not the women. So what is the problem? Cascading Gender Biases, Compounding Effects revealed how gender biases are unintentionally embedded in talent management systems.”
  • Speaking of which, Amy Tennery at The Jane Dough reports that Nicole Williams, an exec at LinkedIn, told NPR’s Michel Martin  that such biases complicate the task of women seeking mentorship from male peers. If a woman does receive such support, Williams says, she can be shadowed by unspoken questions: “Is she getting the career advancement by virtue of the relationship and instead of her hard work?  I do think that there’s a double standard around women seeking out men for support.”
  • WVFC got pretty excited when Pantone, the color people, declared 2012 The Year of Orange, our signature color. And this week, Heather Clawson’s Habitually Chic dreamed how we can use that color to warm up our winter: “My love of orange is no secret.  Especially burnt orange. I saw a space so beautifully decorated with the color yesterday that it inspired me to put together another little compilation inspiration post.  Enjoy.” Her photo gallery includes glowing windows, many men’s ties, pottery,  luggage,  and a very Modernist cover of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead.
  • When you go to someone’s house, do your eyes focus first on their books? Journalist Jill Bauerle does, and wondered what the bookshelves of writers she loves were like. The result, Stacked Up, is a bibliophile’s dream that includes many WVFC BFFs, such as a visit to a Mary Gaitskill reading in Brooklyn and a hilarious video profile of The Freewheelin’ Susan Orlean, the latter sniffing her old Faulkner paperbacks for “that old paper smell.” We also learned yesterday that the video segments will soon be on WNYC-TV, so you’d better click over so you can be there first.
  • As awards season really kicks in, Melissa Silverstein at Women & Hollywood is keeping score about how many women are nominated; she found much to celebrate in last week’s Producer’s Guild noms. Silverstein was especially struck by the ones with Oscar implications: “Kathleen Kennedy is nominated for both best feature (War Horse) and best animated feature (The Adventures of Tin Tin).” But the awards, like the Golden Globes, also include TV, which gives us even more to cheer — including Christine Vachon (whose movies include Far From Heaven, Boys Don’t Cry and I’m Not There) for the acclaimed and somewhat underrated HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce. Watch below if you doubt that there was any more to be made of that 1940s potboiler: you’ll get chills.