The 162 Report: January 6, 2017

Thanks for reading the fourteenth edition of the 162 Report, a bi-monthly tip sheet from SKDKnickerbocker’s new Women’s Leadership & Advocacy Practice. Know someone who would enjoy the 162 Report? Anyone can subscribe by emailing us at


She Can Run

Kelly Dittmar, Professor at the Rutgers Center for American Women and Politics and an expert on women’s participation in politics, says that, unfortunately, most women don’t believe they are qualified to participate in political leadership at any level. According to Dittmar’s research, many women feel skeptical of their ability to run for office because their qualifications are constantly questioned and they’re often told they aren’t “good enough.” As a result, women are less likely to run for office than men, despite what research shows are their equal chances of winning,

Women who do run for office typically have extensive government experience. Patsy Woods Martin, executive director of Annie’s List, an organization that works to elect women in Texas, said women “tend to need to overachieve to feel like [they] have achieved.” Yet men are more likely and able to run as the “outsider” candidate.

Encouragingly, in the wake of this election, more women have shown interest in local and statewide races. Annie’s List has reported increased participation in candidate training workshops. And similar organizations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Ohio are experiencing similar growth in engagement.

Read more here.


Artists Paint Black

After the election, New York-based artist Roxanne Johnson was shocked, angry and struggling to come to grips with the election of a president who repeatedly offended and insulted women during his campaign. She took to Facebook to see if other artists would want to organize a “NASTY WOMEN group show” in protest, and within one hour, she received 300 responses.

The interest was overwhelming, and Johnson rethought her idea for a small art show and invited women from all over the world to submit work. Johnson and her team received over 1,000 painting submissions. Art from nearly 700 artists will be displayed at the exhibition in New York, hung from 12-foot tall sculptures that say “Nasty Women” in hot pink letters. Johnson says the show isn’t about highlighting individual artists, but “about female-identifying artists coming together against the Trump regime.”

The entire collection, called “The Nasty Women Art Show,” will be on display at the Knockdown Center in Queens, New York from Jan. 12-15 before inauguration on Jan. 20. All of the works are on sale for $100 or less and best of all, all proceeds will be donated to Planned Parenthood.

Read more here.


View From the Top 

Some good news coming out of 2016: it was a record-breaking year for female CEOs of companies in the S&P 500. While the number is far from where it needs to be – 27 out of 500 – it’s a sign of a positive trend. There were only 22 female CEOs in 2015, and just 18 in 2009. Some notable examples today are Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, Shira Goodman of Staples and Debra Cafaro of Ventas.

Women now make up 47 percent of the workforce, up from 29 percent in 1945. Research has shown that women holding positions of power help other women advance within a company. Women who are already successful in their current positions tend to see their potential for growth improve even more under female leadership. For instance, in a study of an Italian manufacturing firm, researchers found female leadership was linked to women earning more in senior roles. Another report found that the more women on corporate boards, the more likely that the company was to hire female executives.

Unfortunately, these changes at the top have not translated into equal earnings for most female employees. A study conducted in Norway and other Scandinavian countries showed that while female leadership increased with female presence on corporate boards, there was no similar increase found in wages for women or in female employees hired.

There’s much more work to be done, but the trend is clear: women at the top help bring other women up with them.

Read more here.


Down, But Not Out

When Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Champion Ronda Rousey rose to fame and proved she could drive serious revenue for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the question became what the future of the sport would be like for women who followed in her footsteps. Rousey’s stunning defeat in only 48 seconds in her last match – her second consecutive defeat – signals that the UFC may have to go on without her.

But even if Rousey no longer competes, her legacy will remain.

In large part due to Rousey’s success, women were accepted into the UFC in 2013, and now fight on the same card as men and play under the same rules. Rousey has shown women can also draw significant media attention and resonate strongly with audiences. This is an anomaly for women in sports, who typically draw 2 to 4 percent of media coverage despite much higher rates of participation. In fact, a match between two female MMA fighters, Paige VanZandt and Michelle Waterson, drew 4.8 million viewers two weeks before Rousey’s now infamous loss.

Rousey’s accomplishments have opened the door for female competitors in the UFC and in MMA across the globe. Rousey has proven herself not only as a competitor, but as a valuable ambassador to the UFC and the sport, and has helped to transform the UFC and world of MMA into a place where women are respected for their sport and treated as equals.

Read more here.


For Women, By Women

This month’s issue of Glamour featuring the cast of Girls on the cover is the magazine’s first ever edition produced entirely by women. The reporters, photographers, designers, stylists and makeup artists involved were all women (with the exception of Michelle Obama’s makeup artist).

While Glamour’s writing staff is predominantly female, editor Cindi Leive discovered that 63 percent of the photographers Glamour hired were male, as were 68 percent of hairstylists and over 50 percent of makeup artists.

As a brand that champions women’s equality, Glamour is making a concerted effort to make sure that women contribute to all aspects of the magazine.

Read more here.


  • The New York Times asks why they aren’t more female billionaires.
  • Forbes speculates that Megyn Kelly’s move from Fox to NBC may make her the highest paid female anchor in the world.
  • The Los Angeles Times writes that Kamala Harris was sworn in as the first Indian American senator and first black senator from California.
  • CNN reports that the military welcomed the first women infantry Marines this week.
  • The Washington Post looks back at Carrie Fisher’s work to end mental health stigma.