The 162 Report: July 22, 2016

Welcome to the sixth edition of the 162 Report. As part of SKDKnickerbocker’s Women’s Leadership & Advocacy Practice, this bi-monthly newsletter tracks the stories affecting the 162 million women living in the United States who inspire our work.

Going to Philly? Follow SKDK Women’s Practice and the rest of the team on Instagram and Twitter.

Know someone who would enjoy the 162 Report? Anyone can subscribe by emailing us at


Read All About It! 

The United States has a new Librarian of Congress, and she’s certainly one for the books. The first woman and the first African-American to serve in the role, Carla Hayden is credited—among other things—with modernizing the Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore’s 22-branch city library system. Additionally, Hayden has sat on the National Museum and Library Services Board since 2010, and holds a doctorate degree in library science from the University of Chicago. Notably, she’s the first professional librarian to run the Library in more the 60 years.

Hayden was confirmed 74-18 by the Senate. By contrast, her predecessor James Billington—a historian appointed by Reagan who spent nearly three decades at the institution’s helm—was unanimously confirmed by the Senate in 1987. Billington’s lengthy tenure makes Hayden the first Librarian of Congress appointed during the internet age—and the first librarian who seems to understand its power.

Read more here.


Brain Power 

Chirlane McCray—poet, social-justice advocate, founding member of the iconic black feminist group the Combahee River Collective, who once wrote about homosexuality in Essence magazine when many mainstream publications erased LGBTQ people of color, mother, wife and perhaps most well-known: First Lady of New York City, sat down with Lenny Letter to talk mental health.

In 2014, McCray and Mayor Bill de Blasio’s daughter, Chiara, went public about her struggles with depression, anxiety and addiction. While most political families may have avoided such an announcement, the de Blasios opened up about Chiara’s experience and began efforts to reduce the stigma around mental health in New York. McCray launched a program called ThriveNYC, which functions as a “Mental Health Roadmap” for the city, moving to close treatment gaps, make early intervention more feasible, and expand treatment for maternal depression.

McCray cites the importance of reworking how we view mental health as a driving force behind her program, declaring, “I think we actually are changing culture. To me that is probably the most important thing we can do, because if we don’t change the culture people won’t feel comfortable talking about it. Right?”

Read more here.


A Pain in the Paycheck

A recent study shows female physicians at some of the nation’s most prominent public medical schools have on average annual salaries that are approximately $20,000 less than their male counterparts. The analysis also found that female neurosurgeons and cardiothoracic surgeons, as well as women in other surgical subspecialties, made roughly $44,000 less than comparable men in those fields. Similar discrepancies are also found among the salaries of orthopedic surgeons, oncologists, obstetrician-gynecologists and cardiologists. Curiously, radiology was the only specialty in which women were paid more.

Pay differences by gender appeared across all faculty ranks in medical schools. Full female professors made roughly the same income ($250,971) as male associate professors ($247,212) despite outranking them.

In the worst cases, the pay gap exists because of “clear discrimination by department chairs in salary settings,” said Dr. Anupam B. Jena, the study’s led author and a professor at Harvard Medical School. Jena also suggested that differing negotiation styles, male physicians typically being more aggressive in obtaining outside salary offers, are additional factors in determining salaries.

Read more here.


Making a Splash

Twenty-five-year-old Arizona native, Sgt. Elizabeth Marks, is the first Soldier in the U.S. Army World Class Athletes Program to become a Paralympic swimmer. Sgt. Marks sustained a debilitating hip injury to both of her hips in 2010 while serving as a combat medic in Afghanistan and nearly died in London in 2014 from a respiratory infection that led to a medically induced coma that lasted nearly two months. During rigorous rehabilitation for her many injuries, Marks discovered a passion for swimming and a renewed sense of purpose, which allowed her to build her strength both physically and mentally. She’s now a world-class Paraswimmer, currently ranked No. 1 in the world in the 100-meter breaststroke and earlier this year Marks won four gold medals at this year’s Invictus Games.

“There are too many people that get stuck after they get hurt, whether it’s mentally, physically, or emotionally hurt,” Marks said. “I think it’s our responsibility to continue lifting our brothers and sisters up until not one person is left behind, until the statistic of suicide is reduced, until everyone knows there’s a family once you become ill, sick, or injured—mentally or physically.”

Sgt. Marks was presented with the Pat Tillman Award for Service at the 2016 ESPYS on July 13 in honor of her remarkable courage, perseverance, and the sacrifices she has made in her own life to help others and serve our country. Marks will also participate in the 2016 Paralympic Games taking place in Rio de Janeiro in September.

Read more here and here.


Last Wednesday, each woman in Congress received Barbie dolls. Why?

“If we want girls to believe they can become anything they want—including President or Vice President of the United States—then we need to work much more diligently to help them envision those dreams,” says Erin Loos Cutraro, founder of She Should Run, a nonpartisan organization working to help women and girls envision themselves in elected office. She Should Run and Barbie are partnering to deploy the power of visibility.

“We can’t expect to find the best solutions to 21st century challenges when we only have half the population represented at the decision-making table. A healthy and effective democracy needs to include female voices,” Cutraro added.

Read more here.


  • Why men want to marry Melanias and raise IvankasThe New York Times discusses the “remarkably retro” discrepancy exemplified by the Trump family by which American men prioritize looks and traditional values for their wives while independence and success are ranked more important for their daughters.
  • TIME analyzes why politically incorrect workplaces are bad for women, looking at Roger Ailes’s recent sexual harassment scandal at Fox as a chief example, and demonstrating how political correctness is used to invalidate claims to equality, and justify misogyny.
  • The New York Times reports that Disney has finally created its first Latina princess, “Elena of Avalor”, who stars in a new Disney Channel series.
  • According to an analysis of 1.5 million studies published between 1779 and 2001, Nature reports that men cite their own papers 56 percent more than women on average.
  • The New York Times coversEquity,” a film about female executives on Wall Street by Sarah Megan Thomas and Alysia Reiner that aims to portray women in the finance world unapologetically, and was primarily funded by female investors.
  • TIME reports that Marvel’s new Iron Man will be a black woman. A new name for the character is in the works.
  • USA Today highlights Sheryl Sandberg’s killer comment on the new female-led ‘Ghostbusters’ movie, which Sandberg posted to her Facebook.
  • Refinery29 reports that Unicode has approved an exciting new collection of professional women emojis, coming soon!