Tag Archives: women

Diane Brossart - Fifty Most Influential Women in Arizona Business

Diane Brossart – 50 Most Influential Women in Arizona Business

Diane BrossartPresident and CEO, Arizona Forward

Brossart joined the nonprofit civic group — which aims to move Arizona forward environmentally, economically and socially — as a member 30 years ago. She was appointed to her leadership role in 1991, when Valley Forward focused exclusively on Maricopa County. Rebranded as Arizona Forward is 2012, its expanded statewide sustainability agenda includes: land use, transportation, air quality, energy, water and environmental education.

Surprising fact: “I believe my mother who passed away nearly 10 years ago lives as a rabbit in my backyard.”

Biggest challenge: “Taking Valley Forward statewide after 43 years as the Valley’s voice for balance. I’m bringing the best and brightest talent around Arizona together to help make the Grand Canyon State the greatest place in America to live.”

Fifty Most Influential Women in Arizona Business – Every year in its July/August issue Arizona Business Magazine features 50 women who make an impact on Arizona business. To see the full list, read the digital issue >>

Karen Abraham - Fifty Most Influential Women in Arizona Business

Karen M. Abraham – 50 Most Influential Women in Arizona Business

Karen M. Abraham – Senior vice president and CFO, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona

Abraham oversees eight departments including finance, taxes, facilities and risk. With 30 years worth of experience at BCBSAZ, she works directly with the CEO on the development of long-range plans and policies.

Surprising fact: “My mother was a bookkeeper and at an early age recognized that I liked math. By  the  8th grade, I actually knew what a CPA was and I wanted to make it my job.”

Biggest challenge: “I’ve worked through difficult economic times, operating losses and much government regulation. I have wonderful relationships with many talented colleagues who have helped me through challenging times.”

Fifty Most Influential Women in Arizona Business – Every year in its July/August issue Arizona Business Magazine features 50 women who make an impact on Arizona business. To see the full list, read the digital issue >>

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Study: Most Agree 'Glass Ceiling' Exists

According to a survey conducted by financial services firm Edward Jones, nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of Americans believe women in the workforce today face a barrier to career advancement with one in five (22 percent) citing the financial industry as the hardest glass ceiling for women to break through.  The firm has been working to increase the percentage of female financial advisors in its branch offices and erase that perception.

“The lack of women in leadership positions, particularly on Wall Street, has been well documented in the news media, but at Edward Jones, a female financial advisor enjoys the same opportunity as her male counterparts,” said Elizabeth Schehl, Director of Financial Advisor Diversity and Female Performance at Edward Jones. “There is no glass ceiling and the benefits of running your own branch office makes the Edward Jones model particularly attractive to women.”

The survey of 1,010 Americans underscored that women represent an attractive applicant pool with 67 percent of respondents – men and women alike – citing that women are the more ambitious of the two sexes when it comes to acquiring leadership positions in the workplace.  When asked the top factor impeding these ambitious women from advancing, a male-dominated environment was cited by 83 percent of respondents. Other factors contributing to the glass ceiling include:

* The juggle of family and corporate responsibilities (73 percent)
* Inadequate policies for women in the workplace, such as stringent maternity leave policies (62 percent)
* Lack of adequate mentoring or a defined career path in reaching the executive board level (56 percent)

When asked which part of a career is most important to them beyond compensation, nearly half (49 percent) of women cited an entrepreneurial work environment. “One of the main things that attracted me to Edward Jones when I first began as a financial advisor was the entrepreneurial environment where I was given the freedom to thrive as if I was my own boss.  I quickly learned that the only barriers I had were those that I put in place for myself,” Schehl added.

Edward Jones’ unique branch office system provides financial advisors with the autonomy to run their own business with the infrastructure and support of a resource-rich organization.  Currently, Edward Jones has more than 12,500 entrepreneurs operating branches across the country.

Among its programs promoting diversity, Edward Jones’ Women’s Initiative for New Growth Strategies (WINGS), is a network of female advisors that volunteers their time to recruit, mentor and support other female advisors. Since WINGS was introduced five years ago, the firm has seen a steady uptick in women joining the company, who now make up one-quarter of all financial advisor recruits.

Along with financial services (67 percent), additional industries that are perceived as being more challenging for women to succeed in include professional services (69 percent) and technology (64 percent).  Media and publishing was less restrictive to women at 41 percent, and healthcare (23 percent) and education (14 percent) were perceived as the least challenging.  Survey results also showed that older respondents were more likely to agree that a glass ceiling exists than younger respondents indicating a positive change in perception among younger generations. Of respondents between the ages of 55-64, 71 percent cited that a glass ceiling exists as well as 70 percent of respondents over 65, compared to 60 percent of those surveyed between the ages of 18 and 34.

87665813

Study: Most Agree ‘Glass Ceiling’ Exists

According to a survey conducted by financial services firm Edward Jones, nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of Americans believe women in the workforce today face a barrier to career advancement with one in five (22 percent) citing the financial industry as the hardest glass ceiling for women to break through.  The firm has been working to increase the percentage of female financial advisors in its branch offices and erase that perception.

“The lack of women in leadership positions, particularly on Wall Street, has been well documented in the news media, but at Edward Jones, a female financial advisor enjoys the same opportunity as her male counterparts,” said Elizabeth Schehl, Director of Financial Advisor Diversity and Female Performance at Edward Jones. “There is no glass ceiling and the benefits of running your own branch office makes the Edward Jones model particularly attractive to women.”

The survey of 1,010 Americans underscored that women represent an attractive applicant pool with 67 percent of respondents – men and women alike – citing that women are the more ambitious of the two sexes when it comes to acquiring leadership positions in the workplace.  When asked the top factor impeding these ambitious women from advancing, a male-dominated environment was cited by 83 percent of respondents. Other factors contributing to the glass ceiling include:

* The juggle of family and corporate responsibilities (73 percent)
* Inadequate policies for women in the workplace, such as stringent maternity leave policies (62 percent)
* Lack of adequate mentoring or a defined career path in reaching the executive board level (56 percent)

When asked which part of a career is most important to them beyond compensation, nearly half (49 percent) of women cited an entrepreneurial work environment. “One of the main things that attracted me to Edward Jones when I first began as a financial advisor was the entrepreneurial environment where I was given the freedom to thrive as if I was my own boss.  I quickly learned that the only barriers I had were those that I put in place for myself,” Schehl added.

Edward Jones’ unique branch office system provides financial advisors with the autonomy to run their own business with the infrastructure and support of a resource-rich organization.  Currently, Edward Jones has more than 12,500 entrepreneurs operating branches across the country.

Among its programs promoting diversity, Edward Jones’ Women’s Initiative for New Growth Strategies (WINGS), is a network of female advisors that volunteers their time to recruit, mentor and support other female advisors. Since WINGS was introduced five years ago, the firm has seen a steady uptick in women joining the company, who now make up one-quarter of all financial advisor recruits.

Along with financial services (67 percent), additional industries that are perceived as being more challenging for women to succeed in include professional services (69 percent) and technology (64 percent).  Media and publishing was less restrictive to women at 41 percent, and healthcare (23 percent) and education (14 percent) were perceived as the least challenging.  Survey results also showed that older respondents were more likely to agree that a glass ceiling exists than younger respondents indicating a positive change in perception among younger generations. Of respondents between the ages of 55-64, 71 percent cited that a glass ceiling exists as well as 70 percent of respondents over 65, compared to 60 percent of those surveyed between the ages of 18 and 34.

morning

FDA approves return of nausea treatment

The only drug specifically designed for the treatment of morning sickness in pregnant women will be back on the market in June of this year. The treatment was pulled from shelves thirty years ago but a thorough investigation finds the drug safe and the FDA gave its approval yesterday.

“This is fabulous news,” says Dr. Stephanie Freeman of MomDoc Women For Women, with 15 offices throughout the Valley. “Obstetricians have been using Unisom as an off label medication for pregnancy related nausea for years, and the ingredients are similar.  To have Bendectin back as an option will provide relief of pregnancy related nausea for many women without as much of the sedation side effects of many medications we use now.”

FDA approval means a new version of the drug formerly known as Bendectin will return to United States pharmacies under a different name, Diclegis. The drug is considered safe and effective in treating nausea. In the thirty years since it was removed, the treatment has undergone more scrutiny for safety than any other drug used during pregnancy.

The original scare came from lawsuits claiming the drug caused birth defects. What the research found is that there are any given numbers of pregnancies which result in children with birth defects. Government estimates are 1 in 33 babies are born with birth defects regardless of medication used during the pregnancy. Studies concluded that Bendectin did not increase that risk.

More than half of all women experience at least some nausea and vomiting during pregnancy caused by hormonal swings. Only about one percent of women experience severe vomiting called hyperemesis gravidarum, the condition which hospitalized Britain’s Duchess of Cambridge Kate last year.

The treatment’s ingredients are not magical. Vitamin B6 and over-the-counter antihistamine doxylamine found in some sleep aids are the main ingredients. The difference with this prescription only drug is that the ingredients are released in a delayed-reaction coating designed for daily dosage before nausea is a problem.

Doctors do advise trying alternatives first including eating protein snacks before bed and nibbling crackers or sipping ginger ale before getting out of bed. Frequent, small meals seem to help some women as well.

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Do you spend $1 million with minority-, women-owned firms?

The Arizona Million Dollar Roundtable (AZ MDRT) is seeking nominations for the induction of its inaugural slate of companies in the state that spend at least $1 million annually contracting with minority and woman-owned suppliers.

Companies that qualify for recognition by the Roundtable will be honored at a special luncheon ceremony on Nov. 16, 2012 at the Renaissance Hotel, 50 East Adams Street, in Downtown Phoenix, AZ. The Roundtable induction ceremony is part the first Minority Business Enterprise Summit, 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on November 16.

“The creation of the Arizona Million Dollar Roundtable was inspired by the state’s increasingly diverse consumer base and the fast-growing diversity at every level of its business community,” said Gonzalo de la Melena, president of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “The induction of the inaugural members of the Million Dollar Roundtable is a historic step that reflects where our state’s economy the growing influence of minority- and women-owned businesses.”

The ceremony is organized by the Phoenix MBDA Business Center (phoenixmbdacenter.com) – funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce – and the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (azhcc.com). Ernst & Young will audit and rank the amount of annual business each nominee to the Million Dollar Roundtable. The deadline to apply is October 26, 2012.

The Roundtable is co-chaired by Donald E. Brandt, chairman & CEO of Arizona Public Service, and Don McKneely,President & CEO, TexCorp, Founder of the Billion Dollar Roundtable. Arizona Public Service is the summit’s presenting sponsor.

Like the international-recognized Billion Dollar Roundtable, the Arizona Million Dollar Roundtable is designed to promote and shares best practices in supply-chain diversity through the production of regular reports. Members of the AZ MDRT will review common issues, opportunities and strategies. The roundtable also is meant to encourage corporate entities to continue growing their supplier diversity programs by increasing commitment and spending levels each year.

The Minority Business Enterprise Summit spotlights the growing contributions of minority-owned businesses in Arizona. Major components include the release of a 2012 MBE Study detailing the state of minority-owned businesses in Arizona; the inaugural inductions into the Arizona Million Dollar Roundtable; and the presentation of the annual Phoenix Minority Business Enterprise Awards.

To qualify, candidates:

1. Must be a viable company or Government Entity, or Educational Institution which sources at least $1 Million on a first tier basis to minority and women enterprises.
2. Must have an interest in developing a supplier diversity program.
3. Dollars sourced to minority and women suppliers must be auditable and verifiable.
4. Must be a member of NMSDC, WBENC, DBE, 8A or other comparable certifying entity. [Subject to nominating council approval.]

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Data Reveal Arizona Women Paid Less Than Men in Nearly Every Congressional District

WASHINGTON, D.C. – An unprecedented analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data shows that the gender-based wage gap affects women in nearly every corner of the state. In fact, in all but one district in Arizona, there is a gap between the wages of women and men. This is the first-ever analysis of these data by congressional district, providing a unique opportunity for Arizona’s women, families and lawmakers to consider the local impact of disparities in pay.

The analysis was conducted by the National Partnership for Women & Families. The overall gender-based wage gap in Arizona and the breakdown for each of the state’s congressional districts can be found here. The full analysis includes data for all 50 states and all 435 congressional districts in the country.

“It is stunning and deeply troubling to learn that the wage gap affects women in nearly every congressional district in the country. Women and their families are losing critical income for food, gas, rent, health insurance and more due to a punishing gender-based wage gap that has plagued this country for decades,” said Debra L. Ness, president of the National Partnership. “This new data should be a clear and resounding wake-up call for all lawmakers who have the power to pass legislation that would help close the gap and promote economic security for the women and families in their districts.”

According to the analysis, the median yearly pay for women in Arizona is $6,496 less than the median yearly pay for Arizona men, or 85 cents for every dollar.

Nationally, full-time working women are paid only 77 cents for every dollar paid to full-time working men, according to Census data. According to the new analysis, the congressional districts with the largest gender-based, cents-on-the-dollar pay differences are found in Louisiana, Virginia, New Jersey and West Virginia. The two districts with the largest wage gap are in southern Louisiana; women there are paid just 61 cents for every dollar paid to men.

The Paycheck Fairness Act would close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act and establish stronger workplace protections for women. In the last two Congresses, the U.S. House of Representatives passed it, but it fell two votes short of moving forward in the Senate in 2010. It was reintroduced in the current Congress but blocked by a procedural vote in June of this year.

“The wage gap is taking a tremendous toll on women and their families throughout the country,” Ness added. “The gap persists across industries, education levels and, as these data make clear, it spans the geography of our country. It’s time for all members of Congress to take a hard look at the damage being done in their districts and commit to promoting fair wages by passing the Paycheck Fairness Act.”

The National Partnership’s findings for all 50 states and all 435 congressional districts can be found here: www.NationalPartnership.org/Gap. More information on the wage gap can be found at www.NationalPartnership.org/FairPay.