Women and Work

Aminatou Sow

Note: This program is a rebroadcast.

About five years ago, Aminatou Sow was working for a technology company in Washington D.C. and came across an article detailing how few women work in tech. The statistic did not match her personal experience as she knew of a number of women working in tech-related fields, from NASA to the National Security Agency.

In addition to taking on education initiatives, PAGE encourages girls to produce photography and digital stories.
Madison County Photo Exhibition / carolinapage.org

Rural communities in western North Carolina are in the midst of an economic shift.

The rise and fall of the family farm means places like Madison County are looking for new ways to support themselves. The answer could be in the tech industry. But technology businesses rely on a steady stream of well-educated workers. 

A panel discussion tonight at Duke University, "Rethinking Appalachia," examines ways to develop a high-tech workforce in rural Appalachia.

Pat Nathan


As a chemist in the 1970s, Pat Nathan was quite often the only woman in the room.

She remained one of the only women in the room as she rose through the rankings at the Dell computer company during the dot-com bubble. She entered the industry at a time when it was grappling with how to dispose of computer waste responsibly.

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Jessica Keith and other members of the 17th Training Wing at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, render a salute as the American flag passes by during the Veterans Day parade in San Angelo, Texas, Nov. 6, 2010. Airman Keith p
Staff Sgt. Heather L. Rodgers / U.S. Air Force via Flickr/Creative Commons

Computer giant Lenovo is teaming up with the non-profit Dress for Success to help get female veterans into the civilian workforce.

Numbers from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics show the unemployment rate among female veterans is nearly double what it is for male vets.

Beth Briggs is Executive Director of Dress for Success Triangle.  The organization trains women to get them back in the workforce and provides them with a wardrobe. 

Angelina's Kitchen
Leoneda Inge

North Carolina is in the middle of the pack nationwide when it comes to women’s employment and earnings.  That’s the latest from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.


Whether or not women can have both professional success and a family is an ongoing national conversation, spurred by high-profile magazine essays, viral blogs and books like Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In.

For more than 40 years, Jane Smith Patterson has been paving the way for women in North Carolina politics and digital technology. After her start as a young organizer and activist in her hometown in Columbus County, North Carolina, Patterson left home for college when she was 16 years old. 

The Soar logo

A new program in Durham is seeking to help female entrepreneurs close the gender gap in securing startup money.

Google is putting up $15,000 to fund the new organization called Soar, which will help women-led start-ups connect with venture capitalists and similar businesses that have gotten funding.

The non-profit Kauffman Foundation says only 5 percent of all venture capital goes to fund women-led start-ups, even though companies with female leaders are found to be more efficient and bring in bigger returns.

A picture of women in Africa.
RTI International

RTI International has recently created a Global Gender Center to study and find solutions for imbalances of power against women around the world.

Wendee Wechsberg directs the new organization and is doing field work in South Africa. She said many universities have researchers who study individual communities but the Global Gender Center will work to connect those experts. Priority issues include HIV, domestic violence and economic development.

Toward a Womanist Ethic of Incarnation Black Bodies the Black Church and the Council of Chalcedon
us.macmillan.com / macmillan

In many black churches, women do the administrative work, raise funds, and educate the congregation's children. It is rare to find black women in higher leadership roles like preachers and pastors. Eboni Marshall Turman is the director of black church studies at Duke Divinity School, and author of Toward a Womanist Ethic of Incarnation: Black Bodies, the Black Church, and the Council of Chalcedon (Palgrave Macmillan; 2013). 

Image of Ken Rudin, the Political Junkie

In his annual address to the nation, President Obama discussed raising the minimum wage for federal workers and closing the gender wage gap. He also praised North Carolina's innovation hub.

Homeward Bound: The New Domesticity by Emily Matchar
Emily Matchar / http://emilymatchar.com

What’s going on with the youth these days?  Some are getting into knitting sweaters. Others are tending to backyard chicken coops. They are cheesemaking, canning, beekeeping and growing their own vegetables. These labor-intensive homemaking projects may be more than a trend towards rustic pleasures.

Homeward Bound: The New Domesticity by Emily Matchar
Emily Matchar / http://emilymatchar.com

You may have noticed a DIY trend among young people these days. Some are getting into knitting sweaters; others are keeping backyard chicken coups. Otherwise, they are making cheese, canning, beekeeping and growing their own vegetables. These labor-intensive homemaking projects may not be just a trend towards rustic pleasures.

Emily Matchar calls this movement the New Domesticity.  And she documents this phenomenon in her new book, "Homeward Bound: Why Women are Embracing the New Domesticity." Generally, she is writing not about people who embrace DIY culture out of necessity, but rather as a voluntary lifestyle. 

A picture of Betty Harris.
Leoneda Inge

A group of women looking for work participated in a special graduation ceremony this week in the Triangle.  They are clients in ‘Dress for Success.’ The non-profit provides women with interview suits and career-building tools to get them back into the world of work.  Businesses like Chinese computer maker Lenovo is a ‘Dress for Success’ partner.  They hosted this year’s ceremony.