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Improved does not mean equitable

New report by the Center for the Advancement of Women at Mount Saint Mary’s University shines a light on persistent gender inequities in California’s workforce.

On March 22, Mount Saint Mary’s University will release its seventh annual Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California™. Through the years, we’ve seen that equal opportunity, equitable pay and positions of influence are critical to women’s advancement. Yet when it comes to the American and Californian workforce, those attributes are too often missing.

That’s why Mount Saint Mary’s 2018 Report shines a spotlight on conditions for women in the workforce, and examines why certain obstacles and biases continue to undermine professional opportunities for California’s women — and prevent companies statewide from reaching their full potential. This targeted approach enables University researchers to delve into issues ranging from occupational sex segregation and gender typing to sexual harassment in the workplace, family-friendly employment policies and the ever-stubborn gender wage gap. In addition to raw data and trends, the Report also supplies context and identifies some of the driving forces that help explain why gender bias persists in the workforce.

It’s all on the table March 22, when the Report’s findings will be released at a public event at the Skirball Cultural Center. The day will feature a series of panel discussions led by high-profile female leaders of industry (from places like Netflix, Bloomberg, Lyft, the U.S. Department of Labor and more) who are attempting to reverse the data on women in the workforce. Panels include leaders who are upending traditionally male-dominated fields, shaping the world economy, changing workplace culture in their own companies and paving the way for the next generation of female leaders. A VIP luncheon will close the day, featuring a panel on women in media and entertainment, headlined by Academy Award-winning actor Geena Davis and writer-producer Erika Green Swafford.

This Report is published annually by the Center for the Advancement of Women at Mount Saint Mary’s University. Learn more about the Center’s work here: Registration and speaker information on this year’s public event is available at

Embargoed copies of the Report are available for media in advance, and media are invited to attend. Interviews may be set up with speakers, including the Report’s editor, Emerald Archer, PhD, director of the Center for the Advancement of Women at Mount Saint Mary’s University.

Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California™
March 22, 2018
Skirball Cultural Center
9-10 a.m.: Networking breakfast and partner expo
10 a.m.-noon: Main program (“Women in the Workforce”)
12:30-2 p.m.: VIP luncheon (“Women in Media and Entertainment”)

VIP luncheon speakers:

  • Kim Baldonado, journalist; six-time Emmy-winning reporter, NBC4 Southern California.
  • Geena Davis, Academy Award-winning actor; founder, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media at Mount Saint Mary’s University.
  • Erika Green Swafford, writer and co-executive producer, “How to Get Away with Murder.”
  • Nicole Haggard, PhD, instructor, Film, Media and Social Justice program at MSMU; founder, Center for Women in Hollywood.
  • Caroline Heldman, PhD, associate professor of politics, Occidental College; research director, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media at Mount Saint Marys’ University.

Main program speakers:

  • Emerald Archer, PhD, director, Center for the Advancement of Women at Mount Saint Mary’s University.
  • Lisa Mae Brunson, founder, Wonder Women Tech; commissioner, Commission for Technology and Innovation, City of Long Beach, Calif.
  • Danielle Carrig, head of publicity operations, creative communications and industry relations, Netflix.
  • Emily Chang, author, “Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys’ Club of Silicon Valley;” anchor and executive producer, “Bloomberg Technology.”
  • Patricia G. Greene, PhD, director, Women’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor; global academic director, “10,000 Women.”
  • Holly Gordon, chief impact officer, Participant Media; co-founder and co-chair, Girl Rising.
  • Veronica Juarez, senior director of business initiatives, Lyft.
  • Shereen Marisol Meraji, co-host, NPR’s “Code Switch” podcast; correspondent, NPR’s “All Things Considered.”
  • Ann McElaney-Johnson, PhD, president, Mount Saint Mary’s University; chair, Women’s College Coalition.
  • Somjita Mitra, PhD, director, Institute for Applied Economics, Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation.
  • Emily Musil Church, PhD, director, strategy and impact, Global Learning XPRIZE.
  • Judith Williams, PhD, global head of diversity, Dropbox.

About Mount Saint Mary’s University
Mount Saint Mary’s is the only women’s university in Los Angeles and one of the most diverse in the nation. The University is known nationally for its research on gender equity, its innovative health and science programs, and its commitment to community service. As a leading liberal arts institution, Mount Saint Mary’s provides year-round, flexible and online programs at the undergraduate and graduate level. Weekend, evening and graduate programs are offered to both women and men. Mount alums are engaged, active, global citizens who use their knowledge and skills to better themselves, their communities and the world.

About the Center for the Advancement of Women
The Center for the Advancement of Women at Mount Saint Mary’s University is a hub for gender equity research, advocacy and leadership development. Its vision is to find solutions to persistent gender inequities and work with partners to eradicate those inequities in our lifetime. That goal includes eliminating obstacles that women face in the workplace, in their communities, in the media and beyond to make a positive difference in the lives of women and girls in California and our nation. The Center also creates public programming, research guides and training opportunities to engage more partners in its work. 

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