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RSWG 2016 news release

The latest Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California will be released on March 30, 2016, by Mount Saint Mary's University.

Mount Saint Mary’s University to release fifth annual Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California on March 30

LOS ANGELES, March 21, 2016 — Mount Saint Mary’s University, the only women’s university in Los Angeles, will release its fifth annual Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California™ at a free public forum to be held from 9 a.m. until noon on Wednesday, March 30, at the Skirball Cultural Center, located at 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd. in Los Angeles.

More than 1,000 people are expected to attend the event.

The report is designed to enlighten the public and to guide leaders in developing and implementing solutions to the barriers that prevent women — who represent half of the state’s population — from playing a full role in the future of California.

This year’s report includes two new additions:

A “then and now” focus analyzing women’s progress — or lack thereof — in recent years, covering areas such as women’s representation in business, government, film and television; women’s physical and mental health; women veterans; violence against women; and women living in poverty.

An analysis of women’s participation in sports and wellness, including organized sports at the collegiate and professional levels, and a study of the physical and mental benefits of physical activity for women. This analysis also evaluates pay disparity between women and men coaches, as well as between women and men professional athletes.

Featured speakers

Ann McElaney-Johnson, president of Mount Saint Mary’s, will open the program and present the report’s key findings. A slate of speakers will then delve into the status of women and girls from a local, statewide, national and international perspective.

Those speakers include:

  • Eric Garcetti, mayor of the City of Los Angeles;
  • Nancy Kirshner-Rodriguez, executive director of the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls;
  • Maria Echaveste, former presidential adviser and deputy chief of staff to President Bill Clinton; and
  • Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro, president and CEO of the Global Fund for Women, one of the world’s leading foundations for gender equality.

Each speaker will also participate in a roundtable conversation moderated by Mary Melton, editor-in-chief of Los Angeles Magazine.

2016 report highlights

  • The number of California women of color continues to increase: The statewide percentage of women of color grew to 62 percent in 2014, compared with 56 percent in 2005.
  • Progress in closing the gender wage gap remains slow. In 2014, median earnings of California women working full time were 84% that of men, compared with 82% in 2006. That gap represents $8,000 in lost annual wages.
  • California is one of the nation’s largest television and film production centers. Yet, over the last 15 years, fewer than one in five women has served as a director, writer or producer.

Despite their significant underrepresentation, women serving in the state legislature achieved notable gains with passage of several bills benefitting women, among them the Fair Pay Act and SB 1135, which bans the forced sterilization of women prison inmates.

  • Women either own or equally co-own nearly half (46%) of all California firms. More than half of women-owned firms are owned by women of color, compared with 43 percent in 2007.
  • Women represent less than 20% of board directors at California’s largest public companies, with white women holding 90% of those positions.

About the Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California™
First issued in 2012, the Report is one of the most authoritative and comprehensive compilations of current research focusing on the issues and trends affecting the more than 19.5 million women and girls who call California home. Its analysis includes demographics; educational attainment; employment and earnings; poverty; media; business leadership; political representation; physical and mental health; violence; and veterans. To learn more, visit

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.

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