It was an eventful week for women on the job—one filled with highs (sapphires!) and some lows (Sean Spicer). Let’s take a look back, shall we?
Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her Sapphire Jubilee on Monday, marking her 65th year on the throne. She is the first British monarch to reach this milestone; in 2015, at the age of 89, she became the U.K.’s longest-reigning monarch, surpassing the 63-year rule of her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria. There was plenty of fanfare in Britain to mark the occasion: gun salutes were fired, special coins were issued, and the country was treated to a portrait of her majesty decked out in sapphire bling. Here’s to many more years of monochromatic ensembles and occasional off-roading.
A new study recommends that women work shorter weeks than men to compensate for unpaid labor carried out at home. On average, women perform 4.5 hours of domestic chores—cooking, cleaning, childcare, and the like—while men put in less than half that time. Because too much work and too little leisure time can lead to mental health issues like depression and anxiety, researchers suggested that women should be at their jobs no more than 34 hours per week. The healthy work limit for men, they said, is 47 hours per week. Perhaps everybody would get to stay at work for the standard 40 hours if dudes pitched in with the ironing a bit more frequently. Crazy thought, we know.
Yet another study found that female executives are less likely than men to compete for top management positions if they have previously been rejected from similar jobs. Before the men’s rights movement has a field day with this, let us note that researchers say that the phenomenon shouldn’t be dismissed as an infantile, defeated response to failure. Many women who participated in the study said they believed that they were asked to apply to senior management positions because their firms wanted more women in the candidate pools, and not because their companies had any serious intention of hiring them. “Often that feeling was a result of the way hiring and promotion processes were being managed,” researchers explain, “sending women subtle (and sometimes overt) signals that the highest rungs of the corporate ladder were intended only for men.”
Kellyanne Conway, White House senior adviser/stickler for alternative facts, may have violated federal law by encouraging Americans to purchase Ivanka Trump’s clothing line. She used an interview with Fox News on Thursday morning to criticize Nordstrom’s decision to discontinue the first daughter’s products from its stores. “Go buy Ivanka’s stuff!” Conway said. “I hate shopping, and I will go get some myself today.” Federal officials are prohibited from using public office to promote products, but White House press secretary Sean Spicer skirted the ethical questions raised by Conway’s comments. “Kellyanne has been counseled on the subject, and that’s it,” he said during a press briefing. Nobody was listening though, because they were too busy imagining Spicer guzzling an entire container of gum and ramming his podium into unsuspecting journalists.