It's been an interesting week to be a woman in the U.S.! From the latest stats on stay-at-home-mothers to the inspiring Girl Scout who broke a world record, here's all things female-centric that we've been reading this week.
As always, tell us what we missed! Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @Shape_Magazine!
1. A 12-year-old girl scout is better at business than you. Katie Francis, a sixth grader from Oklahoma, recently broke the world record for the most Girl Scout cookies ever sold, with an astonishing 21,477 boxes (and counting!). How'd she do it? "There's three ingredients to selling cookies," she told The Oklahoman. "There's lots of time, lots of commitment, and I have to ask everyone I see." Check out more awesome tips from the business-savvy Girl Scout in this video from Mashable (FYI, it's a parody! No Girl Scouts or people were harmed in the making of the film).
2. This new GoldieBlox ad is perfect. Not only is it Easter-themed, but it highlights the fact that only 13 percent of engineers are female while emphasizing that women engineers earn 33 percent more than women in other occupations, and as Time reports, "the egg turns the whole 'girls are fragile' thing on its head." Considering that by age seven girls start to lose interest in math and science, we could use more clever, funny advertisements like this.
3. Dove's new campaign proves that it's all in you. Okay, the campaign is a tiny bit sappy and focuses a little too much on physical beauty if you ask me, but the brand's newest YouTube video is kind of sweet: After inviting participants to wear a custom-made "beauty patch" that was supposed to boost their self-esteem for two weeks and asking the women to keep a journal about how it made them feel, it was revealed that the patch contained nothing and that it was the "power of believing in their own beauty" that made each participant feel beautiful. You can check out the video here.
4. More women are staying at home. Since the 1970s, the number of stay-at-home mothers has declined from 41 percent to 20 percent, according to research. However, findings from a recent Pew Research Center study suggest that trend might be reversing. From 2010 to 2012, the number of STAHMs increased to 29 percent (this is 3 percentage points higher than it was in 2008, at the height of the recession). While some public figures applaud this trend and polls do show that Americans are on the side of SAHMs—60 percent say children are better off when a parent stays home to raise them—it's also true that at least 6 percent of women report staying home because they can't find a job, or because when weighing the cost of childcare and transportation they'd be losing money by taking a full- or part-time job.
5. Going to start a business? Go it alone or with another woman. An interesting new report from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, finds that when women start businesses with men, especially their husbands, they may have fewer opportunities to move into leadership roles. After looking at 362 mixed-gender start-ups (73 of which were husband-wife teams), the researchers found that men were 85 percent more likely to take leadership roles when there was no formal contract or business plan signed early on in the start-up process. When the team agreed to a formal business plan early on in the process, however, women and men had about the same chance of stepping into a management or leadership role.