A Publication of WTVP

“Am I Betraying the ‘Sisterhood’?” So went the title of a recent Newsweek article, one in a series of essays on the current presidential race. The female author wrote that “while the fear of betraying the universal sisterhood doesn’t have the same impact for twentysomething women as it does for our second-wave feminist mothers, we remain conflicted about the candidate so many love to hate. [Hillary] leaves many millennial women—however enthusiastically they vote Obama—with a lingering sense of guilt.”

To be sure, today’s young women are the most educated and accomplished to date, and they’ve been told all their lives that there is nothing they can’t do. They enroll in universities at higher rates than their male counterparts and graduate with better GPAs. A recent Queens College study found that, for the first time, urban twentysomething women are making more money than their male counterparts. And many women entering the workplace have not had to make the same trade-offs between family and career as their predecessors. If a couple decides that one parent should stay at home with the children, today, it is not unusual for the father to stay home.

A recent article in Conde Nast’s Portfolio magazine suggests it was thought that by educating business leaders on sexism, the issue would go away. “While women have made huge professional gains in the past three decades, progress now appears to have slowed or stalled.” The barriers women face today are more subtle, and therefore harder to overcome. The overt signs of progress—the mere fact that a female is a viable candidate for president—contribute to the perception that women have made it, so there’s nothing to discuss.

Feminist Gloria Steinem continues to preach that sexism is not taken seriously and gender remains the most restricting force in American life. But ask a twentysomething female and she is likely to be bewildered by the remark. She’s taken women’s studies courses in college, cheered when her mother advanced in her career, and hasn’t thought to ask if she should or will work, but, rather, in what field of interest. The significance of an African-American male and a white female vying for the presidential nod does not register as strongly in her mind. But feelings of conflict regarding “the sisterhood” are very real for women over 50.

For some time now, I’ve questioned the de facto “segregation” of women and men by publishing two different magazines with similar missions—to support and applaud local business leaders in their career paths. Over the past two decades, the roles of women have evolved dramatically. Though the gender gap is still very real, it is less of an issue now than it was 20 years ago. Today, social and business networks are more likely to be formed around our individual interests and skills than our demographic identities.

With that said, we at CIBP are pleased to announce a fusion of audiences between our flagship publication, InterBusiness Issues (IBI), and The Peoria Woman. A major expansion and redesign of IBI is currently in the works, to be unveiled with the August issue, while the next issue of The Peoria Woman will be the last in its current incarnation.

Please do not think I’m abandoning the “sisterhood” of professional women. We hope that you consider this progress, as we do. Our world is so much different today than it was 20 years ago, and we’re excited to see how the next 20 will unfold. Stay tuned! TPW