Economics: Reading The Tea Leaves

Reading tea leaves is sometimes easier than it sounds. In this case, the economic tea leaves were very clear to me and I wonder if they are as clear to others who are in a position to make change happen.

McKinsey tells us why top management eludes women in Latin America.  They list a myriad of reasons that sound very much like those we deal with in the U.S. We have the demands of profession and family, the fact that in many cases we prioritize family first, the lack of female role models, etc. They say that employers are just as committed to creating opportunities for women at their top level jobs as in the U.S.

Nowhere did it mention that age discrimination is a tolerated bias. That women coming into the workforce are faced with restrictions that limit openings to single, young and attractive women. That women in the workforce who have made their way up the ladder through the effort of complying with all demands and are forced to leave due to family demands can pretty much kiss their career goodbye because they are probably of an age that will not allow them back in so easily–30’s and beyond.

To me, this clearly tells me why women who have the experience and are capable of stepping into top management are not there to fill the jobs. They are basically squeezed out of the workforce the closer they get to the top and with fewer women still holding on to their jobs, and those who sacrifice their careers to handle family not likely to return, there are less likely and able candidates to consider.

The other set of tea leaves was a bit more obvious.  How has the economy impacted Americans? Top searches in one of our 50 states painted a picture that made me feel for the citizens of that state and others as well. The top searches in order of activity were:

Unemployment
Jobs
Food Stamps
Child Support
Gun Permit
Vehicle Registration
State Jobs
Employment
Public Services
State Employees
Divorce Forms
Social Security
Medicaid
More Public Services
Job Bank
Tax Forms… Can you see the picture?

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