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December 8, 2011Women drive economies. The flood of women into American workplaces over the past four decades has boosted U.S. GDP by at least 25%, and eliminating the remaining gender gaps could bump up our GDP another 9%. But where are the women?

Find out Wednesday, December 14, 2011, when Catalyst unveils our latest count of women in Fortune 500 boardrooms and C-suites. At 12pm EST, we will be holding our first official Tweet Chat to discuss the latest stats. For more information on the chat—and for the latest news on women, work and equality—check out today’s C This.

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Tweet With Catalyst

I’m thrilled to invite Catalyzing readers to join our Tweet Chat on December 14 at 12pm EST to discuss the release of the 2011 Catalyst Census: Fortune 500. Rachel Soares, Senior Associate, Research, will lead a conversation regarding the latest census of women directors and executive officers at Fortune 500 companies. Follow along via Twitter.com or use Tweetchat.com for a more streamlined view of the discussion. Please use the hashtag #ChatCat for every tweet you send during the event. Happy tweeting!

Roaring Engines

Closing gender gaps in employment can drive the world economy to new heights. New research from Goldman Sachs shows that eliminating gaps can boost the euro zone’s GDP by 13% and Japan’s by a staggering 16%. So what are we waiting for—let’s get to work!

READ: “Closing the Gap,” The Economist, 11/26/11

Best of the Best

This inspiring list of the Canada’s top women leaders in public, private and nonprofit sectors is filled with both new and familiar names. Among those who made the list are established executives like Elyse Allan, CEO of GE Canada, entrepreneurs like Margot Micallef, founder and president of Oliver Capital Partners Inc, and trailblazers including Jennie Carignan, a Colonel in the Canadian Forces.

READ: “Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100,” Financial Post, 1/6/11

Stepping Up at Home?

A Census Bureau report on childcare found that 32% of fathers with working wives watched their children on a regular basis—an increase from 26% in 2002. Don’t fire the babysitter just yet, though. The same report found that families with a working mom and kids younger than 15 years old paid an average of $138 per week for childcare in 2010—up from $81 in 1985 (adjusted for inflation).

READ: “Recession and Its Aftermath Create More Mr. Moms,” The Wall Street Journal, 12/6/11

Meritocracy Mirage

An award-winning study involving 445 business managers found that personal biases can easily infect performance reward systems, even those explicitly defined as meritocracies. Tasked with dividing up a $1000 bonus among several equally skilled employees in a fictitious company, the managers gave, on average, $46 more to men. Researchers believe that when managers are told a meritocracy exists, they are less concerned about their actions being viewed as sexist. In turn, their biases surface and they reward men with more money.

READ: “Why Pay Bias Flourishes in Meritocracies,” Harvard Business Review, 12/1/11

It’s Time

Produced by Australia’s GetUp.org, this video brought many Catalyst staffers to tears. Hit play below, and be prepared to see some wonderful scenes of Sydney and a powerful message on marriage equality.    

WATCH: “Possibly the Most Beautiful Ad for Marriage Equality We’ve Seen,” The Advocate, 11/25/11

Mandatory diversity?

A recent survey found that 41% of female directors surveyed in 26 countries support the idea of government quotas on the number of women on boards of directors. Only 13% of men supported the idea. Catalyst has found that quotas are one proven strategy on the road to parity—what do you think about government mandates on diversity?

READ: “Cause and Effect,” Financial Post, 12/6/11