7 Facts That Prove America Ferrera’s Speech in Barbie Is True (Infographic)
Earlier this summer, the Barbie film launched a huge conversation around feminism and the status of gender equity in the world today. America Ferrera, in her role as Gloria in the movie, delivered a speech that was widely labeled as “stirring” and even “the most important feminist monologue of our time.”
For more than 60 years, Catalyst has been at the forefront of creating the kind of change that Gloria and Barbie are seeking. We dug into the research and pulled out the facts to prove that while much progress has been made, we still have a long way to go in advancing true gender equity in the workplace.
You have to be thin, but not too thin. And you can never say you want to be thin. You have to say you want to be healthy, but also you have to be thin.
Women feel more stigmatized about belly fat, regardless of weight.
11-72% of adult women report
Women felt more stigma about abdominal fat than men, regardless of body weight. (2021, November 8). American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2021; Fiske, L., Fallon, E., Blissmer, B., & Redding, C. Prevalence of body dissatisfaction among United States adults: Review and recommendations for future research. (2014). Eating Behaviors, Volume 15 Issue 3
You have to have money, but you can’t ask for money because that’s crass.
Studies show people penalize women who negotiated for higher salaries more than men.
After asking for a raise in response to 2022’s inflation, 52% of women received a bump compared to 59% of men.
Bowles, H., Babcock, L., Lai, L. Social incentives for gender differences in the propensity to initiate negotiations: Sometimes it does hurt to ask. (2007). Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Volume 103, Issue 1.
You have to be a boss, but you can’t be mean.
When women take charge, they are viewed as competent leaders – but disliked.
When women take care, they are liked – but viewed as less competent leaders.
The Double-Bind Dilemma for Women in Leadership. (2018). Catalyst.
You have to lead, but you can’t squash other people’s ideas.
Men tend to evaluate women leaders more harshly, especially in occupations where men outnumber women.
This makes it more difficult for women to lead and influence others
The Double-Bind Dilemma for Women in Leadership: Damned if You Do, Doomed if You Don’t. (2007). Catalyst.
You’re supposed to love being a mother, but don’t talk about your kids all the damn time.
In a study conducted by Cornell University in 2007, women who didn’t mention parent-teacher associations or make other subtle references to children in their resume were twice as likely to be called for an interview, compared to similarly qualified mothers.
Correll, S., Benard, S., Paik, I. Getting a Job: Is There a Motherhood Penalty? (2007). American Journal of Sociology, Volume 112, Number 5
Never forget that the system is rigged. So, find a way to acknowledge that but also always be grateful
Catalyst research shows that gender bias can seep into talent management systems and create an endless cycle that cascades down to every employee at every level of an organization.
Break the Cycle: Eliminating Gender Bias in Talent Management Systems. (2018). Catalyst.
You have to never get old, never be rude, never show off, never be selfish, never fall down, never fail, never show fear, never get out of line.
Women managers reported feeling pressure to adhere to societal beauty standards and maintain a young look. While gray hair on a man can be seen as a mark of maturity or authority, women are almost twice as likely as men to feel compelled to dye their hair.
Inclusion at every stage: Addressing gendered ageism (Topic overview). (2023). Catalyst.