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Finding role models

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals Sure, women who are strong and capable show up in the media, too, but not in nearly the same proportion as men of similar accomplishments. A recent study by the White House Project, a nonprofit, nonpartisan group dedicated to advancing women’s leadership, found that women make up only 14 percent of guests on morning news shows. Their limited visibility reinforces any personal doubts we may harbor about how much power women wield. Seeing is believing, and if we don’t see it, it’s hard to expand our notion of what women are doing already, never mind what more we can take on in the future. “Our biggest challenge is to change our consciousness,” Naomi Wolf, author and social critic said at a recent appearance at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. “We need to get it that women are no longer in the co-pilot seat. Women are flying the plane.” Even Air Force One, thanks to “Commander in Chief,” the new hit television show starring Geena Davis as the nation’s first female president. It is startling to see a woman demanding that her hesitant male vice presidential pick take her call, then attending to her teenage daughter and finally, at the end of a long, productive day, being comforted in their White House bedroom by a sympathetic, supportive husband. I admit it: As I watch the series, I often catch myself wondering, “Is this really possible (absent the near-perfect dialogue, which no one can spew consistently), or is it pure Hollywood fantasy?” If “Commander in Chief” shows us the future, www.newsonwomen.com, focuses on the present. Started by Alice Krause, formerly a commercial banker at Chase Bank, and her daughter, Molly, this unique site shows that “amazing women are doing amazing things every day.” Recent posts feature women whose accomplishments, especially gathered together on one site, demonstrate a tremendous amount of clout, women like Myrtle Potter, former president of Genetech; Valerie Jarrett, chairman of the Chicago Stock Exchange Board; and University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann. Another site dedicated to publicizing women’s work is www.womensenews.com, which recently ran an article on Leaders Take Flight, a New Jersey company that teaches female executives how to fly small aircrafts in an attempt to boost essential skills, such as being aware of your options. Tune into these new media options and let your imagination soar. Hail to the chief! Leslie Whitaker is co-author of “The Good Girl’s Guide to Negotiating.” Write her at [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Dear Readers, Where can working women find other women to look up to? Men looking for successful role models need not embark on a search mission. Men of accomplishment are evident everywhere, staring at you from the pages of magazines and newspapers, being interviewed on television and even walking the line in movies and chasing goblets of fire. A quick comparison of the dominate images in a recent Sunday edition of The New York Times illustrates the discrepancy between the typical coverage of the sexes. A huge photo of Samuel Alto, President Bush’s latest nominee to the Supreme Court, a portrait of two Warner Brothers Entertainment executives and an illustration of Abraham Lincoln and four friends were the most prominent male images. The only section with women on the front page was Sunday Styles, which displayed the lovely faces of eight young women under the headline “Who Is America’s Next Top Model, Really?” last_img read more