Episode 27: Rise of the well-paid woman

October 7, 2013

"One of the things that has made [professional women's lives] possible is the growing inequality in society...there are large numbers of women who are doing very, very poorly paid jobs which make the lives of better paid women possible." - Alison Wolf

I often focus on the under-the-radar things that affect women's working lives, but this week the show is zooming out to look at the big picture. Alison Wolf (left) is the author of The XX Factor: How the Rise of Working Women Has Created a Far Less Equal World. It's been out in the UK for several months and has just been published in the US. The book takes a look at professional women's lives all over the globe, from work to marriage (rates are falling) and babies (educated women are far less likely to have them than everyone else). Educated women's lives, Wolf says, are utterly different from those of all other women, from the age at which they start having sex to the amount of time they spend with their children. We discuss, among other things, why Sweden isn't the beacon of equality many of us think, the large part sex used to play in determining every woman's life, and how pizza helped get women into the workforce. 
16 minutes.

Here's the New York Times Sunday Book Review's opinion on The XX Factor.