Tag Archives: men

SparkSF Member Profile: Leo Garver

Leo Garver graduated from Pomona College with a degree in Chemistry. He has Spark Member: Leo Garverdone early-stage research for treatments of HIV, Hepatitis C and Cancer. He has recently shifted from using his talents in analytical chemistry to data analytics. He now does analytics and business intelligence consulting for a variety of bay area startups and non-profits (like Spark!). He is also an avid singer and ballroom dancer.

Leo’s Spark Story:
A former classmate introduced to me to Spark, and I was immediately intrigued with Spark’s mission and methodology. I joined the digital strategy committee and started going to Spark events. I was so impressed with both the people I met and the causes that Spark supports that I had to get more involved!

Who is your favorite grantee?
Uganda Women’s Water Initiative.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A beach vacation with a good book and good friends.

What talent (or superpower!) would you like to have?
The ability to play any song on any musical instrument.

What is your most marked characteristic?
A Thirst for Knowledge. Unfortunately, this sometimes leads me to become a fountain of useless trivia.

If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
An Eagle. Gracefully flying around clear blue skies sounds like a pretty excellent second life.

What is the quality you most like in a fellow human being?

What is your favorite journey?
 I spent a semester living and going to school in South Africa.

Who are your heroes in real life?
Nelson Mandela and Paul Wellstone.


Leaning Back

By SHANNON FARLEY, Spark Executive Director

Women make up 15% of corporate boards and 3% of Fortune 500 CEOs. Many of the women represented in these paltry percentages will be in San Francisco this week for the US State Department’s Women and the Economy Summit in anticipation of the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting in November. The purpose of the summit is to outline policy solutions for access to finance, markets and capital to bolster women’s participation in the economies of the Pacific Rim.

In preparation, we at Spark have been reading up on different solutions to the global gender gap, from sex quotas for corporate boards to increasing women in middle management pipelines. Our research suggests that classic leadership trajectories remain implausible for women. Institutional bias in combination with a lack of role models, mentors and advocates stunt women’s progress at every rung—particularly on the path to the C-Suite. But there is another troubling trend that must be addressed. Women don’t opt out of leadership–we lean back.

A recent Harvard Business Review article unpacked the trend of leaning back in India. Educated female talent can be credited for the growth of India’s economy. Yet, like their American counterparts, when Indian women get married and have children they lean back from leadership opportunities. Some of this has to do with class and some of this has to do with culture, but it doesn’t happen to men when they become husbands and fathers. All over the world, the word woman remains synonymous with caregiver. Until men split care work equitably, we will continue to see women lean back.

Here’s a policy recommendation: Invite men to join in the conversation. 1% of the confirmed speakers for the summit are men.  How can we move the needle when we exclude half the population?

This week, as we discuss economic growth strategies for the Pacific Rim, it is critical to frame of a vision for the global economy that puts class, culture and BOTH genders at the forefront.

Let’s Hear it for the Boys

Hanna Rosin’s article “The End of Men” in this month’s Atlantic Monthly points to troubling statistics.
  • Three-quarters of the 8 million jobs lost during this recession were lost by men.
  • The worst-hit industries were overwhelmingly male: construction, manufacturing and high finance.
  • Men earn only 40% of bachelor degrees and 40% of graduate degrees.

The trend of male underachievement is bleak but not new.  Policy wonks have been talking about this phenomenon for a decade.  What is most troubling to me and others like Anne Friedman is Rosin’s stereotypical treatment of men.  For Rosin, men are brutes.  She claims that they lack emotional intelligence and communication skills.  They are unfit for emerging economic trends.  Their masculinity is threatened and they are angry about it. Continue reading