ad info




CNN.com
 MAIN PAGE
 WORLD
 U.S.
 LOCAL
 POLITICS
 WEATHER
 BUSINESS
 SPORTS
 TECHNOLOGY
 SPACE
 HEALTH
 ENTERTAINMENT
 BOOKS
 TRAVEL
 FOOD
 ARTS & STYLE
 NATURE
 IN-DEPTH
 ANALYSIS
 myCNN

 Headline News brief
 news quiz
 daily almanac

  MULTIMEDIA:
 video
 video archive
 audio
 multimedia showcase
 more services

  E-MAIL:
Subscribe to one of our news e-mail lists.
Enter your address:
Or:
Get a free e-mail account

 DISCUSSION:
 message boards
 chat
 feedback

  CNN WEB SITES:
CNN Websites
 AsiaNow
 En Español
 Em Português
 Svenska
 Norge
 Danmark
 Italian

 FASTER ACCESS:
 europe
 japan

 TIME INC. SITES:
 CNN NETWORKS:
Networks image
 more networks
 transcripts

 SITE INFO:
 help
 contents
 search
 ad info
 jobs

 WEB SERVICES:

  Transcripts

Special Event

Millennium 2000: Women in the Workplace

Aired January 3, 2000 - 11:17 a.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: They marched out of their homes and into the streets, led revolutions and ruled nations. Where is a woman's place in the new millennium?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Women's jobs are all-important, that being a homemaker is important, that being a secretary is important; so important, that men should have both those jobs too.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAGAN: Taking power and using it: Now gender power in 2000.

Now, our focus is on women, or, more specifically, women in the workplace. The gender gap and employment opportunities is narrowing, but a United Nations survey finds women worldwide still earn about two-thirds of what men make.

On average, women in the U.S. earn 76 cents for every dollar that a man makes. In Canada, women earn about 80 cents to every dollar that a man makes. And there's still a way to go for women to crack that so-called "glass ceiling" to the upper echelons of major corporations.

Today, we'll talk with three women who have made headway toward narrowing that gender gap: feminist Gloria Steinem, labor executive Amy Dean, and businesswoman Meena Pathak.

We will ask our guests to stand by just for a second.

Before we talk with them, we want to introduce you to several women around the world and tell you their stories of struggle and triumph in the workplace. You're about to meet a 50-something lawyer in New York, a 49-year-old carpenter in Johannesburg, South Africa, and a 31-year-old Muslim journalist in Jakarta, Indonesia.

First the lawyer. That story from Maria Hinojosa.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SUSAN CARTON, ATTORNEY: The biggest female role model was my mother. She was a wonderful mother; she was a homemaker; she was home with her children all the time. MARIA HINOJOSA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Susan Carton was a lot like other little girls in the 1950s.

CARTON: I really didn't see professional women in the groups that I went with.

HINOJOSA: She never dreamt about a career.

CARTON: They called me Susie.

HINOJOSA: But then Susie became a secretary for a powerful judge. And like a lot of '60s women, she suddenly wanted more.

CARTON: The judge had people come in from all political stratas, very famous people, people -- famous lawyers and famous judges and famous politicians, and he would say, Sue, you know, you prepare lunch, and I would say, OK, as long as I can sit and listen. And I listened.

HINOJOSA: And what did she hear? If you want to make it as a lawyer in a man's world, you've got to be tough.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARTON: No, no, no, I'm sorry.

It's a gross, gross miscarriage of justice.

It's simply poppycock, judge; simply poppycock.

There was no stipulations, there were no exonerations, there's just going to be a check delivered to us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HINOJOSA: It was hard. It took two law schools, two jobs. She finally graduated in 1983 at 31. Then Carton, like other women in her generation, pushed herself into a profession full of men. She became one of New York's most visible personal injury lawyers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Susan's success has really said loud and clear that we have a lot of gifted female lawyers who are as able, if not more able, than the men in the courtroom.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARTON: The records, I think, are going to bear out that her behavior was so bizarre that she shouldn't have been on a regular unit.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HINOJOSA: She has achieved a certain amount of notoriety: a landmark suit on behalf of a doctor infected accidentally with HIV, fighting for the victims of a massive fire at the Happyland Social Club. Her case against a cop accused of killing a Latino man pit her against the entire NYPD.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARTON: I intend to cross-examine those cops up the Kazoo, and I will have Officer Lavoti (ph) on the stand, and I promise you I will tear him apart.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HINOJOSA: To get ahead, being good wasn't good enough.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

QUESTION: How do you feel?

CARTON: It feels great. It feels great that it's all over. It feels good.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARTON: You had to be exceptional. I was going to put myself in a position where I would take on controversy. I wanted to prove myself.

HINOJOSA: Prove herself because, until the Vietnam War, few women went to law school.

SUSAN BROWNMILLER, AUTHOR, "IN OUR TIME": '67 marked the beginning of masses of women able to get in to law schools because the guys didn't have their deferments anymore.

HINOJOSA: Janice Goodman opened up the first all-women's law firm in 1973.

JANICE GOODMAN, FEMINIST LAWYER: What we had 30 years ago were a group of very uptight, white male professionals who did a good job, but for the main part lacked the sensitivity to what the real issues were regarding women's rights.

HINOJOSA: Carton didn't wait to be named a partner in a man's law firm. She started her own.

CARTON: You constantly have to be pushing and constantly have to be asking and constantly have to be pushing the glass ceiling a little bit more, pushing the envelope a little bit more because there is still a lot of discrimination in the workplace.

HINOJOSA: Yet for all the necessary toughness, sensitivity has propelled her success.

(on camera): If there was something about you as a woman that makes you want to take on these kinds of case, what is it?

CARTON: Protecting people. I feel a strong urge to protect people from injustice. I feel that sometimes ordinary citizens don't have their voice heard. HINOJOSA (voice-over): That means long, late hours, and all the challenges modern American working women must face.

BROWNMILLER: Sometimes women have to sacrifice the concept of a personal life altogether.

HINOJOSA: Carton sacrificed enough. She married at 40, became a mother at 41.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Mommy?

CARTON: What.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Today in school, they were like counting down.

HINOJOSA: And she'll teach her own daughter by example how to handle the juggling act her own mother couldn't have imagined.

CARTON: I think it's important for her to have a balance. I want her to know that there are choices and that you can be what you want to be and that you can succeed if you really work hard and care about what you do.

Maria Hinojosa, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Meet 49- year-old Thandi Ciciwezi. Her first job every day is the traditional one for South African women: Making breakfast for her family. But nowadays, Ciciwezi has another job. She's helping to build a new South Africa, in more ways than one.

Over the past few months, Ciciwezi has worked in construction, mixing cement, setting up wall frames and laying brick. She's worked on 153 low-income houses, part of the promise of the black-led government of post-apartheid South Africa. But Ciciwezi is also part of the promise of a more gender-conscious South Africa, a black woman able to pursue her dreams as far as her abilities will take her.

Already, in just one year, she's become a star, at least in the eyes of the local cement company with whom she does business.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, ADVERTISEMENT)

THANDI CICIWEZI, CONTRACTOR: I use Alpha all-purpose cement.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HUNTER-GAULT: Ciciwezi has come a long way from the years of apartheid when the choices for all black women were limited, mostly to farm, factory or domestic work. Ciciwezi chose the latter, but the work was far away from the rural areas where most black people were forced to live and where the majority still do -- women, by and large, without men.

That was the case for Ciciwezi, whose husband, a mine worker, had a fatal accident, leaving her as the sole bread-winner for their three sons.

CICIWEZI: After my husband's died, I had to leave the children at home, leave them alone at the rural area, come into Johannesburg. The children took care of themselves.

HUNTER-GAULT: But times have changed, at least for Ciciwezi and a growing number of women interested in construction, thanks to a two- year-old group, South African Women in Construction, which is partly funded by the Development Bank of Southern Africa, which has assisted a number of women's projects. Ciciwezi was able to get technical help and advice to pursue a dream she'd had since childhood when she used to tag along with her father as a bricklayer. She says women were always builders in Africa.

CICIWEZI: I can say our African culture, women that time, all of the men used to come to Johannesburg to the mine, then the mothers used to build the houses.

HUNTER-GAULT: Ciciwezi's desire to build houses is also fueled by conditions in shantytowns like this one where she used to live before her name came up on the waiting list and she got one of the new houses she built. One of her four male business partners still lives here in Cembeza (ph). She gets along well with her partners, but she says men in general have problem with a woman in what they regard as a man's world.

CICIWEZI: It's a challenge to us, when we're to move women working with men. Some they don't like it.

HUNTER-GAULT: Not only is it still a man's world, says Ciciwezi, but it's often a white man's world.

CICIWEZI: You can't be the boss in the white areas, but they do get the jobs in our areas, they see the opportunities their way.

HUNTER-GAULT (on camera): If attitudes haven't changed, neither has the reality for the vast majority of working women in South Africa. Most are still working either in the informal sector, on farms, or as domestics. A new law gives them more protection, but up until now, there's been nothing to give them more mobility.

(voice-over): A new employment equity bill currently being debated in Parliament is designed to require private companies to offer more opportunities for targeting, training and promoting women.

LIESL GERNHOLTZ, GENDER COMMISSION: I think that the real change needs to happen in the private sector and in the families.

HUNTER-GAULT: Women's rights activists say that meeting the challenge is going to require that government back up its gender- friendly words with strong action. GERNHOLTZ: The legislative framework is a very, very good and progressive one and, if it is implemented properly, should benefit women.

HUNTER-GAULT: As for women like Thandi Ciciwezi...

CICIWEZI: If the women can stand firm and fight for their rights and go for it, it's going to be right, we're going to have rights to (UNINTELLIGIBLE), although it's not going to be easy. It's not going to be easy, but it's going to be right.

HUNTER-GAULT: Charlayne Hunter-Gault, CNN, Cembeza, South Africa.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARIA RESSA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After decades of authoritarian rule, women in Indonesia are pushing for greater freedom not just for themselves, but for their society. They do it not just on the streets, but in their everyday jobs; like 31-year-old Fairus Husaini, one of more than 35 million women who make up 40 percent of her country's work force. Her father died when she was a child; 14 years ago, she became the breadwinner of her family. She says, during that time, she's had to live with discrimination.

FAIRUS HUSAINI, INDONESIAN JOURNALIST (through translator): They don't respect me; they don't give me a chance; they'll stay away from me; they treat me badly because I'm Muslim with this kind of appearance.

RESSA: In this society, Fairus is battling two stereotypes: one against her gender, the other her religion. She fights discrimination in her own way.

HUSAINI (through translator): I just leave. I look for other opportunities. If one door closes, you have to look for a second door to open.

RESSA: Although Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world, less than 20 percent of its women wear the jilbab, or the Muslim traditional headdress.

HUSAINI (through translator): People are afraid of us; they're scared. They think we're religious fanatics; that's why we have to change these stereotypes.

RESSA: And there are certainly many Indonesian women out to do that. In many cases, taking the lead and demanding social and political change. Like these women, among the first to demand an end to the 32-year rule of former President Suharto, many of them went to jail.

As a journalist, Fairus has had a front-row seat to the dramatic changes since the fall of Suharto nearly two years ago. His resignation unleashed a Pandora's Box of decades-old conflicts, separatist violence in East Timor and Aceh, brutal beheadings and ethnic violence in Kalimantan, and religious violence in Ambon.

Fairus says she works harder than her male colleagues to prove she can do the job, but admits her reporting has sometimes been hampered by conflicting feelings because of her nationality, religion and sex.

HUSAINI (through translator): Like in East Timor, as an Indonesian, I was ashamed of the report from there. In Aceh, being Muslim became a factor, while the rape in East Timor and Aceh made me angry and shamed me.

RESSA: Often, she says she finds clarity in prayer. Islam ask its followers to pray five times a day.

HUSAINI (through translator): It's difficult to do sometimes, but Islam is flexible. If I can't do it at the specified times, I pray later.

RESSA (on camera): Women like Fairus, as well as million of Indonesian men, are both charting their way through unfamiliar territory. As Indonesia convulses through dramatic political and social change, its people are living increasingly nontraditional lives while fighting to redefine the spirit of their traditional beliefs.

Maria Ressa, CNN, Jakarta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JIM CLANCY, CNN ANCHOR: As we look forward, what does the future hold for women in the workplace? Gloria Steinem, Amy Dean and Meena Pathak join us to take a closer look at the challenges women worldwide face in the 21st century. That's when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAGAN: Let's bring in our guests now to talk about women in the workplace in the new millennium. In New York, a woman you'll no doubt recognize from her many years spearheading the feminist cause: Gloria Steinem, founder of "Ms." magazine, to talk about recasting women's rights as human rights.

In San Francisco, Amy Dean, executive officer of the AFL-CIO office in California's Silicon Valley. Amy joins us to talk about the impact of the wired world on women's prospects in the workplace.

And in London, Meena Pathak, CEO of Patak's Originals, a multinational, multimillion-dollar spices company, who joins us to talk about how women of various cultures achieve success in business.

Ladies, welcome. Thanks for joining us for this discussion, today.

Gloria Steinem, I'll start with you in New York. We just saw those three pieces which pretty much stress the positive. Do you see women in the workplace as being a positive situation right now or a negative?

GLORIA STEINEM, FEMINIST: Well, certainly it's positive, but you can see in your very good reporting exactly what the two big problems are. One is that most women in the world suffer from gender discrimination plus race or ethnicity as well. And the other one is that most women in the world are doing two jobs, not just one. They're working at home in work that isn't defined as "work." In industrial countries, homemakers are called women who don't work, which is ridiculous, and women who are food growers in agricultural areas are also called women who don't work. So, we need to expand this narrow definition of "work."

KAGAN: We'll get to women at home in just a moment. First, I want to bring in Amy Dean from the hottest place in the hottest economy, Silicon Valley.

Amy, the advent of technology is supposed to make work life better for workers, better for women. Do you see that happening where you are?

AMY DEAN, AFL-CIO: Well, there's no question that the new economy is redefining the way we all go to work, today, and new industries are changing the way employees relate to their employer. Increasingly, we see people working on a part-time, temporary or contingent basis -- in other words, not having a traditional permanent or fixed relationship to their employer. And it's no surprise that in this kind of new mix, this new contingent work force, that the majority of those workers are women.

Now, for women who are at the high-end of the labor market, who, for example, work as a software engineer, it may result -- flexibility may result in improved quality of life, but for the majority of women, who don't work in that basis, who work on some kind of temporary or part-time basis, this new economy, this new way we all go to work, means less benefits and less wages, and it's no surprise that women are not the sole beneficiaries of the new economy.

KAGAN: And so you're actually trying to organize workers in Silicon Valley, are you not?

DEAN: There's no question that there's some very exciting new models of representation that are beginning to emerge primarily targeted at temporary workers, women workers. We see the majority of new entrants to the work force in the Valley as being women, immigrants and people of color. And so we are spearheading new models of representation, models that we think are appropriate for the new ways people go to work in the new economy.

KAGAN: Meena Pathak in London, quite honestly, when people see -- when business leaders see people like Amy Dean coming, they often cringe because they hate the idea of unionization and trying to run a business. How do you balance the idea of being a business owner with trying to meet the needs of your women workers, who you can understand their needs as well as anybody?

MEENA PATHAK, CEO, PATAK'S ORIGINALS: I think one is more compassionate to the needs of the women workers, and as far as I think people, and especially Asian women, have been sort of stereotyped, have been put into a mold for a long, long time, and I think that's changed, and that's changed in India a long time ago. People still feel that within the workplace a woman has to take -- walk 10 steps behind the man many a time, but that's not the case any more.

KAGAN: Let's go back to a point that Gloria was making at the top and women at home. Lots of times, people make this differentiation between women who are working and then when they say they're staying at home they say that they're not.

Gloria, the point you were trying to make, that work is work?

STEINEM: Yes, I mean to say that homemakers don't work is a kind of semantic slavery, because workers -- homemakers actually work longer hours for less money than any class of worker in industrialized countries. So, what we're trying to say is that all productive work has to be honored and have an attributed value and also that it's not possible to do two full-time jobs. Therefore, the community has to be responsible for children, men have to be responsible for children, this is not -- it's just not possible to do two jobs at the same time.

KAGAN: When you say put value on something, are you talking about actually saying women or paying people to stay home and take care of children?

STEINEM: No, actually, it's been more kind of authoritarian governments that have done that in order to have hero mothers and so on, but the general move, which is farther forward in many so-called third world countries than it is here is to attribute an economic value to that work. We need to count -- for instance, 40 percent of the productive labor in the U.S. is not counted in the GNP, because it is labor in the home, some performed by men as well but mostly performed by women. Canada is also farther ahead than we are in attributing an economic value to this work.

KAGAN: We have two mothers on our panel. Let's turn to them. Amy, first of all. you as a mother, as a leading lawyer and a labor leader in the Bay area, how are you doing it, and how do you attribute the value that you put the work you do outside the home and the work you do inside the home?

DEAN: There's no question that it's two full-time jobs, and I will argue that any woman who says that she's struck up the balances is being less than truthful. We work and we take care of our families at our own expense, and it is not formal networks that we can depend on but really our own informal networks that we put together for support.

I think one of the things that we see in the global economy is that we literally work in a 24-hour work day. Women fly across the country and come home at the end of day so they can be with their children and then start their day at the end. And it really extends the length of our day.

And so there is no question that the opportunities that we have that are increasing are also at our own expense as women. There is no way of balancing the two, short of creating our own informal networks. I think the challenge for the American labor movement and for the employer community in this next century will be to figure out ways where quality of life issues are what we receive as compensation, not so much quantity of life, but quality of life, and that there be opportunities within the workplace that unions bargain on behalf of workers for and employers provide to employees that allow us to not make the tradeoff between work and family.

KAGAN: Meena, as a business owner, how does that sound to you?

PATHAK: That sounds exactly right. I mean, I have the same sort of feeling. We all actually, as women, as a mother, I mean, I do two jobs, I have to be sort of very organized. And keep my household running as effectively a the business is running. You come home many times in the evening and you are absolutely shattered, but you have to keep going. And sometimes you are working late hours into the night, and you might be bringing work home as well.

KAGAN: And as a business owner, how can you make changes within your own company to help women who work for you progress and still keep their families going?

PATHAK: I think, as you asked the earlier question about being compassionate, I think, one, as a women employer, feels more towards another employee or worker that is with you all -- whenever they are sort of pregnant or going through sickness or illness or they have got children at home who are young and who are ill. I think you heart does go out to them because you have gone through that process. In fact, I remember a time when -- when I was -- I had joined the business and the children used to ill sometimes at home, and I had to actually go to work. There was always that guilt time within yourself that you had to leave them behind and go, and I think that stayed with me. You have a little more compassion towards the women who are working for you and have realized after a period of time that it is important to have that.

CLANCY: Meena, Gloria, and I want to -- this is Jim Clancy -- I want to sort of step in here and ask for a report card for the men in the last couple of decades or so. It would seem to me, and this is my position, you just give us the report card, that men are cooperating more with women; they are more supportive of the roles that they want to take in the workplace, balancing their time between family and work.

Meena, what do you say?

PATHAK: I think, definitely, I wouldn't have done what I have done without the help of my husband because he has taken over some of the problems and some of the issues that could have been sort of dealt only by me, and he has taken over and helped me through that period not only at home, but at work. And there have been times where I have been traveling and I couldn't have done without his help if he hadn't stayed back and looked after the children when they were young. There was always one of us who went away.

CLANCY: Let me ask Amy now. What is your experience? How would you grade men?

DEAN: About a C minus. And I think, to the positive side, there is a growing recognition that women constitute the majority of the workforce. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that in this next century over 90 percent of all new entrants to workforce will be women, immigrants or people of color. And so there is no question there is a recognition that the economy increasingly depends on women and women's work.

But what we don't see, and even in the new economy, in the wired world, we don't see any transformation in cultures as it relates to tradition, prejudice or inequality. We see less -- I don't -- there is no increased evidence that men are being any more sympathetic, although there is a growing recognition that more women are working. I think women still pay the price for having to lead dual careers and dual lives.

CLANCY: All right, now the one I am afraid of.

Gloria Steinem, what's your report card for men and how they have reacted to all of this?

STEINEM: Well, you can be relieved because actually what I want to say is, I fear here we're individualizing the problem. We're asking what individuals are doing, and what we need are systemic political solutions. I am sitting in the only country, the industrialized democracy in the world with no national system of child care, no national system of health care, which women need 30 percent more than men do because of child rearing.

These are not about individuals solutions. These are about systemic, countrywide international solutions that begin with people like Amy and me, who are figuring it out, but half of the responsible can't be passed downward to the individual, it must be passed upward to policy making. None of us can solve this by themselves.

KAGAN: At the bottom line is the dollar. What will it take for women to earn the same as men? We will talk about pay equity after this break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAGAN: As we continue our conversation about women in the workplace, we want to welcome back our three guests: Gloria Steinem in New York, Amy Dean in San Francisco, and Meena Pathak in London. Thanks for rejoining us, ladies.

Let's get back to the issue of the bottom line and the dollar. At the top of segment we gave some numbers that in the U.S. women earn 76 on the dollar for every dollar that a man makes. IN Canada, it is a little bit better, 80 cents on the dollar, and yet that is not equity.

Gloria, what is it going to take to get everybody even?

STEINEM: Well, it is going to take everybody looking at the Web, the Internet for instance, which is supposedly newer and more equal, but in fact women earn 20 percent less. So it is going to take a lot of things, including individual people looking around their workplace and men saying: I'm not going to be unfairly paid. I'm not going to do the same job as the woman next to me when I know she is getting paid less. We need everybody to rebel against this, as well as to enforce the legislation.

We also need to desegregate the labor force because women are still overwhelmingly concentrated in the so-called pink color ghetto, which means jobs that are overwhelmingly female. And those are the poorly paid ones.

So you get a situation in which an accountant has the same years of training as a grade school teacher but is getting paid much more or a parking lot attendant is getting more than a child care attendant because the first two are males and the second two are females. Or the guy who picks up the garbage at the hospital is getting paid more than the nurse who works in the hospital.

So it is not just about individual, comparable, you know, same jobs, it's about comparably-trained jobs, and also finally valuing work according to its value to the community instead of the social identity of the workers. That's actually what we've been doing. We've been counting the social identity of the worker more than the value of the work to the community.

KAGAN: Amy, from your community, is the answer organization?

DEAN: Well, I think it is two things. I think it is, first off, ensuring that women have or young girls at an early age have the same kind of access to opportunity as young boys. And being deliberate in our attempts to ensure equity in access to opportunity is absolutely important.

The second is that it is clear that collective bargaining and collective voice within the workplace is one of the best vehicles to ensuring parity in pay.

And the third thing is for those of who are women as employers is to model the kind of behavior we want from our male counterparts, and to ensure that within our own workplaces we don't replicate the same kinds of situations that we see. And so, by modeling that kind of behavior, managing and -- collective bargaining and then the issue of opportunity are all important steps that we can take to mitigate the inequity in pay.

KAGAN: Meena, up to this point we've been pretty much U.S.- centric and looking at the Western world. How do you see the situation for women in Europe and in the Asian world in business?

PATHAK: Well, in the Asian world, I think for a long, long time the women were, even despite having all the credentials of being in the same sort of atmosphere in the workplace as a man, was always held behind. And it absolutely right where actually the man has to recognize the talent within the women and then the women has to agree or the man has to say that yes, she is capable, and it is not that she is trying to compete, but she is trying to be helpful within the same environment, and actually give the same thing.

As far as Europe is concerned, I mean, I think I came from a background which was quite fortunate because I came from a background where my parents -- both my parents were very well educated, and my mother was an earner by herself and could manage the household on own earnings. And in fact, she was again competing in man's world at that time as well. She was a dentist and she was competing in man's world.

So I was brought up in that sort of atmosphere. And when I came to England about 24 years ago, I came into an atmosphere which was -- I think trying to hold the women down or back or not recognizing their talent more than anything. If not -- maybe not holding them is not the right word, but not recognizing them for what abilities that they had.

They wanted the hands and the brains to do the work, but not give the pay. But that's changed over a period of time over the last 24 years that's changed.

KAGAN: So you had the role model, Meena, of your mother, whereas most women, as they were growing up with this generation, did not have the role model of a working mother. Do you think to be successful in business you have had to take on some characteristics that we would normally associate with men?

PATHAK: I don't think so. I mean, I have got a daughter at home. I think she's been told and she has been taught that she has equal opportunities, or even more. In fact, the talents that exist within your own family, you can see that there are various sort of talents between the three children that I have. And today I don't think anything is going to hinder her or hold her back. And if she does want to work, I mean, whether she uses me as a role model or my husband as a role model, or her grandmother as role model, it's going to be something that is going to be entirely up to her or she might have her own idea of work.

KAGAN: As we look ahead at the beginning of this century, what do you think what issues about women in the workplace do you think our great granddaughters and great great granddaughters will be talking about at the beginning of the next century? And Amy, I will give you the first crack on that one.

DEAN: I think -- my hope is that they won't be talking about the same things that we're talking about now, and that they will be looking to figure out how to create opportunities for their daughters and for the future generations to come. And so it's my hope that they will not be talking about the same issues that we talk about today.

KAGAN: Gloria, do you think it will be such a common thing, there will be so much equality, so much progress in this coming century that there won't be anything to talk about?

STEINEM: Well, I'm always hoping, you know, but by historical precedent, every movement that has a lasting impact has to last more than 100 years, and we're only about 30 years into this one. And I think we're just enunciating women's rights as human rights, and adding those things that especially affect women like reproductive freedom, for instance. I mean, whether or not a women has children is a major health issue, it is a major economic issue. The redefinition of work, democratic families, the depoliticalization of culture. All of these things will probably be going on, but I hope at least the ideas will be accepted as fundamental right, and we'll be working out the ways we want to do this in our diverse cultures.

KAGAN: Gloria Steinem, Amy Dean, and Meena Pathak in London, thank you for joining us in this conversation. It was fascinating.

And there is more to go on. We have this note for you. For more on Gloria Steinem, all you have to do is log-on to cnn.com. She'll be participating in a Web chat, and that starts just a few minutes from right now.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

  ArrowCLICK HERE FOR TODAY'S TOPICS AND GUESTS
ArrowCLICK HERE FOR CNN PROGRAM SCHEDULES
SEARCH CNN.com
Enter keyword(s)   go    help

Back to the top   © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.