Corrections or additions?
Women Online: Stacy Horn and ECHO
These articles by Barbara Fox, Teena Chandy, and Patricia L Fraser were published in U.S. 1 Newspaper’s Survival
Guide on February 3, 1999. All rights reserved.
Just increasing the number of women in the room can
change the way men treat women, says Stacy Horn. The room she
refers to is a chat room. She founded the nine-year-old online community,
ECHO (East Coast Hang Out), and it is now 40 percent female (http://www.echonyc.com).
Horn’s book "Cyberville: Clicks, Culture, and the Creation of
an Online Town" was published last year (Warner Books, $23). A
jaded New Yorker who plays in a samba band on weekends, Horn has a
master’s degree in interactive telecommunications from New York University,
where she teaches a course on virtual culture. Based in New York,
ECHO reflects Horn’s style — it is free of the mall-like atmosphere
of AOL’s chat rooms, fraught with artsy types, some celebrities, and
the extremely opinionated, and has no restrictions on language.
Horn was the keynote speaker for the 1998 Trenton Computer Festival,
and she will give a free lecture at Rutgers’ School of Communication,
Information, and Library Studies (SCILS) at 4 Huntington Street, New
Brunswick, on Wednesday, February 3, at 7 p.m., preceded by a reception
at 6:30 p.m.
Horn sets the stage in her book for a discussion of gender bias by
describing how a woman enters a conversation in a "real" room:
"Whenever I get into a conversation with a bunch of men,"
writes Horn, "there is always a short period where I have to prove
that I’m a good match for this discussion. I don’t have to go through
this with women. It doesn’t mean that I don’t have to prove myself
with women, it’s just that certain things are a given. If it were
a sword fight, it would be like someone handing me the sword without
first asking me to demonstrate that I can use it. I still have to
fight once I have it in my hand, I just don’t have to prove that I
can handle the sword."
Such gender bias takes on a new flavor in a virtual community, Horn
points out, because men can take feminine-sounding names and vice
versa. She writes of an encounter in 1986 on CompuServe. When she
admitted she was a girl, "people started asking me to prove what
I was saying. Every statement I made had to be put to the test before
it was accepted."
One early stylistic difference has disappeared, she says. In the early
’90s, men "posted" (engaged in written dialogue) but women
"lurked" (read the dialogue but did not join in the conversation).
Frustrated by this pattern, Horn went to her "women only"
group and asked why.
"When I look over our answers, I see that what we needed most
was time. Time for our voices to be incorporated into the mix, and
time for the men to get used to the change. When we began, men would
stop conversations cold with one-line equivalents of a wet towel snapping
at your butt. I don’t get complaints about all the `electronic towel
snapping’ anymore. It all seems so quaint; women would lurk and defer,
men would thump their chests and strut."
Horn was able to change that paradigm, partly by making sure that
half the hosts on Echo were women: "I was beginning to suspect
that it mattered less how differently men and women communicated.
What mattered was that there were so few of us. If we were a force,
our style, regardless of how different, would be incorporated into
the discourse of cyberspace."
At the time Horn wrote the book, 5 of the 10 top "posters"
were women. "In an incredibly short time, we learned how to talk
to teach other. And having as many women as men hosting these discussions
The number of women in the top ranks of executive leadership
in America’s leading companies is slowly but steadily advancing. However,
women face another formidable obstacle — a glaring wage gap at
the top of corporate America.
The 1998 Catalyst Census of Women Corporate Officers and Top Earners
shows that even at the very apex of corporate leadership, women top-earning
corporate officers earn 68 cents in salary and bonus to every dollar
earned by top men. And worse still, top-earning line women not only
earn less than line men, they also earn less than staff men.
"By any measure of comparison — title, functional status,
age, company ranking among them — women top earners are not only
outnumbered, they earn less than their male counterparts," says
Sheila Wellington, president of Catalyst, the non-profit research
and advisory organization based in New York City that works with business
to advance women. (212-514-7600; http://www.catalystwomen.org)/
Only 83 women versus 2,184 men were in the highest ranks of corporate
America last year. These women represent just 3.8 percent of the 2,267
holding the titles of chairman, vice chairman, CEO, president, COO,
SEVP, and EVP. Nearly 25 percent of male corporate officers are top
earners, compared to 5 percent of female officers.
The good news is that for the first time, over half (258) of Fortune
500 companies have multiple women corporate officers, a 10 percent
increase over 1997. More than 11 percent of Fortune 500 corporate
officers are women, up from 10.6 in 1997 and 10 percent in 1996. More
than 375 — or 75 percent — of Fortune 500 companies have at
least one woman officer. And 58 companies, or 11.6 percent, currently
have at least one woman among their five most highly paid officers,
up from 25 in 1995.
Companies with multiple women corporate officers have increased dramatically:
a 45 percent increase in companies with one-quarter or more women,
and a 20 percent increase in companies with one-third or more since
Avon Products has surpassed parity with three women among its five
most highly compensated executives. There are now two women CEOs in
the Fortune 500 — Jill Barad of Mattel and Marion Sandler
of Golden West Financial.
The Catalyst study has shown that the largest percentage of women
corporate officers, 32 percent, came from the savings institutions
industry. Other top industries include financials, publishing/printing,
and transportation equipment. Industries with no women corporate officers
include trucking and textiles; others with low representation include
electronics, semiconductors, and waste management.
Based on the findings of the study and an average rate of change since
1995, Catalyst has projected that women will occupy 13 percent of
Fortune 500 corporate officer positions in the year 2000 and 17 percent
in the year 2005.
Look around you for women to nominate for this year’s
Princeton TWIN awards. Nominations are due by Friday, February 12,
and this year’s awards dinner will be Thursday, May 20 at the Princeton
Marriott. Tickets are $85.
"We’re looking for truly exceptional, very dynamic women who have
contributed above and beyond the expectations of their peers in their
position," says Jane Griesinger, co-chairperson of the TWIN
committee and a consultant for Kurt Salmon Associates, based at 103
Carnegie Center. An industrial engineer from the University of Wisconsin,
Class of 1991, she designs call and distribution centers and productivity
improvement programs for Fortune 500 companies.
The Tribute to Women and Industry (TWIN) program was established nationally
by the YWCA in 1975 and adopted by the YWCA Princeton in 1984. The
selection process is highly competitive, taking into account academic
achievement, professional responsibility, community service, demonstrated
leadership, mentoring of others, ability to communicate ideas, special
projects or accomplishments, and contribution to the bottom line.
In 1998 the women honored were Nancy H. Becker, head of her
own public affairs firm in Trenton; Janet Bowker, vice president
of strategic operations of ETS; Mollie Brodsky, executive director
of Crawford House; Brenda Hopper, state director of New Jersey
Small Business Development Center Network; Janet Lasley, president
of Lasley Construction Inc.; Karen Linder, research fellow/team
leader, Bracco Research USA Inc.; Donna Pressma, president
and CEO, Children’s Home Society/NJ; and Michele Ryan, executive
director/nursing, Medical Center at Princeton.
To enter a nomination, contact Griesinger at 609-514-7620. Among the
criteria: Takes initiative on problem faced, Provides leadership and
vision to others, Manages people of diverse backgrounds or ethnicity,
Communicates ideas easily and effectively, Achieves beyond expected
results, Contributes to growth of business, Mentors others, or Maintains
community and professional affiliations.
"These women have worked their entire lives to accomplish something,"
says Griesinger, "and they serve as role models afor other women.
This is one of the few opportunities we have to thank them for the
example they set."
The Hightstown/East Windsor Business and Professional
Women’s Club is currently accepting applications for HEW/BPW Career
Development Awards. These awards are given to women 25 years of age
or older who are continuing or returning to school, in a two or four-year
college or a vocational training program. The deadline for applications
is Sunday, February 28. Call Mary Sullivan at 609-443-2939 for
an application and more information.
The club promotes full participation, equity, and economic self-sufficiency
for working women and extends opportunities for all women to continue
their personal development through educational, leadership, organizational,
and speaking activities.
Two broadcast executives will tell how to use future
technology this week in meetings at the Forrestal Hotel. William
president of WHYY Public Radio and Television in Philadelphia,
speaks at the Princeton Chamber meeting on Thursday, February 4, at
11:30 a.m. His topic is "WHYY. . . Enhancing Future Services Using
a Multimedia Digital Technology Platform." Cost: $30. Call 609-520-1776.
a Princeton University alumnus (Class of ’82)
and Princeton resident who is vice president, interactive, at CNN
Financial News (CNNfn), will discuss trends in Internet commerce and
marketing at New Jersey CAMA’s meeting on Tuesday, February 9, at
11:30 a.m. Cost: $35. Call 609-890-9207.
An alumnus of the University of Delaware, Marazzo devoted his career
to the utilities and environmental industry, first as an engineer
and then as a CEO. He was brought to the public broadcasting station
(chosen over executives in the creative end of the business) because
he knew how to use digital technology to help economic development
"Whereas some people would say I have now worked in three industries,
from my perspective it is all economic development as seen through
the eyes of new technology — in ways that you can create public
good," says Marazzo. For instance, he wants corporations to be
able to get workforce training programs on their television or computer
screens 24-hours a day or even on-demand.
His first act was to revamp the plan for WHYY’s new Independence Square
building aimed at getting the station ready for digital and high definition
television (HDTV). He changed it from a red brick facade to a quirky,
reference to a laptop computer, with a 180-feet wide by 65-feet tall
tilted glass wall complete with little knob-like elements on the side.
It will offer a "live stream" of news feed running across
the glass and will open up a view of the broadcasting studios to the
"We wanted to be sure the building would behave as a public space,
a civic space that allows us to bring the rich diversity of the Delaware
Valley to our viewers and listeners," says Marazzo. "Public
broadcasting has just begun to appreciate that in the face of stiff
competition, it has to get focused on the audience it serves. We have
chosen an element that suggests our intent to be very open to the
The building will help combine the radio with the television operations
and integrate both with Internet opportunities. Each of the new digital
studios will have an audience space. "We need to create a place
where we can bring organizations under our roof as many times as we
can," says Marazzo. "We will bring people together who share
a common interest, record and package the experience, and prepare
for the day when the businesses known as radio and television start
to converge with each other and the Internet."
Marazzo has taken a business-friendly approach to his plans for Philadelphia
television. He will limit high definition television broadcasts to
a couple of hours per week and will concentrate instead on multi-casting,
dividing up five digital signals into one analog signal, several digital
signals, and datacasting. All three media — Internet, audio, and
television — will be part of the matrix that distributes these
He envisions five strands that can offer very wide opportunities to
businesses, both in terms of getting the content and in sponsoring
programs for a targeted audience:
school districts in three states, "creating communities that share
common educational goals."
and Mercer County College have been offering courses for more than
a dozen years, but WHYY started just two years ago and has 16,000
enrolled for courses airing in the early morning.
computers. "The difference between the analog signal today and
the digital signal tomorrow is that the digital signal can address
your PC rather than everyone else’s PC. Now we have the opportunity
to selectively send content out to the marketplace," says Marazzo.
He uses the example of training your workforce on a new version of
Microsoft Windows or doing continuing education for teachers. "We
can cost effectively bring it to your desk."
WHYY to be its workforce development partner, he says. "At best
people think of us as an excellent TV or radio company; they don’t
think of us as educators in the hard sense," says Marazzo.
the various organizations in a "branding" program that identifies
the area as a culturally rich place to "recreate" and live.
What can Princeton contribute? Money, obviously, and more Princeton
dollars are being funneled into the station all the time, both from
private contributions and corporate sponsorships. "Imagine a day
that when you hit WHYY’s website and see a rolling ticker tape that
might be a naming opportunity for a Princeton corporation," he
offers. Another opportunity: the digital versions of Terry Gross‘
Fresh Air programs, now broadcast over the Internet and thus available
to expatriates worldwide.
From a community rife with electronic research experts, he also covets
technical brainpower, to help figure out the convergence models between
television sets and PCs. "We need a ton of help from think tanks,"
says Marazzo. "I would love to set WHYY up as a real time research
lab for people to help piece this whole vision together."
As more and more baby boomers enter the 50-year-old
age bracket, they have elderly parents who are in relatively good
health and are still living in the home of their dreams. However,
what does the baby boomer do when they are at work and receive a call
from Mother saying that Dad has gone to the hospital with chest pains
and she needs you at home now!
This employee is faced with a business and personal dilemma. Since
surveys in the workplace have shown that tending to a parent’s health
needs is the leading reason for absenteeism, the Friends Life Care
at Home, a Quaker-sponsored healthcare program, has developed a win-win
solution that could satisfy both the business person and the elderly.
The elderly parents can stay in their homes, but they get lifelong
healthcare as if they had moved to a continuing care retirement community.
The Friends Life Care at Home of New Jersey program offers a series
of free seminars starting Thursday, February 4, at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
at the Ramada Inn at Exit 8A, East Windsor, The seminars are also
offered Thursday, February 11, and Tuesday, February 16, at 10 a.m.
and 1 p.m. in the New Jersey Hospital Association’s conference center
on Alexander Road. Call 877-352-2465.
Carol A. Barbour, president of the program, notes that Friends
Life Care at Home allows seniors to retire in their own homes or apartments
with a lifetime commitment of quality health and support services.
The list of services include nurses, companions, homemakers, meals,
and an emergency response system. It also includes care in an assisted-living
and skilled nursing facility, if required. All assistance is directed
on an individual basis by responsive care coordinators.
Friends Life Care at Home has served the Greater Philadelphia area
since 1990, and before that it undertook a five-year study of seniors’
needs, funded in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the
Pew Charitable Trusts. In 1998 it expanded into Delaware and has more
than 1,100 members. With the move to New Jersey, the organization
created a subsidiary, Friends Life Care at Home of New Jersey, headed
by Frank J. Brady, executive director.
Brady says that, due to the rising cost of healthcare outside the
home, authorities are looking more to home-based services, and the
Friends program is an example of this evolution. But before making
a decision on in-home retirement, individuals should consider four
factors: health, lifestyle, family, and personal belongings.
The health issue is important because, in order to be considered for
the program, individuals must be in reasonably good health. "The
good news is that once you are accepted, you have a lifetime commitment,
no matter what medical contingency might arise," says Brady.
On lifestyle, a desire for independence is a necessity. Another factor
to consider is family. With today’s mobile society, round-the-clock
care, as delivered by this program, gives peace of mind to family
members who can no longer provide hands-on care. If possessions are
important, retiring at home will allow the elderly person to keep
those personal items that may not be easily moved to an apartment
in a retirement complex.
The Friends Life Care at Home program is licensed in all three states
as a continuing care retirement community (CCRC). Buying into a CCRC
is like an insurance policy — you are guaranteed care.
In this Quaker-sponsored program entrance fees range from $5,000 to
$60,000, depending on whether you are 60 or 100 years old, and monthly
fees are $291, and they do not fluctuate according to age. You stay
in your home (and pay for all those expenses, plus meals) but if you
need any kind of care — even just someone to cook meals when you
get the flu — Friends Life Care at Home finds and pays the helper
or nurse. Or if you need to move to a nursing home, the same monthly
fee covers those costs, no matter where the home is located.
In Pennsylvania the program has 1,100 members, yet only 15 percent
are receiving services at any one time. Most of the need for services
is for early discharge or outpatient care, and if people leave the
program it is usually because they have moved to a retirement community
elsewhere. For those who withdraw in the first six months, all entry
fees are returned. After that, the program retains two percent of
the entry fee for every month spent in the program.
Though clients are not required to fill out a "financial profile,"
the average client’s income is estimated to be $25,000 to $50,000
per year. Fees are 100 percent tax deductible for medical expenses
in the year in which they are paid.
An example of the success of the program is the retirement of Natalie
and Nathaniel Matlin of Morrisville, Pennsylvania. The couple
looked at various retirement facilities, but decided to stay in their
home which they had occupied since 1961. According to the Matlins,
one of the key reasons they chose retirement at home was their love
of their unusual floor to ceiling library complete with its "volumes
As members in the Friends of Life Care at Home Program, the Matlins
can continue to live in their dream home and their son, Dave, can
have piece of mind knowing that his parents’ independence and quality
of life needs are being met.
— Patricia L. Frasier
One alternative to the Friends Life Care at Home program
is to move to a standard continuous care retirement community facility.
Another is to buy long-term care insurance (estimated by a Friends’
spokesperson to be 20 to 30 percent more costly) and hire your own
caregivers, then submit the bills to the insurance company. The remaining
option is to self-insure and hope for good health.
A new way to locate caregivers has just been offered by the Family
Care Network, affiliated with Presbyterian Homes & Services on Roszel
Road. With this new service, you can call 800-622-9603 and consult
with a care counselor to get referrals to such resources as respite
care, home health services, transportation, nutritional services,
and more. The one-time consultation service costs $18, payable by
Beverly A. Zola, a certified gerontological counselor, offers
a caregivers’ support group on Wednesday, February 17, at 6:30 p.m.
at the Princeton Senior Resource Center on Spruce Circle in Princeton.
It is free by reservation. Call 609-924-7108.
Technology New Jersey announces the New Jersey Internet
Awards for organizations and individuals. The Internet Excellence
Award will recognize the top 50 companies and organizations that have
created and implemented a leading-edge web site or E-commerce site.
The Internet Innovator Award will honor the top 10 most influential
Internet commerce leaders in New Jersey whose contributions are driving
the technology industry forward.
Companies and individuals can be nominated through www.technologynj.org.
The deadline for entries is February 28. The winners will be announced
at the TNJ Awards for Internet Excellence Gala on April 27, at the
Hyatt. For more information call Grace Polhemus at 609-419-4444.
South Brunswick Library members can now access thousands
of magazine and journal articles from their homes. Two of the library’s
online databases — EBSCOHost and Infotrac SearchBank —
are available to South Brunswick cardholders through the Internet.
These databases allow individuals to search magazines for articles
on a particular topic and often the full-text article is available
right on the computer screen and can be printed out.
Ebscohost has not only a general magazine database but also a number
of specialized databases such as Middle Search, a database for middle
schoolers; Primary Search, for younger children; Business Source Plus,
containing business related topics; and Health Source Plus, a health
database. Infotrac SearchBank provides 1 million full-text articles
accessible through three databases: General Reference Center, Business
ASAP, and Health Reference Center. To access either of these databases,
follow the links on the library’s homepage: http://www.cybercomm.net/~sobr.
The Prudential Foundation for 1999 has awarded a $25,000
continuation grant to Tech Corps New Jersey, an organization dedicated
to providing volunteer technical assistance to K-12 schools. "Volunteers
from the business community are the driving force behind Tech Corps’
mission," says Donna Custard, manager of Tech Corps New
Tech Corps, based at the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce in Trenton,
was formed in 1997 to provide some level of support to half of New
Jersey’s K-12 school districts in its first 18 months. Tech Corps
surpassed that goal in just 14 months. Tech Corps assists schools
to complete technology inventories, solve computer problems, download
software onto networks, and write grants. Tech Corps also assists
educators through workshops focusing on such topics as the Telecommunications
Act and Year 2000 compliance."
Tech Corps is a national, non-profit organization designed to bring
business volunteers into schools in support of educational technology
initiatives. For more information call 609-989-7888.
Corrections or additions?
This page is published by PrincetonInfo.com
— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.