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June 28, 2012 | 12:00 a.m. CST
The world is becoming a better place for women. They lead countries such as Switzerland, Argentina, Brazil and India. A group of them (Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkol Karman) won the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize for advocacy related to women’s safety and participation in peacekeeping efforts. In America, women earn more bachelor’s and master’s degrees than men.
But it’s not safe to consider the gender gap bridged yet. According to the World Economic Forum, women hold only 20 percent of global decision-making positions. They occupy less than a quarter of the nation’s science, technology, engineering and math jobs, the federal government reports, and no woman has been president here. Following graduation, three-quarters of the Vox editorial staff (the women, that is) can expect to make $8,000 less per year than their male counterparts.
Our feature this week offers a glimpse into the life of a woman who thrives in a male-dominated industry. Like many tattoo artists, Roxane Jeffries is an art enthusiast who considers skin her canvas. She draws and paints in her free time and sports plenty of ink herself. However, Jeffries stands out from her peers because she’s one of only six females in her profession in Columbia.
Jeffries’ minority status has presented her with challenges her male counterparts will never face, but she doesn’t let that stand in her way.
“I don’t think we should get excuses because we’re women,” she says.
Spend a few minutes with our feature story, and you’ll see that rather than set her back, Jeffries’ struggles have made her one tough woman.