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Big Pharma Under Fire, Justin Trudeau, and How Humor Might Hurt You

March 18: Badass women and the news that affects them

By Mitra Norowzi

Company Culture

  • Last week, the Southern Poverty Law Center ousted Morris Dees, who co-founded the organization and formerly served as its chief litigator. The nonprofit has declined to comment on why Dees was fired, but its president said the SPLC will bring in an outside organization to assess its climate and practices to ensure its staff is respected and their voices heard. Montgomery Advertiser

  • Drug companies like Purdue Pharma, CVS (2.6 stars), and Johnson & Johnson (4.0 stars) are coming under fire as cities and states increasingly file suits to make public internal memos, marketing strategies, and other documents that could uncover unethical practices. Documents that have already been leaked don’t paint a flattering picture of the companies—like the internal memos where Purdue executives acknowledge their opioid products are much more dangerous and addictive than they told doctors. NPR

  • LinkedIn (4.2 stars) is one of the most popular tools used by job seekers and recruiters alike. But, that doesn’t mean the platform levels the playing field for men and women. In its Gender Insights Report, LinkedIn found that recruiters are 13 percent more likely to click on a man’s profile during searches and are 3 percent less likely to send a personal message to a woman. Fast Company

Quick Hits

  • Hiring and supporting employees with disabilities can sometimes seem like an afterthought—if it’s even a thought at all. Employers should always be working toward inclusive workplaces, but for those that need more convincing, a new study of 140 U.S. companies found that those that practice the most disability inclusion yield about a 30 percent higher profit margin. Fast Company

  • With their nontraditional, ultra-casual, and fun workspaces, startups would seem like the ideal places to foster diversity and inclusion. But how many women would you guess work for these types of companies? The answer is probably none, at least not for those just starting out. A new report from Silicon Valley Bank found that only 28 percent of startup founding teams have at least one woman. The numbers improve for more established startups: 53 percent have women executives and 37 percent have a woman on their board. Quartz

  • Ever resort to a bit of humor to break tension in the conference room? The results of a study that looked at 300 U.S. employees across industries found that the way men and women use humor in the workplace is interpreted quite differently. Men who tell jokes are seen as better leaders and having a higher status while women who infuse their presentations with the same kind of humor are viewed as having a lower status and a lower capacity for leadership and job performance. Harvard Business Review

Around the World

  • Canada: Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau built a strong brand for himself as a feminist and ally when he was elected in 2015. He immediately appointed a balanced cabinet of 15 men and 15 women. Trudeau began losing some women voters after efforts surrounding the inquiries into the murders of indigenous women, election reform, and the establishing of the national child care program stalled. And more recent resignations from two of his cabinet members (both women) are further calling into question Trudeau’s dedication to supporting women. The Atlantic

  • South Korea: K-pop star Jung Joon-young has publicly admitted that he filmed and shared intimate videos of women without their consent. His agency, MAKEUS Entertainment, has terminated its contract with Jung, who said he will withdraw from the entertainment industry to repent for his actions. NY Times

  • Germany: On Monday, Berlin’s transit system offered women a discount that corresponded with Germany’s 21 percent wage gap, which is one of the highest in Europe. NY Times

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