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Spotify, Levi Strauss, L'Oreal, and Others Back Pregnancy Bill

May 20: Badass women and the news that affects them

Mitra Norowzi

By Mitra Norowzi

Company Culture

  • The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 may have made it illegal to discriminate against employees for reasons relating to pregnancy and childbirth, but it never actually required employers to make accomodations for pregnant workers. That’s why a new bill called the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act has been introduced to Congress to mandate that employers implement minor job changes that would allow pregnant workers to keep working instead of being forced into taking unpaid leave. Companies like Spotify (3.6 stars), Levi Strauss (3.2 stars), Microsoft (3.4 stars), Adobe (3.7 stars), L’Oreal USA (3.5 stars), ICM Partners, U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce, and Amalgamated Bank are already showing their support after penning an open letter to Congress urging the passage of the bill. Fast Company

  • Nike (3.3 stars) faced criticism this week over its treatment of sponsored female athletes who decide to become mothers. Watch the video from United States national champion Alysia Montaño, who trained while pregnant and during postpartum because her sponsors treated her pregnancy like it was any other injury. NY Times

  • Now for some exciting advancements in culture at NASA (3.8 stars)! Women are in charge of three out of the four science divisions at the agency for the first time in its 60-plus year history. The divisions now lead by women are Earth science, heliophysics, and planetary science. And just a few days after this announcement, NASA shared that it plans to put a woman on the moon by 2024.

  • In July, Deloitte (3.7 stars) CEO Cathy Engelbert will begin serving as commissioner of the WNBA. Engelbert, who was the first woman to lead one of the country’s “Big Four” professional service firms, takes over amid the WNBA’s labor negotiations and rebranding. She’s also the first in her position to be named “commissioner;” her predecessors were all called “president.” The Washington Post

Quick Hits

  • Recent data from a Morning Consult/ASCEND poll found that white women don’t fully understand the reality of the gender pay gap. While 66 percent of them agreed women are paid less than men for similar work, only 39 percent said non-white women are paid less than white women for similar work. Well, we know for sure that women are color are paid less. Read our Salary Satisfaction report for a full breakdown of women’s pay. InHerSight

  • A third of female lawyers say they’ve been sexually harassed, says a recent survey from the International Bar Association. The survey had about 7,000 respondents from 135 countries; it found sexual harassment and bullying to be common. Bloomberg

  • You don’t need us to tell you abortion has dominated the news cycle this week, but if you’re not caught up yet, here’s a quick rundown of what each state is proposing. Interestingly, a few weeks before all of this went down, Fast Company reported on how abortion rights affect businesses: According to a study by a pro-choice advocacy group, two out of three employed adults believe reproductive freedom is important to success in the workplace and 67 percent of adults believe it is at least somewhat important that their companies take a public stand in support of abortion access. On the consumer side, over half of respondents said they’d be more likely to put their dollars toward companies that take a public stand in support of women’s reproductive freedom. Fast Company

  • An emerging organization called Winning for Women is working to put more women Republicans into office after the 2018 election, when conservative women saw a 10 percent decline in their congressional representation. Currently, there are 10 Republican women in the House (compared to 89 Democrat women), and no Republican women in the Senate. NY Times

Around the World

  • India: Twenty-three-year-old Indian sprinter Dutee Chand became the first openly gay Indian athlete this week after announcing she’s been dating her partner, who’s from the same village, for five years. She said she was encouraged to come forward after the country decriminalized same-sex relationships in 2018. BBC

  • France: Chinese-Singaporean actress Gong Gi will become the first actress of Asian heritage to receive the Kering Group and Cannes Film Festival’s annual women in motion award, an honor awarded to leading women in cinema. Variety

  • Spain: The rise of the far-right anti-feminist party Vox has incited alarm in Spain. To combat further radicalization by Vox, a new nationwide movement is helping men come to terms with their own internalized misogyny—and to recognize and fight against sexist and violent behavior in other men. BBC

  • Taiwan: Parliament has approved a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in Taiwan, officially making it the first place in Asia to achieve marriage equality. By the way, Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, is a woman, who made the issue an important part of her platform. Just throwing that out there. BBC

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