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After 130+ Years, GM is First to Women-Dominated Board

April 22: Badass women and the news that affects them

Mitra Norowzi

Company Culture

  • General Motors (3.1 stars) will become the first company within the auto industry to have a majority women board in June when two male directors retire. Their departure will leave an 11-person board led by CEO Mary Barra that includes five other women directors. Best Buy Co. (2.9 stars), Viacom Inc. (3.4 stars), and CBS Corp. (2.6 stars) are the only other S&P 500 companies that also have majority women boards, though the addition of just one more woman would swing 19 other boards into majority woman territory. Bloomberg

  • After the recent death of University of South Carolina college student Samantha Josephson, who mistook a car for her Uber driver, ride-share services like Uber (3.2 stars) and Lyft (3.4 stars) are facing criticism for they way they vet drivers. A week after the attack, three women raped by men posing as Uber drivers filed a lawsuit against the company. Many have also been using the hashtag #WhatsMyName to educate riders about safety; the movement encourages riders to ask drivers who they’re picking up before they get in the car. NY Times

Quick Hits

  • No one particularly enjoys inching along with traffic during an agonizing morning commute, but new research from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Lehigh University found that lengthy commutes may pose a risk to pregnant commuters’ unborn children. The study suggested that women who travel more than 50 miles for work by car may have a greater risk for having babies with low birth weights*—and for every 10 miles tacked on to an already long commute, the chance of having a baby with a low birth weight goes up by 0.9 percent. NY Times

  • Thirteen percent of Americans still believe women are less “emotionally suited” to politics than men, and for once, that’s good news. (Stick with us here.) That number used to be way higher. In 1975, 50 percent of Americans said women are less emotionally suited to politics. The percentage has been declining ever since. Fortune

  • Between Fortune’s latest list of the world’s greatest leaders and Time’s recently released list of the 100 most influential people, women activists in every area from environmental activism to politics to reproductive rights to film received high honors. Reuters

In the News: Intimate Partner Violence

  • Homicide committed by an intimate partner has increased by nearly 20 percent since 2014. Of the 2,237 victims in 2017, the majority were women. NY Times

  • But intimate partner violence isn’t always homicide—sometimes it manifests as sexual violence. According to federal data, 16 percent of women will experience sexual violence at the hands of a partner. The problem is that 41 out of 58 jurisdictions (these include the 50 states, D.C., and other U.S. territories) pose legal hurdles to convicting abusers of marital rape. Read how one Minnesota woman is fighting to make her state government recognize marital rape as the heinous crime it is. NY Times

Around the World

  • Saudi Arabia: Uber will now allow women drivers in Saudi Arabia the option to choose only other women as passengers. However, the company says it will not be rolling out this option in other countries, and there is still no option for women riding as passengers to select to have only women drivers. Fast Company

  • United Kingdom: Brexit may have ushered in the highest jobless rate in Britain in 44 years, but women have stepped in to fill the vacancies. In a three-month period that lasted through February, women held almost 80 percent of all the new jobs created. Bloomberg

  • Pakistan: Academy Award-winning filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy is on a mission to stop honor killings in Pakistan. But even though her work inspired change in legislation, it failed to decrease the number of murders, so she decided to travel around the country to spread awareness within communities. Fast Company

*A previous version of this article mistakenly said "low birth rate" instead of "low birth weight." 

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