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Wrestling's Glow Up

August 5: Badass women and the news that affects them

Mitra Norowzi

Company Culture

  • Lyft (3.3 stars) has positioned itself as the more ‘woke’ alternative to Uber (3.2 stars). But are the culture problems and safety issues that plague Uber’s image really any better at Lyft? For riders who attempt to report driver misconduct to the company and receive inadequate responses, Lyft fails to deliver upon its promise of being the socially aware ride-hailing service. Washington Post

  • Gap-owned sportswear company Athleta (3.5 stars) has found its first athlete sponsorship after signing track star Allyson Felix. The Olympic gold medalist and 11-time world champion was formerly partnered with Nike, but broke ties with the company earlier this year after it wanted to renegotiate the terms of her contract to pay her 70 percent less because of her pregnancy. In an open letter to Felix published in the New York Times, the brand wrote: “As women and athletes, we experience the joys and challenges that come from being both. It’s why we promise to support you—as an athlete, a mother, an activist—as you continue to break records, break barriers and break the silence.” Fast Company 

  • Ties between L Brands (3.4 stars) (parent company to Victoria’s Secret) CEO Les Wexner and Jeffrey Epstein have cast a shadow on the culture of the lingerie company. But Victoria’s Secret has lost $20 billion in value since 2015, demonstrating that the male gaze-like quality of its branding lost resonance with consumers years ago. Bloomberg

  • Banana Republic has introduced a line of hijabs in an effort to be more inclusive of Muslim women; however, some wonder whether the move will come across as a kind of appropriation of Muslim culture. The Washington Post

Quick Hits

  • A new analysis of banking and investment app Stash found that women pay a disproportionate amount of overdraft and other penalty fees—almost 30 percent more. The study attributed this discrepancy to the pay gap, with the logic that these fees tend to kick in when users are tight on money and overdraw from their accounts. Since women overall have less money due to systemic discrimination, it stands to reason that they might be more likely to overdraw. Bloomberg

  • In the world of wrestling, women are quickly transitioning from "ring girls" to headlining talent. In what some say is an after-effect of the popular TV series Glow, fans are eager to see women claim a space that’s been so overtly sexist in the past. The way wrestlers are owning their newfound fame is empowering to some women, too: They're focused on sheer force over sculpting or weight loss. Are wrestlers the new role models for hardcore working women? The Guardian 

Around the World

  • Germany: In Germany, the ultimate insult used to shame a working mother is to call her Rabenmütter, a derogatory slur meaning “raven mother.” And this rhetoric has very real consequences for Germany’s working moms. Only about 18 percent return to work full time after giving birth and only an additional 20 percent return to work part time. As a result, 10 years after giving birth, they earn 61 percent less than they did before having kids. NPR

  • Saudi Arabia: We wrote about this a few weeks ago while it was still in the works, but we’re circling back around because it’s finally official—as of Friday, women in Saudi Arabia are no longer subject to antiquated “guardianship” laws which required them to seek the approval of a male relative in order to obtain passports, travel, and work. NY Times

  • Latvia: In 1999, Vaira Vike-Freiberga was elected the first woman president of Latvia, making her the first woman leader of a former Soviet bloc state. As a girl, she grew up in war-torn Latvia, before fleeing with her parents to Morocco and, later, Canada. As a refugee, her path back to Latvia fifty years later was paved with hardship, but her story is one of resilience. BBC

  • United Kingdom: Emma Watson (Hermione!) and Time’s Up have launched a free hotline for women experiencing workplace harassment in England and Wales. Mashable

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