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Underrepresentation in a Growing Industry

July 22: Badass women and the news that affects them

Mitra Norowzi

Company Culture

  • According to a report by Bloomberg Businessweek, the cannabis industry is on the same trajectory as many other sectors: Although it used to boast relatively diverse leadership among its start-ups, the industry has since shifted to be more male-dominated, especially in top positions. Thirty-six percent of pot executives in Colorado were women in 2015. Only 27 percent were women in 2018. Bloomberg

  • Jeans brands H&M (3.3 stars), Gap (3.1 stars), Tommy Hilfiger (3.2 stars), Lee, and Reformation have signed on The Jeans Redesign project to reduce the carbon footprint of denim production. The project is the latest initiative from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, and participating companies promise to abide by standards that will make recycling easier, such as using 98 percent cellulose-based fibers and reducing hard-to-remove decorations. Fast Company

Quick Hits

  • A Harvard Business Review study found encouraging results about sexual harassment in the workplace. In 2016, 25 percent of women surveyed reported being sexually coerced, but by 2018, that number had declined to 16 percent, and unwanted sexual attention declined from 66 percent of women to 25 percent. Those same years also saw women reporting an increase in self-esteem and a decrease in self-doubt. This tells us something very valuable: #MeToo is actually accomplishing what it set out to do. Harvard Business Review

  • This past weekend saw the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11’s landing on the moon. Putting a man on the moon was a mammoth feat, with thousands of smart and dedicated individuals contributing to its success—including these women. Forbes

  • Women have a one in six chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease compared to only one in 11 men, and researchers are finally starting to understand why. According to a recent report, the discrepancy may come down to a toxic protein called tau, and how it moves differently in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s. The report found that the brains of women with mild cognitive impairment displayed more spread out patterns of tau than the brains of men with mild cognitive impairment, suggesting that some characteristic of women’s brains may make it easier for the protein to spread. Another study found a small victory for women—women who have participated in the paid labor force show slower memory decline after age 60 than women who haven’t, regardless of whether they had children. NPR

  • New Hampshire has joined New York and Illinois by becoming the third state to pass legislation to provide menstrual products to students in public schools. The legislation, which was signed into law on Wednesday by Gov. Chris Sununu (R) requires the state to provide pads and tampons in all female and gender-neutral bathrooms in public middle and high schools. Huffington Post

Pop Culture

  • A study by YouGov found Michelle Obama is the world’s and America’s most admired woman (duh), beating out Oprah Winfrey and Ruth Bader Ginsberg for the top slot. YouGov

  • Alex Morgan, co-captain of the U.S. women’s soccer team, two-time World Cup champion, and children’s book author, has announced plans to launch her own media venture to share content for girls created by women athletes. Bloomberg

Around the World

  • Japan: Since 1898, married women in Japan have been required by law to change their last name to that of their husbands’. In 1948, the law was amended to allow couples to take either spouse’s surname, so as long as they both had the same last name. But even with this option, in practice the burden still falls on Japanese women to change their name. Here’s how they’re fighting to change the law and keep their own names. Bloomberg

  • Philippines: In a somewhat baffling move, President Rodrigo Duterte—who has a long history of making crude, misogynistic remarks about women—signed a law criminalizing sexual harassment in public spaces. The law, which was signed in April but only made public in the past week, penalizes groping, stalking, and misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic, or sexist slurs with fines of almost $10,000. It applies to public areas including workplaces, recreational areas, and public transportation, and even covers online harassment and physical, psychological, and emotional threats made through private messages or chat rooms. NY Times

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