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The Age of Automation

June 24: Badass women and the news that affects them

Mitra Norowzi
Contributor

Company Culture

  • MasterCard (3.6 stars) has announced a new measure called the “True Name” card, which will allow trans and non-binary people to list their true names, rather than their deadnames (the term used to describe a person’s birth name after they’ve changed it), on their credit cards without the requirement of a legal name change. It’s a needed policy—when a cardholder’s name doesn’t match their gender presentation, they can face harassment and difficulty at the register. And not always easy to secure a legal name change, as many states require applicants to undergo gender confirmation surgery, which typically renders patients sterile, before allowing them to have their marker changed. MasterCard

  • WeWork (2.6 stars) is facing a double whammy with two separate lawsuits—one alleging age discrimination and another gender discirmination. In the age discrimination suit, Richard Markel, 62, claims he was slowly pushed out after the company hired someone 20 years younger than him for the same title. In the gender discrimination suit, Lisa Bridges, a former WeWork executive, claims she faced retaliation after discovering and reporting instances of gender pay discrimination. Fast Company

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Quick Hits

  • Joy Harjo—a poet, musician, and writer—has been named as the nation’s 23rd poet laureate. As a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation, she is the first Native American to be chosen for the distinction. Harjo has authored eight books of poetry and a memoir, Crazy Brave, which details the struggles of her early life, including an alcoholic father, an abusive stepfather, teen motherhood, and poverty before she came to find solace in poetry. NPR

  • Women have earned college degrees at a higher rate than men for decades now, but it’s only recently that women have started to make up the majority of college-educated adults in the workforce. According to Pew, in this year’s first financial quarter 29.5 million women in the labor force had at minimum a bachelor's degree, compared to 29.3 of similarly educated men. NPR

  • According to Cancer Research UK, only one in five women is aware that alcohol consumption is a risk factor for breast cancer. Drinking is estimated to be responsible for 5 to 11 percent of breast cancer cases and consuming just two standard units of alcohol a day increases the risk of breast cancer to 11 in 100. BBC

  • The move toward clean energy is opening up more jobs, but because of the lack of gender diversity in manufacturing, women are missing out on opportunities. The industry is still mostly dominated by white men. Bloomberg

  • As many as 160 million women might need to look for new careers as robotics and artificial intelligence begin to take over roles previously held by humans. The jobs include administrative positions, 70 percent of which are held by women, and service-oriented jobs, where women hold 52 percent of positions. Washington Examiner
  • The Labor Department’s annual time use survey highlighted yet another depressing statistic about working women: We put in longer hours at work this year than we did last year. We’re also doing more work around the house and spending more time caring for our children than we did the year before. The Wall Street Journal

Around the World

  • United Kingdom: Britain’s advertising regulator has banned gender stereotypes in advertising. That means commercials with dads unable to care for kids or women cleaning up after their messy husbands are a no-go on British air waves. The decision was announced six months ago but went into effect last week. NY Times

  • Laos: Women in soccer might be getting most of the attention right now, but in Laos, rugby is the sport in which women dominate. Started in 2001, about 52 percent of players and 54 percent of coaches within Lao Rugby Federation are women. For many of these women, rugby has proven to be a pathway out of poverty and violence. NY Times

  • China: In just two days, former chemistry teacher Zhong Huijuan has become the richest self-made woman in Asia when shares for Hansoh Pharmaceutical Group, the organization she founded and serves as CEO for, soared after going public. Bloomberg

  • Russia: Aluminium manufacturing company Tatprof has faced criticism as it runs a "femininity marathon" program for the month of June that offers monetary reward to women employees for wearing skirts or dresses. The women employees will receive 100 roubles ($1.50) on top of their regular wages for each day that wear a skirt or dress, if they show photographic proof of that day’s outfit. In response to critics calling the program sexist, a Tatprof spokesperson said, "We wanted to brighten up our work days. Our team is 70 percent male. These kinds of campaigns help us switch off, rest. This is a great way to unite the team.” BBC

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