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May 28: Badass women and the news that affects them

By Mitra Norowzi

Company Culture

  • On Thursday, McDonald’s (2.4 stars) workers across the nation held rallies and went on strike for a $15 minimum wage, protection from sexual harassment, and the right to form unions. In response, CEO Steve Easterbrook said the company is working with anti-sexual violence organization RAINN to revise its policies to create a safer environment for employees. In the past, the company has said that it cannot mandate a $15 minimum wage because most of its restaurants are franchises. New York Business Journal

  • Fast-casual salad chain Sweetgreen (Rate This Company) announced last week that they’re changing their parental leave policy to offer five months paid leave to all new moms and dads. Although part of the food industry, Sweetgreen’s new policy is more in line with recent changes we’ve seen among tech giants than other sectors. CBS News

  • Wondering what companies are the best employers for Asian Pacific Americans? The Asia Society’s 2019 report on the subject can provide some guidance. According to the report, Discover Financial Services, Inc. (3.7 stars), Buzzfeed (3.6 stars), and KPMG (3.4 stars) came in at the top of the list. Not only do the companies on the Asia Society’s list demonstrate a commitment to promoting Asian Pacific Americans and to developing their skills, they also include programming that increases understanding of the lived experiences of Asian Pacific Americans among non-Asian employees. InHerSight has covered this topic in relation to the gender pay gap. Read about the dynamics Asian-American women experience the workplace. InHerSight

InHerSight Research

  • In a survey of 2,000 working moms, more than half say they're uncomfortable leaving work early to pick up their children. InHerSight
  • InHerSight asked 3,000 women how they feel about men taking paternity leave. Unsurprisingly, 97 percent say fathers should take their paternity leave. InHerSight
  • Good news: Most women wouldn't be afraid to tell their bosses they're pregnant. InHerSight
  • Pregnancy discrimination is often so much more about office culture and lack of education that it's hard to make a claim that it's happening. Survey respondents share with InHerSight the discrimination they've experienced. InHerSight

Quick Hits

  • A study released last week by PLOS One confirms what frozen working women have known for a long time: Women perform better in warmer office environments, and men perform better in colder ones. We all know there’s nothing you can do about the office thermostat except invest in an office blanket or space heater, but it’s nice to know science is on your side. The Atlantic

  • On Wednesday, The Washington Post published an article about the rate Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s charged as a lawyer—about $675 per hour. Many on social media were quick to defend Warren and question the story's headline-worthiness, as that rate is fairly typical. This is how that conversation played out. The Cut

  • Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris says she has a plan to eliminate the pay gap. Her proposal will require companies to obtain an “equal pay certification” from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Companies with more than 500 employees will have two years to close their gender gap and become certified, while companies with less than 500 but more than 100 employees will have three years. Under Harris’s plan, companies that fail to become certified within their allotted time frame will be fined 1 percent of their average daily profits for every 1 percent of pay disparity between men and women employees after controlling for experience, title, and performance. Bloomberg

  • Whitney Robinson, a product manager and self-described “UX nerd,” is on a quest to “hack” the black maternal mortality crisis. After a devastating pregnancy loss, she realized the best way to solve the problem was to seek insights from other women in the black community. This inspired her to launch The Renée, a series of hackathons or gatherings where women can come together to share their experiences with pregnancy and childbirth. The hackathons also provide a sample of data for Robinson to record and use to create a tech resource for pregnant women that takes the trauma of black maternal mortality into account. Fast Company

  • The Department of Health and Human Services has proposed to roll back an Obama-era policy put into place in 2016 as part of the Affordable Care Act that included gender identity under the umbrella of sex discrimination. According to the Williams Institute, 28 states have no legal protections against gender identity discrimination in public accomodations. NPR

Around the World

  • United Kingdom: A study from Plan International UK found one in five girls and young women has been teased or bullied about her period. This is interesting news considering a few months ago, England announced tampons and pads will be given out for free at schools and hospitals. The Guardian

  • Saudi Arabia: Women may finally be allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia, but they still face restrictions on many types of movement, including traveling or divorcing without the permission of a male relative. In a brazen rejection of these restrictive cultural norms, Saudi women have taken to the streets—to run as a group. BBC

  • Mexico: More than 500 years after the Spanish invaded the Sierra Madre mountains in Chihuahua, the indigenous people who lived there, the Rarámuri, have kept their culture alive—especially the women. For Rarámuri women today, sewing and wearing their bright, patterned traditional dresses is an act of protest, a rejection of assimilation into Western culture. Warning: absolutely stunning photographs ahead! NY Times

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