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Women in the News + Hearst Employees Unionize

November 18: Badass women and the news that affects them

Mitra Norowzi
Contributor

Company Culture

  • Hearst Magazines (3.2 stars) became the latest media company to unionize after the majority of its staff voted to join the Writers Guild of America East, which now represents 6,000 writers at digital outlets like Vox Media, Vice, and HuffPost. Hearst Magazines encompasses 24 print and digital brands such as Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Esquire, and Good Housekeeping. As the digital media landscape continues to consolidate, top-down efforts to cut costs have resulted in pay cuts and downsizing across the industry, and content creators, like those at Hearst Magazines, are increasingly turning to unions for job protections. Variety

  • McDonald’s (2.5 stars) is facing a sexual harassment lawsuit from former employee Jenna Ries who alleges that a male store manager routinely molested her and propositioned her for sex while reports to the company ignored the abuse. If Ries’s class-action suit is recognized, more than 50 women who worked at the franchise could join her in suing the company for damages. News of the suit comes only a week after McDonald’s fired former CEO Steve Easterbrook for having a consensual relationship with an employee. NPR

  • As of February women make up 30.4 percent of Dell’s (3.5 stars) workforce, but the tech company has pledged to raise that number to 50 percent by 2030. Dell has also promised to increase its percentage of African-American and Hispanic workers from a combined 13 percent to 25 percent in 2030. Bloomberg 

  • The Guggenheim Museum (3.1 stars) has hired Ashley James, a Yale Ph.D. candidate who formerly served as an assistant curator of contemporary art at the Brooklyn Museum, as the museum’s first full-time black curator since its founding in 1959. NY Times 

Quick Hits

  • According to the FBI’s recently released annual report, the number of reported hate crimes dipped slightly in 2018, but instances of violent attacks based on individuals reached a 16-year high. Compared to 2017, reported hate crimes against Latinx people rose 13 percent, while hate crimes against transgender people rose by a staggering 34 percent, and attacks against Sikhs tripled. The report also marks the deadliest year for anti-Semitic homicides as a result of the 2018 Tree of Life synagogue shooting that took 11 lives. However, it’s important to note that many victims of hate crimes never file complaints with police, and sometimes when they do report an instance authorities fail to classify them as hate crimes so actual numbers are likely much higher. NPR

  • In September, California became the first state to mandate companies to have at least one woman board member by the end of 2019, with the state’s largest companies being required to have at least three women board members by 2022. But apparently even one woman board member is one too many for the Pacific Legal Foundation, which filed a lawsuit calling the mandate “unconstitional,” arguing that it will force companies to “discriminate on the basis on sex.” Vox

  • Do lawsuits actually result in positive change at companies in terms of diversity? This is the question Elizabeth Hirsh and Youngjoo Cha sought to answer as they analyzed 171 high-profile lawsuits filed against private companies and examined how their verdicts affected gender and racial diversity in management. And although increases were slight, they found that in the wake of lawsuits alleging discrimination, gender and racial diversity at companies does improve. HBR

  • Maya Rockeymoore Cummings resigned from her post as chair of Maryland's Democratic Party and officially announced her campaign to run for the congressional seat held by her late husband, Rep. Elijah Cummings. Elijah Cummings died last month from long-standing health issues and told his wife, who is successful and experienced in the realm of politics in her own right, that he wished for her to be his successor. TIME

Around the World

  • Bolivia: Senator Jeanine Áñez has assumed the interim presidency of Bolivia following Evo Morales' resignation. But her ascension to the presidency is steeped in controversy as critics decry Morales’s exit as being the result of a U.S.-backed right-wing coup and reports of anti-indegenous sentiment from Áñez and her party have surfaced. Mitú

  • Germany: Starting in January 2020, Germany will reduce its tax on tampons, pads, and other menstrual products to 7 percent, adding them to a list of items deemed “necessary for life” that also includes foodstuffs, books, and newspapers, among other items. Menstrual products are currently classified as luxury goods in Germany and carry a 19 percent tax. NY Times

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