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Women in the News + Why Men Should Lean Out

October 14: Badass women and the news that affects them

Mitra Norowzi
Contributor

Company Culture

  • Reporting on diversity in tech can at times feel as maddening as the Alice in Wonderland tea party—and the past five years of data on the subject only seems to validate that feeling. Well here’s a steaming hot fresh take: Analyzing the data for Wired, writer Sara Harrison concludes that while progress towards gender parity is slow (and almost nonexistent for people of color), larger tech companies like Microsoft (3.4 stars) are actually promoting women at slightly higher rates than men. Wired

  • Although Google (3.8 stars) claims to support political action to combat the climate crisis, the tech giant has made “substantial” contributions to the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a conservative think tank known as some of the most notorious climate change deniers in D.C. A spokesperson for Google said that the company supports CEI because of its tech policies, but the situation is another example of a corporation’s actions not lining up with their purported values. The Guardian

  • Unilever (3.5 stars), the British-Dutch conglomerate that owns companies like Ben & Jerry’s, Vaseline, and Dove, has pledged to halve its use of non-recycled plastic packaging by 2025. NPR

Quick Hits

  • If “lean in” philosophy has ever rubbed you the wrong way, you’ve got to read this New York Times op-ed by Ruth Whippman. In it, she rejects how the movement blames women for not conforming to traits that are undeniably male and, at times, toxic: “So perhaps instead of nagging women to scramble to meet the male standard, we should instead be training men and boys to aspire to women’s cultural norms, and selling those norms to men as both default and desirable. To be more deferential. To reflect and listen and apologize where an apology is due (and if unsure, to err on the side of a superfluous sorry than an absent one). To aim for modesty and humility and cooperation rather than blowhard arrogance.” Please join us for a slow clap. NY Times

  • The most double take–inducing headline of the week: “Men Agree That Gender Diversity on Boards Is Important—But They’re Sick of Hearing About It.” According to PwC's Annual Corporate Directors Survey, 52 percent of board directors agree that gender diversity is very important to achieving diversity of thought—but 63 percent say their investors devote too much attention to board gender diversity, a startling number up from just 35 percent who said the same last year. Cool, guys. Fortune

  • Three outstanding black women athletes made history this past weekend, with Simone Biles earning her 24th and 25th medals to become the most decorated gymnast in history, 15-year-old Coco Gauff becoming the youngest person to win at a Women’s Tennis Association tournament in 15 years, and Kenya's Brigid Kosgei shattering the women’s world marathon record by running 26.2 miles in 2 hours, 14 minutes and 4 seconds. CNN

  • Last week, women took to social media to share disturbingly similar stories: the times they were fired or discriminated against in the workplace because they were pregnant. The flood came after conservatives questioned Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s claim that she was fired while pregnant. The Washington Post

Around the World

  • France: Mayor Anne Hidalgo of Paris is on a mission to make the city greener. After a summer of record-breaking heat, she is seeking to add to the city’s bikeable and walkable paths, reduce cars, and improve public transportation—but her efforts have also made her some enemies. NY Times

  • Germany: Antisemitism has made a troubling resurgence in the West, but the European Human Rights Convention has reaffirmed that Holocaust deniers are not protected by free speech laws. Bloomberg

  • Saudi Arabia: Women in Saudi Arabia will now be able to serve in the country’s armed forces, the latest of a series of reforms in the kingdom increasing women’s rights. Al Jazeera 

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