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Women in the News + A Girls' Soccer Team Takes a Stand

October 21: Badass women and the news that affects them

Mitra Norowzi
Contributor

Company Culture

  • Instagram’s algorithm for detecting inappropriate images is designed to flag any images featuring more than “60 percent skin.” This would seem to be innocuous enough, but in reality, this algorithm penalizes fat people more often than thinner people, simply because they have more skin to show. And it can have devastating effects when the plus-size models and influencers who rely on Instagram to grow their businesses have their accounts banned and photos removed. Fast Company

  • Tonya Mangels, former vice president of product marketing at AMC Theatres (2.8 stars), has filed a federal lawsuit against the company alleging she was fired in retaliation after she spoke up about being paid far less than her male peers. According to Mangels’s complaint, the male vice presidents at AMC were making 56 percent to 72 percent more than she was. Variety 

  • Johnson & Johnson (4.0 stars) has agreed to pay $117 million to settle claims brought by dozens of states accusing the corporation of deceptively marketing pelvic mesh implants. The company is also currently dealing with litigation related to claims of talc in its baby powder products and deceptive practices in its handling of opioids. NY Times

  • HuffPost has released a detailed report on an EY (3.6 stars) training seminar geared toward women that, honestly, might get your blood boiling. During the seminar, which took place in June 2018, women were told how to dress, how often to speak, which masculine or feminine traits to display, and why women are like pancakes and men like waffles...yeah. HuffPost

Quick Hits

  • An employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) is exactly what it sounds like. Not every ESOP operates in exactly the same way, but the system centers around the basic concept of each employee having and earning ownership in the business. At New Belgium Brewing (4.2 stars), the ESOP model has helped create an open culture based on “ownership thinking” where input from all levels is welcomed, workers are given more freedom, and the CEO works for the employees instead of the other way around. Fast Company 

  • A recent study from consulting firm McKinsey and Company and LeanIn is shedding new light on the origin of the gender leadership gap. They found that rather than a glass ceiling, there’s actually more of a “broken rung” preventing women from advancing in their careers. In a survey of over 68,000 employees, the study found that for every 100 men promoted or hired to a beginning manager position, only 72 women were promoted (and even fewer black and latinx women). This effect multiplies across higher levels of management until eventually there are so few women at the senior level that the gender gap is mischaracterized as a pipeline problem rather than discrimination. Forbes

  • NASA finally completed the highly anticipated all-women spacewalk when astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir ventured outside the International Space Station to replace a power controller. The agency also announced plans to put the first woman on the moon before setting sights on a path to Mars. NY Times

  • New York has become the first state to require companies to print “a plain and conspicuous” list of ingredients on the boxes of all menstrual products. Currently, menstrual products are classified by the FDA as medical devices and are thus not required by the federal government to list ingredients on packaging labels. CBS

  • A girls’ soccer team in Vermont took a stand for equal pay last week, sporting white T-shirts that read #EqualPay beneath their regular game jerseys. When they scored their first goal, they revealed their custom wear—and at least four players received yellow cards because they’re not supposed to wear uniforms with slogans during official games. Since then, supporters (including the boys’ team) have ordered more than #EqualPay shirts. They cost $25, but the team is inviting men to pay an additional $4.80 to represent closing the wage gap. NBC News

Around the World

  • France: France’s lower house of parliament has officially passed a bill to give single women and lesbian couples access to assistive reproduction procedures, such as in vitro fertilization and egg freezing. If the bill passes the Senate, the French health care system will cover the costs associated with reproductive assistance for all women under the age of 43. Currently, French law only covers IVF for infertile heterosexual couples, leaving uncoupled women or those in same-sex relationships to venture outside the country for the costly procedures. Washington Post

  • United Kingdom: National television broadcasting company Channel 4 has announced it will offer its women employees flexible working arrangements, work space accommodations, and even paid leave if or when they experience symptoms of menopause. It’s the first known menopause policy among British media companies, and CEO Alex Mahon said in a statement that she hopes by breaking the taboo of talking about menopause, Channel 4 might inspire other companies to create their own versions. Here’s hoping this catches on in the states as well! NY Times

  • India: According to the World Bank, India loses about 0.8 percent of its GDP due to inadequate water supply, sanitation, and hygiene, but the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is looking to women to combat these challenges. Smriti Irani, the federal minister for women and child development, announced the government’s plan to train women in 256 of India’s water scarce districts to test water quality to improve the country’s water supply and work toward pay parity. Bloomberg 

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