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Women in the News + 'No One Will Be Less Than The Other'

September 30: Badass women and the news that affects them

Mitra Norowzi
Contributor

Company Culture

  • Bank of America Corp. (3.3 stars) has agreed to pay $4.2 million after the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs found evidence of hiring discrimination practices in past years. Routine evaluations by the department allege the bank discriminated against black, Latino and female applicants seeking phone representative, mortgage underwriter, sales specialist and other positions. The settlement is one of the largest in the compliance program’s history. The Charlotte Observer

  • Forever 21 (2.4 stars) officially filed for bankruptcy yesterday. The California-based fast fashion retailer will cease operations in 40 countries, including Canada, but will continue to operate its website and hundreds of stores in the U.S., Mexico, and Latin America. Forever 21’s fall speaks to the declining foot traffic of malls, lowering interest in environmentally unfriendly fast fashion, and the rise of online competitors like ASOS and Fashion Nova. NY Times

  • Mattel (3.4 stars), the manufacturer of the Barbie doll has released a gender-neutral option. The “Creatable World” line launched last week and features dolls of varying skin tones that can each be styled with short or long hair and includes outfits with options for pants or a skirt. The inclusive Creatable World dolls were designed to appear more youthful than the classic Barbie, emphasizing the line’s goal of being more relatable to children. Each kit retails for $30 and can be purchased at major retailers such as Target, Walmart, and Amazon. NY Times

  • Uber (3.2 stars) is rolling out five new features in an effort to improve the safety of the ride-hailing service for drivers and riders alike. The new safety features include a PIN number riders can use to verify they’re getting in the right car, in-app texting to 911 with a preloaded message containing information about the car and the ride’s route, alerting riders if they’re going to be dropped off near or along a bike route, an improved ID checking system, and an option for riders to report their drivers during a ride to the company. Fortune

Quick Hits

  • Women of color head 89 percent of the new businesses that opened in the past year. Overall, the growth of businesses started by women of color has far outpaced the growth of women-owned businesses overall in the past five years, which sits at about 21 percent compared to 43 percent for women of color. And businesses owned by black women are growing even faster, with a 50 percent increase in the past five years. Fast Company

  • At least 18 transgender people, most of them trans women of color, have been murdered in the U.S. this year, prompting the American Medical Association to declare this wave of violence an “epidemic.” NY Times

Around the World

  • France: Sarah Muller, the journalist behind the French version of the #MeToo movement has been found guilty of defaming Eric Brion, a media executive whom she accused of making lewd comments. She was ordered to pay €15,000 in damages to the executive and €5,000 in legal fees. She was also told to delete her tweet about him and publish the statements issued by the court on her Twitter account and in two press outlets. The court’s verdict is seen as a blow to France’s #MeToo movement, but Muller has vowed to appeal the decision. The Guardian

  • Saudi Arabia: Saudi officials announced that the conservative country will drop its strict dress code for foreign women visitors. The country will no longer require visitors to don an abaya, a loose, robe-like dress worn in parts of the Muslim world. The change is regarded as an attempt by Saudi Arabia to increase tourism, but it’s unclear what the relaxing of the policy might mean for the women who live there. Bloomberg

  • Australia: New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, has become the country’s last jurisdiction to decriminalize abortion. NY Times

  • Bangladesh: Bangladeshi wedding tradition usually dictates that the groom and his family go to the house of the bride for the wedding celebrations. In a stand for women’s rights, 19-year-old bride Khadiza Akter Khushi flipped the script, leading hundreds of people to her soon-to-be spouse’s home. "Tradition is not the issue here," she told the BBC. "It is a matter of women's rights. Today, if a girl goes to marry a boy, then no one is harmed. Instead, abuse of women will decrease, women will get their dignity. No one will be less than the other." BBC

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