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Scary Sexist AI, a Sweet New Starbucks Perk, Not Charming Casting, and More

October 16: Badass women and the news that affects them

Company Culture

  • Starbucks (3.2 stars) has announced that through a partnership with Care.com, the company will provide 10 subsidized backup care days for its working parents. Employees can choose to pay either $1 an hour or $5 a day for their child to attend a childcare center from Care.com for up to 10 days. Considering 2 million working parents quit their jobs in 2016 because of childcare, this new initiative is sweeter than a PSL. CNN

  • Amazon (3.0 stars) had to cut the cord on its attempt to automate the recruiting process. The retail giant spent years developing the AI technology and fed it a decades worth of resumes. But, the gender-gap in recruitment manifested in the machine’s choices and rather than eliminating discrimination, as was its original purpose, the AI learned to assign women’s applications lower scores. Fortune

  • CBS (2.5 stars) has promoted former HR executive Laurie Rosenfield to a newly created chief people officer role as the company seeks to correct a toxic culture engendered by ex-CEO Les Moonves. Bloomberg

  • With General Motors’ (3.1 stars) appointment of Jamie Miscik as a director, the company’s board has now reached gender parity, lifting the number of Standard & Poor’s 500 companies with women in half or more of their board seats to 11. Bloomberg

  • So which companies are the ones actually achieving gender parity at the board level? Turns out, larger firms have gotten the hint and it’s smaller firms that are just going public that are still lagging. Why? Two words — venture capital. Harvard Business Review

Art and Entertainment

  • The Charmed reboot that’s been branded as a more diverse and more feminist version of its predecessor premiered Sunday. The three sisters featured in this iteration as the Charmed Ones are Latina, but the internet is up in arms because only one of the three actresses is actually Latina. The Mary Sue

  • Scarlett Johansson has secured a $15 million movie deal for her upcoming ‘Black Widow’ movie. ‘Black Widow’ will be the first Avenger-verse movie to feature a female superhero as the main character. The Business Journals

  • In her acceptance speech at Variety’s Power of Women Event Natalie Portman criticized the misogynistic language associated with words like ‘crazy’ and ‘hysteria’ left over from the legacy of wildly sexist mental illness diagnosis and treatment before the 21st century. She offered this thought-provoking challenge: “If a man says to you that a woman is crazy or difficult, ask him, ‘What bad thing did you do to her?’” Huffington Post

In the News

  • According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the suicide rate of young Latinas is rising. More than 10 percent of Latinas aged 10-24 attempted suicide in the past year, compared to only 7.3 percent of white female adolescents and only 5.8 percent of young Latinos. Experts say cultural differences between children and immigrant parents, misogyny, machismo, rape culture, and generational trauma might be to blame and encourage Latinx families to talk to their daughters about mental health. Refinery29

  • Gold medal Olympian Simone Biles is the first woman to pull off the Cheng Vault, which is considered to be the most difficult vault in the sport. But not only did Biles successfully land the vault, she added an extra half-twist, making the move even more complicated and completely her own. Refinery29

  • A viral video of a father having to squat on the floor of a Texas Roadhouse to change his 1-year-old son’s diaper started a #squatforchange movement among dads to bring awareness to the lack of changing rooms in men’s bathrooms. Splitting household and care work is crucial to achieving gender equality, so everyone should get in on this movement! MEL

  • In San Francisco, out of 87 public statues featuring non-fictional figures, only three are women. In an effort to increase female representation in public the city’s board of supervisors passed an ordinance requiring at least 30 percent of public art in San Francisco to feature non-fictional women. Quartz

  • In response to attempts to silence their votes, Black women are reviving the same networks that were used during segregation to make their voices heard. The New York Times

Around the World

  • More than 8,000 women in Glasgow plan to strike to protest pay discrimination that they say was exacerbated by a Labour-run council pay evaluation initiative. The demonstration could be the largest equal pay strike in the UK. The Guardian

  • Meet Ayelet Shaked; the woman gunning for Netanyahu’s position as Prime Minister of Israel. Seemingly secular, the 42-year-old has become a champion of the religious far right, and no one is quite sure what to make of her. Nevertheless, she’s shaking things up in a country that’s been led by the same person for the past 10 years. The Atlantic

  • And because yay: Meghan Markle and and her husband Prince Harry are expecting a child in the spring! Time

By Mitra Norowzi

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