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  1. Blog
  2. News
  3. July 1, 2019

The Office Politics of Hair

July 1: Badass women and the news that affects them

The Office Politics of Hair

Company Culture

  • Are you hesitant to ride in an Uber (3.2 stars) or Lyft (3.4 stars) ? Who could blame you, with all the reports of murder, kidnapping, and sexual assault by men impersonating ride-share drivers? These startups touting themselves as safer alternatives for women drivers and passengers might be the solution. Forbes

  • In a big win for women trying to sue tech companies via class-action lawsuits, a California state court judge ruled a suit against Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. (Rate This Company) may proceed, despite the women involved not meeting all the legal requirements to bring the case. The suit accuses the company of gender pay discrimination, with the plaintiffs saying men’s base salaries exceed that of women. The law requires there be a one-to-one comparison between a man’s and a woman’s job, or specific instances where men are making more for the same work. Bloomberg


  • The boys’ club culture, where men dominate the office and exclude women and people of color, is more common than you think. InHerSight

  • These are the 20 best places for women to work in New York City, according to women who work there. InHerSight

  • And on the West Coast, these are the most female-friendly companies in Los Angeles, as rated by women. InHerSight

Quick Hits

  • Thank God for Gardasil! Since vaccines for human papilloma virus were introduced in 2006, it’s had remarkable success in reducing the prevalence of the virus. According to research that followed more than 60 million people up to eight years after their vaccinations, the prevalence of HPV 16 and 18, the variations that lead to most cases of cervical cancer, decreased over the period by 83 percent among girls ages 13 to 19, and by 66 percent among women ages 20 to 24. NY Times

  • A recent study of 30,000 Dutch women found period pain was linked to about nine days of lost productivity every year. Of the participants, one in seven said they had to take time off during their period, though only one in five told their employer exactly why. Menstrual leave is already offered in several Asian countries. CNN

  • The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released new data about sexual harassment that shows, very clearly, how race and gender intersect in the workplace : In the past decade, reports of harassment have decreased by more than 70 percent among white women, but only by 38 percent for black women. Pacific Standard

  • Solar and wind energy jobs are projected to be the fastest growing professions in the U.S. (which is great because, woo, clean energy!). But the industry has a problem: According to the Brookings Institution, women hold only 13 percent of jobs in the renewable energy industry. Bloomberg

In the News

  • The CROWN Act (Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair) passed the California state Senate on Thursday. If California’s governor signs the bill into law, the state will become the first to update anti-discrimination policies to include traits associated with races or ethnicities. The protections would mean employees could not be discriminated against because they have natural hair or hairstyles historically associated with African-American backgrounds, such as Afros, braids, dreadlocks, and twists. Workplace dress codes and grooming policies often prohibit such hairstyles, favoring European or white beauty standards. New Jersey and New York have proposed similar legislation, and New York City enacted its own protections in February. NPR

  • Here’s yet another reason to be wary of new deepfake technology. A few months ago an app called DeepNude debuted, allowing users to upload photos of women and use AI to remove her clothes revealing a fake, but fairly convincing naked image in its place. This type of nonconsensual porn brought new meaning to the concept of revenge porn—where nude images of a woman are circulated to humiliate or intimidate her—because suddenly it could be done even if she had never taken such a photo. The anonymous programmer behind DeepNude pulled the app, citing the possibility of its misuse and claiming he developed it out of a sense of “fun and enthusiasm” for new technology. But it’s impossible to imagine a way for users to have utilized DeepNude that wouldn’t be a “misuse”: The app did not work on images of men, and it was fed a photo of a man, it would replace his clothes with feminine genitalia. Vox

  • Medical students are performing vaginal exams on unconscious patients without asking their permission, reported Vice last week. The exams are done during unrelated procedures, like stomach surgeries, to give the students the opportunity to practice. It’s legal in 42 states, but raises serious ethical concerns about consent. Vice

  • Last week saw the first batch of Democratic debates for the 2020 presidential election. In a crowded field of candidates were quite a few standout women: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif), and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) Here are some of their top moments across the two nights of debate. The Lily

Around the World

  • Tibet: In a recent BBC interview, the Dalai Lama doubled down on sexist remarks he made in 2015 that if his successor was a woman, she would have to be attractive or she wouldn’t be “much use.” Sheesh, maybe it really is ALL men…. BBC

  • Malawi: Here’s an interesting piece about the realities of poverty for many women living in lakefront communities of this southeastern African country. When it’s difficult to make ends meet as a woman, fish trade can be her most lucrative option. Unfortunately, it often requires a woman put herself in unsafe situations, such as trading sex for fish to sell. NPR

  • United Kingdom: A gender pay gap report from HSBC Holdings Plc’s U.K. units show that women employees are paid bonuses nearly 70 percent lower on average than their male coworkers—and astonishingly enough, this is an improvement from last year. Bloomberg

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