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Rent-The-Runway, Emilia Clark, Islamophobia, and More

March 25: Badass women and the news that affects them

By Mitra Norowzi

Company Culture

  • Glossier and Rent-the-Runway (3.1 stars), both women-led startups, have officially become “unicorns,” meaning they’ve exceeded $1 billion in company value while remaining privately held. This achievement is even more impressive given both companies have majority-female customers and have loyal followings due to clever social media marketing campaigns. Quartz

  • Sima Sistani, co-founder of the video chat app Houseparty, will now take the lead as the one of the few women to be CEO of a venture-backed social networking company. The Verge

  • To increase diverse representation, Goldman Sachs (3.4 stars) will require hiring managers to interview at least two qualified, diverse candidates. The firm hopes this strategy will help improve gender and racial parity at more senior levels. Goldman Sachs

  • After revamping its women’s line in 2015, Levi Strauss & Co. (3.3 stars) is reemerging as a retail company. Revenue from Levi’s women’s line has increased by 29 percent. Looks like diversifying your product to include women pays off after all. Forbes

  • JetBlue (3.4 stars), a low-cost airline, is being sued by two flight attendants for not doing anything after the women reported being drugged and, in one case, raped, by two pilots also working for the airline during a layover last year. NY Times

Quick Hits

  • After surveying 9,000 men and women in economics, the American Economic Association found evidence of rampant sexual assault and violence in the field. We spoke to a professor who took the survey to see how these stats play out in real life. NY Times

  • A study from Harvard Business Review has found that women who have taxing days are less likely than men to let it affect how much emotional support they give to their partner or impact quality family time. The study found this trend also applied to the workplace—with women who experience stressful mornings (like a soul-crushing commute or a struggle to wrangle kids into getting ready for school) being more likely to remain emotionally supportive to colleagues than men who have similarly distressing starts to their day. Harvard Business Review

  • In the wake of last week’s academic admissions scandal, the University of Southern California has named Carol Folt, former chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as its first permanent president. Folt has faced her fair share of scandals at UNC-CH—academic fraud in the athletics department and escalating tensions over a campus Confederate monument (which ultimately led to her resignation)—so it will be interesting to see how she handles her new position. NY Times

  • The FDA has approved a new drug to treat postpartum depression. Until now, talk therapy and traditional antidepressants have been the only options available to treat the disease. The new drug, Zulresso, is a 60-hour intravenous infusion, which may make it an impractical solution for many postpartum sufferers. Huff Post

  • The New York Times and Propublica reported last week that prominent Wall Street trader and philanthropist Michael Steinhardt has been accused of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior by six women. The reports against Steinhardt include alleged sexual comments and inappropriate propositions for sex directed at women during meetings related to his philanthropic work. Steinhardt has admitted his behavior has “boorish, disrespectful and just plain dumb,” but he denies the allegations of harrasment. Forbes

Entertainment

  • In a New Yorker article, Emilia Clark wrote a breathtakingly honest account of her harrowing path to recovery after suffering two brain aneurysms—while also filming for Game of Thrones. Turns out, the ‘Mother of Dragons’ is just as strong and just as resilient in real life as she is in Westeros. (Make sure you know the warning signs of an aneurysm. It could save your life.)

  • Singer-songwriter Sam Smith has come out as nonbinary, defining the term for Jameela Jamil on Jamil's new IGTV series "I Weigh Interviews." “You do not identify as a gender,” Smith says. “You are just you. You are a mixture of all different things, you are your own special creation. That's how I take it.” Important note: While Smith has indicated that he still prefers male pronouns, the other non-binary folks in your life may prefer other pronouns like “they/them.” When in doubt, it doesn’t hurt to ask! (Respectfully, of course). Instagram

  • Netflix has hired Mindy Kaling, an actor/comedian/producer triple threat, to write and executive produce an autobiographical 10-episode coming-of-age comedy series. The show will focus on the complex experience of being a first-generation Indian-American teen girl. Mashable

Around the World

  • New Zealand: A week after the Christchurch shooting, women in New Zealand are donning headscarves in solidarity with Muslim women. As islamophobia increases, many Muslim women no longer feel safe wearing traditional head coverings in public, scared that donning such a visual marker of their religion might put them and their families at risk of violence. Refinery29

  • China: Women from Myanmar’s Kachin minority are increasingly being trafficked into China. There, they are sold into sexual slavery and raped until they become pregnant. After the child is born, they are sometimes given the option to return home, but only if they leave their baby behind. If they seek help from authorities, they are likely to be jailed for immigrations violations. The Guardian

  • Canada: Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter, Canada’s oldest rape crisis center, may lose its city funding if it does not reverse its policy of excluding trans women from its shelter. According to the CDC, nearly 50 percent of transgender women will face sexual violence in their lifetime. Global News

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