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Summer Break Blues, Caramel Curves, Buddhism's #MeToo Moment, Women's Word Count, and More

August 6: Badass women and the news that affects them

Mitra Norowzi

Quick Hits

  • Although maternal death is a serious problem in the U.S., there is some good news for expectant mothers — California, where one in eight American children is born, has cut its maternal death rate by more than half since 2006. The reduction of deaths is largely due to the state’s focus on monitoring and preventing hemorrhaging and high blood pressure, two factors that other states can hopefully improve upon. NPR

  • Chicago has changed the name of its downtown Congress Parkway to Ida B. Wells Drive to honor the African American journalist and activist. Chicago Tribune

  • Ever dreamed of an all-women motorcycle gang outfitted entirely in hot pink? I know we certainly have. In New Orleans, this vision exists. Here you’ll find the Caramel Curves, a female biker gang 13-strong. They’re breaking barriers and proving that badass and unapologetically feminine don't have to be mutually exclusive. The New York Times

  • A new study has found that in film, male speaking characters outnumber women speaking characters over two to one. It was easy to think things had improved for women after witnessing landmark movies like Black Panther and Ocean’s Eight, but, unfortunately, it looks like film is just as male-dominated as ever. USC Annenberg

  • An Australian study has found that while most young people want kids, they plan to postpone having them until their education, careers, and financial situations are in order. But most young people also cannot correctly identify the age when fertility starts to decline, overestimating it by about five years. Human Fertility

  • Now that Mamma Mia 2 is out, everyone and their mother is itching for a dreamy, beachy summer getaway. But not everyone will take it, and mothers are least likely of all. Of all the employees polled by research firm CiviScience who plan to use up all their vacation time, only 44 percent of respondents were women. The firm suggests that women feel guilty leaving work for others to do and worry their dedication will be questioned if they take time off, especially if they’ve already done so for other reasons, like maternity leave. Bloomberg BNA

Diverse for the Summer

Maybe it’s just me, but Wall Street has never exactly screamed ‘diversity.’ When I, like most people, think of the finance world, my mind conjures up an endless sea of white dudes. Although it seems like many Wall Street institutions are making strides in increasing the diversity in their number of employees, the trend has largely escaped the higher level positions. In fact, between 2012 and 2016, the number of Black senior executives and managers decreased at Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and JPMorgan Chase.

Fortunately, things are looking a bit brighter for interns in the industry. Firms are increasingly looking to diversify their summer intern classes — and hope to retain these diverse interns. This summer’s interns at Bank of America are 45 percent women and 55 percent non-white. Nearly half of Goldman Sachs’ interns are women and non-white. And interns at Wells Fargo are 42 percent women and nearly half are non-white. Here’s hoping these summer interns will receive job offers upon their graduations! Bloomberg

Around the World

  • One of Tokyo’s top medical schools has been caught automatically lowering the test scores of its female applicants in order to keep female enrollment below 30 percent. The Washington Post

  • A well-known Buddhist monk in Beijing has been accused of sexual harassment against two female disciples. The monk, the Venerable Xuecheng, is also secretary general of the Buddhist Association of China. The case will be one of China’s most high-profile #MeToo cases. The New York Times

  • An Australian Senator has filed a defamation suit after a fellow lawmaker told her “to stop shagging men” during a debate on the Senate floor. The New York Times

  • Saudi Arabia is halting trade with Canada and ordering the ambassador to scram after the Canadian government criticized the country for its arrest of prominent women’s rights activists. The Washington Post

  • Denmark has fined its first woman for violating the country’s new ban on full-face veiling. She was fined 1,000 kroner and told to remove her veil or leave the public space. The Guardian

By Mitra Norowzi

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