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Patent-ly Offensive, Cutting Off Hair Discrimination, a Proposal for Paid Family Leave, and More

February 19: Badass women and the news that affects them

Mitra Norowzi

Company Culture

  • Fortune recently released its latest “100 Best Companies to Work For” report. Hilton landed the top spot for implementing widespread employee-focused changes. Some of these include nicer back-of-house areas for employees to relax in, a better cafeteria that is free for most, a partnership with Under Armour to create more comfortable uniforms, and a free GED program. Now see how women feel about working for Hilton

  • Remember when Citigroup announced it has a 29% gender pay gap? Investment firm Arjuna Capital was responsible for the disclosure of that report—but it’s not done yet. The firm announced last week that it plans to engage with 12 more companies, including banks and top tech firms, regarding median gender pay equity resolutions in the year ahead. Arjuna Capital

  • XPO Logistics has announced the closing of a Memphis warehouse where employees reported widespread discrimination and harsh working conditions that allegedly caused miscarriages among some pregnant workers. Check out what women have said about working for XPO. NY Times

Quick Hits

  • The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has announced a plan to sell a Mark Rothko piece for $35 to $50 million and use the funds to purchase more works by women and people of color. Guess they’ve finally grown just as tired of walking around and only seeing art by white dudes as we have! NY Times

  • Sexual assault at military academies is rising. The Army, Navy, and Air Force Academy saw 117 formal reports of sexual assault in the 2017-2018 academic year, a slight rise from 112 reports from the year before. But an anonymous survey conducted by the Pentagon at the schools found that 747 students reported unwanted sexual contact, a nearly 50% rise from the previous year’s results, hinting that most students are choosing not to report their assaults. See what hundreds of women have to say about what it’s like to work for the Army, Navy, and Air ForceNPR

  • Last week, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-Conn.) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn) reintroduced the Family Act to Congress. If passed, the bill could provide 12 weeks of paid family leave to American workers at about 66% of their monthly wages. The act would also apply to new adoptive parents and workers that need time off to care for a sick family member. NY Times

  • Just 12% of all patent holders in the US were women in 2016. You might ask, “Why so low? Women are creative and innovative!” Well, for starters, the average patent costs about $10,000 to file, and we all know how much more difficult it is for women to raise capital than men. Plus, women in investing tend to face the same sort of discrimination they do in STEM fields. Market Watch

  • Time’s Up president and CEO Lisa Borders has announced her resignation from the organization to focus on family matters. COO Rebecca Goldman will serve as her interim replacement. Vulture

Happy Black History Month: Black Women Continue to Bring the Magic

  • In need of some inspo today? The glass ceiling in tech is even thicker for women of color. Check out these interviews with black women smashing it by making big strides in the industry. Forbes

  • Or maybe you’re in need of some new reading material by black women. This listicle from Popsugar will provide you with some great suggestions for the year ahead. Popsugar

  • Alaska Airlines has partnered with the nonprofit Sisters of the Skies and recently made a pledge to diversify its staff by hiring more black women pilots. Black female pilots currently only make up about 1% of Alaska and Horizon Airlines. The Grio

  • New York City officials announced Monday that Human Rights Law in the city will specifically protect against discrimination towards black hair. The new measure is thought to be the first of its kind in the U.S. BuzzFeed

Around the World

  • Guatemala: Two years ago last week, 41 school-age girls in a government run group home died in a fire. What makes this tragedy especially chilling is the nine minutes police waited before even attempting to enter the home and save the girls. Worse yet, abuse allegations at the facility have proliferated for years, according to case files on the victims and survivors. Finally, two years later, the officials who failed to intervene in the fire are being held accountable. NY Times

  • Lebanon: It’s time to meet the four women finally taking government jobs in Lebanon’s cabinet. The Guardian

  • Iran: It’s been nearly 40 years since Iranian women stood up for their rights during the Iranian Revolution. Has anything changed for the Iranian women’s rights movement? One thing’s for sure: Iranian women won’t be silenced. Bloomberg

  • Singapore: Akinti Bose was 23 when she started her journey creating an online fashion startup. Now, she’s 27, and her company is worth nearly $1 billion. Bloomberg

By Mitra Norowzi

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