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Women in the News + Natalie Portman Can Embroider Our Names on Her Cape Any Time

February 10: Badass women and the news that affects them

Image courtesy of Amili

Company Culture

  • Prada has agreed to provide racial-equity training for its employees in New York City and executives in Milan as part of a settlement with the New York City Commission on Human Rights over a 2018 window display that contained "racist and denigrating blackface imagery." The settlement will also require the luxury fashion brand to hire a permanent, executive-level diversity and inclusion officer to monitor its nondiscrimination policies and review its U.S. products and advertising for bias. NBC

  • Despite a heartwarming new ad campaign that features a transgender teen finally being addressed by his chosen name at a Starbucks (3.2 stars), former and current transgender employees at the coffee chain reported experiences of being outed, misgendered, and denied gender affirming health care that the company insurance is supposed to cover. Elaine Cao, a trans Starbucks employee told BuzzFeed, "I legitimately think that the people who work in the corporate office in Seattle, they think that [they’re helping] — but they aren’t doing enough to make sure that that is the case," BuzzFeed News

  • Aerie (2.8 stars) has announced a new 10-piece swimwear collection called Real Good Swim made from Repreve, a fabric which is made with 82 percent rPET, or recycled plastic bottles. The new line is the lingerie company’s latest move toward sustainability—last year it pledged to become carbon neutral by 2030, reduce its total carbon emissions by 40 percent, and implement broader water recycling practices during production. Fast Company

Quick Hits

  • Sunday night’s Academy Awards made history several times over, slightly redeeming the awards ceremony after years of little diversity among Oscar nominees and winners. Notably, Korean film Parasite, directed by Bong Joon Ho, became the first foreign language film to win best picture, and led the pack in terms of wins, also scoring wins in the international feature film, director, and original screenplay categories. In all those categories, Parasite was the first South Korean film to win. Additionally, Taika Waititi’s win in the best adapted screenplay category for Jojo Rabbit marked the first Oscar win by a person of indigenous Maori descent. In her opening number, singer-songwriter Janelle Monáe brought attention to films snubbed by this year’s awards, including Us and Midsommar, as well as the overall lack of diversity in terms of women, people of color, and LGBTQ nominees. Actress Natalie Portman also brought attention to the lack of diversity by featuring the names of snubbed women directors embroidered upon her cape. Variety 

  • Women in law may still be grossly underrepresented (they make up less than a quarter of law firm equity partners), but they’ve emerged victorious in the realm of law journals—for the first time ever, the editors in chief at the top 16 law schools in the U.S. are all women. The Washington Post

  • Christina Koch, one of the astronauts who participated in the first all-woman spacewalk, returned to Earth last week after 328 days in space, the longest amount of time a woman has spent there. But in addition to these historic achievements, Koch should be recognized for her research, including but not limited to her her work studying the effects of microgravity on plants in space, the behavior of fire in space, and quantum characteristics of atoms in space. NY Times

  • The FBI has officially deemed racially motivated violent extremists, including white supremacists, to be a “national threat priority” for fiscal year 2020 on the same level as foriegn terrorist organizations like ISIS. CBS

  • Last week, the Virginia Senate unanimously voted to fully exempt menstrual products from sales tax. NBC

Black Woman Magic 

  • In celebration of Black History Month and with the help of Kaia Shivers, a liberal studies professor at New York University, Insider has published a list of 20 Black women making history in 2020. The list includes Black women innovators and leaders in entertainment, politics, sports, the culinary arts, and many more industries. Some names included, like singer-songwriter Lizzo and track and field Olympian Allyson Felix, are more well-known than others, like chef Mariya Russell and special needs educator Crystal Williiams, but all of these women are truly inspiring. Insider 

  • But in addition to recognizing Black women trailblazers of today, this month is also a time to honor those Black women who made history in the past, and this list of 19 Black suffragists from USA Today is a must-read—especially ahead of the 100-year anniversary of white women’s suffrage in August, which could eclipse their work. But despite their exclusion from the wider women’s rights movement, these women soldiered on to fight for Black women’s liberation. USA Today 

  • The Washington Redskins (who we are still disappointed in for continuing to carry their harmful name) are reportedly planning to bring in Jennifer King as a new coach. King, who was an athlete played softball and basketball at Guilford College, has experience coaching collegiate basketball at Johnson & Wales and professional football as an intern with the Carolina Panthers. When the deal goes through, King will be the NFL’s first full-time Black coach and only the fourth full-time coach who is a woman in the league. The Root

  • In a plan recently announced by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a state park in Brooklyn will be renamed to honor the life and legacy of Marsha P. Johnson, a Black transgender woman who was an instrumental figure behind the iconic 1969 Stonewall Uprising for LGBTQ rights. NBC

Around the World

  • Finland: The Finnish government, led by Prime Minister Sanna Marin, has announced a new gender-neutral family leave policy. The new policy, which could go into effect as early as 2021, will grant nearly seven months of paid leave to each parent with an optional one-month pregnancy allowance for pregnant parents before parental leave starts. Furthermore, parents may transfer 69 days of their own leave to the other parent, and single parents may access the full combined 14 months of leave. NPR 

  • France: Next month, France Invests, the association that represents the country’s private equity industry, will ask its 326 members to sign a 30-point diversity charter. Signing the charter will indicate a commitment by members to hire and retain more women staff and by France Invests to provide nondiscrimination training to the companies that need help achieving this. As of last year, about a quarter of staff on French investment teams were women, and without intervention, it would take until 2045 to reach parity. Bloomberg

  • Nigeria: The expansion of the Trump administration’s travel ban, which goes into effect on Feb. 22 will hit African countries, particularly Nigeria, the hardest. Under the new restrictions, Nigerians will still be able to travel to the U.S. on temporary student, worker, or tourist visas, but they will no longer be able to obtain visas that would allow them to settle in the U.S. permanently. Vox

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By Mitra Norowzi

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