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  1. Blog
  2. Advancement

Women in the News + The UK's Landmark Equal Pay Win

January 13: Badass women and the news that affects them

Cartoon women in a variety of colorful outfits.

Image courtesy ofMoloko88

Company Culture

  • Gender equity in film is in no way where it needs to be, but somehow Netflix (3.9 stars) , is doing significantly better in this arena than its Hollywood counterparts. In 2019, 20 percent of Netflix’s 53 original U.S. films were headed by women—that’s nearly double the 10.6 percent of 100 top-grossing films in the country directed by women. Quartz

  • In other Netflix-related news, the streaming service will premiere a new documentary series about Gwyneth Paltrow’s wellness brand called “The Goop Lab” later this month. But endorsing and giving a platform to Paltrow’s controversial pseudoscience isn’t really what we’d call pro-woman so don’t give Netflix too much feminist cred. Vox

  • ClassPass (3.9 stars) , a studio fitness and wellness platform founded by Payal Kadakia in 2013, raised $285 million in its last fundraising round, effectively achieving unicorn status and surpassing $1 billion in valuation. Fortune

  • The International Olympics Committee is the latest sporting organization to restrict the freedom of its athletes to engage in political protests or demonstrations of any kind ahead of this summer’s Olympics in Tokyo. The new rules will bar athletes from participating in such activities on the field and in the Olympic Village or during medal ceremonies and the opening and closing ceremonies. The ban includes demonstrations even as subtle as donning armbands or signs, gesturing with the hands, or kneeling. But critics of the ban argue that such prohibitions violate the spirit of the Olympics and would have prevented significant moments in history, such as when Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists in a Black Power salute to protest racial inequality in the U.S. as they took the podium in the 1968 games. Vox

Read more: How to Influence Your Company Culture, Even if You're Not the CEO

Quick Hits

  • Kelly Loeffler (R-Georgia) was sworn into the Senate last week, bringing the number of women senators up to 26. Loeffler was tapped by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to replace Sen. Johnny Isakson, who retired at the end of 2019. She is only the second woman to represent Georgia in the Senate. Politico

  • Did your New Year’s resolutions include a pledge to read more? Look no further than the Zora Canon, a list of the 100 greatest books written by African American women curated by the editors of Zora, Medium’s online space for women of color named for the legendary Zora Neale Hurston. Medium

  • Women have officially replaced men as the majority of the U.S. workforce, holding 50.04 percent of nonfarm payroll positions in December, according to Labor Department data. Bloomberg

  • The cost of childbirth in the U.S. has ballooned in recent years, with the average mother who has insurance incurring a $4,500 bill for labor and delivery, according to researchers at the University of Michigan. High insurance deductibles are mostly to blame, as are nonsensical hospital charges and overinflated pharmaceutical costs. The Atlantic

  • In 2003, the NFL implemented a new diversity initiative called the “Rooney rule” that required teams to interview at least one nonwhite candidate for each open head coaching position. It wasn’t long before the Rooney rule spread to other industries, where companies created their own versions of the practice to account for many different minority identities. But over 15 years later, there is little progress to show—with the number of nonwhite coaches in the NFL falling to four in 2019 from eight in 2018, despite five new coaching openings, and, presumably, at least five diverse interviewees. And there is little evidence that the Rooney rule has been significantly effective in other organizations either, a fact that critics of the rule attribute to companies treating the required diversity interview less seriously. Bloomberg

Read more: 8 Way to Make Child Care More Affordable 

Around the World

  • United Kingdom: The high-profile BBC equal pay case has finally come to an end after an employment tribunal ruled in Samira Ahmed’s favor. The tribunal concluded that the work Ahmed and Jeremy Vine did as co-hosts of the program “Newswatch” was equal and that BBC had failed to prove that the stark difference between their pay was not due to discrimination—Vine made a staggering six times the amount Ahmed did per episode. NY Times

  • India: Millions of Indian workers took to the streets last Wednesday in what may have been the largest strike in world history. Ten trade unions involved in the protest claimed 250 million participants between them across the nation. The mass action was three months in the making and brought transportation and banking services to a screeching halt in many parts of the country to protest anti-labor legislation by the Hindu nationalist government helmed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Al Jazeera

  • Puerto Rico: A 10-day string of earthquakes concluded with a devastating 6.4 magnitude earthquake, the largest to hit the island since 1918. Gov. Wanda Vazquez has declared a state of emergency and is seeking a major disaster declaration from the U.S. government that would allow federal funds to aid in sheltering displaced citizens and rebuild destroyed buildings and homes. AP

Read more: What Women Wear to Work in Different Countries 

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