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5 Great Reads: This Woman Sprayed Her Male Peers with a Water Toy

September 21: Good and insightful things we've read online in the past week

5 Great Reads: This Woman Sprayed Her Male Peers with a Water Toy
Image courtesy of AskhatGilyakhov


‘No one knows their legal rights at work’

When starting a new job, I’ve often wondered, Do I have to sign that? And every time, the answer is: Look it up. In this column, Alison Green, who fields workplace questions on her website Ask a Manager, discusses the legal rights employees don’t understand, whether that means assuming they have rights that they actually don’t or not realizing when an employer is blatantly breaking the law. Green’s delivery goes down easy, but the rights most of us don’t understand? Not so much. Slate 

Read more: Furloughs, NDAs, & Other Contracts That Affect Your Employment

‘Retirements, layoffs, labor force flight may leave scars on U.S economy’

Through the pandemic, we’ve seen job losses concentrated in two areas: among women and among workers over the age of 65. Besides the data itself, there are two important factors to call out here:

  • “The percentage of women and men who moved from employed to out of the labor force jumped as the pandemic layoffs hit in April. The number of women, however, who cited child care or family responsibilities as the reason, increased 178%, while the number of men citing it less than doubled.”

  • “The percentage of these workers (age 65 and up) who consider themselves “retired” instead of merely out of work also rose steadily in recent months, from 14.2% in April to 19.5% in June.”

The first is important because we see the impossible decision the pandemic—and our society—has forced upon working moms. And the second, because pushing older workers into “retirement” is often a way of hiding age discrimination. We can’t say that’s happening everywhere, but it’s something to monitor. Reuters

Read more: Study: What Working Moms Need Most During COVID-19 as Work-from-Home Orders Are Extended

Women to know

‘Blazing a path for women in computer science: the story of Susan Eggers’

Susan Eggers became a computer scientist at a time when women weren’t expected—or often hired—to be. Here’s a delightful anecdote from her time in graduate school: “Still, though Eggers was more experienced than her mostly male peers at Berkeley, she found that they frequently talked over her, so she came up with a plan to quash their interruptions once and for all. To a presentation she gave on her research, she brought a water toy. Almost immediately after she started to talk, they began to speak up, so she sprayed them with water and they never cut her off again.” Yale

Highlights from life in standstill

‘The color-coded quarantine schedule parents, revisited’

Hey, working moms, here’s a relatable find. Remember all of those parents posting schedules for their kids at the beginning of quarantine? Allison Benedikt followed up with them about how the routines are going six months in, and most of the responses sound like this, “We managed afternoon bike rides most days, but honestly, our entire lives ended up built around me getting to take a run at some point so I didn’t lose it.” You have one of the hardest roles right now. Do what you need to survive. Slate

‘Those scaled-back pandemic beauty habits are better for your skin, hair and nails, experts say’

I found this article the day after I’d stared, bewildered, at my nails, wondering when they’d become so strong. Like many other women, I haven’t painted them in months. And it turns out, my experience is part of a wider phenomenon: As more people forgo makeup, hair treatments, polishes, etc., experts are seeing healthier skin, hair, and nails. Women, our bodies—and quite frankly, our wallets—deserve this reprieve. The Washington Post

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