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The FQ Equality News 5.24.19

In this week’s equality news, discover how one presidential candidate is proposing to close the gender pay gap, how one of the world’s largest brands is overturning the status quo on maternity, and how the temperature of offices impacts productivity.


Closing the gender pay gap for 2020. Democratic candidate Senator Kamala Harris announced that she has added a new pillar to her presidential campaign in an effort to close the gender pay gap. In the U.S. today, women currently earn 80 cents on the dollar on average. If Harris is elected, the plan would require all companies to earn an “Equal Pay Certification.” Companies that cannot prove that they provide equal pay to men and women who do the same work will be fined 1% of their profits for every 1% of the wage gap. Her campaign projects that the plan could generate $180 billion in its first decade. This could be a huge step in the right direction as research shows that the gender pay gap shrinks when companies are required to disclose them.

Source: CBS News


Women founders embracing unicorn status. Last week the trendy luggage startup Away was valued at more than $1.4 billion following a new $100 million round of capital. The company’s founders, CEO Steph Korey, and president and chief brand officer Jen Rubio, shared that, in the beginning, they, “shied away” from discussing gender. “Any time someone wants to talk about being a female founder, woman entrepreneur—it’s something that we really kind of dismissed.” Now, Rubio says, “We almost have the responsibility of embracing it… If we become part of the case study that shows investors that this is possible, then we think that’s a great thing.”

Source: Fortune


Female athletes fighting to keep sponsorship when pregnant. Professional athletes, including two of the world’s most decorated Olympic runners Alysia Montaño and Allyson Felix, are speaking out against Nike, claiming that the sneaker giant would pause their contracts if they got pregnant. Now, Nike is responding. The company’s spokespeople say Nike won’t reduce sponsorship pay during childbirth, pregnancy, or maternity leave. The company adjusted the language in its contracts worldwide effective immediately to protect athletes during and after pregnancy. If Nike commits to securing maternity protection and elevating widely-marketed female athletes, other brands beyond the sports industry may be inspired to “just do it.”

Source: The Wall Street Journal


The women of Game of Thrones: Seen but not heard? The long-awaited finale of HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones received a wave of criticism from fans (including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Elizabeth Warren) who are not pleased with the way the show depicted its beloved female characters. The biggest disappointment, according to viewers, is that the ending missed the opportunity to have women come out on top. Ocasio-Cortez said, “I feel like we were getting so close to having this ending with just women running the world, and then the last two episodes, it’s like ‘Oh, they’re too emotional. The end.’ It’s like, ugh, this was written by men!” While the show has been lauded for its portrayal of strong female characters, findings from data compiled by the research group Ceretai suggest that women’s voices are largely underrepresented across all eight seasons. With male speech amounting to about 75% of all speaking time, Game of Thrones points to the larger problem of diversity in popular culture.

Source: Vogue and Vulture


The controversy over cold offices just got heated. With summer fast approaching, we’re revisiting the problem of frigid office spaces and sexist thermostats. A new study confirms that cold offices are not just uncomfortable for women­– they’re also killing women’s productivity at work. Researchers of the study found that men scored higher than women on verbal and math tests in cold rooms. When the temperature of the room got higher, so did the women’s scores. The research provides further evidence of the benefits employers reap when they create gender-balanced work environments.

Source: The Atlantic


The FQ Buzz: Why is it so important for politicians to push policies that will help close the wage gap? The Female Quotient CEO, Shelley Zalis, and CEO and Founder of The Cru, Tiffany Dufu, join Stephanie Ruhle on MSNBC to break it all down here.


For more equality news, don’t miss:

Equal Pay Day: What the Wage Gap Costs You & How to Know Your Worth

How to Hire with an Equality Mindset

Why Gender Diversity is Good for Business and the World