Goin’ into Memorial Day Weekend like 👑🏆#❶
Whether you’re grilling up fake meat burgers or some chicken kebabs or whatever other prandial goodies are in store for you this long weekend, we want to make sure that you’re armed with plenty of feminist talking points for your socializing. Because, really, what’s even the point otherwise? (Unrelated sidenote, it seems like all of our MDW bbq invites got lost in the mail — anyone else having that issue 🤔?) To herald the unofficial start of summer, we’re celebrating with a series of firsts from this week:
After 228 years, the Louvre is finally getting a female leader. Laurence des Cars will become the president of the world’s most visited museum in September.
Kristen Clarke is the first woman and first Black woman to head the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division. She was confirmed exactly one year after George Floyd’s murder.
Samoa is set to have its first female leader. Fiame Naomi Mata’afa will become prime minister on Monday.
Karine Jean-Pierre made history Wednesday as the first openly gay woman to deliver the White House press briefing and only the second Black woman to do so.
Gymnast Simone Biles became the first woman to land the Yurchenko double pike vault move in competition. The judges did not reward her and, when reporters asked why she kept doing such difficult moves, she answered, “because I can.”
News to note 📝
‘Culture of fear’ at the company that manages Bill Gates’ bazillions. Employees at Cascade Investments, which handles Gates’ fortune, said Chief Investment Officer Michael Larson repeatedly engaged in workplace misconduct, ranging from sexual comments to bullying and racism. Several people complained to Gates about Larson’s behavior and the firm made payments to at least seven people for their silence on the issue. [NYT]
There’s another Cuomo in the hot seat. CNN anchor Chris Cuomo messed up when he advised his bro, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, on how to handle the multiple sexual harassment allegations levied against him, network president Jeff Zucker said. That is definitely a journalistic no-no. Not cool, Cuomos, not cool. [WSJ]
Big Banks got grilled on their diversity efforts. Two years ago Wall Street’s biggest bank CEOs appeared before the House Financial Services Committee. All seven were white and male. When asked whether they expected their successors to look any different, none of them replied in the affirmative. This week, the bank heads returned to Congress, looking a wee bit different thanks to the appointment of Jane Fraser as CEO of Citi. The CEOs were grilled on their internal diversity efforts as well as other ESG issues. [Fortune]
Meanwhile, the SEC indicated an openness to diversity disclosures. Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler said in a House hearing Wednesday that the SEC is considering adding diversity reporting requirements to its in-progress plan to revamp corporate workforce disclosures. [Bloomberg]
Europe is going big on gender-equal cities, and we’re dusting off our passports (finally!). In Vienna, every aspect of public life, from urban spaces to transportation, is analyzed through the lens of gender inclusivity. And in several French cities, including its largest, Lyon, municipalities are adopting “gendered budgets” to help ensure equality of the sexes. [BBC & CityLab]
The first and only woman serving on the board of Softbank is resigning after challenging its famous and controversial founder. Yuko Kawamoto, who was appointed to the company’s board following heavy pressure from investors to enact better corporate governance, has reportedly clashed with Masayoshi Son on several occasions and believes the company — which is valued at over $128 billion — needs more internal checks and more people who can stand up to Son. SoftBank, which has backed startups from WeWork to (more successfully) TikTok-parent ByteDance, has selected another female director to replace her. [Bloomberg]
Numbers to know 🔢
73% Percent of companies employing gender equality practices that saw increased profitability and productivity in 2021. Can’t stop, won’t stop with the reports on how hiring and promoting women is good for the bottom line.
37 The record number of diversity-related proposals shareholders submitted in 2021. Calls for racial justice continue to resound in boardrooms, with investors demanding that companies make good on their pledges to help create a more equal world.
2% Percent of proceeds women’s artwork accounted for at art auctions from 2008 through 2019. Also, women artists made up only 11 percent of the art acquired by top museums during that period.
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