Sexual harassment has its day in Congress. Federal legislators are hitting back against sexual harassment in the workplace with the comprehensive bill BE HEARD as the House Judiciary Committee debates ending forced arbitration for victims. The BE HEARD bill would expand protections against sexual harassment to all workers (including interns and contractors), extend the statute of limitations for complaints and broaden the definition of “sex discrimination,” among other provisions. The House Judiciary Committee heard devastating testimony from women in diverse industries about the impact of forced arbitration in cases of sexual harassment and assault. It’s time for the feds to weigh in on behalf of victims. [Ms.]
“I truly would not want my worst enemy to work at Amazon.” In tech and gaming, a reckoning brews. Amazon Web Services is facing allegations of rampant sexism — and a lawsuit — from former executive Cindy Warner. Although Amazon denies the claims, other employees have also alleged sexism and racism. Meanwhile, back at the workplace-hell ranch, more damning allegations are out about a toxic and misogynistic work culture at gaming company Activision. The latest investigation revealed not only a pattern of sexual harassment, assault and misconduct, but also that CEO Bobby Kotick knew about these incidents all along and failed to take appropriate action. The problem runs deeper than a “frat boy culture” (and, is it just us, or does that commonly used descriptor actually delegitimize and minimize the actual abusive realities involved?) and reaches all the way to the top. Taking bets on whether Kotick resigns in 3, 2, 1… [Guardian, WSJ]
#WhereIsPengShuai? The tennis world is questioning the authenticity of an email purportedly from Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai, who has been missing since she publicly accused an official of sexual assault. In the email, the athlete retracts her allegations against the prominent government official and says, “I’ve just been resting at home and everything is fine.” All that sounds very ominous and suspect given that she’s otherwise disappeared since posting the initial accusation and that the Chinese government is known to silence those who question it. Naomi Osaka herself took to Twitter to ask the frightening question on everyone’s mind: #WhereIsPengShuai? [BBC]
In the U.S., you still can push a watermelon out of your body and get zero time to recover. So, in this wealthy developed country, mothers are punished for, well, being mothers. We know, we keep beating this drum, but come the F on. Writer Bess Kalb recounts almost dying six weeks after giving birth to her son (this would be, btw, two weeks after the Senate’s currently proposed four weeks of paid leave would have ended). With women 26% more likely to apply for remote work, the combination of the mommy penalty (being “mommy tracked”) and the remote work penalty could prove fatal to women’s careers. Companies need to proactively make sure that women don’t suffer because they embrace a hybrid work model, even as many companies and workers reap the benefits and flexibility. [NYT, Politico]
Sexual wellness brand Dame “gets in touch” with MTA users after settling gender discrimination lawsuit. The New York City subway system initially rejected ads from Dame for being too sexual — despite approving ads for erectile dysfunction and dating apps — sparking a three-year legal battle. But now the company is moving ahead with its bid to close the pleasure gap for subway riders; however, Dame’s upcoming campaign is less explicit than the one rejected in the past. Here’s betting all this legal controversy gives them a welcome PR boost. You can check out the rejected ads here. [Adweek]
Numbers to know 🔢
41% Percentage of incoming MBA students who are women, up from 38.5% last year. Is this due to the great resignation? Some CEOs seem to think so.
$34.9M Winning bid on Frida Kahlo’s self-portrait “Diego and I.” Kahlo might not have bested husband Diego Rivera in life, but she just kicked his ass in the afterworld to the tune of over $24 million for “most expensive artwork by a Latin American artist.”
10% Percentage of staffers in the Australian government’s gender equality department who say that they’ve been sexually harassed at some point in their careers. Despite working in the department responsible for the country’s harassment laws, 40% percent did not report the harassment when it occurred; note that this is a sad reflection not on these employees but on the flawed processes and culture surrounding such reporting.
1 Number of Latinx editor-in-chiefs The Harvard Crimson has had. Raquel Coronell Uribe (’23) is the first Latinx leader in the paper’s 148 years.
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