Diversity-minded organizations have engaged in some serious hand-wringing of late as they attempt to add women, minorities, members of the LGBT community, and people with disabilities to their workforces. They are trying to rid their recruiting pipelines of unconscious bias by removing candidates' names from resumes, turning to blind interviews and auditions, and tapping non-traditional pools of talent.
Fashion designer Rachel Roy argues that her industry is one others can look to as an example of diversity. At Fortune's MPW Next Gen Summit yesterday, Roy praised her sector's inclusive atmosphere and how it judges designers based on merit—not appearance. Roy would know: The daughter of an Indian immigrant father, she went from working at a mall at age 14 to dressing the likes of Michelle Obama and Kim Kardashian.
“Women are welcome, minorities are welcome, gays are welcome,” she said, noting that succeeding in the fashion industry, “takes talent and hard work—but it doesn’t matter what you look like.”
The Equality Commission in Northern Ireland made its first detailed investigation into pregnancy discrimination and its chief executive, Evelyn Collins, described the findings as "shocking." Half of women questioned believe their career opportunities were negatively affected by having a baby and about a third reported unfair treatment by employers upon returning to work.
Get thee to a brokerage
The Mariendonk Nunnery in Germany had for over a century funded itself by selling milk and candles and collecting income from its bank deposits. But ultralow and negative interest rates have cut off that latter tap, prompting Sister Lioba Zahn—the convent's cellerarin or CFO—to start trading. Last year, her portfolio yielded 2.6%.
Shriti's straight talk
As part of the BBC's 100 Women series, Santander U.K. chair Shriti Vadera talked about her path to becoming the first woman to chair a major British bank. "For the early part of my career, I spent so much time trying to be like a man, better than a man. 'I just have to work harder, be better, be tougher, be more determined!' I wish I could have been just a little bit more myself," she said. "I think the world hasn't moved enough in that last 30-, 40-year period, but I think that people are more understanding of differences and that allows more opportunity, particularly for women."
In the driver's seat
President-elect Donald Trump yesterday named Elaine Chao as his choice for secretary of Transportation. The 63-year-old, who's considered a Washington insider, became the first-ever female Asian American cabinet member when President George W. Bush selected her as Labor secretary in 2001. Fortune's Kia Kokalitcheva has a look at what her tenure might mean for ride sharing platforms Uber and Lyft.
It seems SoulCycle, the upscale spinning gym, provided exactly what some Americans needed post-election: a place to release frustration and unplug. CEO Melanie Whelan told Fortune's MPW Next Gen Summit yesterday that her company saw record traffic in the days after the vote. “We found that SoulCycle was a place to disconnect,” she said.
Khloe Kardashian may have the ultimate body-shaming revenge: a successful business. The reality show star and entrepreneur told Fortune's MPW Next Gen Summit yesterday that she was once embarrassed to shop with her more petite sisters and felt high-end boutiques were condescending about her size. As a way to solve that problem—and perhaps get even—she started her own denim company Good American with business partner Emma Grede. “I remember the chubby girl in me and I’m fighting for my chubby self,” Kardashian said.
The open letter IBM CEO Ginni Rometty wrote to Trump about creating "new” collar IT jobs did not sit well with at least one IBM employee. Senior content strategist Elizabeth Wood wrote a letter back to Rometty and announced she was resigning. “Your letter offered the backing of IBM’s global workforce in support of [Trump's] agenda that preys on marginalized people and threatens my well-being as a woman, a Latina and a concerned citizen,” Wood wrote.
Heading to health care
Japan's population is rapidly aging and PM Shinzo Abe has encouraged women to take a more active role in the workforce. Those factors have resulted in a half million more female workers in the health care industry than there were at the start of 2013.
NPR has dug into Nepal's practice of chaupadi—in which families banish menstruating relatives to secluded huts—after a young woman died during the ritual earlier this month. The Supreme Court outlawed chaupadi in 2005, but there is no mechanism to prosecute violators. The government is now considering enacting a law to punish families who still adhere to the tradition, which stems from their belief that a woman who's having her period will contaminate the home or anger Hindu gods if she stays indoors.
Hanging her shingle
Teresa Teague, a former Hong Kong-based partner for Goldman Sachs, has started a boutique investment advisory firm called TTB Partners that will link Chinese investors with foreign deals. Like other bankers in the region who have set up their own outfits, Teague is chasing a share of the $810.6 billion Asian buyers spent in acquisitions last year.
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--U.K. PM Theresa May, reflecting on her upbringing