Good morning, Broadsheet readers! More places make it illegal to ask about your salary history, the Women’s March celebrates its one-year anniversary…plus lots of news about moms! Have a wonderful weekend.
• Pay gap progress? It’s only the middle of January, but 2018 has already seen the implementation of new laws and policies that have the potential to boost women’s paychecks. The latest news comes from Amazon, which this week banned its hiring managers from asking prospective hires about their salary histories, according to BuzzFeed.
The tech giant follows in the footsteps of companies like Google, Facebook, and Cisco, which earlier this month were legally banned from posing the question to potential employees in California, thanks to a new law that took effect on Jan. 1. Though the law technically applies only to those who work in the Golden State, most have proactively applied the law to all of their U.S. hires. Massachusetts, Oregon, Philadelphia, New York City, and San Francisco have passed similar laws over the past couple of years—though Amazon’s home state of Washington has yet to do so.
Also this week, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order banning state agencies—though not private companies—from asking the controversial question. (The rule takes effect on Feb. 1). New York, Delaware, New Orleans, Pittsburg, and Albany already have similar laws in effect.
Many of the policy changes are being positioned as efforts to fight the pay gap that plagues women and people of color. In Gov. Murphy’s statement accompanying the executive order, he called the policy, “the first meaningful step towards gender equity and fighting the gender pay gap.” Andrea Johnson, senior counsel for state policy at the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), says the salary history question “forces women to carry pay discrimination with them from job to job.”
Johnson calls the efforts to ban the question “exciting,” but notes that such laws are just one piece of the puzzle. Her organization is currently focused on pushing for pay transparency laws, which have already gone into effect in Iceland and the U.K. An Obama-era effort to collect salary information via EEO-1 forms—which must be filled out by any company with 100 or more employees—has been rolled back under the current administration. The NWLC is one of the dozens of civil rights groups challenging that decision.
Without the support of the federal government, companies’ embrace of policies that advance fair pay—such as Amazon’s move to ban the salary history question and Citigroup’s recent decision to share pay data—are especially important and powerful.
“It’s harder to de-bias minds and easier to de-bias processes.”
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Girls with grit. My colleague Ellen McGirt—who writes the seriously amazing RaceAhead newsletter—has a feature in Fortune‘s latest issue about how forward-thinking employers are searching for “grit” in their employees. What exactly does that mean? “Think of grit less as an antidote to a hard-knock life and more as an ongoing quest to master life complexity—an experience all of us share. When recognition of that complexity shapes hiring, it opens transformative opportunities to people from groups underrepresented in top professions: ethnic minorities, stay-at-home parents, working-class kids, veterans.” Among the people Ellen interviews are a number of extremely impressive women, including Patreon’s Erica Joy Baker, Backstage Capital’s Arlan Hamilton, and EY’s Nelly Zorrilla. Check it out:
• What a difference a year makes. This weekend marks the one-year anniversary of the Women’s March on Washington. Where are we a year later? The number of female candidates for governor has doubled from its previous record; the number of Democratic women likely challenging incumbents in the U.S. House of Representatives is up nearly 350% since 2016; and roughly 900 women contacted Emily’s List, which recruits and trains pro-choice Democratic women, about running for office from 2015 to 2016.
• Mom’s getting older. A report from Pew Research Center out Thursday paints a new portrait of the American mom: She’s waiting longer than ever to have kids—but she’s having more of them than she did a decade ago. The median age at which women become mothers in the U.S. is 26 (it was 23 in 1994). Interestingly, more educated women are actually becoming increasingly likely to have children: In 2014, 82% of women with bachelor’s degree were mothers, versus 76% of their counterparts two decades earlier. (The percentages for master’s and Ph.D.’s are 79% and 80%, up from 70% and 65%.)
• Multitasker-in-chief. New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is pregnant. She is the second world leader to become a mother while in office (the first being Pakistan’s former PM, Benazir Bhutto). She said of her pregnancy: “I am not the first woman to multitask. I am not the first woman to work and have a baby. I know these are special circumstances but there will be many women who will have done this well before I have.”
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Annie Wu has been appointed global leader for diversity and inclusiveness for H&M. National Geographic Society has appointed Beth Comstock and Lyndon Rive to its board. Kate Barton has been appointed global vice chair of EY. Julie Boland has been named the company’s central regional managing partner.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Stories behind the stats. Speaking of motherhood, The New York Times has created a video series about it, told through the voices of six women.
New York Times
• Weinstein’s last days. This Vanity Fair piece details how Harvey Weinstein spent the days leading up to the publication of the New York Times and New Yorker stories. Allegedly, he passed the time “searching for and trying to delete documents; absconding with others; surveilling ex-employees’ online communications; and seeking to discover who, in the end, had orchestrated his downfall.”
• Couric’s co-hosting. Today show anchor Katie Couric will be co-hosting the Olympics Opening Ceremony in PeongChang, South Korea. Couric has previously hosted Opening Ceremonies during Olympics in Sydney, Salt Lake City, and Athens.
• A bit of history. I was tickled by this NASA history office tweet, in which the space agency shared a photo of a makeup kit for female astronauts from 1978, along with a quote from Sally Ride, the first American woman in space: “You can just imagine the discussions amongst the predominantly male engineers about what should go in a makeup kit.”
ON MY RADAR
Nancy Pelosi is going to be a guest judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars
Elena Ferrante to write column for The Guardian‘s weekend magazine
The woman behind the lens: meet White House photographer Shealah Craighead
Amazon’s plans for Alexa in offices make it worse that the bot is female