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HSBC Pay Gap, Rihanna Snap, Skimm Investment: Broadsheet March 16

March 16, 2018, 11:18 AM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Rihanna may have sunk Snap stock, The Skimm’s bank account gets fatter, and yet another U.K. bank is paying women less than men. Have a rejuvenating weekend.


 Mind HSBC's gap. Remember when I wrote about Barclays and the data that shows that it's paying its female investment bankers just under half what it pays their male counterparts (on average)? Well, the pay gap plot thickens.

HSBC, the UK’s largest bank, just published its wage data, revealing that it pays women a full 59% less than men, on average, according to the difference in hourly pay in 2017. The numbers are specific to HSBC Bank, which employs more than 23,500 people.

The bank blames the gap on the fact that women hold only 23% of HSBC's senior leadership roles (i.e. the ones with the largest salaries), arguing, as Quartz puts it, "that equal pay isn’t the problem, it’s the distribution of women in the company’s hierarchy."

Obviously, it's important that women at the bank (and everywhere!) are receiving equal pay for equal work, and it's frustrating that this particular data dump doesn't allow us to compare the salaries of men and women in equivalent jobs. That said, the fact that the bank has so few women in top roles isn't exactly something to tout. On a macro scale, it's impossible to separate the issues of pay equity and women's representation in leadership. Until we achieve both, women won't have achieved real workplace equality. Quartz


 Ri-Ri's revenge. Rihanna responded to Snap's decision to run an ad that asked users to decide whether they wanted to slap her or punch Chris Brown, saying it made a joke of her history as a victim of domestic violence: "Shame on you." (Snapchat has removed the ad and apologized). I bet you can guess what happened next: The company's stock fell almost 5%. Fortune

 Skimming the news. The Skimm, led by co-founders Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg, have raised a $12 million round of funding, led by Google Ventures and Spanx founder Sara Blakely. Recode reports that the pair were looking for a $100 million valuation (their last round, in September 2016, valued the company at about $55 million), but the company has not commented on its current valuation. Recode

 Slow down, Sorkin. Harper Lee's estate is suing the producers of the forthcoming Broadway adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird, charging that the Aaron Sorkin script violates a contract that stipulates that the characters and plot must remain faithful to the spirit of the book. New York Times

 On-set offenses. HuffPo spoke to nearly 20 women who work in "behind-the-camera" jobs (think production assistants, cinematographers, set dressers) for this expose of the rampant sexual harassment and discrimination that takes place in the film industry. Huffington Post


 Studying up. When parsing the gender pay gap, it often comes up that women are more likely to study subjects that correspond with lower-paying jobs than men are. Yet this Bloomberg graphic illustrates how "even in traditionally pre-professional fields, such as business, science and economics, equal educational attainment doesn’t always correspond to similar career choices by men and women." Bloomberg

 Her song suitMiley Cyrus faces a $300 million lawsuit over her 2013 hit “We Can’t Stop,” after Jamaican artist Michael May filed a copyright complaint alleging that it borrows lyrics from his 1988 reggae track "We Run Things."  Fortune

 A turbulent claim. Alaska Airlines pilot Betty Pina is suing her employer, claiming the airline is liable for the actions of her co-pilot Paul Engelien, whom she alleges drugged and raped her in June. ABC News

 Shields' style. Brooke Shields talks about her new clothing line for QVC, which debuted this week.  New York Times

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I don't make history, I am history.
Joan Baez