The coronavirus crisis puts Equal Pay Day in a new light

March 31, 2020, 12:31 PM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Doulas adapt to hospital bans on visitors, Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s husband is out of the hospital, and the coronavirus crisis puts this year’s Equal Pay Day in a new light. Have a productive Tuesday. 

– Equal Pay Day. With everything going on in the world, you could be forgiven for forgetting about Equal Pay Day. But we’re here to remind you—today’s the day! And, advocates for equal pay say, it’s more important than ever.

The annual date marks the point this year that women have to work to earn what men earned last year alone—about 81 cents on the dollar. But this year, there are special circumstances. Think about what the long-term impact of the gender pay gap means during a crisis like the one we’re in now.

Years of a 20% or higher gap in wages with men leaves women with less in savings to weather an economic downturn. It leaves their families with fewer resources during a crisis. And the still persistent gender wage gap leaves the most essential workers on the front lines of this pandemic—women working in grocery stores and hospitals—earning less than their male peers while they’re putting their safety at risk for the public good.

You can read more details about the connection between the wage gap and the coronavirus crisis here.

So amid everything else on your plate, spare a thought for Equal Pay Day this year. Women need it more than ever.

Emma Hinchliffe


- Doulas and delivery. Fast-changing rules at New York hospitals about who's allowed in labor and delivery rooms are leaving pregnant women confused and scared. Doulas, who act as guides and advocates for women through the birth process, are trying to adapt, now that they're barred from hospital births. Domino Kirke, founder of Carriage House Birth, shares how her doula collective is adjusting to the new reality. Fortune

- Rent the Zoom-way. The once-promising industry of clothing rentals faces an extraordinary hurdle during coronavirus social isolation: will subscribers still rent clothes when they're not leaving the house? Rent the Runway, led by CEO Jennifer Hyman, says that customers are using the service to maintain a sense of normalcy or to dress for Zoom meetings—but the brand did just lay off its retail workforce. Fortune

- Back home. Sen. Amy Klobuchar says her husband John Bessler is out of the hospital where he was being treated for coronavirus, although they couple is still living separately as they wait to find out if he is still contagious. "Every family in America is going to know what this is like," Klobuchar says, trying to spread the message that Bessler staying inside when he first thought he had a cold saved lives. Today

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Cristina Shapiro, former head of global strategy and management at the Goldman Sachs Office of Corporate Engagement and the Goldman Sachs Foundation, joins UNICEF USA as president of the organization’s Impact Fund for Children. Turbo Systems hired former CMO of Box, Elastic and Looker Jen Grant as CEO. The Trade Desk named Facebook’s former global business marketing lead in EMEA Philippa Snare SVP in EMEA. Buckingham Palace hired Sara Latham, the former Hillary Clinton staffer who was serving as public relations head for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry until their departure from the Royal Family, to work for Queen Elizabeth II. Jessica Ditto, an original Trump White House adviser, is leaving her job as deputy communications director to enter the private sector.



- Reporting hurdles. President Trump again berated PBS Newshour reporter Yamiche Alcindor when she tried to ask him questions about the federal coronavirus response. "Look, let me tell you something. Be nice. Don’t be threatening. Be nice," the president said to Alcindor, who had started to ask about his rejection of governors' requests for supplies. Washington Post

- UBI evangelist. A $1,200 emergency check for most Americans isn't quite a universal basic income—but the growing popularity of the policy proposal certainly helped get people used to the idea. Gisele Huff is an advocate for UBI, who became interested in the idea through her son, a Tesla engineer named Gerald Huff. After he died, Huff began advocating for the proposal in his honor. Mercury News

- Ventilator race. How exactly did GM prepare to produce an emergency supply of ventilators, before drawing the ire of President Trump for not moving fast enough? The automaker led by Mary Barra began working on the project on March 18, connecting with Ventec, a company that makes small, portable ventilators. After that, it was a race to figure out how to manufacture Ventec's machines on a large scale. Fortune

- Work-life balance. Rihanna is on the cover of British Vogue, where she discusses her Fenty empire, how she really writes all the copy for Fenty products herself, and why she works so hard—in anticipation of having three or four kids in a few years. "I’m working like this now so that I don’t have to in the future," she says. British Vogue


What the Democratic Party could learn from first-term Congresswoman Katie Porter California Sunday Magazine

Carole Brookins, Wall Street pioneer, dies of coronavirus Palm Beach Daily News

Homes actually need to be practical now The Atlantic

How the coronavirus exposes the great lie of modern motherhood New York Times


"We women are all 'that woman'!"

-Rep. Maxine Waters, on Twitter, responding to President Trump calling Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer "that woman"

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