Good morning, Broadsheet readers! ABC News is getting restructured, women open half of the new businesses in the U.S., and people working to protect the trans community want companies to do more. Happy Friday!
– Today is Trans Day of Visibility. Billie Simmons isn’t doing anything special for Trans Day of Visibility. She and her coworkers affirm and uplift trans people all year.
Simmons is the cofounder and COO of Daylight, a fintech and family planning company created by and for the LGBTQ community. Some of the company’s offerings especially help trans and nonbinary people, like the ability for customers to put their chosen name on their credit or debit card. Major banks have added similar offerings in recent years after a study showed that a third of people presenting forms of ID with names incongruent with their gender identity experienced harassment, refusal of service, or violence.
“Every day is Trans Day of Visibility at Daylight. We have a number of trans and nonbinary people on the team, myself, obviously, included,” Simmons says. “And so for us, those are kind of the table stakes.”
Trans Day of Visibility is a day meant to celebrate trans people and raise awareness about the discrimination they face. Amid rising anti-trans sentiment, violence, and a wave of legislation that would curb the rights of trans people, this year’s date is especially important, and activists are calling on allies and corporations to step up.
Imara Jones, journalist, CEO of TransLash Media, and host of the podcast The Anti-Trans Hate Machine, says that the current anti-trans push is part of a decade-long effort to spread misinformation about trans people. She hopes seeing and hearing from trans people on TDOV will help combat that disinformation.
“It’s a day to just say that we are real. And we’re real people. And we deserve what all real people deserve, which is respect and a lack of persecution,” she says.
She also calls on companies to recognize their own power and influence, not only in politics but in their own internal policies. Part of TDOV should be more than celebrating individuals, she says. Corporations should be pushing themselves to reflect the needs and values of the trans community by hiring, promoting, and retaining trans people. She also calls on companies to put trans people in advertisements, appoint them to board positions, and invite them to speak at events.
Someone committed to empowering trans people at work is E.C. Pizarro. He is the executive director at TransTech Social, an incubator for LGBTQ+ talent with over 3,000 members around the world, 80% of whom identify as trans, nonbinary, and/or gender nonconforming.
As a man of trans experience who says he remained stealth and low-disclosure while working in corporate America, he says it is important for allies to understand that they might not know how close they are to a trans person. Therefore, everyone needs to speak up.
“Allies need to really step up at this time because being visible as a trans person at this time is a privilege,” he says, acknowledging the safety risks of being an out trans person. “There are people that do not want to share…within their reason, right? I used to be that individual.”
He encourages companies to connect with organizations that are doing the work for trans people to understand how they can create better workplaces for trans employees. TransTech Social and other organizations can audit company policies, like dress code, health care coverage, and harassment accountability protocols, to identify holes in the policies that might negatively impact the trans and gender-nonconforming community.
For Simmons, the forces seeking to tamper with trans rights motivate her to continue to grow her startup.
“These people want to eradicate us from existence. They want us to feel defeated, and to not do our jobs,” she says. “The way I can contribute is to run an amazing business that thrives, hires queer people, and helps queer people live their best lives.”
Kinsey Crowley (she/her)
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ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
- Trans Bill of Rights. Congressional Democrats moved to reintroduce The Transgender Bill of Rights, which would prohibit discrimination in health care on the basis of gender identity and add protections to federal education laws. It also specifically allows students to join sports teams consistent with their gender identity. The bill was introduced by Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), whose daughter is transgender. The 19th
- Daniels on indictment. Donald Trump has become the first-ever former president to be indicted on criminal charges. The charges were brought for false bookkeeping when he paid Stormy Daniels $130,000 to stay quiet about their affair days before the 2016 election. Daniels said she felt no joy in the news as she previously mused she would, but rather felt as though the justice system is working. USA Today
- Failing DEI efforts. Although 71% of companies reported implementing DEI efforts since 2020, only 33% of workers say that their company has fair practices in place. The 24,000 people showed similar responses across the 20 countries, but women and nonbinary employees showed even lower rates of confidence in their employers' equitable efforts at 28% and 24% respectively. Experts say that transparency and communication are key to bringing these rates up. Fortune
- Not at fault. Goop founder and CEO Gwyneth Paltrow was found not liable in a lawsuit in which Terry Sanderson, a 76-year-old retired optometrist, sued her for damages after a 2016 ski crash at Deer Valley Resort in Utah. She won $1 and attorney’s fees in the trial, which drew widespread internet chatter about her fashion choices in the courtroom. Washington Post
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Data technology company Cint has appointed Vanessa Adams to VP of measurement. Opioid addiction care provider Ophelia hired Alexandra Minarik as chief commercial officer.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
- One China. Taiwan's president, Tsai Ing-wen, stopped in the U.S. on her way to Belize and Guatemala, two of her remaining diplomatic allies. Although White House officials have said her "transit" has precedence, Chinese diplomatic representatives said that it could lead to a confrontation for violating the One China policy. Axios
- Proxy ballot boost. The number of shareholder proposals on reproductive health issues spiked in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's Dobbs v. Jackson decision, with 23 proxy-ballot proposals brought forward last year compared to four last year and two the year before. Only one has gone to vote, 11 are pending, and the others half have been withdrawn. Politico
- ABC restructured. Disney's layoffs have made their way to ABC News, and president Kim Godwin is reorganizing the Disney-owned broadcast channel. The changes have made ABC's London bureau chief, Katie den Daas, the new vice president of newsgathering and put the company's investigating, enterprise, and extensive booking arms under executive editor and senior vice president Stacia Deshishku. Hollywood Reporter
- Side hustle. For the third year in a row, half of the new businesses opened in the U.S. are founded by women. Up from 29% in 2019, the pandemic and inflation have pushed more women to open their own businesses out of the need for flexibility. Bloomberg
- Lash wars. Sahara Lotti founded the at-home lash company Lashify, and her story shows a glimpse into the cutthroat world of beauty product patents. While she filed hundreds of patents to establish her company as the leader in the space, competitors swooped in to duplicate her products, and her complaint with the International Trade Commission was tossed out. Vanity Fair
ON MY RADAR
The tired trope of the ‘power hungry’ woman Elle
Swarm isn’t a love letter to Black women. It’s hate mail. Vox
Eva Longoria was never desperate Town & Country
"I had this belief that if I was really good at my craft, my job, everything else would come from that."
—Ariel co-CEO Mellody Hobson on succeeding in a man-dominated field.
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