Using a Supreme Court ruling as its guide, the department will issue guidance that says discrimination against gay and transgender students is prohibited under the 1972 law.
Gender fluidity enters its next phase as men increasingly step out in skirts and frocks.
Ballet’s strict gender norms put pressure on women to conform. But dancers who don’t are finding they’re not alone.
Seeing someone mention their pronouns in their Instagram bio has become commonplace — so much so that the app now has a dedicated location where users can put pronouns without taking up that valuable profile space.
The company announced the new feature on Twitter, saying that it is only available in a few countries just now, but will be arriving in more soon. I was able to make it work here in the U.S. in version 187 of the iOS app.
To set your pronoun, just go to your profile page, hit “Edit Profile,” then look in the list of items for an empty Pronouns field (this is different from the one deeper in “personal information settings). Tap that and you can pick what you prefer to be called by — up to four items.
Interestingly, the feature does not allow users to just type in whatever they want — presumably so the field is used for its intended purpose and not for gender-related “jokes.” I was able to find most of the pronouns on this list, and my guess is Instagram will add more if people ask. (I’ve contacted the company asking for more information.)
Whatever you choose will appear next to your name a slightly darker type — there’s also the option to show this only to followers, in case a person’s gender isn’t something they want to share publicly. Of course if you want to freeform it or use some emoji or fancy font, you can skip the “official” pronouns and do that instead.
Not everyone feels the need to share or specify their gender, but the practice has become so widespread that Instagram made a smart choice in making it an integrated part of the profile. It both saves space (now you can put “Doom metal fiend” and “Proud mom” on two lines) and endorses gender identity as something at least as important as links and other bio info.
Paying women for unpaid work at home. Delivering food to transgender people. Building day care centers. Bit by bit, these women, appointed by the president to high-ranking positions, are restructuring society.
A selection of street photography from female artists around the world.
Few states collect sexual orientation or gender identity data, so no one knows how many people in some communities are getting vaccinated.
She won three gold medals in the 1960s but was the focus of speculation about her gender. She retired after pulling out of a track meet that would have required a sex test.
Outraged by a long-ignored slaying in Honduras, lawyers are urging a human rights court in Central America to force governments to better protect transgender people in a region where they are targets.
Written by four teenagers, the books aim to open up conversations about young people who are transgender or nonbinary.
While wide-ranging in scope and style, these pieces are alike in their power and depth.
As the Biden administration seeks to get most adults vaccinated by summer, men are holding back.
As the Biden administration seeks to get most adults vaccinated by summer, men are holding back.
The Republican governor said the legislation, which would restrict lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity, was “overly broad and vague.”
No woman with his résumé would have a chance of becoming New York’s mayor.
While much of the economy is beginning to bounce back, young people — particularly young women — are living a different reality.
Are you a person, place or thing? We have good news.
Brain fog, brittle nails, allergies, hair loss: There are at least 34 symptoms of perimenopause. Still, medical providers keep missing them.
Without a public eye, who are we?
Child-care centers improvised during the pandemic, scrambling to stay open with razor-thin budgets and little government guidance. How long will the short-term solutions last?
The New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) released a report today that cleared the Apple Card credit card program of discriminatory practices and specifically, gender-based discrimination, following an investigation triggered by online complaints back in November 2019. At the time, tech entrepreneur David Heinemeier Hansson had called out Apple Card program, jointly run by Apple and Goldman Sachs, for gender-based discrimination after he received a credit limit that was 20 times higher than what his wife was offered — even though the couple filed joint tax returns and his wife had a higher credit score than he did.
Hansson’s tweet storm detailing the problem ending up going viral, generating responses from several others, including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who claimed they had similar experiences when applying for the Apple Card with their partners.
David’s wife, Jamie Heinemeier Hansson, had also penned a blog post documenting her experiences in more detail.
The numerous consumer complaints soon drew the attention of the New York Department of Financial Services, which then launched an investigation into Goldman Sachs’ credit card practices in order to see if gender-based discrimination was taking place, as alleged.
The NYDFS report, first spotted today by Appleinsider, notes that Goldman Sachs re-reviewed the credit files of the some of the women who had been initially been offered dramatically lower credit scores than their spouses, and decided to raise their limits to match those of their spouses. At the time, the bank also eliminated the six-month waiting period for appeals on credit decisions.
These actions seemed to indicate that the Apple Card algorithms were making bad calls on credit worthiness, potentially even on the basis of gender; but the Department says that’s not the case — though it did stress the need or credit score reforms and updating existing laws around credit access.
The NYDFS said it reviewed several thousands pages of record and written responses from Apple and Goldman Sachs, interviewed witnesses, met with representatives from Apple and the bank, and analyzed the bank’s underwriting data using a data set covering nearly 400,000 New York applicants. It also interviewed the consumers who had complained of discrimination.
The Department concluded that there was no “unlawful discrimination” against applicants under fair lending law. However, statements made by the Superintendent of Financial Services Linda A. Lacewell, did stress that there is still discrimination built into the credit lending system itself, and the way credit scores can lead to unequal access to credit.
“While we found no fair lending violations, our inquiry stands as a reminder of disparities in access to credit that continue nearly 50 years after the passage of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) ,” Lacewell said. “The report also notes that the use of credit scoring in its current form and laws and regulations barring discrimination in lending are in need of strengthening and modernization to improve access to credit. Consumer frustration with the Apple Card policy of not permitting an account holder to add an authorized user drew attention to the following: a person who relies on a spouse’s access to credit, and only accesses those accounts as an authorized user, may incorrectly believe they have the same credit profile as the spouse. This is one part of a broader discussion we must have about equal credit access,” she added.
One common factor among the consumers who complained was a belief that a spouse who had access to the same shared bank account or other shared assets, like credit cards — even if only as authorized users — would receive the same credit terms as their spouses. But the way the system works today, underwriters don’t have to consider an authorized user the same as an account holder, and they may consider other factors, too. Combined, these are what led to the lower lending decisions, the investigation found.
The Department said that, when asked, Goldman Sachs was able to document underwriting that determined its lending decisions for the consumer complaints. Gender was not a factor, but spouses’ credit scores, indebtedness, income, credit utilization, missed payments and other credit history elements were. None of the factors identified was an “unlawful basis” for a credit determination, the Department said.
Of course, the credit score system itself is one that overall, favors men. (And specifically, white men). There is no one single reason as to why that’s the case, but often has to do with women’s role as a primary caregiver, combined with how the credit scoring model operates. This is a system that needs reform, but as it relates to the Apple Card program and discrimination complaints, it was “lawfully” used to make the Apple Card lending decisions.
However, the Department did point out that there was a lack of transparency around Apple Card’s lending decisions — noting that although it was able to obtain the data about the bank’s decision for these complaints, the impacted consumers could not. It also suggested Apple could have offered a more robust appeals process, instead of requiring a six-month wait.
Apple has since responded to some of the issues raised, including by launching “Path to Apple Card” last year, which helps applicants follow steps that lead to an Apple Card approval. To date, more than 70K consumers have enrolled in this program and nearly 5,000 have been approved. Apple also updated its website with more information about how Apple Card approvals work. And now it’s in the process of adding support for Apple Card family sharing features — meaning, authorized users. This would address issues around spouses not being able to gain access to the higher credit lending limits at least.
But this investigation highlighted the problems Apple faced by pairing its trusted brand with a credit card issued by a traditional lender and the accompanying crummy banking practices consumers hate, as well as how a lack of transparency had undermined trust in the lending decisions that were made.
Apple hasn’t commented on the NYDHS report at this time.
The killing of Sarah Everard has exposed the deadly truth of violence in Britain.
There have been 25 state bills introduced this year that would prohibit transgender athletes, mainly women, from competing on teams matching their gender identity. Here’s what we know.
A Shallowater High School assignment meant to demonstrate medieval-era misogyny was scrapped after at least one parent objected.
Under a proposed law, companies in Europe could be punished if they fail to pay women and men the same salaries.
With a focus on compassion, empathy and humility, the book “Vital Voices” challenges long-held assumptions about power and how we wield it.
Hasbro is dropping the Mr. from the Mr. Potato Head brand name and logo “to promote gender equality and inclusion,’’ the company said.
Hasbro is dropping the Mr. from the Mr. Potato Head brand name and logo “to promote gender equality and inclusion,’’ the company said.
Activists are pushing President Biden to uphold a campaign promise to add the nonbinary designation “X” to federal IDs.
Studies have found that the field is plagued by a singular problem of gender bias. The latest evidence comes from the types of questions posed at seminars.
The explosion in a garage killed Christopher Pekny and injured his brother on Sunday, officials said. Another brother described what happened as “the freakiest of freak accidents.”
We examine the portrayal of masculinity as mental illness in “Joker,” “Succession” and “Fight Club.”
The Education Ministry plans to beef up gym classes after a top official said female teachers and pop culture had made boys “weak, inferior and timid.”
One of the nation’s largest health insurers is agreeing to pay for breast augmentation for some trans women.
The home pregnancy test has long been lauded for giving women privacy and autonomy. But that’s not the case for everyone who takes it.
Brené Brown tries her best.
The declaration, spearheaded by the Global Interfaith Commission on LGBT+ Lives, also calls for an end to violence and criminalization against L.G.B.T.Q. people.
Men often judge women by their appearance. Turns out, computers do too.
When US and European researchers fed pictures of members of Congress to Google’s cloud image recognition service, the service applied three times as many annotations related to physical appearance to photos of women as it did to men. The top labels applied to men were “official” and “businessperson”; for women they were “smile” and “chin.”
In most societies, there are very easy to quantify differences between men and women. Women tend to live longer but earn less, for example. Historically, there has been a strong tendency to ascribe those differences to biology. But most societies treat women very differently, making disentangling biological and societal factors a challenge. This week, a couple of papers apply some interesting approaches to teasing the two apart.
In one, researchers looked at a matrilineal society in China to explore gender norms’ impact on health. In the second, a detailed survey explored how internalized expectations can influence engineering career success in the US.
A healthier society
The work on China focused on women’s health. Since women outlive men, you might expect that they’re generally healthy. You’d be wrong; women tend to have a higher disease burden than men do. To get a hint as to why that might be the case, the researchers looked at an ethnic group called the Mosuo, who occupy an area near Tibet, on the border between Yunnan and Sichuan provinces. Some members of the Mosuo society have adopted patriarchal practices, with males as the head of the household. But others have women as the head of household, while their husbands continue to live with the families they grew up in. Children are raised by their mothers and remain part of her household.
Lisa Selin Davis, the author of “Tomboy,” discusses the hyper-gendering of American childhood
New research looking into how UK VC has been invested over the past decade according to race, gender and educational background makes for grim reading — with all-ethnic teams and female entrepreneurs receiving just a fraction of available funding vs all-white teams and male founders.
The finding of baked in bias holds true across all funding stages, per the findings.
The report, by the not-for-profit community interest company Extend Ventures, looked at how VC has been invested in the UK between 2009 and 2019 — providing data on 3,784 entrepreneurs who started 2,002 companies over this period. It found that all-ethnic teams received an average of just 1.7% of the venture capital investments made at seed, early and late stage over this decade.
The UK’s Black and Multi-Ethnic communities, meanwhile, now comprise 14% of the UK population.
“While all ethnic entrepreneurs are underfunded, those who are Black experience the poorest outcomes of all,” the report notes, finding just 38 Black entrepreneurs received VC funding over this decade. “Alongside their teams, they received just 0.24% of the total sum invested,” it adds.
Extend Ventures used machine learning and computer vision technology as a tool to understand demographic factors — “including age, perceived gender, ethnicity and educational background of founding members” — relying on a perception of ethnicity or gender to categorise founders for the research, based on analysis of publicly available images of entrepreneurs.
“Despite ethnicity usually being a self-determined categorisation, we believe this is justified because the data we collect is subsequently anonymised and is being used to improve access to capital,” they note on that, adding: “Ethnic or gender prejudice is dependent on the perception of the person holding the purse strings to funds.”
On gender the research underlines the scale of the challenge UK female entrepreneurs face in accessing VC funding vs male counterparts.
The report found that a large majority (68.33%) of the capital raised across the seed, early and late VC funding stages went to all-male teams; 28.80% to mixed gender teams; and just 2.87% to all-female teams, with female teams also raising lower sums of money than their male counterparts at each funding stage.
The picture is starkest for Black female entrepreneurs in the UK who were found to experience the poorest outcomes.
“A total of 10 female entrepreneurs of Black appearance received venture capital investment (0.02% of the total amount invested) across the 10-year period, with none so far receiving late-stage funding,” the report notes.
It also found just one early stage (Series A or B) venture capital investment recorded for a Black female, compared to 194 early stage investments in White female entrepreneurs.
Extend Ventures’ research also looked at educational background — spotlighting the role of elite universities in the distribution of venture capital in the country.
Here the report found that 42.72% of UK VC invested at seed stage during the period was invested in founding teams with at least one member from an elite educational background (narrowly defined to mean Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Stanford and their respective business schools).
In the UK, the debate about how to widen access for underrepresented students to the country’s top two universities has been raging for years — with progress towards diversification of the Oxbridge student body still hard to see.
The report illustrates one impact of this long-standing inequality around access to the elite education — as it shows it carries through to decreased opportunity, post-university, for accessing VC funding.
The implications for social justice and social mobility are clear.
“The data we have shown today is stark and makes for uncomfortable reading,” Extend Ventures’ co-founder and technology entrepreneur, Tom Adeyoola, told TechCrunch. “Only 0.24% of venture funding over the last 10 years going to (38) Black founders, 0.02% going to Black female founders. In addition 43% of all seed funding went to teams with at least one team member who went to an elite university.”
The report makes a series of recommendations — including calling for all venture funds to make data on their investments publicly available so they can be tracked to enable inclusive ongoing reporting on the industry’s performance on diversity.
It also suggests VC firms need to do more work to understand and establish what it describes as “the possible resilience criteria independent of race, gender and education that are indicators of success” — to use in their filtering processes going forward, as a way to guard against biased decisions.
Another recommendation is for the UK government to create an ‘Investing in Ethnic Founders Code’, mirroring the existing Investing in Women Code.
The report also calls for government to support inclusion via the creation of a Diverse Co-Investment Fund — which it suggests should be set at £1.8BN (14% of the $13.2BN annual UK VC total) — as a strategy to de-risk and improve the deployment of equity investment into Black, Asian and Ethnic-led venture capital funds.
We’ve reached out to the Treasury for comment on the recommendations.
“There is no longer any excuse for transparency and action to overcome clear biases,” said Adeyoola. “You can’t improve what you don’t measure and for all the talk around the Rose Review [UK Treasury-commissioned report into female entrepreneurship] and Black Lives Matter, action needs to translate into real investment into diverse founders to ensure that as a nation we are making the most of the diverse talent and resources we have.”
“The British Business Bank report released last week has already shown that there is no lack of ambition — just, as we now lay bare, a clear lack of financial capital,” he added.
Tweeting in support of the report, ex-Dragons Den investor and black businessman, Piers Linney, wrote: “We are leaving tens of billions on the table that would benefit the wealth of every citizen. We now have undeniable and depressing data showing that something is very wrong. Quietly filing these reports away is unacceptable.”
Reached for a response, UK founder network organization Tech Nation, which is credited with supporting the research, told us: “The Extend VC report highlights that just 12% of funding went to female founders, which is why Tech Nation is proactively working with Playfair Capital to provide office hours for female founders with leading VCs on November 5 and 12.
“Today’s report also showed that 91.5% of seed stage funding went to white founders compared to 1.1% to black founders, so Tech Nation has also partnered with 10×10 VC and Founders Factory to host black founder office hours on November 26,” CEO Gerard Grech also said, adding that the organization “will continue to support research when it comes to increasing inclusivity in tech and support I&D programmes and interventions which will make a real and positive difference”.
Passion Capital partner Eileen Burbidge — a female VC who, in 2018, was named on a list of the UK’s top 100 black and ethnic minority leaders by the Financial Times — also welcomed the research when we reached out.
“It’s great to see this data out there and I’m so glad that Extend Ventures, Impact X Capital Partners and Tech Nation have taken the time to collect and analyse the data,” she told TechCrunch.
“Sadly I’m not surprised by the findings and at Passion, given that one of the founding partners is of an ethnic minority group, we’ve always tried to be as inclusive as possible. But you can’t change or affect what isn’t measured, so this is a fantastic first step.”
“I’m glad this report will expand and further develop the conversation about how to make venture capital more accessible to all… across all educational backgrounds, social classes and ethnic & gender groups,” Burbidge added, saying she supports all the recommendations — “especially the ones that can have immediate action/impact” — and said she’d welcome being part of conservations aimed at making progress.
(As it happens, one of Passion Capital’s portfolio companies — the insurtech startup Marshmallow, which is led by two black twin co-founders, Oliver and Alexander Kent-Braham — has just announced a $30M fund raise on a $310M valuation for a product that also focuses on serving underserved segments of society.)
Amid a large gender gap among voters, one version of masculinity stresses toughness and the other a duty to protect the weak.
Supporters frame the measure as a long-overdue means to provide basic human rights. Opponents depict it as an overreaching step that would suppress opinion.
I began my career at Oracle in the mid-1980s and have since been around the proverbial block, particularly in Silicon Valley working for and with companies ranging from the Fortune 50 to global consulting companies to leading a number of startups, including the SaaS company I presently lead. Throughout my career, I’ve carved out a niche not only working with technology companies, but focused on designing and implementing global compensation programs.
In short, if there’s two things I know like the back of my hand, it’s tech and how people are paid.
The compensation evolution I’ve witnessed over these past 35+ years has been dramatic. Among other things, there has been a fundamentally seismic shift in how women are perceived and paid, principally for the better. Some of it, in truth, has been window dressing. It’s good PR to say you’re a company with a strong culture focused on diversity, as it helps attract top talent. But the rubber meets the road once hires get past the recruiter. When companies don’t do what they say, we see mass exoduses and even lawsuits, as has recently been the case at Pinterest and Carta.
So with the likes of Intel, Salesforce and Apple publicly committed to gender pay equity, there’s nothing left to see here, right? Actually, we’re not even close. Yes, the glass ceiling is cracking. But significant, largely unaddressed gaps remain relative to the broader scope of long-tail compensation for women, especially at startups, where essential measures of economic reward such as stock options in companies are often not even part of the conversation around pay parity.
As a baseline, while progress is evident, gender pay is an unfinished product to say the least. Recently the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found white women earn 83.3% as much as their white male counterparts, while African-American women earn 93.7% compared to men of their same race. Asian women made 77.1% and Hispanic women earned 85.1% as much respectively.
According to Payscale, the ratio of the median earnings of women to men has decreased by just $0.07 since 2015, and in 2020, women make $0.81 for every dollar a man makes. Long term, in calculating presumptive raises given over a 40-year career, women could lose as much as $900,000 over the duration of a career.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Even if we solely left the gender pay gap to just a cash salary disparity, there is something further to see here. However, to quote a famous pitchman, “But wait, there’s more!” And the more — at least in my mind — is far more troubling.
As innovative startups from Silicon Valley to New York’s Silicon Alley and beyond continue to reshape the business landscape, guess how most of them are able to lure bright, entrepreneurial minds? It’s certainly not salary, as when a company has nothing beyond a great idea and maybe a lead to a VC on Sand Hill Road, there’s no fat paycheck or benefits package to offer. Instead, they dangle the proverbial carrot of stock/equity compensation.
“Look, we know you can get $180,000 a year from Apple but we’ll give you $48,000 a year plus 1,000 shares presently valuated at $62 per share. Our board — which is packed with studs from the Bay Area — is expecting that to soar within two years! Wait ‘til we go public!”
This is the pitch, at least if you’re a promising male. But women, historically, have tended to get left out of this lucrative reward package for varying reasons.
How has this happened? Beyond just a furtherance of business culture, while there have been legislative steps taken to address inequities in public company compensation and stock dispersal, there are no regulations as to how private companies distribute or manage the appreciation of stock. And, as we all know, the appreciation can be potentially massive.
It makes sense. Many companies and even naïve job-seekers consider equity as the “third pillar” of compensation beyond titles/compensation (which come hand-in-hand) and benefits. Shares of startups are just not top-of-mind — often ignored or misunderstood — by many who look at gender pay inequities, although that could not be more misguided.
A recent study published in the “Journal of Applied Psychology” found a gender gap for equity-based awards ranging from 15%-30% — even beyond accounting for typical reasons women historically earn less than men, including differences in occupation and length of service at a company. Keep in mind many of these companies will go on to massive valuations, and for some, lucrative IPOs or acquisitions.
It’s a problem I recognized long ago, and it is largely why I agreed to lead our Bay Area startup on behalf of our New York-based parent company AST. I found a commitment to a genuinely equitable culture instilled by a shared moral compass, a belief that companies who care about gender equity perform better and provide better returns, and a conviction that diversity brings unique perspectives, drives talent retention, builds a stronger culture and aids client satisfaction.
In speaking with industry colleagues, I know it’s something CEOs, both men and women, are dedicated to addressing. I believe creating a broader picture of compensation is essential for startups, global conglomerates and every company in between. If you are in a position of leadership and recognize this is a challenge in need of addressing at your company, here are some steps I recommend you implement:
- Look at the data: Do the analysis. See if this is truly an issue at your company, and if it is, commit to creating a level playing field. There are plenty of experienced consultants who can help you work through remediation strategies.
- Remove subjectivity: Hire an independent arbiter to analyze your data, as it removes the politics and emotion, as well as bias from the work product.
- Create compensation bands: Much like the government’s GS system, create a salary grade system that contains bands of compensation for specific roles. Prior to hiring a person, decide which band the job responsibilities should be assigned.
- Empower a champion: Identify and empower an internal champion to truly own parity — someone whose performance is judged based upon creating equity company-wide. Instead of assigning it to your human resources chief, create a chief diversity officer role to own it. After all, this is bigger than just pay or medical benefits. This is the culture and thus foundation of your company.
- Get your board on board: Educate your board as to why this matters. If your board doesn’t value this, it ultimately won’t matter. Companies have audit committee chairs or nominations chairs. Identify a “culture chair.”
One of the first reports we created is a Pay Comparison Report so there are tools anyone in management can easily use to review stock grants made to all employees and ensure equity between people of different ethnicities or gender. It’s not that hard if you care to look.
When I was graduating from college and Ronald Reagan was in office, we were talking about the potential for women to break the glass ceiling. Now, many years later, somehow we’ve managed to develop lights you can turn on and off by clapping and most of us are walking around with the power of a supercomputer in our hands. Is it really asking too much that we require gender pay equity, including all three compensation pillars (cash, benefits and stock), to be a priority?
When proposed legislation in Germany used the feminine form for groups of men and women rather than the usual masculine, it was rejected as potentially invalid.
Gender, sexuality and even biology are in play as men’s wear says bye-bye to the binary.
The carrier pledged to use inclusive language in a country where gender roles are entrenched.
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A ruling by the Swiss Supreme Court appears to have nixed any chance for the South African star to defend her title in her signature event at the Tokyo Olympics next summer.
As a pediatrician and mother, I thought I knew a lot about parenting. But I was blindsided by my daughter’s coming out as trans, and that first year was riddled with mistakes.