Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Margrethe Vestager isn’t going anywhere, the Apple watch finally wakes up to women’s cycles, and working women in the U.S. are posting some strong numbers—if only it wasn’t for that pesky pay gap. Have a wonderful Wednesday!
– By the numbers. Some fascinating data has emerged recently about women in the U.S. workforce. Last month, it was news that women are expected to make up the majority of college-educated workers for the first time this year. A Washington Post story out Tuesday added to the mix, reporting that people of color now account for the majority of new working-age hires—another first.
Women in particular are fueling the growth. There are a few forces behind the shift:
– A tight labor market is prompting employers to look beyond their normal talent pools
– Hispanic Americans, in particular, are advancing in terms of education; 72% of those over age 25 have a high school diploma, up from 59% in 2006
– Families need two incomes to cover expenses, especially as deportations overwhelmingly target men
– Employers are eager to hire Spanish speakers, with fluency in the language appearing in twice as many job listings as in 2017
– Latino women, in particular, say their families are encouraging them to work, which represents a cultural shift from past generations
The good news is that these women are able to find jobs if they seek them, and they’re helping their families build financial security; wealth among African American and Latino families still trails—rather dramatically—that of whites.
But there’s also reason for a bit of worry, especially as the economy shows signs of cracking. “We’ve seen a lot of gains in employment among lower-income and lower-education groups,” Marianne Wanamaker, an economist and former member of Trump’s Council of Economic Advisers, told WaPo. “But it is precisely those groups that are vulnerable to layoffs if economic activity slows.”
Other figures out from the Census Bureau yesterday reiterated the WaPo story’s upbeat news; they showed that more women are securing full-time jobs, bringing home bigger paychecks, and emerging from poverty. The share of women with full-time jobs in 2018 was 64%, up a full percentage point from the year prior. Yet at the same time, median earnings for women working full-time was 82% of what men earned, essentially unchanged from the previous year.
The stubborn nature of the gender pay gap prompted advocates to call for public policies to address the issue. “We have seen improvements over the past decade for sure,” Trudi Renwick, assistant division chief of the Census Bureau, told reporters. Indeed, the gap has shrunk since 2007, when the female-to-male earnings ratio was 78%. But, said Renwick “I would not call a few cents…an admirable improvement.”
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
– Five more years. Tough luck, Big Tech—Margrethe Vestager is staying put. The EU commissioner for competition, known for doling out multi-million-dollar fines to the tech giants, has been nominated for a second five-year term. She’ll also take on new responsibility on incoming European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s team as “EVP, Europe fit for the digital age” with oversight of the EU’s digital policy. Fortune
– An NFL nightmare. A day after Antonio Brown made his high-profile move from the Oakland Raiders to the New England Patriots, a woman who worked as Brown’s trainer has accused the NFL wide receiver of sexual assault, including rape. Brown has denied the allegations, saying the two had a “consensual personal relationship.” The NFL, which has struggled to handle similar claims against players in the past, says it will open its own investigation. USA Today
– Apple studies up. At yesterday’s Apple Event, the company announced its participation in three research studies to evaluate the Apple Watch’s capabilities in health monitoring. One study will use the watch’s newly (and finally!) added period-tracking feature to inform screening and patients’ risk for polycystic ovary syndrome, infertility, and osteoporosis. STAT
– Deceived? Leslie Wexner, CEO of Victoria’s Secret parent L Brands, spoke publicly for the first time about his ties to Jeffrey Epstein, the late financier accused of sex trafficking young girls, at a gathering of investors and analysts on Tuesday. Wexner, who employed Epstein for years, said he severed the relationship with Epstein more than a decade ago and condemned Epstein’s actions and deceptions by “people who have secret lives.” New York Times
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: After her firm Bond invested in Nextdoor’s $170 million funding round ($123 million of which was previously disclosed), Mary Meeker will join the company’s board of directors. Sofia Chang was named co-president, WarnerMedia Distribution. Doctor on Demand hired Evolent Health’s Robin Cherry Glass as president and chief commercial officer.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
– A dangerous ban. An Iranian female football fan learned she could face six months in prison for trying to enter a football stadium, where women are not allowed. She set herself on fire outside a courtroom last week and died on Monday. Guardian
– Solving the wage gap … in Monopoly money. In a new version of the game, women get $1,900 in Monopoly money to men’s $1,500. Instead of buying properties, players invest in inventions made by women. Hasbro Gaming’s senior director of global brand strategy and marketing Jen Boswinkel says that it’s “about time for some changes.” USA Today
– Juanita Broaddrick on #MeToo. After E. Jean Carroll alleged that she was raped by President Trump, Juanita Broaddrick publicly questioned the allegation. Broaddrick, known for her own allegation she’d been raped by President Bill Clinton, has found a new home among conservative media, especially after what she sees as rejection by the #MeToo movement. The Atlantic
– Sackler show. The Sackler family faces intense criticism over their role in the opioid crisis through their company Purdue Pharma, which makes OxyContin. Yet Joss Sackler, wife of third-generation Sackler family member David, put on a show at New York Fashion Week. Courtney Love posted that she had been asked to attend, and strongly declined as a “reformed junkie” whose “husband died on heroin.” Attendees at the NYFW show, however, didn’t know or didn’t seem to care about the Sackler connection. Vanity Fair
ON MY RADAR
Beto O’Rourke and the privilege of public rage Zora
Can a new editor save Saveur? Grub Street
Guys are reporting women on Tinder for the crime of not being into them MEL Magazine
Meet the black women transforming wine culture in the U.S. Zora
-Actor Constance Wu on the community of women making her new movie Hustlers