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Women Last to Be Hired + More
“Women are the Last to be Hired and the First to be Fired”: The Indian Workforce
Surveys show that the rates of female employment in India are disturbingly low and dropping. Indian society and its overarching historical patriarchal norms are huge factors in the underrepresentation of women in IT sectors such as robotics and intelligence, as well as non-labor-intensive textile industries. To promote equality in Indian professional sectors, Suren Abreu, feminist advocate, says the key is to enable the “resocialization of young girls and boys to empower them to recognize that they share tasks equally at home and in the workplace.”
Image: Workforce, Thinkstock
UK Seeks to Expand Female Education in Developing Countries
UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson recently met with former prime minister Gordon Brown to discuss the campaign #LeaveNoGirlBehind, which seeks to deliver 12 years of quality education for women and girls in developing countries. Johnson has also met with Malala Yousafazi and philanthropist Melinda Gates to discuss the campaign, understanding the ability of political actors to lobby world leaders to create change for girls’ education. After the meeting, he noted the significant economic benefits that female education will bring, and both he and Brown agree that deeply rooted sexism explains the lack of access to education for girls and women.
Historically, only a handful of young women have been interested in STEM related fields. Class sizes for these fields include few women and jobs in this area are not only male-dominated, but often male-only. Efforts to increase the number of girls in STEM are starting to counteract and reverse these trends. Technology and its emerging facets, including virtual reality and artificial intelligence, excited female teens who represented 40% of the population at The Knowledge Society's Youth Tech Summit. Experts claim that companies must "catch [females] young and encourage them, alongside the talented boys, before they self-select out" if they want to diversity their tech workforce.
Image: Photo by Globe Mail
Gender Inequality in Ethiopian Universities
Hanna Tefera, director of the university Gender Affairs Directorate at Adma Science and Technology University in Ethiopia, received a letter of dismissal from her position without explanation after five years of service in January 2018. Tefera was allegedly fired because of a sexual assault case that she was investigating— in response to several cases of sexual assault reported to her, she demanded that the university take serious steps to address them. This situation is a microcosm for the indifference of university leadership and its detrimental effects on female education— a study at one university shows that 82.4% of female students drop out of high education because of sexual harassment. On a broader level, the government tends to equate gender inequality with disparities in enrollment rather than confront the structural challenges that reinforce the problem.
HR’s Responsibility to Address #MeToo in the Workplace
In light of the numerous allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace, and the rise of the #MeToo movement in response, it’s up to the Human Resources Department in all industries to eradicate discrimination. The implementation of diversity, inclusion, equality and sufficient training, are necessary to bring about actual change. But, this can only come about with leadership departments in positions to empower, and set a positive example for employees.
80 female students recently attended an event at the Microsoft Innovation Centre in Malta celebrating women in the tech industry. One event called Digigirlz Day gave the girls the opportunity to explore careers in technology, talk with Microsoft employees, and participate in digital Lego Education workshops. One speaker, Rachel Gauci, who works as a software engineer for Facebook in London, spoke to the versatility of IT. IT is found in countless industries and careers, and a 2017 Unesco global survey estimated that 98% of STEM-related jobs will require ICT skills. Yet, in Europe, only 4 out of 1,000 female graduates went on to have ICT careers.
It’s been over a year and six months since the Brexit vote, and the UK’s impending breakaway from the European Union is still causing uproar. Fashion companies based around the UK, in particular, are concerned about the deals’ impact on their ability to hire and travel internationally, as well as import high-quality textiles from around the globe. According to a report from the Creative Industries Federation, 74% of small luxury labels—many of whom are run by or provide employment to women-- fear that Brexit will significantly harm business prospects. Adam Mansell, the executive of the UK Fashion and Textile Association, warns that, although it seems unlikely, “it is vital that we get a trade deal with zero tariffs and very simple border controls.”
28-year-old Humza Mian isn’t just a veterinary technician—he’s also a drag queen and social media influencer whose feeds are both a celebration of his South Asian heritage and of his individuality. His drag name, MangHoe Lassi, pays homage to a popular drink in India. Growing up in a religious family, Mian was taught to hide any traces of femininity, and he still isn’t out to his parents. While he wishes he could be, the reality is that coming out still is not a safe option for many people across the world. Even though laws are changing and promoting acceptance of more and more people, the social implications of such a decision can be incredibly dangerous. Mian wishes that media represented those queer folk who are proud of their identity but still have to remain closeted, unlike the many out-loud-and-proud shows like Queer Eye and RuPaul’s Drag Race. Despite this, he is happy his drag, makeup tutorials, and social media presence as a beauty influencer can create a safe space for him to be fully himself, and he hopes he can create that space for others with similar experiences.
Jessamyn Stanley, yoga instructor and body-positive advocate took to Instagram this week to talk about an issue that isn’t discussed nearly enough: chafing and the discomfort—and scars—it can result in. Stanley posted an amazingly real photo of herself on her couch in her underwear, comfortably watching television with her inner thighs bearing the scars many plus-sized women have from chafing. Within her caption, she says “Yes, there are permanent marks on my thighs from chafing, Welcome to being #fat.” What people don’t realize is that this happens to women whose thighs happen to brush together when they walk—it’s not about being what society deems as “fat.” It’s simply friction and nothing to be ashamed of.
Coming out is an important moment for many in the queer community, but what if you never technically have to come out, or you’re not sure you even have anything to come out about? Growing up, Wilson knew she liked boys, but she was confused about the feelings that girls would sometimes provoke in her. She hated herself for being confused. As a supporter of queer rights, she felt that even discussing her confusion would take away from “real queer people,” and she saw her own identity as invalid. After all, she married a man and was incredibly happy with him, so what was the point of exploring her identity even further? But one day during Pride Month, Eleanor wondered why she didn’t think her identity mattered and why she had been unhappily hiding herself. She realized that to finally feel comfortable in her own skin, she had to be honest. After coming out via social media, Eleanor couldn’t stop telling everyone she talked to; it gave her such a rush of love for herself and her unique identity. If there’s one thing Eleanor’s story can teach us, it’s that accepting yourself and showing who you are to the world takes time, bravery, and a whole lot of self-love.