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In the know: Women in the news 10/26-10/31

A weekly round-up of women in the news
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Meghan Markle nails speech about women’s right to vote

While in New Zealand, the Duchess of Sussex presented an empowering speech acknowledging the country for being revolutionary in the women’s suffrage movement. She commended the women who campaigned for their right to vote and the country as a whole for being the first in the world to grant this right. “Suffrage is not simply about the right to vote but also about what that represents: the basic and fundamental human right of being able to participate in the choices for your future and that of your community,” said Markle. “The involvement and voice that allows you to be a part of the very world that you are a part of.”

At Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine, women play the leads - onscreen and off

A study from San Diego State University’s Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film found that of the 100 top-grossing films in America in the last year, only a quarter of the protagonists were women - down five percent from the year before. In order to close this gender gap in the entertainment industry, Reese Witherspoon founded production company Hello Sunshine, run by CEO Sarah Harden. The company works to produce women-centric content with strong female characters that’s created and produced by women. “We are not fighting for a seat at the table, we are creating our own table,” Harden said.

Maryland National Guard makes history with all-women command staff

The Maryland National Guard made history this week as the first of any of the 54 national guards in the United States to have an all-women command staff. “I really hope that this says to a lot of the women that serve around the country, and even around the world, that we are here and we are serving next to our comrades. We are equals,” said Sgt. Maj. Perlisa Wilson.

The $90M women’s walkout at Google: Is real change coming?

In 2013, a female employee accused Android inventor and former Google employee Andy Rubin of sexual harassment. Her claims were found credible enough by the company to release Rubin from Google, but he left on good terms and with a $90 million exit package. More than 200 female engineers plan to walkout of Google on Thursday to protest the company's response to the matter after the New York Times reported the story last week.

The wage gap costs women $500 billion a year, data shows

According to the American Association of University Women, the wage gap costs women $500 billion per year — and not just in low to middle-level positions. Female executives are making just $0.94 for each dollar made by male executives in the same position. "Women right away from the first job are earning less,'' said Kim Churches, AAUW's CEO.