In the know: Women in the news 11/4 - 11/8

Know Your Value's weekly roundup of women in the news.
Image: Angelina Jolie, Amy Robach, Padma Lakshmi
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By Halley Bondy

Virginia election is a reminder: women can win in 2020

On Tuesday night, female candidates flipped the Virginia legislature to Democratic for the first time in 20 years. Women in Virginia set a new record, with 41 seats in the legislature. Vox writer Anna North argued this is a sign that women can win the presidential election in 2020, despite a recent poll that found Senator Elizabeth Warren lagging behind Senator Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden in “electability.”

The top 5 winners in national STEM competition are girls

For the first time ever, five girls took all of the top prizes in the co-ed Broadcom MASTERS National STEM competition this week. The girls were chosen out of 2,348 middle school applicants who submitted innovative STEM projects that solve critical real-world problems. Winning projects included a new resin that can be used as building material on Mars, a webcam that would remove blindspots while driving, and a low-cost activated carbon that will help remove heavy metals from industrial waste water. The girls will be awarded a total of $65,000 in prize money.

Padma Lakshmi: be a little more pushy than feels gracious

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“Top Chef” host Padma Lakshmi sat down with Know Your Value to discuss food, business and women’s confidence in the workplace. Women only received 2.3 percent of venture capital last year. As a response, Lakshmi became a judge for the Stacy’s Rise Project, which raises money to back female-owned food ventures. She advised women to advocate for themselves. "We won’t really have equality if we don’t ask and fight for it ourselves," she said in the interview. "Be a little more pushy than feels gracious."

Angelina Jolie on her parenting style, being unpopular in school and dealing with her emotional scars

Hollywood legend, mother and activist Angelina Jolie sat for a rare interview with Harper’s Bazaar this week to talk about parenting, the past and how she finds her center amidst endless media scrutiny. She said that her children have seen her true self, which has taught them to live through painful experiences. “I think kids need to be able to say, ‘Here’s who I am, and what I believe,'" said Jolie. “We can’t prevent them from experiencing pain, heartache, physical pain and loss. But we can teach them to live better through it."

Woman fired over access to leaked tape of ABC’s Amy Robach

In a leaked video of ABC anchorwoman Amy Robach, she voiced her frustration with producers because they did not air an interview with one of Jeffrey Epstein’s victims three years ago. “I’ve had this story for three years,” said Robach in the leaked video. “I've had this interview with Virginia Roberts. We would not put it on the air. First of all, I was told, ‘Who’s Jeffrey Epstein? No one knows who that is. This is a stupid story.'” The leaker, who is an unidentified female staffer at CBS, submitted the video to the conservative outlet Project Veritas. She was weeded out and fired by CBS.

Lung cancer rates among women are falling much slower than those in men. Here's why

Women traditionally smoke less than men, yet they account for a disproportionately high number of lung cancer diagnoses. Diagnoses in older women have increased over the last 20 years. They have fallen in younger women, but not as quickly as men. Research is ongoing, but the chances of lung cancer in non-smokers might be increased by female hormones and genetics, according to new studies. Women who smoke may also be more susceptible to lung cancer than men.

Mary Cain: I was the fastest girl in America, until I joined Nike

At 17, Mary Cain was the youngest track-and-field athlete to make a World Championships team. Then in 2013, she was signed to Nike’s Oregon Project, the best track team in the world. In an Op-ed video for the New York Times, Cain detailed how her male coaches, specifically star coach Alberto Salazar, demanded her to get thinner and thinner. She started losing races. She broke five bones and lost her period for three years, and has decried the system as abusive.

Keanu Reeves and Alexandra Grant coming out reveals about ageism and sexism in Hollywood

Actor Keanu Reeves and visual artist Alexandra Grant came out as a couple this week, and Twitter had plenty to say. Reeves, 55, has been complimented for dating someone "age-appropriate." Grant is 46 and has maintained her natural gray hair. For some, the reaction only highlighted ageism and sexism in Hollywood. Reeves is getting praise for being a “good man” for dating someone nine years his junior, which many tweeters find absurd.