In the know: Women in the news 12/16 - 12/20

Know Your Value's weekly roundup of women in the news.
JK Rowling, Simone Biles, and Amy Klobuchar.
JK Rowling, Simone Biles, and Amy Klobuchar.Invision/AP, TODAY, AFP - Getty Images

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By Halley Bondy

The power of positive phrasing

Male scientists use positive words like “novel,” “unique” and “promising” more often than female scientists in their biomedical research studies, according to a new study by Harvard, Yale and Mannheim Universities. As a result, the male-researched studies are cited more, which leads to further career advancement, the study concluded. Marc Lerchenmüller, the lead author of the study, theorized that men have a tendency to promote themselves more, leading to more positive wording.

Women are way less likely to self-promote at work

According to a new Harvard study, men give themselves a 33 percent higher performance ratings than women. About 1,500 workers were given a test, then asked to rate their performance. Though each gender performed equally, men believed that they performed much better. Authors believed that women had less confidence throughout the testing process. In a separate part of the study, employers were found to be much more likely to hire the men due to their self-promotion.

For women directors at the Oscars, it's good news and bad

The Golden Globes and the SAG Awards shut out female directors in 2020, but directors Greta Gerwig (“Little Women”) and Lulu Wang (“The Farewell”) have gained visibility that could very well make waves at the Oscars next year, according to an Indiewire analysis. “The Farewell” has gained steam since its summer release at Sundance, while “Little Women” may need more time to pick up viewers before becoming a front runner.

J.K. Rowling came out in favor of a woman who was fired for saying transgender women shouldn't be legally recognized

“Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling faced intense criticism this week for supporting the hashtag #IStandWithMaya on Twitter. The hashtag is in reference to tax expert Maya Foster, who was fired this week for posting criticism toward U.K.’s proposed law, the Gender Recognition Act, which would allow people to change their legal gender across the country. Rowling tweeted: “Dress however you please. Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you. Live your best life in peace and security. But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real? #IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill.” The tweet has caused a furor among some of her 14.6 million fans.

This workplace bias is hurting women's earning potential. Let's change that this year.

Bethanie Baynes, director of Global Partnerships and founder of Breadwinning Women at Google, implored industry leaders to help close the gender pay gap once and for all, starting in 2020. She pointed to statistics, including mothers receiving a 10 percent pay penalty per child, for example, while men receive a 6 percent fatherhood bonus. Women’s earnings peak at age 44, while men’s earnings peak at age 55. However, women make up half of the breadwinners in American homes.

2019 was a historic year for women in sports. Here are the top photos

Business Insider collected photos from the top moments in women’s sports in 2019, which has been a historic year for women in general. Photos included: Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan leading the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team to a World Cup win; Naomi Osaka kissing her winning cup at the Australian Open; Serena Williams at the Hopman Cup; Simone Biles performing her floor routine at the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships and more.

Only the women apologize at the Democratic presidential debate

The Democratic presidential candidates were asked at the debate on Thursday: “Would you choose to ask for forgiveness from one of their rivals on stage, or offer a gift?” The women asked for forgiveness, with Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota saying that she can be “blunt” and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts apologizing that she can get “a little hot.” All of the men offered gifts, such as books, or defeating President Donald J. Trump. According to CNN, the answers were a tacit reminder that women are unfairly criticized when they show anger.

Want to raise a strong, confident girl? Add these 10 toys to your holiday gift list

Know Your Value compiled a gift list that specifically cater to young, confident girls. Suggestions from child development experts included a Ms. Monopoly board game, which features female characters in the classic game; a Luciana Vega doll, which is an American Girl doll immersed in STEM learning; and an Artie 3000, a robot that combines coding with art.