In the know: Women in the news 12/30 - 1/3

Know Your Value's weekly roundup of women in the news.
Image: Ava Duvernay Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez Megan Rapinoe
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By Halley Bondy

Female directors of top-grossing films reach 13-year high in 2019, women of color remain highly underrepresented

The University of Southern California Annenberg Inclusion Initiative released a research brief on Tuesday that details diversity numbers in Hollywood for 2019. A record 12 women directed the top-100 Hollywood films last year, and while not a particularly high number, it still represents a demonstrable shift in hiring practices. However, only four of the directors were women of color. Ironically, the films directed by women of color received some of the best overall critical reviews, the study found.

Opinion: Where are all the women coaches?

Decades after the passing of Title IX, men continue to dominate coaching both men’s and women’s college sports teams. Only 3 percent of men’s sports and 40 percent of women’s sports are coached by women, while 89 percent of Division I college athletic directors are men. In a video by the New York Times, female college sports coaches explained why coaching is no different from other leadership positions and emphasized that athletics can benefit from gender equality in coaching.

Inside agencies, men and women still struggle with the fallout of #MeToo

Anonymous advertising agency employees told online trade magazine Digiday that, since #MeToo, their workplaces have felt unsettled and divided among gender lines. Some reported that, while #MeToo has been critical for women in an industry rife with harassment, that their companies have not handled the movement well and that their environments have become awkward and uncomfortable. Women who previously had diverse clients described only being assigned female clients since #MeToo. These sources said that men in their company will not mentor them, that male colleagues crack jokes about #MeToo and that women are excluded from lunches with male colleagues.

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Why women go missing from the workforce, and what to do about it

Women disproportionately act as caregivers for sick and disabled family members, and these obligations can conflict with their careers. About 58 percent of caregivers are women, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor. Founder of staffing agency Rose International Sue Bhatia argued that companies should cater to caregivers so that they are not pushed out of their positions. Actions may include cultivating contingent workers who need flexibility.

Why America loves — and hates — outspoken young women

Climate activist Greta Thunberg and Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New Yoark were some of the many outspoken young women to dominate the news in the 2010s. While these women have been viewed as heroes to many, they have been subject to ridicule and bashing that only young women seem to experience when they step out of line, according to Vox writer Anna North. Critics have accused them of having anger issues and have barraged them with cruelty and vitriol. However, these women have also demonstrated incredible grace under pressure, according to North.

Ladies who lead: celebrating the trailblazers of 2019

Know Your Value founder and “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski reflected this week on the female leaders who made waves in 2019. In a discussion with MSNBC political analysts Karine Jean-Pierre, Susan Del Percio and Adrienne Elrod and MSNBC “Morning Joe First Look” co-anchor Yasmin Vossoughian, Brzezinski praised the actions of U.S. Women’s Soccer champion and activist Megan Rapinoe, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and the late ABC anchor Cokie Roberts.

A historic gender gap is possible in 2020

A new CNN poll shows that women favor former Vice President Joe Biden ahead of President Donald J. Trump for commander-in-chief by 24 percent. The same poll showed that men favor Trump over Biden by 10 percent. This means that, if Biden wins the Democratic primary, there could be a 34 percent gender gap in voting, which is a 9 percent increase since the 2016 election. The polls also show that women favor all of the Democratic candidates over Trump.

Parenting your aging parents when they don't want help

Caregiving for an aging parent can be difficult, especially if they are resistant to help or change. According to a Northwestern University study, people over age 68 resist help because they don’t want to lose independent control over their lives or become a burden on their families. While some conflict can be unavoidable or even devastating, experts advise caregivers to be patient and remind the elder person that they are on the same side.