In the know: Women in the news 5/27-5/31

Know Your Value's weekly roundup on women in the news.
Image: Amy Wambach, Serena Williams, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Amy Wambach, Serena Williams, Alexandria Ocasio-CortezGetty Images/Reuters

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By Halley Bondy

16 women allege gender discrimination against the FBI in evaluating and training practices

Sixteen women who either currently work or formerly worked for the FBI filed a class action lawsuit against the agency for gender discrimination. The allegations ranged from unfair punishments targeted against female trainees to sexual harassment. The lawsuit also alleged that over 100 women at the FBI's Basic Field Training Course in Quantico have experienced gender-based discrimination in some form, with women of color or with disabilities being most vulnerable.

For Memorial Day, we commemorate 5 courageous women who died in service

Retired Brig. Gen. Carol Eggert, Comcast’s senior vice president of military and veteran affairs, spoke to Know Your Value about five women in history who lost their lives while serving the United States. Those highlighted include U.S. Army Specialist Lori Piestewa, the first Native American woman to die in the Army; 1st Lt. Sharon Lane, the only American military woman killed by enemy action in Vietnam; and 2nd Lt. Ruth Gardiner, who was killed in an aircraft crash during World War II.

West Point graduates the highest number of black women in the academy’s history

West Point graduated 34 black women last week, which is a higher number than any graduating class in the academy’s history. The class also had the highest number of Hispanic graduates, and the highest number of female graduates overall. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence was the presiding keynote speaker at the graduation on Saturday. African-American women still only comprised 4 percent of the overall 2019 class, which led to some feelings of isolation among the black female cadets.

More women are joining Fortune 500 boards than ever before, but minorities have a long way to go

Last year, 40 percent of Fortune 500 board members were women, according to a new report by firm Heidrick & Struggles. The number is more than double the amount of women on the boards in 2008, and higher than ever in history. However, only 22.5 percent of Fortune 500 board directors are women, and ethnically diverse appointees (men and women) only comprised 23 percent of all board members last year. Diversity is a continuing priority for many of the boards, but critics maintain they still have a long way to go.

The U.S. Women’s Open prize in golf was increased to a record $1 million as the pros began teeing off on May 30

The U.S. Women’s Open in golf started May 30, and the prize money for this year’s winner is bigger than ever. The United States Golf Association boosted the winning prize to $1 million, the largest single-tournament payout in women’s golf history. Last year, Thailand’s reigning champion Ariya Jutanugarn took home $900,000. The USGA also boosted the U.S. Women’s Open purse money, which is divided among all the players, by $500,000 a piece. The annual tournament will continue through June 2.

Abby Wambach was elected into the National Soccer Hall Of Fame even though 20 percent of voters didn’t include her on the ballot

U.S. women’s soccer dynamo Abby Wambach was elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame this week. Wambach is the world record holder - for both men and women - in goals scored in international games. She also scored 184 goals in 256 U.S. national team appearances, and was part of two Olympic gold medal-winning teams and the 2015 Women’s World Cup championship team. Despite her unique accomplishments, only 81 percent of the voters included Wambach on the ballot. Voters consist of soccer industry coaches, representatives and executives.

Serena Williams continues to smash through wardrobe norms at the French Open

The French Open kicked off on Sunday, and all eyes are on Serena Williams — and her wardrobe. The tennis pro debuted a Nike-designed outfit with the French words for “Mother, Champion, Queen, Goddess” emblazoned on the maxi skirt and crop top. Last year, Williams wore a full-body catsuit to the French Open in order to prevent post-partum blood clots, but French Open officials saw it as a dress code violation. This riff caused controversy, and it also may have compelled Williams to wear in-your-face outfits later on, including a tutu at the U.S. Open last year, and sneakers at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Gala.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announced a return to bartending for a day to promote a national living wage

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announced that she will return to her past as a bartender and waitress in a restaurant in her Queens district this Friday. The event, hosted by Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC) United, is a statement in support of the federal Raise the Wage act. She is also flying in the face of some of her critics, according to a post on her Twitter: “To the silver spoon classists saying they’re going to ‘make AOC bartend again’: You’re in luck,” she wrote. “I’ll be bartending in NY-14 this week to promote a national living wage.” She’s promising quality cocktails, too. “Use real citrus juice for your sours, people!” she wrote in a follow-up tweet. “You deserve so much better than what you’re settling for.”