Inspired by Jack Myers' new book "The Future of Men: Masculinity in the Twenty-First Century" (out now!), this is a weekly blog focused on gender equality, gender politics and the shift in gender norms in business and culture. Read on for this week's news roundup.
In the latest debate over equal pay for female athletes, five top female players -- goalkeeper Hope Solo, captains Carli Lloyd and Becky Sauerbrunn, forward Alex Morgan and midfielder Megan Rapinoe -- have filed a federal complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that accuses US Soccer of wage discrimination, The New York Times reports. Despite rising revenues, three World Cup championships and four Olympic golds, members of the women's team earn as little as 40 percent of what the players on the consistently mediocre men's national team earn, spanning across salary, bonuses and appearance fees, the suit claims. While some argue that the men's team draws bigger crowds and more viewers, and therefore deserves larger payouts, the women's side counters that they've exceeded revenue projections by approximately $16 million in 2015, and their World Cup championship game brought in 25.4 million viewers -- a record for men's or women's soccer game on an English-language network. "We have been quite patient over the years with the belief that the federation would do the right thing and compensate us fairly," Lloyd, the World Cup's most valuable player, told the Times.
American Eagle, which launched its "Aerie Real" campaign models for women in 2014 featuring un-retouched models, has turned its body positive messaging to men, telling them "the real you is sexy." The #AerieMan campaign stars five men of varying appearances and body types, from a traditional, hot blonde model to the body-positive style blogger Kelvin of Notoriously Dapper, shown in a bubble bath with a fedora. While the campaign is certainly goofy and even features the guys taking "belfies," or "butt selfies," Aerie claims that it is "a celebration of real men who love themselves inside and out." Watch the video below to see for yourself.
According to a new research study from a team at the University of Colorado at Boulder, white men are the only group among managers of varying race and gender who are not actively penalized for promoting diversity in the workforce. Exploring why 85 percent of C-Suite positions are filled by white men, the researchers evaluated over 350 executives on their efforts to improve diversity on their teams, such as hiring women and minorities, Quartz reports. They found that no one, regardless of race or gender, was evaluated more positively for promoting diversity at work, and that women and non-white executives were viewed negatively for "diversity-valuing" behaviors. "We argue that diversity-valuing women and non-whites are rated lower than their non-diversity-valuing counterparts because diversity-valuing behavior activates subtle and unconscious stereotypes about women and non-whites as being less competent," researchers wrote in the study. Such findings do not bode well for those companies and executives leading diversity initiatives, the researchers conclude, implying that when women or non-white executives reach the top, they may be less inclined to support other minorities because of the implications.
Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Levy has fired back at WPP head Sir Martin Sorrell, who criticized his comments on the recent JWT scandal at the 4As last week, Adweek reports. At the conference, Levy called the incident a "one-time mistake" and claimed sexism is not a widespread problem in the modern ad industry. In an interview on Thursday morning, Sorrell joined outraged attendees and industry leaders in calling out Levy, remarking, "Maurice has a habit of ignoring the facts." In a company-wide memo addressing the criticism, Levy remarked that Sorrell, as leader of JWT's holding company, displayed "an extraordinary level of hypocrisy" given the evidence that Erin Johnson did everything in her power to report the issue to the appropriate executives. "Facts truly are stubborn things," Levy wrote, ending his note with a commitment to gender equality and diversity. WPP, of course, responded in a statement, writing of Levy, "We are glad to hear he is attempting to reverse his original position. After all, a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." The lawsuit against JWT and former CEO Gustavo Martinez is ongoing. (Read what our own Stuart Elliott has to say about this controversy.)
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