Written by Erica Salowe, Researcher
Edited by Harriet Moll, Creative Director
The unbridled wave of female empowerment, commonly referred to as the #MeToo movement, reached a crescendo on Monday when a jury found Harvey Weinstein guilty of one criminal sex act in the first degree and rape in the third degree. Although the Hollywood mogul was acquitted of three out of five criminal charges, he still faces five to 29 years behind bars. Though I’m usually quite cynical about the scales of justice, the fact that Weinstein’s fortune and connections did not fully absolve him gives me renewed hope. As President of the National Women’s Law Centre Fatima Gross Graves so aptly observes, the verdict is evidence that Americans can ‘have a criminal justice system that reflects the reality of sexual violence.’ Since the accusations erupted against Weinstein in October 2017, hundreds of other prominent figures have been accused of sexual misconduct in industries across the board. The result? A global shift in workplace culture which enfranchises women to speak out against transgressions, and places higher accountability on organisations to properly handle allegations. Yet, the new norms instilled by #MeToo have also sparked a wider debate on whether the movement has truly had a meaningful and positive impact on women in the workplace. City A.M. presents both sides of the coin, sharing the perspectives of Chief Operating Officer Sheila Flavell of FDM Group and Media Manager Emily Carver of the Institute of Economic Affairs. Flavell believes that the Weinstein verdict drives home the message that those in power are not impervious to the consequences of their actions. The core #MeToo values of equality, eliminating the gender pay gap, and facilitating diversity should continue to be pushed at the top of the agenda, so that the next generation of female entrepreneurs thrive in a ‘culture of fairness.’ Groups like A Call To Men share Flavell’s convictions, and advise corporations on how men can exhibit healthy and respectful behaviour in the office. Conversely, Carver argues that #MeToo is ensuring no such culture of fairness will exist. She asserts that men are increasingly wary of being falsely accused, which in turn impairs their workplace relationships with women. These fears aren’t necessarily unfounded; former journalist Mike Tunison shares how an allegedly false accusation severely damaged his career. A recent Lean In survey backs up Carver’s claim, showing that 40% of male managers in the UK are uncomfortable with mentoring, working alone, or socialising with female co-workers. These results indicate that in the long-term, women may not receive sufficient support to excel in their careers. Though I’m more partial to Flavell’s standpoint — I can’t imagine returning to a culture in which women’s trauma is silenced – I can understand both sides of this polarising debate. Chalk it up to American optimism, but I can also see the commonality: women need to be actively supported to succeed in the workplace. Let’s find a way to pursue that path with open ears and minds.
A leaked review by Dame Carol Black for the Home Office has revealed an unprecedented amount of young people are being coaxed into the drug trade via grooming over social media and gangs. The spike in drug deaths could be attributed to the recent report of slowdown in British life expectancy. Dame Carol claims drugs have fallen on the police’s list of priorities, and calls for drugs to be decriminalised and instead be treated as a health issue. US President Trump has tasked Vice-President Mike Pence with leading the government response to the coronavirus outbreak. There have been 60 cases confirmed in the US, though Trump expressed confidence that Americans would be able to contain the spread and develop a vaccine. Worshippers have been attacked in a New Delhi mosque, marking the third consecutive night of violence between Hindus and minority Muslims over India’s new citizenship law. According to a hospital spokesperson, 28 have died since riots erupted Sunday.
Business and economy
The UK Government is planning to unveil its strategy for post-Brexit trade talks as it prepares for the start of formal negotiations with the EU on 2 March. Brussels has outlined its aim to achieve tariff-free trade while maintaining EU rules on state aid and workers’ rights, amongst other issues. The coronavirus threatens to massively disrupt South Korea’s Samsung Electronics, and by extension the country’s economy. Confirmed South Korean cases have reached over 1,500, largely centred in the country’s fourth largest city, Daegu. Samsung operations were forced to pause at the Gumi plant after one worker tested positive for coronavirus. Oil and energy stocks are being hit hard by the rising number and scope of coronavirus cases. With US crude dropping 2.3% to $48.73 a barrel yesterday, concerns are rising over the possibility of an economic slowdown or full-on recession.
Columns of note
In The Guardian, Nyadol Nyuon argues that women are one of the top targets for online abuse, regardless of where they fall on the political spectrum. The hostile rhetoric found on Twitter seeps into real life in the form of coarsened political dialogue that makes it difficult for women to freely express their opinions. Black women are more often the targets of abusive tweets, and face limited options with how to address online aggression; however, Nyuon points out that Twitter can also be a platform that allows those often unheard to publicly respond to vitriol and injustice. Conversely, Nyuon claims Australian traditional media lacks diversity and the viewpoints of people of colour, which in turn has facilitated racist dialogue and the shutdown of meaningful debate. In The Times, Jenni Russell expresses concern over the slowed growth of England’s life expectancy and how its performance is quite poor compared to other OECD countries. She attributes the latest figures from Sir Michael Marmot’s health review to the increasing divide between the rich and the poor, with women from the poorest areas particularly at risk. As it stands, only 25% of the population will reach 68 without health complications of some kind, and Russell remains sceptical that the government understands how it will carry out its commitment to increase life expectancy by five years if it does not address those who are marginalised.
Source: The Mercury News
What happened yesterday?
Traders reacted negatively to news of rising coronavirus cases in Asia and Europe, leading to a tumultuous day for global markets; Wall Street ultimately extended its losses. New infections have been confirmed in Austria, Spain, and Italy, and a second death has been announced in France. First cases have been announced in Norway, Pakistan, and Brazil. The S&P 500 and The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.4% and 0.5%, respectively. The Nasdaq Composite gained 0.2%. Microsoft, Lufthansa, Diageo and Danone have taken hits to trading, and strategists are suggesting that the massive selling of stocks are indicative of trades preparing for a global recession. The virus has also impacted oil prices, with Brent crude dropping 2.8 per cent to $53.40 a barrel and West Texas Intermediate falling 2.5 per cent to $48.65 a barrel. The FTSE 100 closed on a higher note after five days of decline, rising 0.35% at 7,042.47. The FTSE 250 index is still slumping, closing with a 0.45% drop at 20,622.95.
What's happening today?
Finals Bakkavor Bank Pekao Sa Drax Evraz F.b.d.hldgs Flutter Ent Georgia Capital Grafton Group Hikma Pharmaceuticals Hunting Inchcape Macfarlane Grp. Mondi MNDI Persimmon Pphe Hotel Provident Financial Reckitt Benckiser Rentokil Initial RSA Insurance St James Place WPP
Georgia Capital Haydale Netcall
AGMs Driver Grp Nektan UK economic announcements (07:00) Nationwide House Price Index Int. economic announcements (09:00) M3 Money Supply (EU) (10:00) Business Climate Indicator (EU) (10:00) Services Sentiment (EU) (10:00) Industrial Confidence (EU) (10:00) Consumer Confidence (EU) (13:30) Initial Jobless Claims (US) (13:30) Durable Goods Orders (US) (13:30) GDP (Preliminary) (US) (13:30) Continuing Claims (US) (15:00) Pending Homes Sales (US)
Did you know?
There was once a prehistoric dragonfly with wings spanning more than two feet.
House of Commons
Oral questions Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office (including Topical Questions) Business Statement Business Questions to the Leader of the House of Commons - Mr Jacob Rees-Mogg General debate Welsh affairs Adjournment Tackling crime in West Sandwell - Shaun Bailey House of Lords
Oral questions Reducing substantially the use of single-use plastics - Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Strengthening the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 as part of the government's review of procurement regulations post-Brexit - Baroness Burt of Solihull Delivering 300,000 homes per year by the mid-2020s - Lord Young of Cookham Training and guidance provided to Government ministers on bullying and harassment, diversity and inclusion and staff management - Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe Debate Case for improved early years interventions to support children and families - The Lord Bishop of Gloucester Short debate The findings of the Checkpoint programme, run by Durham Constabulary, to reduce reoffending rates and custodial sentences - Lord Bates Debate United States’ proposals for peace between Israelis and Palestinians - Baroness Tonge Orders and regulations Terrorism Act 2000 (Proscribed Organisations) (Amendment) Order 2020 - Baroness Williams of Trafford Scottish Parliament General Questions Alasdair Allan S5O-04179: to ask the Scottish Government how many people are employed by the Crofting Commission. Annabelle Ewing S5O-04180: to ask the Scottish Government whether it plans to review exemptions under the plastic bag charging scheme. Shona Robison S5O-04181: to ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the announcement that Police Scotland is developing proposals to trial the use of a lifesaving nasal spray that allows officers to treat victims of a drugs overdose. Margaret Mitchell S5O-04183: to ask the Scottish Government what it is doing to support the voluntary and third sectors. Alison Harris S5O-04184: to ask the Scottish Government how it measures the outcomes of city and regional growth deals. Claire Baker S5O-04186: to ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to address antisocial behaviour on quad bikes and similar off-road vehicles. Neil Bibby S5O-04187: to ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to improve transport links in West Scotland. Colin Beattie S5O-04188: to ask the Scottish Government what is being done to find a long-term solution to the pollution issue in the River Esk in the Midlothian North and Musselburgh constituency. First Minister's Questions Members' Business S5M-19754 Tom Arthur: Scotland’s War Memorials Ministerial Statement Analysis of the 2019 Exam Diet Portfolio Questions Stage 1 Debate Scottish Budget 2020-21 Business Motions