Visible Women

Women’s Daily Dispatch: The news you need to know on 19/3/18

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Emily Reynolds
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As part of our Visible Women initiative, brings you the Women’s Daily Dispatch: your daily digest of international news relating to women. It’s the good, bad, inspiring and urgent stories you need to know from around the world, all wrapped up in one bitesize piece.   

In today’s WDD: an all-woman crew sails the Pacific to fight plastic pollution; Tunisian students develop an app to protect women; a mystery woman is tracked down from a viral photograph; and Channel 4’s first chief executive discusses the company’s gender pay gap.

An all-woman crew is sailing the Pacific to fight plastic pollution

Members of the eXXpedition crew at a team briefing

A crew of 24 women has announced they will be sailing the Pacific Ocean this summer in order to tackle plastic pollution.

The sailors, scientists and filmmakers will be setting sail from Hawaii on 23 June, and will be crossing an area known as the ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ because of its “unusually high concentration of manmade plastic”. 

Their aim is to investigate plastic pollution in the North Pacific and how it might be affecting wildlife. 

“We are aiming to assess the scale of plastics – from large pieces to micro-plastics – in the North Pacific,” skipper Emily Duncan told Press Association

“One of our aims is to consider this in terms of important sites for post-hatchling sea turtles. We also want to raise awareness of the devastating effects of this pollution.”

Read more at 

Tunisian students develop an app to protect women

A group of Tunisian students are developing an app intended to protect women at university.

The students say they face sexual harassment on public transport – and are developing the app, Safeness, to combat this. 

“Whenever you’re alone and you don’t feel safe, you can send your location to a trusted person that you’ve selected in the app,” the app’s lead developer explains. “They’ll get a notification, and will track your movements until you arrive safely home.”

Aicha Kalfat, who is helping design the app, says it will also help victims by showing nearby police stations and hospitals – keeping women safer. 

Watch the full story here at Al Jazeera

Twitter solves mystery of woman in photograph

When Candace Jean Anderson found a photograph of 38 white men and one black woman whilst researching a book, she had to find out the woman’s identity. 

When she couldn’t find out who the woman was, she turned to Twitter to help her solve the mystery. And eventually, an amateur sleuth worked out who was depicted in the photo – a woman named Sheila, who worked as a museum technician.  

“Here’s a working scientist, contributing alongside her colleagues, and she’s not even given the professional courtesy of having her name recorded at a scientific conference,” Margot Lee Shetterly, author of Hidden Figures said in response to the picture.

“The photo, with her brown face half obscured by the people around her, is a perfect metaphor for the larger issue of history’s failure to record the work of women scientists, particularly women scientists of colour.”

Read more at the New York Times.

Channel 4 chief executive discusses pay gap

The first female chief executive of Channel 4 has opened up about the company’s pay gap, describing it as “uncomfortable reading”. 

The pay gap at the company currently sits at 28.6% – even though it employs more women than men. 

Alex Mahon, who is Channel 4’s first female chief exec, said that the company is now aiming for a 50:50 gender balance in its top 100 earners by 2023. Men currently make up 66% of the top 100. 

“There is no quick fix, but identifying the complex and multiple reasons behind our gap is the first step towards tackling the fundamental issues at play,” she said.

“While we employ significantly more women than men there is an imbalance in the ratios at the higher and lower-earning parts of the business. We have more men in higher-paid roles, and more women in lower-paid roles.

“It would be perverse for us to reduce the number of women in lower-paid roles and we want to continue to be an attractive place for women to work. Instead, we must reduce the gap by focusing on increasing the proportion of women in higher-paid roles.”

Read more at the Press Gazette

Throughout 2018, Stylist is raising the profiles of brilliant women past and present – and empowering future generations to follow their lead – with our Visible Women campaign. See more from Visible Women here.  

Images: Channel 4 / eXXpedition / Rex Features / Getty Images