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Lean In report: Black women promoted at far lower rates than white men

A new report from The Lean In Foundation, founded by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, finds that for every 100 men promoted to manager in America, only 58 Black women are promoted, despite Black women asking for promotions at the same rate.

Why it matters: "A lot of corporate diversity efforts are really focused on the very top," says Sandberg, who spoke with Axios about the report. "And while the very top is super important, you can't get to the top if you don't get that first promotion."


Context: "The State of Black Women in Corporate America" study draws heavily on research from Lean In, an initiative from Sandberg, and McKinsey & Company's annual Women in the Workplace study.

  • The report debuted Thursday in conjunction with Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, and just days after Kamala Harris' historic appointment as the Democratic vice presidential nominee.
  • "We're trying to use this moment to get more attention and interaction," Sandberg says.

Details: The report finds that a lack of managerial support and interactions with senior leaders is what's largely to blame for the promotion gap between Black women and white men.

  • "Men get the benefit of the doubt and get promoted based on potential, while women are having to prove it," Sandberg says.
  • The study calls the promotion problem the "broken rung." Because fewer Black women are promoted at the first critical step up to manager, it becomes harder for them to go on to eventually achieve leadership roles.
  • It finds that women of color, and Black women in particular, tend to receive less support and encouragement from their managers, including support in helping them navigate organizational politics and find opportunities to showcase their work.
  • It also finds that Black women are less likely to interact with senior leaders .

Be smart: Sandberg says that at Facebook, one way she's pushed to ensure senior leaders interact with all employees equally is to offer suggestions for ways to create boundaries that all employees should be comfortable with.

  • "I think men and women need to be able to travel together," she says. "Travel does not mean a hotel room. It means, you know, traveling in an airport, or going to restaurants that are in public for dinner."

The bottom line: Many of the findings in the report suggest that Black women feel disadvantaged in the work place because they have fewer opportunities to casually interact with managers and senior leaders in a way that will help them grow and develop their careers.

  • "You have to have informal contact with people to get promoted," Sandberg says.

Pac-12 will play this fall despite ongoing pandemic

The Pac-12, which includes universities in Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, Utah and Washington state, will play football starting Nov. 6, reversing its earlier decision to postpone the season because of the coronavirus pandemic, ESPN's Kyle Bonagura and Heather Dinich report.

Why it matters: The conference's about-face follows a similar move by the Big Ten last week and comes as President Trump has publicly pressured sports to resume despite the ongoing pandemic. The Pac-12 will play a seven-game conference football season, according to ESPN.

COVAX vaccine initiative involves most of the world, but U.S. or China

Data: Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance; Map: Naema Ahmed/Axios

A global initiative to ensure equitable distribution of coronavirus vaccines now includes most of the world — but not the U.S., China or Russia.

Why it matters: Assuming one or more vaccines ultimately gain approval, there will be a period of months or even years in which supply lags far behind global demand. The COVAX initiative is an attempt to ensure doses go where they're most needed, rather than simply to countries that can produce or buy them at scale.

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Podcast: The child care tax on America's economy

Child care in the U.S. is in crisis, which makes it much harder for the American economy to recover — as providers struggle to stay in business and parents wrestle with work.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the problems and what can be done to solve them, with Vox senior reporter Anna North.

Scientists are trying to figure out how much the amount of coronavirus in your body matters

How sick a person gets from a virus can depend onhow much of the pathogen that person was exposed to and how much virus is replicating in their body — questionsthat are still open for the novel coronavirus.

Why it matters: As people try to balance resuming parts of their daily lives with controlling their risk of COVID-19, understanding the role of viral load could help tailor public health measures and patient care.

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China's vow to achieve "carbon neutrality" before 2060 sends shockwaves through the climate world

A new insta-analysis of China's vow to achieve "carbon neutrality" before 2060 helps to underscore why Tuesday's announcement sent shockwaves through the climate and energy world.

Why it matters: Per the Climate Action Tracker, a research group, following through would lower projected global warming 0.2 to 0.3°C. That's a lot!

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Kayleigh McEnany: Trump will accept "free and fair" election, no answer on if he loses

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Thursday that President Trump will "accept the results of a free and fair election," but did not specify whether he will commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses to Joe Biden.

Why it matters: Trump refused to say on Wednesday whether he would commit to a peaceful transition of power, instead remarking: "we're going to have to see what happens."

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Sanders: "This is an election between Donald Trump and democracy"

In an urgent appeal on Thursday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said President Trump presented "unique threats to our democracy" and detailed a plan to ensure the election results will be honored and that voters can cast their ballots safely.

Driving the news: When asked yesterday whether he would commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses, Trump would not, and said: "We're going to have to see what happens."

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Why money laundering persists

2 million suspicious activity reports,or SARs, are filed by banks every year. Those reports are sent to the U.S. Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which has the job of determining whether the reports are evidence of criminal activity, and whether that activity should be investigated and punished.

The catch: FinCEN only has 270 employees, which means that FinCEN is dealing with a ratio of roughly 150 reports per employee per week. So it comes as little surprise to learn that most of the reports go unread, and the activity in them unpunished.

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