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The Week in Women: What is Jacinda Ardern’s latest gutsy move to beat hate?

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern leaves after a visit to the Kilbirnie Mosque on March 17, 2019 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)
AMAZING GRACE
This time last week New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was best known for being one of two female leaders to have given birth in office (and the only one to then bring her baby to the United Nations.) But since last Friday’s horrific terror attack, Ardern’s sorrowful face as she embraced victims families, her hair covered in a hijab, has become an iconic image of gravitas and national pain that is sure to last far beyond her premiership.
 
From her first appearance following the attack Ardern has been setting an example of steadfast, empathetic leadership in response to national tragedy — and showing a masterful understanding of how to respond to terrorism in the age of social media.

Recognizing immediately that the shooter craved infamy, she has refused to utter the suspect’s name — and says she never will. But she hasn’t been silent on one issue: Shortly after the attacks, she promised to strengthen her nation’s gun laws. Today, she did just that, banning all military-style semiautomatic weapons and high-capacity magazines.

GOLDMAN GOES DUTCH
Investment bank Goldman Sachs has announced a worthy new goal: making women 50 percent of all entry-level analyst and associate new hires.

We hope it sets a precedent for the industry, while recognizing that it doesn’t address the lack of women in top leadership positions at the bank, at least in the immediate term.

We’re also wishing the new women recruits luck deciphering this month’s ‘casual dress’ announcement. In a now-infamous email to its staff of 36,000, Goldman’s CEO shared a new “firm-wide flexible dress code” that gives employees the right to “dress in a manner that is consistent with clients’ expectations.” The vague directive has caused a minor fashion crisis at the bank and has been parodied across the internet.

THE MATHEMATICIAN’S MUSE
“Would you please accept a call from Norway?”

That was the text Karen Uhlenbeck received on Tuesday right before finding out she was the first woman to be awarded the Abel Prize, one of the most prestigious mathematics awards in the world.

The accolade, which comes with a cash prize of $700,000, puts Uhlenbeck in familiar territory — when she spoke at the International Congress of Mathematicians in 1990, she was the first women to do so since 1932.

In an interview soon after getting the news, Uhlenbeck shared an unexpected influence on her career: Julia Child. The math genius explained that she “never felt like one of the guys” in her profession, and looked to television for strong women role models.

American food critic, chef, and television host Julia Child (L), showed Karen Uhlenbeck, first woman winner of the Abel Prize for mathematics, that a woman can forge a career on her own terms. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images; Andrea Kane/Institute for Advanced Study)

BILLION-DOLLAR BROWS
Emily Weiss’s Glossier just became New York’s latest unicorn — that is, a company worth ten figures — with a cool $1.2 billion valuation.

Weiss, who New York magazine once christened the “Millennial’s Estée Lauder,” launched the company nine years ago as a blog before releasing the make up line it’s known for today.

To cap a banner week, Weiss will spend tomorrow celebrating her 34th birthday. One group that won’t be invited to the party? The eleven venture capital firms that turned her down when she first pitched the brand.

RELIEF ON THE HORIZON
In a landmark decision, the FDA has approved the first drug aimed at fighting the effects of postpartum depression.

The intensity and cost of the treatment may give women pause, however — it requires a 60-hour infusion at a medical center and costs up to $34,000. But its approval could speed exploration of cheaper and easier treatments.

Postpartum depression is believed to affect as many as one in seven American women. Adele, Cardi B, and Ivanka Trump have all spoken out in recent years about their personal battles with the disorder.

THERE’S MORE
The Washington Post has taken a look at Beto and Amy O’Rourke’s marriage and decided it is “at once the most modern and most traditional of any 2020 candidate.”

Women born with a male twin are more likely to come up against adversity at school, at home, and in the workplace, according to a new study.

Meet Ava Berkofsky, the queer cinematographer battling Hollywood’s reluctance to purchase the best lighting equipment for non-white actors. Her attention to the topic is why the diverse cast of HBO’s Insecure look as transcendent as they do.

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Previous newsletters

The Week in Women: What word did the U.S. demand be cut from a landmark women’s rights agreement?

The Week in Women: This fearless teen was just nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize

The Week in Women: How Brie Larson Defied the Naysayers

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