TIME gender

See 9 Striking Historical Photos of African American Women

From the collection of the National Museum of African American History and Culture

The history of what it has meant to be black and female in the United States is not easily summed up—a point that the upcoming Smithsonian photo book African American Women makes plain. As Kinshasha Holman Conwill, deputy director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, points out in an introductory essay, the images in the book “[illuminate] a narrative that reflects large and small moments in U.S. history and culture.”

Famous faces like Lena Horne are presented alongside those whose personal stories are far less well known. Leona Dean, for example, lived a relatively prosperous life in the Midwest in the early 20th century—a place and time that has been largely eclipsed in the national memory. “We made a point of choosing images of people who aren’t famous,” says Michèle Gates Moresi, the museum’s supervisory curator of collections. “They aren’t known as leaders, but they were to their communities.”

The book is part of the Double Exposure series from the National Museum of African American History and Culture; the first installment in the series was released earlier this year and both African American Women and Civil Rights and the Promise of Equality will be released on July 7.

TIME celebrity

Age Gap is the New Wage Gap: Just Ask Top-Paid Female Celebrities

Celebrity Sightings In New York City - June 24, 2015
Raymond Hall—GC Images Actress Jennifer Lawrence is seen walking in Soho on June 24, 2015 in New York City. (Raymond Hall--GC Images)

On average, the women on the Forbes List of 100 Top-Paid Celebrities are almost 10 years younger than the men

Aging rockers, has-been radio personalities, and ex-action stars get paid more than A-list actresses. That’s one major takeaway from Forbes’ annual list of the 100 top-paid celebrities this year.

Two things were apparent from this year’s list: women make up only 16% of the top-paid celebrities in the world, and the ones who do make the list are significantly younger than the men. The average age for men on the list was 42– for women, it was 36. If you take out Judge Judy, who at 72 is an outlier by about 15 years, that average drops to just over 33.

In other words: the pay gap is alive and well, even among the richest celebrities, and while male stars are adept at turning youthful success into a lifetime of fame, female celebrity is far more delicate. The average age for men on the 2015 Forbes list does not include the collected ages of The Rolling Stones, the Eagles, and Fleetwood Mac, all ’70s era bands who made the list (Fleetwood Mac includes two women)– if the ages of these men had been included, the average age for men on the list would have been significantly higher. Older guys like Jimmy Buffett (68) Jackie Chan (61) and Howard Stern (61) make the list, but Meryl Streep (66) and Madonna (56) don’t.

The 16 women on the list earned a combined $409 million, while the combined male earnings topped $4.3 billion. More importantly, many of the women on the list tend to be young and beautiful, while older stars are simply not making the cut. Of the 16 women on the list, only a quarter are over the age of 35 (Sofia Vergara, Jennifer Lopez, Ellen Degeneres and Judge Judy.) The other twelve are much younger, including Jennifer Lawrence (24), Taylor Swift (25) and Lady Gaga (29). Almost half of the 16 women on the list are under 30.

To be clear–it’s not Forbes’s fault there are so few women on their list, they’re just the messenger here. This year they expanded their annual list of top-paid celebrities to include international icons, and restricted it to on-camera talent (which might be why Shonda Rhimes and Oprah aren’t on it). They assembled the list by measuring earnings from June 1, 2014 to June 1, 2015, then subtracted management fees and taxes. That sounds like a fair methodology for determining which celebrities are making the most money.

And yet, women are notably absent. Lots of women who would ordinarily be on the list seem to be taking a little break this year. As Forbes’s Natalie Robehmed explains, in her post about why there are so few women on the list:

Sandra Bullock clocked an impressive $51 million in 2014′s ranking thanks to her solo payday in Gravity, but a quiet 12 months took her out of the running this year. Other seemingly big stars, such as Emma Stone, have yet to see their earnings catch up with their status. Even Melissa McCarthy, who has proven her ability to carry an action/comedy movie solo with Spy, St. Vincent and Tammy failed to break the Celebrity 100′s $29 million barrier to entry.

Of course, there’s also the fact that there’s a pay gap between men and women in most professions, and Hollywood isn’t immune. As Robehmed points out, it’s no coincidence that Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams only saw 7% of the profits for American Hustle, while the male actors got 9%. Women are also less likely to be the main character, which means smaller paychecks, and in other countries the gap is even worse– in Bollywood, actresses make about a sixth of what their male co-stars make.

And yet it’s impossible to ignore the age trend at work here. Among the richest celebrities, all the women young, beautiful, and at the top of their game right now– Beyonce, Katy Perry, and Sofia Vergara are all in the prime of their careers. Not so with the richest male celebrities– Jerry Seinfeld hasn’t been on primetime TV in years, and Adam Sandler hit his stride in the early 2000s.

 

In other words: when it comes to top-paid celebrities, the age gap might be just as important as the wage gap.

 

 

 

TIME Family

Meet the Father of Paternity Leave

Gary Ackerman
Bassem Tellawi—AP Congressman Gary Ackerman, D-NY, on Nov. 9, 2004.

Before Richard Branson, there was Gary Ackerman

Correction appended, June 11, 2015

This week, the man most celebrated for his impact on paternity leave policies is Richard Branson: the Virgin founder made news by announcing that some employees at Virgin Management would be eligible for a full year of paid new-dad time off.

Almost exactly 45 years ago, a very different man—a teacher, not an executive—was the one making strides for paternity leave. His name was Gary Ackerman, and he was a teacher in New York City who had a daughter in late 1969. When his daughter was about 10 months old, he applied for a leave (without pay) for childcare purposes. As a resulting lawsuit laid out, the principal did not recommend to the district that Ackerman’s application be approved; unsurprisingly, the superintendent followed suit by not approving the leave. Ackerman tried to appeal the decision several ways, and was told by many people that the childcare leave policies of the Board of Education only applied to female teachers.

As TIME later reported, “[t]urned down, he went AWOL from his job, [and] with his wife Rita filed a complaint of discrimination with the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and sued the board in U.S. district court. Their argument: granting child-care leaves only to women is an invasion of privacy because it forces mothers to be housekeepers and child rearers and prevents husbands and wives from dividing up family responsibilities as they see fit.”

In 1973, the EEOC, TIME continued, “found that the mothers-only rule ‘discriminates against male teachers as a class.’ As a result, the board says it will reword its bylaws to ensure equal rights for fathers.” That autumn, the relevant section of the Board of Ed bylaws was amended so that it no longer referred to an affected teacher as “her” or relied on the timing of the teacher’s pregnancy, thus expanding its relevancy to fathers and to adoptive parents. The determination is widely regarded as the groundbreaking first step toward paternity leave’s existence.

Just how groundbreaking was it? Ackerman’s motion to have a lawsuit he filed against the Board of Ed (separate from the EEOC case) considered as a class-action suit was denied because, though 40% of the Board of Ed’s teachers were men, he was the first male teacher ever—and one of two in total—to apply for childcare leave before that 1973 change. According to a New York Times article about the EEOC’s decision, at the time about 2,000 to 3,000 female teachers took a maternity leave in the city each year.

Ackerman was eventually denied compensation in his suit, because he had already stopped teaching and the relevant bylaw had already been changed, but that doesn’t mean his story came to an end. Though his first job after leaving teaching was at a local newspaper, he soon transitioned to a life in politics. Elected to the state senate in 1979, he went on to serve in Congress for three decades, until January of 2013.

Correction: The original version of this article misstated how long Gary Ackerman served in Congress. He served for three decades.

TIME conflict

The Forgotten Brutality of Female Nazi Concentration Camp Guards

Women Guards Of Bergen-Belsen
AFP/Getty Images Women guards of the Bergen-Belsen Nazi concentration camp, including Herta Bothe (right) and Irma Grese (second right) are seen after capture by British troops who liberated the camp, April 1945.

The female guards at Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen and Ravensbrück are less well known than their male counterparts, but they were no less brutal

History Today

 

 

 

This post is in partnership with History Today. The article below was originally published at HistoryToday.com.

‘[They] hit the prisoners, who were almost as thin as skeletons with a thick stick … withholding of food and beatings, [they] also made the prisoners stand for hours’

Scenes like this were inflicted by thousands of SS guards who reigned terror upon millions of prisoners interned in the hundreds of concentration camps throughout the Nazi regime. Names such as Josef Kramer, Rudolf Hoess and Theodor Eicke have become synonymous with such atrocities. Yet, to the female prisoners held in camps such as Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen and Ravensbrück, the names Irma Grese, Maria Mandl and Dorothea Binz – amongst many others – instilled as much, if not more, panic and fear than those of the SS men. In fact, the scene described above was committed by the Aufseherin (female overseer) Lehmann at Ravensbrück concentration camp, and was far from unusual in the female sections of camps.

Of the 37,000 SS guards who actively participated in the daily suffering, torture and death of the internees, approximately 10 per cent were female overseers. Some of these overseers, including Irma Grese, were sentenced to death along with their male colleagues for ‘murder’ and ‘crimes and atrocities against the laws of humanity’. Others were sentenced to between one year to life imprisonment. Few were acquitted. Their role in the Third Reich was a far cry from the Kinder, Küche, Kirche (children, kitchen, church) propaganda embedded in Nazi philosophy; they too were cogs in the killing machine of the Holocaust that led to the death of at least 1.5 million Jews.

Irma Grese, known as the ‘beautiful beast’ of Belsen, was, according to the charges brought against her at the Belsen Trial in 1945, one of the ‘most sinister and hated figures’ of the camps. Witnesses claimed that she used to beat women until they collapsed.

And she was not the only one. Renee Lacroux, a French prisoner held in Ravensbrück, told of how several female guards ‘killed the weaker ones and threw many of the girls onto the ground and trampled on them’. Just like their male counterparts, the female guards upon entering the camps were trained to become hardened and to punish prisoners severely when necessary. Many became accustomed to beating and kicking prisoners – sometimes to the point of death – with their jackboots, sticks, truncheons and, in the case of Irma Grese, with a whip made of cellophane. Some were involved in administering lethal sterilization experiments and many were present in the selection of those prisoners to be sent to the gas chambers. Some also carried a gun.

Not all guards, however, became equally accustomed to brutality. There were reports by some former prisoners of ‘humane’ guards: one such guard called Krüger is alleged to have shared extra food with her workers in Ravensbrück. And this case cannot have been isolated; an order was sent by the SS Obergruppenführer (senior group leader) to remind female overseers that they were not to have personal dealings with inmates. There was no equivalent order sent to SS men. Equally, murder was not customary for the female guards. They rarely used their guns and none, without exception, administered the fatal Zyklon B gas that killed over 6 million Jews, gypsies and asocials – amongst others – in the gas chambers. Direct killing was viewed solely as a masculine endeavor. This is not to say, however, that female guards did not kill the prisoners indirectly through their ill-treatment and violence – and violence was the norm throughout the camp environment.

So, how did these guards, described as ‘sadists’ and ‘beasts’ by former prisoners, find themselves committing these crimes against humanity? Elisabeth Volkenrath, chief female overseer in Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen, sentenced to death in 1945, was an unskilled laborer prior to becoming a guard. Ruth Closius, also sentenced to death for her exceptional cruelty, had dreamed of becoming a nurse but, since she left school too early, became a saleswoman in a textiles warehouse. The notorious Irma Grese worked at a dairy farm after leaving home at 15 years of age. Before entering the camps these women were, to all intents and purposes, ordinary women leading ordinary lives.

Many were not even members of the Nazi party. Unlike the overwhelming majority of male SS guards who were ardent believers in Nazi ideological and racial beliefs, less than 5 per cent of female guards were formal members of the Nazi party. For some then, the lure of a stable, well-paid job complete with uniform and accommodation was enough. Female guards earned approximately 185 RM, considerably more than the average wage of women of the same age in an unskilled factory job, 76 RM. Becoming a guard represented upward mobility for many of these under-educated and lower-class women. Even so, the recruitment campaign from 1942 onwards failed to attract the large numbers the SS needed in order to manage the increasing number of female prisoners. Instead, they had to turn to conscription. Even Irma Grese claimed that the labor exchange ‘sent [her] to Ravensbrück’, where all female guards underwent training, and that ‘[she] had no option’.

Whatever the reasons for becoming guards – financial, a thirst for adventure or conscription – Nazi ideology was rife and the ill-treatment of ‘enemies of the state’ was commonplace. As predominantly young, Aryan women aged between 17-45 (as strict entry criteria), these women had grown up in the midst of Nazism; many had been members of the Bund Deutscher Mädel (League of German Girls) and had grown up with Nazi propaganda. Further ideological training, which included propaganda films such as Jüd Süss, was imposed upon new recruits during their orientation period at Ravensbrück and manifested itself as violence within a matter of days. One prisoner noted how it took one guard just four days.

Many of these women were never brought to trial and were able to return to their pre-war, ordinary lives. For those who were brought to trial, however, such as Irma Grese, their ordinary life became a distant prospect to which they were never again able to return. Seventy years after the liberation of the camps, it is important to remember that women were not only victims, mothers or wives; they too were active agents in sustaining the terrors experienced by millions during the Holocaust.

Lauren Willmott works at the National Archives, London.

TIME Social Media

This Twitter Bot Corrects You If You Misgender Caitlyn Jenner

It's rather polite—and has a sense of humor

An automated Twitter feed corrects users who mis-indentify Caitlyn Jenner as “he.” When a Twitter user refers to Jenner on the social network using the wrong pronoun, the bot—dubbed @she_not_he—tweets a response with a reminder of to use Jenner’s now-preferred female pronoun.

The athlete and television celebrity previously known as Bruce Jenner began gender transition earlier this year, undergoing breast augmentation and facial reconstruction surgery. Jenner chose to introduce herself to the world as Caitlyn on June 1 in a Vanity Fair article.

There has been an outpouring of recognition and support for Jenner on Twitter, both from her family as well as other celebrities. And yet, many users are confused or simply haven’t read the story in which Jenner makes it clear she prefers to be referred to as a woman. The bot’s about section reads:

I am a bot politely correcting Twitter users who misgender Caitlyn Jenner in their tweets. I might make mistakes reading your tweet!! I’m only human. (Not.)

It also links to the GLAAD website.

Here’s what it looks like when the bot corrects a Twitter user:

Read next: Here’s How Vanity Fair Kept the Caitlyn Jenner Cover From Getting Scooped

TIME Race

The Forgotten Girls Who Left the South and Changed History

African American Migrants
Chicago History Museum / Getty Images African American men, women, and children who participated in the Great Migration to the north, in Chicago, 1918.

The girls of the Great Migration shaped regions, cities and even the White House

A “Northern Invasion” was coming, the Chicago Defender declared in early 1917: that spring, specifically May 15, would begin the Great Northern Drive. Southern blacks would abandon Jim Crow’s regime and seek their economic and social freedoms in the North. And Chicago was waiting for them. The Defender, which was founded 110 years ago this month, was the most influential African American newspaper of the 20th century, not least because its entrepreneurial founder and editor, Robert Sengstacke Abbott, used it as a catalyst for the Great Migration, a movement that would change the color and composition of American cities.

Some of the littlest members of this invasion were girls and teenage women, whose stories have yet to be fully told. Reaching across a century, their tale draws a direct line from the desperate denizens of the Jim Crow South to the striving residents of Northern cities—and all the way to the White House.

Luckily, their stories have been preserved, and in their own words. In response to Abbott’s call, thousands of letters poured into the Defender’s South Side Chicago office. Would-be migrants sought employment connections, train tickets, and any form of confirmation that ‘up North’ would be everything Abbott promised and more. Among these dream-seekers who put pen to paper to plan their great escapes were scores of girls and teenage women. These letters, printed in the pages of the Defender, and other reflections from African American girls who settled on Chicago’s South Side, fueled my scholarly search to understand how girls experienced, shaped and understood the mass exodus that roughly spanned 1917 to 1970, during which an estimated 7 million blacks settled in urban corridors.

Girls’ letters to Abbott spoke volumes of the struggles of everyday life. Girls revealed the poignancy of being a child while confronting the very adult economic pressures families endured. Girls labored as sharecroppers, domestics and low-wage workers in the post-Reconstruction South, and they hoped Chicago could provide better paying jobs. Older teenage girls shouldered the responsibility of supporting families at the expense of their education. Girls also hoped that they could use the beauty products or attend the dance venues that the Defender advertised. They wanted to remake themselves into city girls—modern, stylish and in control of their futures.

Ten days before Abbot’s Northern Migration Day, a girl from Port Arthur, Tex., asked him for money for transportation and ultimately a pathway to transform her life.

“Dear Sir: I am a reader of the Chicago Defender I think it is one of the Most Wonderful Papers of our race printed. Sirs I am writeing to see if You all will please get me a job. And Sir I can wash dishes, wash iron nursing work in groceries and dry good stores. Just any of these I can do. Sir, who so ever you get the job from please tell them to send me a ticket and I will pay them. When I get their as I have not got enough money to pay my way. I am a girl of 17 years old and in the 8 grade at Knox Academy School. But on account of not having money enough I had to stop school. Sir I will thank you all with all my heart. May God Bless you all.”

That same summer, in August, a 15-year old girl from New Orleans pleaded with Abbott:

“Dear sir: i am wrighting you for help I haird of you by telling my troble I was to to right you. I wont to come ther and work I have ben looking for work here for three month…i am 15teen…if you will sin me a pass you will not be sorry I am not no lazy girl i am smart I have got very much learning but I can do any work that come to my hand.”

Some girls sought advice about migration without their parents’ consent, believing that they knew what was best for their families. A teenager from Alexandria, La., risked angering her father by seeking advice about Chicago.

“There isnt a thing for me to do, the wages here is from a dollar and a half a week. What could I earn Nothing…I have and a mother and a father my father do all he can for me but it is so hard. A child with any respect about her self or his self wouldn’t like to see there mother and father work so hard and earn nothing I feel it my duty to help…father seem to care and then again don’t seem to but Mother and I am tired tired of all of this. I wrote to you all because I believe you will help.”

Mothers also wrote to Abbott hoping to create better opportunities for their daughters, many of whom began working as domestics in white households before they had their tenth birthdays and rarely attended their one-room schoolhouse during the cotton harvest season.

One mother wrote:

“Gentlemen: I want to get in tuch with you in regard of good location & a job i am for race elevation every way. I want a job in a small town some where in north where I can receive verry good wages and where I can educate my 3 little girls and demand respect of intelegence.”

It’s hard to track what happened to those specific writers, but few, if any, may have imagined that their journey would lead to the monumental demographic shifts that globalized black culture and would yield a black First Lady, the granddaughter of a migrant, who proudly called herself a “South Side Girl” while campaigning for her husband.

Nearly a century after the initial call for blacks to seek their destiny in the industrial centers of the nation, the Great Migration’s complicated legacy continues to shape dialogue about race relations and the broad scope of topics now called ‘urban,’ from housing to employment to education. As producer Shonda Rhimes prepares to bring Isabel Wilkerson’s Great Migration story The Warmth of Other Suns to television audiences and as art lovers flock to New York’s Museum of Modern Art to catch the rare display of all of Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series paintings together, we have to remember that we have much more to learn, see and hear from the Great Migration. Girls’ stories, especially their letters, make real the urgency and the hope of the domestic migration that changed the world.

The Long ViewHistorians explain how the past informs the present

Marcia Chatelain is Assistant Professor of History and African American Studies at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Her first book South Side Girls: Growing up in the Great Migration was released by Duke University Press in 2015.

TIME feminism

‘Congrats! You Have an All-Male Panel!’ Is a Hilarious Takedown of Everyday Sexism

Endless images of all-male academic and business panels highlight the problem of men dominating the conversation

Most of us have attended a talk or panel where every single speaker was male. Now, the Congrats! You Have an All-Male Panel Tumblr is brilliantly shaming that kind of all-too-common sexism by posting images of, well, all-male panels.

The Tumblr was started in February 2015 by Finnish feminist researcher and artist Dr. Saara Särmä, 40, who conducted her dissertation on Internet parody images and memes. The title of her dissertation was “Junk Feminism and Nuclear Wannabes – Collaging Parodies of Iran and North Korea.” (Yes, you read that correctly.)

“As a feminist, I’ve been noticing these issues for a very long time, but having worked with visual material and humorous images in my dissertation, I thought I could do something visual as well,” Särmä tells TIME. In particular, Särmä witnessed what she says is the marginalization of women in academia, claiming that some of her colleagues were passed over or outright dismissed as serious thinkers because of their gender.

The question all fans of her Tumblr are asking, though: Why the David Hasselhoff stamp on every image?

“The Hoff is just simply Hoffsome,” Särmä says. “As a kid who grew up in the 80s watching the Knight Rider, I have a fondness for the Hoff, also he’s the epitome of a white masculinity, isn’t he?”

On a serious note, Särmä hopes that her collection of images will help highlight the prevailing problem of men dominating the conversation.

“I think women’s expertise is often not simply recognized. It is somehow easier to see a white middle-aged (or older) man in your mind when you think of an expert,” Särmä added. “Academia has been white men’s world long enough, it’s time for a change.”

For her part, Sarma recommends checking out initiatives to amplify female experts in public forums like Foreign Policy Interrupted or watchdog groups like EUPanelWatch.

TIME Research

Why Autism Is Different in the Brains of Girls Than in Boys

The reasons why girls are less often diagnosed may be both biological and social

Autism, already a mysterious disorder, is even more puzzling when it comes to gender differences. For every girl diagnosed with autism, four boys are diagnosed, a disparity researchers don’t yet fully understand.

In a new study published in the journal Molecular Autism, researchers from the UC Davis MIND Institute tried to figure out a reason why. They looked at 112 boys and 27 girls with autism between ages 3 and 5 years old, as well as a control sample of 53 boys and 29 girls without autism. Using a process called diffusion-tensor imaging, the researchers looked at the corpus callosum — the largest neural fiber bundle in the brain — in the young kids. Prior research has shown differences in that area of the brain among people with autism.

They found that the organization of these fibers was different in boys compared with girls, especially in the frontal lobes, which play a role in executive functions. “The sample size is still limited, but this work adds to growing body of work suggesting boys and girls with autism have different underlying neuroanatomical differences,” said study author Christine Wu Nordahl, an assistant professor in the UC Davis Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, in an email.

In other preliminary research presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research, or IMFAR, in Salt Lake City, the study authors showed that when girls and boys with autism are compared with typically developing boys and girls, the behavioral differences between girls with autism and the female controls are greater than the differences among the boys. Nordahl says this suggests that girls can be more severely affected than boys.

A study earlier this year by a separate group found notable differences in symptoms between autistic boys and girls, which could be one of the reasons autism in girls sometimes goes unnoticed or is diagnosed late. Girls generally display less obvious behavioral symptoms at a young age compared with boys, the researchers found.

One of the reasons females with autism are less understood than males is that most research studies do not have equal numbers of boys and girls, says Nordahl. “This is not surprising, given that there are so many more males with autism than females,” she says. “We need to do a better job of trying to recruit females with autism into our studies so that we can fully explore differences between males and females with autism.”

Nordahl says understanding gender differences in autism affects how kids are diagnosed, as well as how they are treated. Understanding what biological differences may be at work can ultimately lead to a better understanding of autism and the best interventions for treatment.

TIME feminism

Meet 10 CEOs and University Leaders Working For Gender Equality

Marco Grob--Marco Grob Photography, Inc.

From Unilever to the University of Hong Kong, a wave of male executives join UNWomen's new 'HeForShe' initiative

Correction appended, May 6

Heads of state, CEOs and university presidents are all making public and concrete commitments to gender equality in the latest installment of UN Women’s ‘HeForShe’ initiative.

As part of HeForShe’s IMPACT 10x10x10 initiative, 10 heads of state, 10 CEOs and 10 university presidents will publicly commit to taking tangible steps to achieve gender equality in their organizations. On Tuesday, the first five CEOs and five university presidents announced their commitments–the others will be released over the coming months.

Each company or university signed the UN’s Women Empowerment Principles, with a special emphasis on Principle #7: to measure and publicly report on efforts to achieve gender equality. Corporate participants detailed their plans to help close the pay gap, achieve parity in management, and expand opportunities for women throughout their supply chains.

“If we are to achieve gender equality in our lifetime, we need creative approaches that target the biggest barriers,” says Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women Executive Director, noting that this program “brings together the strength of partners across sectors to crack some of those barriers from within.”

Here’s who is committing to HeForShe in the corporate world:

Sebastien Bazin is CEO of Accor, a Paris-based hotel group that employs 180,000 people and runs 3,800 hotels in 92 countries, like Sofitel, Novotel, and MGallery. As the father of two “brilliant daughters,” Bazin says he believes women should be “given the same opportunities as their male peers,” yet acknowledges that women remain underrepresented in company management. That’s why Bazin is committing to closing the pay gap within Accor, doubling the share of women in COO roles by 2020, and tripling the share of women on the executive committee by 2018. He also pledged to get 50,000 male employees (60% of the company) to commit to be HeForShe champions for gender equality.

Paul Polman is CEO of Unilever, the world’s third-largest consumer goods company. Unilever owns brands like Axe, Dove, Lipton, Sunsilk, and Hellmans, and employs 172,000 people. Right now, only 43% of Unilever managers are female, but under the new initiative the company has pledged to achieve parity in management by 2020. They’ve also promised to expand safety programs in regions where the company operates, and provide skills training and other empowerment tools to 5 million women by 2020.

Mustafa V. Koç is head of the Koç Group, the largest industrial conglomerate in Turkey and one of the biggest companies in Europe. With 113 companies and almost 86,000 employees, Koç is the only Turkish company on the Fortune Global 500 list. But the company recognizes much of their work is in male-dominated industries, and that women’s advancement is difficult in Turkey and throughout the region. To that end, Koç is committing to mobilizing 4 million people across Turkey to speak up for gender equality, and providing gender sensitivity training to 100,000 people by 2020. And this year, the company will release its first-ever report on gender parity.

Dennis Nally is chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers, the professional services firm that is one of the largest campus recruiters in the US. Using their networks on college campuses, the company has pledged to develop a gender equality curriculum to reach 1 million male students by 2016. They’ve also pledged to evaluate how to get more women into leadership roles within the company, and promised that every senior partner will publicly commit as a HeForShe by the end of the year.

Rick Goings, CEO of Tupperware Brands, has pledged a full audit of the company, from senior executives down to factory workers, with an eye towards reaching 50/50 representation at every part of the supply chain. Tupperware has also promised to educate their entire sales force — 3 million people — about HeForShe.

And here are the universities committing to HeForShe:

The University of Hong Kong aims to triple the number of women in dean-level positions by 2020 (currently, only 7% of deans are women.) The University is also working on a gender bias curriculum that they hope will reach 50% of students by 2018.

The University of Leicester in the UK aims to bridge the gender gaps in key academic areas like psychology and engineering, and pledged to make their faculty 30% female by 2020. They’ve also created a prize for exceptional work in achieving gender equality.

Nagoya University in Japan has pledged to build the first-ever Center for Gender Equality in Japan by 2018, and will continue to establish women-only faculty positions in science subjects. They’ll also create dedicated programs for female PhD students and mentoring programs to help women occupy 20% of the faculty and university leadership positions by 2020 (a 25% increase).

University of Waterloo in Canada is committing to boosting female enrollment in STEM fields by two-thirds by 2020, so that woman make up 33% of math and science students. They’re also pledging to make the faculty 31% female and the administration and senior leadership 34% female by 2020.

University of Witwatersrand (Wits) in Johannesburg pledges to have women occupy 32% of the Heads of Schools roles by 2019, and to increase women in professor roles to 30%. They also plan to publish annual reports on campus violence, and work on non-traditional techniques to spread the message of gender equality, including “ambush lectures,” to reach students who are skeptical as well as those who are supportive.

Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly described the University of Waterloo’s goal for women enrolled in STEM fields. It is 33%.

 

 

 

TIME Innovation

Why the Next Leader of the U.N. Should Be a Woman

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

These are today's best ideas

1. After 70 years of men in charge, the next leader of the U.N. should be a woman.

By Gillian Sorensen and Jean Krasno in the Washington Post

2. Here’s how to design a better Monday.

By Studio 360 and IDEO

3. What brought some cities back from the economic brink? Making peace with their suburbs.

By Nancy Cook in the National Journal

4. There’s an app to document and salvage Nepal’s cultural heritage.

By Annette Ekin at Al Jazeera

5. Elon Musk just made growing weed easier.

By Wes Siler in Gizmodo

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

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