25 December 2020
Unsplash © Clay Banks

The Maddyness holiday reading list: ESG and social impact

Every week, Maddyness curates articles from other outlets on a topic that is driving the headlines. Today, we're highlighting some of the best pieces we've read on the topic of ESG and social impact in 2020. Watch out for the final instalment of our holiday reading list coming soon.

How Black Lives Matter reached every corner of America

On any given day, they spill out onto the streets, driven by fury. They march. They kneel. They sing. They cry. They pray. They light candles. They chant and shout, urgent voices, muffled behind masks. They block freeways and bridges and fill public squares. They press their bodies into hot asphalt, silently breathing for eight minutes and 46 seconds. They do all this beneath the watchful gaze of uniformed police officers standing sentry. Read the full article via The New York Times.

The tech field failed a 25-year challenge to achieve gender equality by 2020 – culture change is key to getting on track

In 1995, pioneering computer scientist Anita Borg challenged the tech community to a moonshot: equal representation of women in tech by 2020. 25 years later, we’re still far from that goal. In 2018, fewer than 30% of the employees in tech’s biggest companies and 20% of faculty in university computer science departments were women. Read the full article via The Conversation.

Earlier this year,  JK Rowling stepped into one of the fiercest debates of our time – gender and trans rights. Why?

On 6 June, the world had a lot to contend with. George Floyd’s death was filling streets with protests, lockdown was only fractionally easing, and it was LGBT+ Pride month. In the midst of all this, JK Rowling sent out a tweet to her 14 million followers, questioning an article’s use of the phrase “people who menstruate”. Read the full article via Tortoise.

In the battle of The Slumflower vs Florence Given, the only winner is the publishing industry

To be a ‘feminist’ influencer in 2020 means hawking ideas that have almost certainly been taken from academics and activists – usually older women of colour – and then regurgitating them via an aesthetically pleasing Instagram tile. The Instagram feminism marketed by influencers with mass appeal is the equivalent of the cerulean blue jumper Andy wears in The Devil Wears Prada. To be mainstream, it has to be accessible and non-radical and it has usually been diluted from elsewhere. Read the full article via gal-dem.

Revealed: BP and Shell back anti-climate lobby groups despite pledges

Earlier this year, oil giants BP and Royal Dutch Shell assessed the climate lobbying done by trade associations they have been involved with, and publicly quit a handful of high-profile industry groups campaigning to undermine regulations to reduce greenhouse gases. But Shell and BP ― the second- and fourth-largest oil companies by revenue last year ― are still active members of at least eight trade organisations lobbying against climate measures in the United States and Australia that were not disclosed in the public reviews. Read the full article via Unearthed

How the pandemic will end

Rudderless, blindsided, lethargic, and uncoordinated, America has mishandled the COVID-19 crisis to a substantially worse degree than what every health expert I’ve spoken with had feared. “Much worse,” said Ron Klain, who coordinated the U.S. response to the West African Ebola outbreak in 2014. “Beyond any expectations we had,” said Lauren Sauer, who works on disaster preparedness at Johns Hopkins Medicine. “As an American, I’m horrified,” said Seth Berkley, who heads Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “The U.S. may end up with the worst outbreak in the industrialized world.” Read the full article via The Atlantic.