News Highlights: Week of May 15

Mothers as Leaders

Research across several disciplines indicates that motherhood enhances work performance. In one study, women said motherhood taught them a key leadership skill—how to nurture the best in others. There is a biological basis for the finding, too. A mother’s increased levels of the neurohormone oxytocin encourage a “tend or befriend” rather than a “fight or flight” response to stress. The research suggests a shift in our definition of good leadership: from the hierarchical to the collective, from the transactional to the facilitative.

Why Mothering Makes Us Better At Work, by Amy Henderson of TendLab via Linkedin

Cutting-edge Meets Worn-out

There’s usually a lot of buzz surrounding the augmented reality company Magic Leap, but recently it’s not about their cutting-edge technology. The company just settled a sex discrimination lawsuit. When asked why he didn’t fire Black employees implicated in sexual harassment, the chief administrative officer pointed to fear of lawsuits. When asked why he didn’t fire similarly implicated white employees, he responded, “we need the white guys. They’re important” followed by the worn-out excuse: “my hands are tied.”

Magic Leap Settling Sex Discrimination Lawsuit with Former Employee, by SJ Kim of VR and Fun

When Principles Clash

Are college diversity programs illiberal, totalitarian, and unrelated to the intellectual work of faculty? A recent email thread among divinity school faculty erupted into a hotline of debate on religion, diversity, and academic freedom. In response, supporters of the programs held that diversity is a hallmark of academic freedom, not its suppressor. The line of communication was interrupted by a divinity professor’s resignation, but the debate continues, highlighting how difficult it can be to negotiate clashes between traditional religious and progressive values. Read more about the perceived rift between tenets of religion and diversity initiatives in our post, A New Harmony.  

Divinity, Diversity and Division, by Colleen Flaherty of Inside Higher Ed

“We love you, but wait till next time”

Their party consistently puts forward white candidates on the grounds they are the party’s best chance against Republicans. But African American Democrats are done waiting. They argue the old way of doing things has proven ineffective time and again, and they want to see their communities represented in 2018. In Florida, a local leader put it this way: “There’s muscle memory that’s been built up over a long time about what the candidate has to look like, sound like…” If nothing changes, it’s likely minority Democrats will stay home on election day.

Young Black Democrats, Eager to Lead From the Left, Eye Runs in 2018, by Alexander Burns of The New York Times

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