Underestimated, underpaid, underrepresented

An unintentional theme in this week’s news

Hi, I’m Wing Sze Tang and you’re reading The Knowhow, a weekly newsletter featuring stories and strategies from women sparking change. As a longtime journalist, I wanted to create a space for highlighting high achievers, boundary breakers and up-and-comers across industries, from arts and culture to science, politics and sports. I hope you find each edition interesting, informative and/or illuminating in some way. If this issue was forwarded to you, add your email below to join the list! —@wingszetang


This week’s edition is a little shorter—but I have a few interviews in the works I’m excited to share with you. Soon! On that note, if you know someone super cool I should spotlight, have a hot tip to pass along, or want to recommend a great article/podcast/playlist (or whatever), send me a note at wing@theknowhow.news.

NEWS FLASH

What I learned this week:

  • A journalist pressing President Trump on the facts shouldn’t be so unusual that it’s headline-worthy, but here we are. At last night’s NBC town hall, former litigator Savannah Guthrie asked questions we’re all wondering, like, “Why would you send a lie like that to your followers?” (Evergreen question, really.) Critics had underestimated her approach, predicting a puff piece. Slate called it his “toughest grilling in years.” In one exchange, Trump had no better reply than “ha ha, so cute.”

  • Have you heard that the flu shot puts you at greater risk of getting COVID-19? (Fact check: Nope, not true.) But when countering vaccine misinfo, “very scientific messages alone do not work,” says Prof. Heidi Larson, called “the world’s foremost rumor manager” by the NYT. Instead, vaccine hesitancy is a matter of emotion, so we have to deal with the root cause: It’s a trust problem.

  • Speaking of rampant misinformation: YouTube, the platform arguably most responsible for mainstreaming QAnon, is starting to crack down, following similar moves by Facebook (also a huge abetter), Instagram and Twitter. And FB has just “made one of the biggest policy reversals in its history.”

  • Did you buy into Amazon Prime Day this week, despite all this? America’s independent bookshops—which are dying at a rate of more than one store a week in the pandemic—want you to know this.

  • Meanwhile, the mysterious MacKenzie Scott—Amazon’s first employee, Jeff Bezos’s ex-wife and one of the world’s richest women—is the subject of this interesting longread, which delves into her backstory and atypical philanthropy.

  • Audrey Gelman, co-founder and former CEO of The Wing—the women’s co-working space known for its “Instagram-ready feminism”—has issued a public apology, finally addressing the workplace racism, classism and trauma detailed by ex-employees on @flewthecoup.

  • Women are leaving the U.S. workforce in such droves, the situation has been dubbed the “first female recession.” Anne Helen Petersen, formerly of Buzzfeed, talks to some who’ve put their careers on hold, pointing out that these stories don’t reflect personal problems but societal ones requiring a societal response.

  • Sohla El-Waylly, previously the underappreciated, underpaid star of Bon Appétit’s Test Kitchen, is writing a cookbook and a new Food52 column, starring in a new web series, and getting more of the spotlight she deserves. And she doesn’t mince words about her old job in this excellent New York profile.

WHAT ELSE I’M READING

TIME WELL SPENT

A shortlist of things to do right now:

SHOP: Marketing/PR pro and illustrator Nuria Madrenas founded Mrkt Gallery last year with the mission to highlight women artists, who are absurdly underrepresented in the industry. Now, she’s partnered up with the Art Gallery of Ontario on a virtual pop-up, where you can shop an edited array of prints, like the ones below, for $50 each. Check out lots more artists on Mrkt’s site, too.

From Mrkt Gallery x AGO (from left): Finding Space by Carmen Lew; Social Women by Rachel Joanis; Still Life by Sabina Fenn // images: courtesy of Mrkt Gallery

WATCH: The latest TikTok challenge has Gen Zers wishing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez a happy birthday while doing makeup tutorials and lip-syncing her legendary comeback to being called “a f*cking b*tch,” mashed up with audio from Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble.” Enjoy this delightful compilation.

SUPPORT: Recently I’ve been researching carbon offsetting for work. While the subject’s complicated, supporting a project doesn’t have to be—you can do it through Gold Standard, created by environmental and development NGOs, starting at $10 USD/tonne of carbon. Worthy initiatives you can back include Indonesia’s first utility-scale wind farm and reforestation in Panama. While buying offsets isn’t a cure-all for our climate emergency, it feels more helpful than wallowing in despair (or recycling plastic, which is apparently largely a con).

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OPPORTUNITIES & RESOURCES

  • Futurpreneur and RBC have partnered up to launch the annual RBC Rock My Business Start-Up Awards. Eight aspiring entrepreneurs across Canada will be given $10k each to kickstart their small businesses.

  • Launchpad Summit is a four-day virtual career conference for artists, designers and other creatives, happening November 2-5. Tickets are pay-what-you-can.

  • The Gist—the women-run sports media startup you may remember from one of my earliest newsletters—has just launched a job board.

WORTH REPEATING

LAST BUT NOT LEAST

If you’re wondering who’s writing this:

My name is Wing Sze Tang, and I’m a freelance journalist. I’ve spent much of my career telling stories for some of Canada’s biggest magazines, like ELLE Canada, FASHION and FLARE. (Find some of my articles here.)

You can support this free newsletter (thank you) by forwarding it to your friends, sharing it on social media or sending me your thoughts. I check my email (wing@theknowhow.news) far too much.

Thanks for reading, and see you next week!