5 Biggest News Stories of the Week: March 2

As the saying goes, the news never stops. In this weekly news roundup, we’ll cover the top news stories impacting American workplaces and communities.

1. Eli Lilly Reduces Insulin Prices by 70%, Biden Urges Others to Follow

This week, Eli Lilly and Co. (No. 5 on DiversityInc’s 2022 Top 50 Companies for Diversity list) cut prices by 70% for its most commonly prescribed insulins and expanded its Insulin Value Program, which caps expenses paid out-of-pocket at $35 or less per month. 

This news comes on the heels of insulin being capped at $35 for those 65 and over who are on Medicare through the Inflation Reduction Act, which was announced toward the end of 2022. 

“While the current healthcare system provides access to insulin for most people with diabetes, it still does not provide affordable insulin for everyone and that needs to change,” David A. Ricks, Lilly’s Chair and CEO, said in a company statement. “The aggressive price cuts we’re announcing today should make a real difference for Americans with diabetes. Because these price cuts will take time for the insurance and pharmacy system to implement, we are taking the additional step to immediately cap out-of-pocket costs for patients who use Lilly insulin and are not covered by the recent Medicare Part D cap.”

On Wednesday, President Joe Biden called on other companies to follow in Lilly’s footsteps.

“I called on Congress – and manufacturers – to lower insulin prices for everyone else,” Biden said in a Twitter post. “Today, Eli Lilly is heeding my call. Others should follow.”

2. “Conscious Quitting” Emerges as a New Workplace Trend

In 2022 and so far in 2023, we’ve covered “quiet quitting,” “quiet firing” and “quiet hiring,” and yet again, another trend has emerged: “conscious quitting.”

Opposite to quiet quitting, which entails an employee mentally checking out and doing the bare minimum while still staying at an organization, conscious quitting is when an employee doesn’t see eye to eye with their organization’s values and quits as a result. 

Research from Net Positive Employment Barometer that surveyed over 4,000 workers in the U.S. and the U.K. shows that two thirds of employees don’t think their company’s efforts to address environmental and societal challenges aren’t enough and that many employees don’t feel as if the CEO and other top leaders of their company care about these things. 

“Nearly half of employees say they would consider resigning if the company’s values don’t align with their own, even in these difficult economic times,” the survey says. “A third of employees say they have already resigned for this reason.”

The number of people conscious quitting is particularly high for Millennials and Gen Z, according to Net Positive.

To avoid or prevent conscious quitting, the research suggests that companies should talk more about their objectives for improving people and the planet, communicate with employees and do a better job of empowering employees.

3. How “Mansplaining” Affects Women in the Workplace

A recent study from researchers at Michigan State University and Colorado State University found that men and women react differently to “mansplaining,” or explaining something in a condescending tone. 

Three studies were conducted by the university researchers to determine the effects of mansplaining, and in the first study, 128 participants were asked to participate in a hypothetical scenario where they were in charge of giving bonuses to deserving employees. The scenario was conducted in a meeting room with two actors, one of which was asked to mansplain the task at hand to the participants. 

The women in the study had negative reactions to the mansplainer who kept interrupting them and speaking to them in a condescending manner while the men in the group weren’t really phased by it. The mansplainer also made the women question their own competency in some instances. 

“We found some evidence of important contextual factors, specifically that competence-questioning behaviors occurred more often when women were junior or equal to (rather than senior to) the communicator in work status, and most often occurred in the presence of others and focused on work-related topics,” the researchers wrote.

When it comes to traumatic experiences at work, mansplaining could be seen as harassment, bullying or unfair treatment. To combat workplace trauma and help employees recover from it, employers need to recognize that it is a growing problem and create a company environment that has support structures for employees. 

READ: Tips for Working Through Workplace Trauma

Everyone should feel valued in the workplace, which is why it is important for managers to do their best to reduce mansplaining at work. 

“In terms of practical implications, managers might consider greater attention to when, where, and why competence-questioning behaviors occur,” the research states. “Discussions and training that focus on how to appropriately raise doubts about another’s actions or ideas and how to provide feedback can allow opportunities to discuss any gender links in enacting such behaviors, as well as give individuals the tools to ensure competent work occurs while providing psychological safety for others when raising critiques.

4. Growth in Remote Work Presents Regulatory Developments and Challenges

In 2020, many people were sent to work from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and for many companies, that work model became permanent or at least allowed for employees to work from home a portion of the time. 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of people working from home most of the time rose from 5.7% to 17.9% between 2019 and 2021. Many employers have got on board with having more employees work from home and some companies have gone completely remote because of the cost savings, which a recent tally showed could save employers up to $10,600 per employee, per year. 

While remote work has created more flexibility for employees, it has also led some to have a hard time separating work from their personal lives. And for employers, they don’t have control over the safety and stability of the environments their employees are working in. 

“These issues have prompted a surge in new regulatory developments aimed at making sure remote workers, home workers and teleworkers are protected under existing environmental, health and safety legislation and guidelines, and that employers are not running afoul of labor laws,” MIT Sloan Management Review wrote. 

With people working from home, some companies now have people working around the globe, which presents another challenge of complying with requirements of different jurisdictions and governments around the world. 

When creating work-from-home arrangements and strategies, Gallup suggests asking the following questions:

  1. What do employees need to be successful in a remote work environment?
  2. What tools and equipment are needed for employees to work from home?
  3. What expectations do managers have for employees who work remotely and have those policies been explained so they understand their responsibilities?
  4. What tools and training can be implemented to foster ongoing communication between managers and work-from-home employees?
  5. What can you do as a manager to foster culture and belonging for remote workers?

5. Laverne Cox Discusses Trans Civil Rights With Time Magazine

Laverne Cox has made history as the first out transgender person to grace the cover of Time magazine. In her conversation with Time, she talks about the fight for civil rights for trans people. 

In 2013, Cox was the first out trans person to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy in the acting category for her role as Sophia in the Netflix show “Orange is the New Black.” And in 2023, she knew being the cover story for Time was an opportunity to represent the trans community.

While there are more openly transgender people in Hollywood and in the world now than in 2013, opinions about gender identity have also surfaced. 

“In 2023, we are at the height of the backlash against trans visibility. We have way more people who are educated about trans folks, but there’s also been a rigorous misinformation media machine,” Cox told the magazine. “The backlash is ferocious. It’s genocidal.”

Visit DiversityInc to read more about progress made around gender identity and the challenges that lie ahead. 


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