Good morning, Broadsheet Readers. Apple finally released its predictably disappointing employee diversity data and, in a tribute to Robin Williams, read on to see what Mrs. Doubtfire can teach us about work-life balance.
• Apple CEO “not satisfied” with employee diversity. The tech giant revealed on Tuesday that 70% of its global workforce is male, a figure that falls in line with diversity data released earlier by Yahoo and Google. These numbers are “not new to us, and we’ve been working hard for quite some time to improve them,” Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote. 72% of Apple’s leadership positions are held by men, while retail boss Angela Ahrendts is the only woman on the company’s 10-person executive team. Two women, former Avon CEO Andrea Jung and BlackRock co-founder Sue Wagner, sit on its board. The Atlantic’s Adrienne LaFrance wrote a piece on Monday that shows why counting the number of female employees isn’t enough to make tech firms more diverse.”Change is not going to come about just from you wanting to be inclusive. It has to be something you’re actively doing. If you want to be more inclusive there are ways to do it,” a source told her.
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Sheryl Sandberg talks women in tech. The Facebook COO says that we “suffer from the tyranny of low expectations,” which is fueling the tech industry’s gender gap. Sandberg added that she’d like for half of Facebook’s positions “across the board” to be made up of women.
• Was Marissa Mayer right about working from home? The U.S. Patent Office discovered that a significant portion of its at-home workers lie about how many hours they work, making the group’s “telework” program largely ineffective. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer drew huge criticism for her decision last year to ban telecommuting in an effort to rebuild employee culture.
• Women are more alternative than men. Wealthy female investors are more likely than are their male counterparts to put money into alternative investments like private equity or commodities, according to New York Life. Perhaps women are more conservative with their investment strategies because they live longer and need to save more money for retirement.
• Where are the female billionaires? Only 15% of American’s billionaires are women. That might not surprise you, but it will once you learn that women comprised half of the wealthiest 0.01 percent of Americans in 1969.
• Another key to the political gender gap. Women are more likely than men to be dissuaded from running for public office, according to a study. While previous research has pointed to women having fewer political ambitions than men, the new study points to a female aversion to competition that might be a integral factor in the dearth of women in politics.
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Maryam Mirzakhani, a Stanford Professor, became the first woman to win the Fields Medal. Sondra Barbour, EVP at Lockheed Martin and No. 42 on Fortune’s Most Powerful Women list, has been elected to 3M’s board of directors.
3 things Mrs. Doubtfire taught us about work-life balance
Shortly after the news broke that Robin Williams had passed away, his wife Susan Schneider issued the following statement: “As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin’s death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.”
Reeling from the news of the actor’s sudden departure, I decided to take Schneider’s advice and re-watch Mrs. Doubtfire on Monday evening. It was just as great as I remembered but I realized something different this time around: Robin Williams was one of the first male actors to address work-life balance. A flurry of male executives may have come forward just this week to talk about the issue, but Williams portrayed a lot of the same problems on the big screen nearly 20 years ago.
For those who are a little fuzzy on Mrs. Doubtfire’s plot, here is a refresher. Daniel Hillard, played by Williams, is an eccentric actor who creates voices for cartoon characters. Although he is a loving father, his wife Miranda (played by Sally Field) feels like he spends too much time at work and acts too childish around their kids. She eventually files for divorce and wins custody over their three children, which leaves Daniel with just one visit per week. After the heartbroken father discovers that his ex-wife needs to hire a babysitter, he disguises himself as a female Scottish nanny, Mrs Doubtfire, to nab the job and spend more time with his kids.
Sure, the plot is a bit eccentric, but here are 3 things the film can teach us about work-life balance:
- Don’t isolate your partner. Daniel and Miranda play traditional “good cop” and “bad cop” roles when it comes to disciplining their children. But Daniel makes no effort to understand why his wife is frustrated with constantly being the bad guy in the eyes of her kids. When it comes to balancing a career with a family at home, supporting your partner is essential to being successful in both worlds.
- Recognize what you have before it’s gone. It took Daniel almost losing his children to realize that he wanted to dial back on work and spend more time at home. Only when he assumed the role of Mrs. Doubtfire did he see that his wife was right and he didn’t know his kids as well as he thought he did.
- Honesty is the best policy. Clearly, it’s not realistic for any dad to create an alternate ego to reinvent his relationships with his children after focusing too much on work. If you find yourself in a position where you want to cut back at the office to focus more on family, honest conversations with both your coworkers and family are key to succeeding at that goal.
Here’s to remembering Robin Williams for everything he made us think about on the big screen — even if we might not have realized we were thinking about them in the first place.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Seth Meyers speaks out on diversity in late night television. “We have a diverse staff, but we didn’t hire them because of that. We hired them because they made us laugh,” says Seth Meyers, the host of his namesake late night show on NBC. Meyers said that the field of comedy is getting more diverse, which is creating a better pipeline to hire women and minorities for late night shows. Here’s to hoping that the pipeline soon flows all the way to the host’s chair.
• The solution to having it all? Diana Rothschild, founder of co-working community NextKids, thinks “having it all” starts with work environments that allow you to bring your kid to work every day. NextKids brings professionals together from a wide range of industries and gives them space to work while their kids are learning and playing right next store.
ON MY RADAR
|The core problem here isn’t that the male-to-female ratio is too high. The problem is that not enough female entrepreneurs consider the possibility of becoming business owners in their own right. So how do we go about fixing this mentality?|
|-- Jayson DeMers, founder and CEO oft marketing and social media agency AudienceBloom, talks to the Wall Street Journal about diversity.|