Happy Friday, Broadsheet readers. Are women making it to the top of the corporate ladder in the “wrong” jobs? Plus, we talk with Dell CMO Karen Quintos about how the role of the chief marketing officer is changing. Have a great weekend and we’ll see you back here on Monday.
• GM may be ignoring some ignition switch victims. GM CEO Mary Barra organized a compensation program earlier this summer to pay back those who were seriously injured or who had lost loved ones in crashes related to the automaker’s faulty ignition switches. But, as Fortune’s Ben Geier writes, around 10 million cars with faulty switches don’t meet the program’s requirements. Federal prosecutors are now investigating the automaker to see if any employees concealed evidence of the defective ignition switch that led to many recalls.
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Are women at the top still in the “wrong” jobs? A majority of senior leaders at S&P 500 companies are not in operational roles. This likely impacts the shortage of women CEOs: Only 4% of Fortune 500 companies are led by women. It’s “very hard to move from a functional role to a CEO job,” as a source told Bloomberg.
• Wendy Davis: Statute of limitations for rape need to end. Texas’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate is fighting against the backlog of rape kits in her state that often don’t get dealt with by authorities until the 10-year statute of limitations for rape cases has expired.
• Y Combinator Founder: We’re as relevant as ever. Jessica Livingston, who helped launch the start-up incubator in 2005, worries that the mainstream popularity of Silicon Valley is breeding a new class of wannabe entrepreneurs. “It’s kind of prestigious to start a startup now,” Livingston told Fortune’s JP Mangalindan. “Your mom gets it, and your grandmom gets it. They’ve seen The Social Network. What that brings out are people who are either ill-suited to being founders or in it for the prestige, not the love of creating something.” PLUS: Click over to Re/Code to read about Livingston’s experience getting hit on by creepy venture capitalists.
• Working mothers pay part-time penalty. People in low-wage jobs who work fewer than 40 hours per week get paid disproportionately less per hour than do their full-time working peers. Women are hurt even worse by this trend because they are more likely to take breaks throughout their career or work part time to take care of children, the New York Times’ Claire Cain Miller explains.
• Architecture’s glass ceiling. Roughly 40% of applicants to the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards are women. The American Institute of Architects, the largest group of licensed U.S. architects, only has 19% female membership.
• Pandora releases diversity data. Nearly half of the streaming-music company’s global workforce is made up of women.
Dell CMO: Customer data ‘the single most important asset that we have’
Just yesterday, the United Parcel Service became the latest company to fall victim to a customer data breach. The hack only affected customers at 1% of its U.S. locations, but the company was relatively lucky—other companies have suffered far more serious breaches in recent months. A data hack earlier this year at Target affected as many as 110 million customers.
Karen Quintos, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Dell, thinks CMOs play a key role in stopping data breaches now and in the future. In an interview with Fortune, Quintos discussed her career, the dearth of women working in tech, and how she views the role of the CMO changing.
CF: How do you view your role in driving Dell’s business?
KQ: The CMO role, especially at a company that has very strong focus on customers and the role of technology, is pretty interesting. While I don’t have a direct profit and loss [line of the business,] we do spend more than $1 billion in marketing at Dell. That cuts across all of our customer segments from consumer all the way to the largest businesses. The role that technology and marketing technology is playing to is incredibly exciting and now the CMO is leading a lot of those conversations here at Dell. It is pretty interesting time to be at the core of all that as it is changing and evolving from a marketing and technology perspective.
How does the CMO play into avoiding customer data breaches?
More CMOs should be taking a much more active role in protecting customer data because it is the single most important asset that we have. Frankly, our customers expect that of us. When I moved into the CMO role we made a conscious decision to invest in a lot of our internal marketing capabilities and processes to make sure we were doing just that. Frankly, every time you click on something that is sent to you as a customer, that is being generated by someone in marketing. Marketing is the organization that is at the forefront of all of this.
What’s your take on the media focusing on the dearth of women in key leadership roles in business?
I am really encouraged now more than ever. I feel like there is a renewed sense of the reality of the situation and a frustration that the numbers haven’t moved enough. There have been a number of corporations and institutions that are putting the dialogue back on the table. I frankly think that if it doesn’t change in the next five years then we need to be doing something materially different as a country and as a private sector. Now we are seeing a lot of women in really tough jobs. You look at role models like [former Secretary of State Hillary] Clinton, Christine Lagarde and Angela Merkel and a number of women who are leading large companies. Now is a really good time to continue to move the debate and the progress.
What role do you see companies playing?
Companies play a key role. As women join companies, the companies need to embrace those things that are unique to women. Women are going to want to have children and companies need to create on and off ramp opportunities for women throughout their careers. They need to create flexible work environments.
Within technology, I think there are certain parts of the country, Silicon Valley being one, that there is this stereotype that it’s a man’s world and women can’t really be successful there. There is a lot of opportunity in the venture capital and Silicon Valley area to break down a lot of that mindset. There are so many successful female entrepreneurs where having access to capital and networks and everything is a huge enabler for them to be successful.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• What’s it like for a working mom in Norway? Given the lack of guaranteed benefits for working parents in the U.S., Americans often hold Europe up at the model for “how to do childcare right.” Turns out, working women in Europe have problems of their own.
• Mo’ne Davis is already getting recruited by colleges? The 13-year-old Little League star and Sport Illustrated cover-girl reportedly got a call from the head coach of Connecticut’s women’s basketball team.
• Erin Andrews: Male sportscasters are just as image-conscious as women. The sportscaster used to get upset by viewers talking about the way she dresses and how she cares about how she looks, but it doesn’t bother her anymore. “Now I embrace it. It’s awesome. The boys are doing it, why can’t I do it?,” Andrews told Huff Post Live.
ON MY RADAR
How corporate America should adapt to millenials
Gabby Giffords challenges NRA to ice bucket challenge
48 reasons why it’s a great time to be a woman on television
Why is Bustle so successful?
The plight of the male plus-one
|We still struggle with our image of women as leaders. We still see a correlation between likeability and success: Women who are more successful are less liked. How does that play out in the workplace for their opportunities? The barriers that women are facing now are just that much more subtle and pernicious, and we’re not doing enough training on how our unconscious minds work with people different than us. We have a long way to go.|
|-- Lauren Stiller Rikleen, a Boston-area lawyer and author of multiple books about women in business, talks with Fortune about the evolving workplace.|