Good morning, Broadsheet readers. A top female government official resigned yesterday, and big law firms got two more top women leaders. Read on to learn what giant hotel chain is working to get more diverse owners. Have a great Thursday!
• Secret Service chief resigns. Julia Pierson, the U.S. Secret Service director who had been in the role for only a year, resigned on Wednesday after multiple security breaches at the White House. Prior to her resignation, Pierson said she took full responsibility for her agency’s missteps.
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Barra goes lux. GM CEO Mary Barra told investors on Wednesday that she is aiming for 10% operating margins in North America by 2016 and 9-10% profit margins companywide within the next decade. Her plan? Increase GM’s focus on luxury and unveil four new Cadillac models in North America next year.
• Kirsten Gillibrand hates the phrase ‘having it all.’ “I think it’s insulting,” the New York Senator told Time’s Nancy Gibbs at the Real Simple/TIME Women & Success Panel Wednesday night. “What are you ‘having?’ A party? Another slice of pie?” “What we’re really talking about is doing it all. How do we help women do all the things they want to do?,” she added.
• Was Yahoo’s Tumblr acquisition a flop? While CEO Marissa Mayer’s $1.1 billion buy has yet to deliver a huge revenue boost, she never pitched Tumblr as a “transformative” acquisition. Even though activist investor Starboard Value is urging the company to stop buying companies, many acquisitions take time to live up to their potential.
• Big law gets two more female leaders. It is a very small group of women who lead top U.S. law firms, but the cohort is growing. On Wednesday, litigator Jami Wintz McKeon became the new chair at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, while Therese Pritchard was named the first female chair at Bryan Cave LLP. “I think the playing field is leveling out, and I think firms can select leaders from a more diverse talent pool than ever before,” said Pritchard.
• The real reason women leave tech. Kieran Snyder has crowdsourced the stories of more than 700 women who have left the tech industry. Common explanations were the lack of flexible work arrangements, inadequate salaries and unsupportive work environments that were sometimes considered discriminatory.
• Buzzfeed’s newsroom gender breakdown. 52% of the viral news site’s editorial staff is female and 73% is white. Editor-in-chief Ben Smith acknowledges that he has more work to do to make his newsroom as racially diverse as his audience.
Why Marriott wants more diverse hotel owners
In 2009, the Biagas family made an investment that the faint of heart likely couldn’t stomach. In the wake of the financial downturn, John and his siblings Mark, Randy and Evette (along with four other investors) put down $3.8 million to build their first Marriott-brand hotel in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The SpringHill Suites by Marriott would be the family’s first venture into the hotel business.
“Our father was an entrepreneur and he taught us not to put all of our eggs into one basket, so we’ve made a number of different investments,” John told Fortune.
Five years later, the Biagas’ bet paid off. In fact, the family is so satisfied with its investment with Marriott that they are breaking ground on a second hotel with the same ownership group. In 2015, the siblings and their partners will open a Residence Inn in the same town in Louisiana.
Yet the Biagas’ family stands out not just because of their courageous investment in the wake of the Great Recession. Of Marriott’s more than 4,000 hotels worldwide, only 660 – or 17% – have what the company defines as “diverse” franchise owners. That category includes women, African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, members of the LGBT community, veterans or people with disabilities. Now, Marriott is pledging to increase their numbers.
By 2020, the hotel giant with $12.8 billion in 2013 revenue is working to grow the number of diversely owned hotels to 1,000. Marriott wants new blood to consider its hotel chain a good investment for building long-term wealth. To qualify as being a diversely owned hotel, members of one of Marriott’s defined diverse groups have to own at least 51% of the hotel collectively.
Click over to Fortune.com to read my full story.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• A thinner glass ceiling? From 1981-1985, women comprised just 1.9% of the top 0.1% of America’s earners. From 2008-2012, women were 10.5% of the top 0.1% and 16.4% of the top 1%. Whereas women used to be twice as likely as men to drop out of the top-earner category, today the odds are evened up.
• Deutsche Bank manager sues over firing. Konrad Joy, the former chief operating officer in the bank’s global risk department, was dismissed in 2013 over allegations that he sexually harassed female colleagues. Joy is now suing for gender discrimination. He also wants his job back, plus $32 million in compensation. “When my comments are taken out of context, my language may seem extreme, which it was not,” he said in the statement.
ON MY RADAR
|Stop thinking of your life as a resume. Don't get hooked up in the title.|
|-- Today Show co-host Tamron Hall at Real Simple and Time's Women & Success event. Hall has had 18 different jobs.|