Good morning, Broadsheet readers. The Hollywood Reporter came out with its list of the 100 most powerful women in entertainment, and a Canadian business school is in hot water over a sexist case study that seems to be loosely based on characters in Legally Blonde. Read on to see results of Silicon Valley’s latest report on gender diversity. Stay warm and enjoy your Thursday!
• Forget the Oscars. Yes, winning an Academy Award is great, but landing a spot on The Hollywood Reporter’s annual ranking of the 100 most powerful women in entertainment is a close second. “More than probably any other industry, ranking is everything here,” Janice Min, who heads THR, told The New York Times. “It’s an extension of being judged by your box office position and last night’s ratings.” Bonnie Hammer, NBCUniversal cable entertainment group’s chairman, tops this year’s list, followed by Fox Television Group CEO Dana Walden and A+E Networks CEO Nancy Dubuc.
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Person of the Year. The Ebola fighters, including New Jersey nurse Kaci Hickox, who famously fought the state for placing her under quarantine after returning from Africa with no symptoms, were collectively named by Time as Person of the Year.
• Germany gets close. Germany’s cabinet approved legislation that will require more than 100 large companies to have at least 30% women on their boards by 2016. The bill will now have to go to parliament for final approval.
• ‘I blew it.’ After months of criticism for his handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence case, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told The Wall Street Journal that the league’s “penalties didn’t fit the crimes” and he regrets doing too little in the past. Yesterday, the league unanimously approved a new personal conduct policy for players that experts say could evolve into “one of the strongest domestic violence policies in corporate America.” Meanwhile, Goodell will likely have to address a growing lawsuit from some NFL cheerleaders on the grounds of unfair pay.
• Silicon Valley stalls. At Silicon Valley companies, having one woman on the board or in an executive position is not translating into more women in other board or leadership positions, according to Fenwick & West’s annual diversity report. Meanwhile, women directors are more common at S&P 100 companies than at large Silicon-Valley based firms.
Fenwick & West
• A rare look into Berkshire’s boardroom. Susan Decker, a former Yahoo president who joined Berkshire Hathaway’s board in 2007, says that Warren Buffett consults his board differently than do other CEOs. “The board is not involved in the valuation decision for acquisitions. Warren will often discuss large deals with the board in advance, but usually at the conceptual level, rather than asking for approval of valuation and structuring,” Decker said.
• More questions. Three students who were featured in Rolling Stone’s now deeply-contested story about the gang rape of a UVA freshman named ‘Jackie’ at a campus fraternity house spoke anonymously to The Washington Post and piled on additional serious doubts about the veracity of the magazine’s account. For one thing, the name Jackie called her rapist did not match anyone at UVA. “She had very clearly just experienced a horrific trauma,” one of Jackie’s friends told WaPo, but it remains unclear what exactly that trauma was.
• Shakeup at Walmart U.S. Gisel Ruiz, chief operating officer for Walmart U.S. and No. 28 on Fortune‘s list of the Most Powerful Women, is stepping down to work for Walmart International. She will be replaced by Judith McKenna, a 20-year Walmart veteran.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Legally Blonde gone wrong. The University of Toronto’s MBA program pulled from the syllabus a sexist case study that depicted a female student asking her boyfriend for help to evaluate job compensation packages. The fictitious student, named “Elle Forest,” seemed to be loosely based on Reese Witherspoon’s character in Legally Blonde. How the case study got into course materials in the first place is still a big question.
• To change, or not to change? Studies show that the more professionally developed a woman is, the less likely she is to change her name. But even as women advance more in the workplace, the number of women changing their names when they get married is going up, not down. To keep your professional identity alive after the big name change, it’s important to announce the change ahead of time and update all your information at once to avoid confusion, according to strategy consultant Dorie Clark.
ON MY RADAR
|How many women had to hit that glass before the first crack appeared? How many cuts did they get, how many bruises? How hard did they have to hit the ceiling? How many women had to hit that glass to ripple it, to send out a thousand hairline fractures? How many women had to hit that glass before the pressure of their effort caused it to evolve from a thick pane of glass into just a thin sheet of splintered ice?|
|-- Shonda Rhimes, the creator and executive producer of Grey's Anatomy and Scandal, spoke at The Hollywood Reporter's 'Women in Hollywood Breakfast.'|