Good morning, Broadsheet readers. Activist investors are after another female CEO, and a member of Fortune’s 2014 class of Most Promising Women Entrepreneurs secured a big round of funding. Read on to hear about the woman at Intel creating wearables that you’ll actually want to wear. Have a great Wednesday.
• Another female target. On Tuesday, GM CEO Mary Barra joined a growing group of female CEOs whose companies are being targeted by activist investors. With the support of four investment firms that collectively own around 2.1% of the company, Harry Wilson is putting himself forward as a candidate for the Detroit automaker’s board of directors. The appointment likely would lead to more internal pressure on Barra to transform GM. Pepsi’s Indra Nooyi, Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer, DuPont’s Ellen Kullman, Mondelez’s Irene Rosenfeld and HP’s Meg Whitman also are under pressure from activists.
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• A hero fallen. Kayla Jean Mueller, the 26-year-old American hostage held by ISIS, was confirmed dead on Tuesday. Mueller had traveled to the Turkey-Syria border in 2012 to work with aid organizations and help displaced refugees of the Syrian civil war. “Kayla represents what is best about America, and expressed her deep pride in the freedoms that we Americans enjoy, and that so many others strive for around the world,” President Obama said in a statement.
• Pascal’s plush gig. After stepping down as co-chair of Sony Pictures, Amy Pascal is joining the production team for what is arguably the company’s most important film property: Spider-Man. Pascal will also be involved with the buzzy Ghostbusters remake.
• What’s going on, Ellen? Amid activist pressure from Nelson Peltz’s Trian Fund, DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman sold roughly $37.5 million worth of company stock. Critics argue that the sale could trigger concern among other shareholders, but Kullman’s team says that her exposure to DuPont stock is still four times the level that the board requires.
• $25.3 million. Jibo founder Cynthia Breazeal just raised $25.3 million in Series A funding for “the world’s first family robot” that can learn people’s faces, help them with daily tasks and entertain children. Breazeal was a part of Fortune’s 2014 class of Most Promising Women Entrepreneurs.
• Is transparency key? By making salary data transparent, some companies are beginning to close the gender wage gap. “Employees—both male and female—noted how proud they are to work for a company that cares enough to admit their mistakes and take responsibility to fix them,” Christopher Cabrera, CEO of software firm Xactly, explains.
• Wearables you want to wear. Ayse Ildeniz, vice president of Intel’s new devices group, thinks collaborations between fashionistas and engineers will allow Intel to create wearables that women not only want to put on, but also will help improve their day-to-day lives. In the future, she imagines wearables that will help women take their medication, check in on their children and manage their schedules. “There are so many opportunities out there, and part of my job is deciding which ones to bet on.”
• Missed the moment? On Sunday, President Barack Obama asked Grammy artists and fans to not to tolerate domestic violence, but how about asking them not to celebrate it either? Many of the 2015 Grammy winners are infamous for their violent and sexist lyrics, writes Fortune’s Nina Easton, and she thinks Obama missed his moment to make a real difference. “No, I’m not calling for censorship, or new government-backed panels. I’m calling for self-control, and there is nothing wrong with political leaders like Obama weighing in,” she said.
• MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Elisa Steele, the former CMO of Skype, will officially become CEO of Jive Software after holding the position temporarily for three months.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Don’t give up. It takes more than “leaning in” for women to succeed in Silicon Valley, says Annie Anisin, an entrepreneur who has raised over $10 million in funding and now works at startup Domino Data Lab. Women need to support each other and stand up for themselves when sexist behavior rears its ugly head.
• New rules at Bryn Mawr. The women’s college soon will accept applications from transgender women, but not accept female applicants who identify as men. “Bryn Mawr continues its clear mission to educate women to be future leaders, but it also recognizes that conceptions of gender are changing and that the college must respond to these changes,” Bryn Mawr College Board Chair Arlene Gibson said in a statement.
• Dating apps for women, by women. Can women create a dating app for women that is better than anything a group of guys can put together? The verdict is still out, but with one in 10 adults experimenting with online dating, here are six apps founded by women.
• Do you have a doula? Doulas (an old Greek word for a female servant) offer support for pregnant women before, during and after they give birth. There are as many as 400 doulas working in New York City who attend about 5,600 births a year, which is about 5% of all births.
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|There’s a lot of money to be made in taking women seriously.|
| -- Julie Fredrickson, the co-founder of Stowaway, raised $1.5 million for her direct-to-consumer portable cosmetic startup that launched yesterday. |