Good morning, Broadsheet readers. Today is my last day here with you. I’ve enjoyed building this newsletter and bringing you these important stories every morning. I couldn’t have asked for a better audience. I hope we can stay in touch as I move on to LinkedIn. Before we go to today’s top stories, I’ll make way for Fortune editors to share this note with you:
Kristen Bellstrom (@kayelbee) will take over as writer of The Broadsheet, beginning on March 9. Kristen also will manage and edit the Most Powerful Women channel on Fortune.com. She joins Fortune from Money, where she has been a senior editor for two years. Before that, she spent more than seven years with SmartMoney. In the interim, The Broadsheet will be written by Fortune reporter Deena Shanker (@deenashanker). Please send her any tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Assault on trial. Reddit CEO Ellen Pao’s lawsuit against her former employer, venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, went to trial on Tuesday in San Francisco Superior Court. Pao originally filed suit in 2012, and alleges that Kleiner Perkins partners repeatedly ignored her complaints about an offensive male colleague and discriminated against her and other women at the firm. She is seeking $16 million in damages. The firm has denied all wrongdoing.
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• He won’t back down. DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman released a letter to shareholders on Tuesday, indicating that activist investor Nelson Peltz has not backed down in his efforts to split the chemical maker into three distinct companies, despite his firm’s protestations to the contrary. “Despite our engagement, they presented an ultimatum to DuPont that they have continued to reiterate to us — break up the company, put Trian on the DuPont Board, or face a proxy fight,” said Kullman.
• Hillary’s private meeting. In December, presumed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton invited Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) for a private policy meeting at her home. Warren reportedly discussed with Clinton ways that she could incorporate populist issues like income inequality into her campaign.
• ‘Game show meets pageant.’ In April, Morning Joe’s Mika Brzezinski’s series of live events across the U.S. will begin in Philadelphia for a group of about 500 women or so. Brzezinski wants to take the message of her best-selling book, Knowing Your Value, and “give women tools to live a better life.” “Think of it as game show meets pageant meets makeover show like you’ve never seen before,” she told Fortune’s Pattie Sellers.
• $50 million. Online retailer Gilt Groupe has raised around $50 million in new VC funding as it puts off a potential IPO. The company, led by CEO Michelle Peluso, runs a widely used site, but it has yet to turn a profit.
• A new guide for biz women. HGTV co-founder Susan Packard is coming out with a new book titled New Rules of the Game about succeeding in business as a woman. “In the workplace today, it is not a ladder any more,” she said. “You grow through experiences outside the four walls of your department.”
• Barbie’s big comeback? Mattel is betting that creating an ethnically diverse range of Barbies will make little girls excited about the iconic doll again. By the end of the year, 78 new Barbies will hit retail shelves.
• A first for La Salle. Colleen Hanycz has been named the first female president in the Philadelphia university’s 152-year history.
• MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Larisa Perry, a 25-year banking industry veteran, is now lead region president for the Northeast at Wells Fargo. Shellye Archambeau, the CEO of software company MetricStream, is now a member of Nordstrom’s board of directors.
How Macy’s quietly created one of America’s most diverse boards
Macy’s chairman and CEO Terry Lundgren likes to fill his board with directors who have diverse perspectives. As the head of a major U.S. retailer, he’s adamant that the board reflect his customer base so that he can stay attuned to trends in how different people shop.
What Lundgren looks for in board members hardly sounds radical, but the results have been: Half of Macy’s 12 board directors are women. Less than 1% of companies in the Fortune 500 have achieved or surpassed gender parity on their boards, according to a recent Fortune analysis in collaboration with S&P Capital IQ.
Reaching the 50% mark brings Macy’s into a elite group that includes just three other companies: Avon, Xerox and TravelCenters of America (which only has four board members in total). These companies each have demonstrated a serious commitment to changing the male-heavy gender dynamics on corporate boards.
It’s worth noting that Macy’s board diversity extends beyond gender as well — two members are African-American, one is Asian-American and another is Hispanic.
Nearly 30% of Fortune 500 firms have just one female director and 23 have none at all.
“We talk a lot about diversity, but the first criteria is that each and every board member has a unique skill set and experience that they can bring to the board,” said Lundgren in an interview with Fortune. “The women have a lot of choices. They could go on any board because they have lots of demand for their skills.”
The women Lundgren is referring to are powerhouse executives like Deirdre Connelly, the former North American president of pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline; Marna Whittington, the former CEO of Allianz Global Investors Capital, and Joyce Roché, the former CEO and president of Girls Inc. Meanwhile, a common sentiment among executives with fewer women on their boards is that there are just not enough qualified candidates out there.
After all, in the Fortune 500, just 25 CEOs and roughly 18% of directors are women. A lot of boards strongly prefer candidates with prior board or CEO experience, making the pool of female candidates appear very small.
To ready my full story, click here.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• ‘Floored’ by sexism. Stanford computer science major Lea Coligado tells Fortune about sexism on campus, saying that she’s been told that “girls don’t code because they’re, you know, artsier.”
• The anti-lean in. Comedian Jessica Williams took to Twitter to defend herself against a writer who wrote in a blog post that Williams should “lean in” and consider herself a worthy replace for Jon Stewart. “I am a black woman and I am a feminist and I am so many things. I am truly honored that people love my work. But I am not yours,” she tweeted to her followers.
• The new Charlie’s Angels. A squad of karate-chopping policewomen just began work in New Delhi with hopes of curbing the city’s high rape rate. “We won’t tolerate any bad behavior,” said policewoman Bharti Wadhwa. “It can start from a simple cat call which then leads to stalking and then rape. We will nip such antics in the bud.”
Share today’s Broadsheet with a friend:
ON MY RADAR
|I am not afraid of storms, for I'm learning how to sail my ship.|
| -- It may not be Thursday yet, but for my last Broadsheet as I head into a new job, here's a throwback from one of my favorite power women of the ages: Louisa May Alcott. |