Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Chelsea Handler dishes on Ann Coulter, politics is a shockingly dangerous place for women, and we learn how Meetup ditched its boys club. Have a relaxing weekend.
• How to meet(up) women. For anyone looking to diversify their tech company—or really any kind of business—this Backchannel story about the transformation of Meetup, the startup that helps connect people with common interests, is a must-read.
In 2013, Meetup’s leadership team was largely white and male. But over three years, CEO Scott Heiferman made a concerted effort to reinvent the company: Women now account for three of the startup’s seven senior execs and five its 11 directors. In this fascinating behind-the-scenes tale, we learn how he pulled it off.
Without sugarcoating the process—and noting that Meetup’s leadership team still includes just one person of color—Backchannel‘s Jessi Hempel chronicles the way Heiferman found nontraditional candidates by doing things like taking personal responsibility for recruiting and pursuing people who were not actively looking for new jobs. The going was slow, but the end results speak volumes. As Caroline Simard, senior director of research at Stanford’s Clayman Institute on Gender Research, told Hempel, when it comes to bringing real diversity to your company, “small wins are everything.”
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• From daughter to defender. The latest WikiLeaks emails highlight Chelsea Clinton’s role in the Clinton Foundation and reveal that she had pronounced concerns about “what seemed to her to be a lack of professionalism, as well as a blurring of the lines between the foundation’s philanthropic activities and some of its leaders’ business interests.”
New York Times
• An odd couple. Fortune‘s Michal Lev-Ram talks to Chelsea Handler about her new Netflix show—and gets the scoop on an upcoming Chelsea appearance by conservative commentator Ann Coulter, with whom Handler has a bit of a history.
• Bad behavior bonus? Because of how Mylan calculates executive pay, CEO Heather Bresch and other top execs are unlikely to see a reduction in comp—despite the fact that the company recently paid $465 million to settle allegations that it improperly overcharged Medicaid for the EpiPen.
• A threat to democracy. Politics is an even more brutal place for women than I imagined: According to a survey by the Inter-Parliamentary Union, more than 40% of female members of parliament said they had received “threats of death, rape, beatings or abduction while serving their terms, including threats to kidnap or kill their children.” The survey included MPs in 39 countries around the world—including the U.S.
• Girl talk. On this week’s Broad Strokes, Val and I ponder the future of Ivanka Trump’s brand, media scrutiny of female CEOs, and the problems with forced arbitration.
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Laura Desmond, chief revenue officer of Publicis Groupe and one of the highest ranking women in advertising, has resigned, citing a family health matter. She will step down Dec. 31. Ford Motor has hired Laura Merling, who previously ran her own Internet of Things consultancy, as VP of autonomous vehicle solutions at Ford Smart Mobility. Trish Lukasik has joined parking startup SpotHero as COO. Most recently, she was SVP and chief customer officer at PepsiCo. Jennifer Houlihan Roussel has been promoted to VP of corporate communications at WNYC.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Good morning, Trumps. In a Good Morning America interview, Donald Trump said that his wife, Melania, will give “two or three speeches” during the remainder of his presidential run. In the same segment, Ivanka Trump responded to a question about the boycott of her brand by saying she “never politicized” it. “People who are seeking to politicize it because they may disagree with the politics of my father, there’s nothing I can do to change that.”
• Not-so-risky business. In this video interview, Fortune‘s Leigh Gallagher talks to Stella & Dot founder and CEO Jessica Herrin about how her direct selling company “democratizes entrepreneurship” for its representatives by removing some of the risk of starting a business.
• I give this report an F-. The Harvard Crimson has uncovered a “scouting report” in which a member of the 2012 men’s soccer team ranked the sexual attractiveness of the women’s team recruits in explicit terms. The article concludes that the ranking appears to be an annual tradition for the team.
• Not a laugh riot. Feminist Russian art collective Pussy Riot has released a new music video portraying their vision for the U.S. under Donald Trump. The extremely graphic video shows American police “morphing into a version of the Gestapo, using a hot poker to burn [group leader Nadezhda] Tolokonnikova’s supposed transgressions into her skin before torturing, raping and shooting her dead.”
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