Good morning, Broadsheet readers! The record-breaking Women’s Marches dominated the headlines this weekend. In other news: Kellyanne Conway is trying to make “alternative facts” a thing, Betsy DeVos’s vote gets bumped, and Theresa May says she’s not afraid to take on President Trump. Have a productive Monday.
• #WhyTheyMarched. On Saturday, women from all over the globe gathered in cities and towns for the Women’s March. While the numbers are still fuzzy, the latest count put the total number of marchers at more than 2 million worldwide.
In Washington, D.C., where an estimated 470,000 protested, the mood was joyful and defiant. It was striking to see not only the overwhelming size of the crowd, but to take in just how many of the faces in it were female. While plenty of men did turn out in solidarity, I personally have never seen so many women—of all races and ages—gathered in one place.
One early critique of the march was that it was unfocused, with no clear agenda. Then, when the organizers released their platform, it was criticized for being too exclusionary. Yet given the massive turnout, the need for the protest was apparently felt by many, many women. So, what was it that propelled them all out into the streets with witty signs and pink pussy hats?
I asked marchers in D.C. one question: Why are you here today? Here, in their own words, is some of what they told me:
“I just really want to feel respected and safe. I don’t want to grow up in a world where I’m not respected for my gender or race or sexual identity.” —15-year-old Emma Rice of Richmond, Va.
“I feel that women’s rights are human rights. I’m here because I’m a woman and a mother and a daughter. I don’t want the president to fail, but I want my voice to be heard.” —Christina Wisboro, Brooklyn, NY
“I’m here to remind people that we are watching and we are going to hold (President Trump) responsible.” —Sarah White, Dallas, Penn.
“I’m here today to support women, and especially to stop violence against women. It should be the president’s job to be an example of uplifting women—other men will follow his example.” —Queen Dioni, Silver Spring, Md. and originally from Cameroon
“Feminism is really cool and I want to be paid the same and have the same rights as boys.” —13-year-old Neko Conner, Seattle, Wash.
“It’s really important for me to take action and not just allow this new administration to do whatever it wants.” —Alexis Marvel, Washington, D.C., who arrived at the March very pregnant; her baby is due in nine days
“It was my little boy’s idea….I’m teaching my son that his vote matters.” —Dalvanie Powell, New York City, NY
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• The alternative facts of life. Speaking on NBC’s Meet the Press, Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway said White House press secretary Sean Spicer used “alternative facts” when he falsely called the crowds at Trump’s swearing-in ceremony “the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe.”
• One to watch. A+E Networks CEO Nancy Dubuc, “both the youngest and only female chief executive in the media industry,” is under massive pressure to produce new hits as consumers shift the way they watch TV. Here’s a look at how she’s trying to pull it off:
• DeVos delay. The vote on Betsy DeVos’s nomination as secretary of education has been delayed until Jan. 31, due in part to lingering questions about her financial disclosures. Among the companies in which she retains a stake: Neurocore, an operator of drug-free “brain performance centers” that claim to help children and adults to overcome problems with ADHD, autism, and stress.
New York Times
• Guarding against the gap. In a reminder that closing a company’s gender pay gap is an ongoing process, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff tells Fortune‘s Claire Zillman that despite having spent $3 million in 2015 to equalize employee comp, Salesforce is now going through that same process again after acquiring 13 companies last year.
• From tall to grande. Starbucks has expanded its parental leave policy, now providing baristas who give birth with six weeks of leave paid at 100% of pay. The company will also give any benefits-eligible baristas who welcome a new child (dads, as well as those become foster or adoptive parents) 12 weeks of unpaid leave. The coffee giant’s “non-store partners” will also get new (and more generous) benefits: 18 paid weeks for moms who give birth and 12 paid weeks for non-birth parents.
• Be her guest. Our newest episode of the Fortune Unfiltered podcast features Stephanie Linnartz, chief global commercial officer at Marriott, who talks about how growing up working at her family restaurant in D.C. inspired her career in hospitality.
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Vox Media has named Lindsay Nelson, who had overseen the company’s branded content business, as its first chief marketing officer.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• May gets her say. Theresa May will visit the capital on Jan. 27, becoming the first European leader to meet with President Trump at the White House. “When I sit down (with Trump) I think the biggest statement that will be made about the role of women is the fact that I will be there as a female prime minister,” she said of the meeting. “Whenever there is something that I find unacceptable, I won’t be afraid to say that to Donald Trump.”
• Day in Davos. For a look at Davos through a woman’s eyes, check out this New York Times piece, which shadows Iris Bohnet—a behavioral economist at the Harvard Kennedy School and one of the roughly 600 female participants at this year’s World Economic Forum—through a day at the confab.
New York Times
• Melania O? Melania Trump chose American designer Ralph Lauren to provide her inauguration day outfit, a Jackie Kennedy-style number that got a big thumbs up from the fashion set. There had been a lot of speculation over what sartorial message the new First Lady would send after a number of high-profile designers said they wouldn’t dress her.
• Trudeau’s kudos. Canada PM Justin Trudeau gave the people who participated in the Women’s March across Canada a shoutout on Twitter, writing, “Congratulations to the women and men across Canada who came out yesterday to support women’s rights. You keep your government inspired.”
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