Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Women set new records in the Oscar noms, we learn how one inspiring woman went from food truck owner to mayor, and the first of Donald Trump's female cabinet nominees has been approved. Have a wonderful Wednesday.
• Building a cabinet. The confirmation process for President Trump's cabinet picks is speeding along. Here's an update on where his four female nominees currently stand:
South Carolina governor Nikki Haley got the nod from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday, and then was approved as ambassador to the United Nations by the full body last night in a 96-4 vote. As we mentioned last week, she raised a few eyebrows in her hearing for breaking from Trump's stated positions on issues like Russia and NATO.
The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation voted unanimously to approve Elaine Chao’s nomination as transportation secretary. The most notable thing to come out of her hearing was Chao's statement that she believes that both she and Trump support an infrastructure package that includes direct federal spending.
Linda McMahon took questions from the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee yesterday, telling the group that one of her priorities as head of the Small Business Administration would be to increase federal contracting opportunities and mentoring programs for women- and minority-led businesses. The committee chairman said he will seek a full Senate vote to confirm McMahon next week.
Secretary of education nominee Betsy DeVos—one of Trump's most controversial picks—will not get a second hearing, which was requested this week by Democratic Sen. Patty Murray. Instead, the full Senate will vote on her confirmation Jan. 31, a week later than originally scheduled.
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Run, girl, run! I love this story about Rachel Hundley, the newly-elected 33-year-old mayor of Sonoma, Calif. She's an inspiration for any women out there who are thinking, "Hmm, could I run for office?" A former lawyer-slash-fried chicken food truck owner, she tells Fortune's Claire Zillman that she essentially just "Googled" her way through her first campaign.Fortune
• #OscarsSoFemale? The Academy Award nominations are out—and several women have already made Oscars history. Viola Davis became the first black actress to have received three nominations, Meryl Streep has now scored a record 20 lifetime noms, and Joi McMillon is the first black woman to be nominated for film editing.Fortune
• Why women leave. While the presidential election has put the spotlight on working-age American men dropping out of the workforce, women are very much a part of this trend—though for very different reasons. Whereas male unemployment can be chalked up to the disappearance of traditionally high-paying "male jobs" in industries like manufacturing and mining, there are plenty of so-called "women's jobs" (e.g. in nursing) available. The issue, rather, is the "care chasm": Women are choosing family over work when inflexible leave policies make it impossible to meet the demands of both. New York Times
• Driving the economy. President Trump met with auto chiefs—including GM CEO Mary Barra—to push them to increase domestic production and boost U.S. employment. Afterward, Barra said there was a "huge opportunity" to work together with the government to "improve the environment, improve safety and improve the jobs creation." Fortune
• Putting on her game face. NFL on Fox sideline reporter Erin Andrews has revealed that she was diagnosed with cervical cancer in September. She underwent a successful surgery to remove all traces of the disease in early October and covered a game just two days later. People
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Alphabet has re-hired Yoky Matsuoka to oversee technology at its Nest Labs Inc. smart home unit. Matsuoka, who ended her first stint at Nest in 2015, was most recently at Apple, where she helped run the iPhone maker's health technology initiatives. British Vogue editor in chief Alexandra Shulman is leaving the fashion magazine after 25 years at its helm. The Boston Consulting Group announced today that Martha Pease has joined the firm as a director in its Marketing, Sales & Pricing practice.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• No give-backs. In light of the investigation into (and possible cover-up of) the hacks at Yahoo, Fortune's Jen Wieczner looks at the company's "clawback" provisions—and concludes that no matter what happens with the inquiry, Yahoo chief Marissa Mayer is likely to keep her roughly $141 million merger payday.Fortune
• Overseas off-season. Many WNBA players spend the winter off-season abroad, typically earning substantially bigger paychecks than they do at home. This year, more than 26 players are in Turkey, where they're increasingly concerned about the rise in terror.New York Times
• Listen here. In this week's Most Powerful Women OnStage podcast, Marianne Cooper, a sociologist at the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University, discusses the lack of "gender-political consciousness" among white, married women in America and the role that phenomenon played in the presidential election. Fortune
• Play on. At age 36, Venus Williams is the oldest woman ever to make the semifinals of the Australian Open. Her sister Serena also made the semifinals on Wednesday—could we see an all-Williams final? Sports Illustrated
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ON MY RADAR
This 82-year-old just became Japan's first self-made woman billionaire Money
7 young people on their views of gender New York Times
Trump's trade policies are 'doomed to fail,' says EU trade chief Cecilia Malmström Fortune
Why this sexist ranking of airline flight attendants doesn't fly Travel + Leisure
The women have been incredible, both Republicans and Democrats. We’ve already met once, we had the opportunity to have dinner together, have lunch together, talk with one another, share support for one another on issues that we care about. That’s why we need more women in Congress.
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) on her first days on Capital Hill