Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Flexible work schedules put women in a bind, Stitch Fix goes plus-size, and men outnumber women 2-to-1 in upper ranks of the Trump White House. Enjoy your Wednesday.
• All the president’s men. According to a new USA Today analysis, men outnumber women by more than 2-to-1 among top aides to President Donald Trump—at least so far.
Based on news releases from the administration, the publication calculated that 23% of top staffers are female. The White House disputes that number, saying that the actual figure is 31%, but would not release any details about the unnamed hires, making it difficult to verify. Assuming that the administration’s 31% stat is accurate—and that the ratio holds as the president continues to fill out his staff—it would be smaller than at least five of the last six presidential terms (the outlier is President George W. Bush’s second term, when women made up 28% of top aides).
Given the small number of women in the president’s cabinet (4 of 23), these figures are not particularly surprising. However, the academics and historians who spoke to USA Today for the story are clear that the issue of women’s representation in the White House is more than just a numbers game. Homogeneity leads to “group think,” Paul Light, an NYU professor of public service told the publication: “The quality of decisions reflects the mix of people in the room.”
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• An Uber apology. An all-hands meeting at Uber’s San Francisco headquarters reportedly got “honest, raw, and emotional,” with CEO Travis Kalanick apologizing for the company culture. The discussion was triggered by a former employee’s explosive blog post about being harassed and discriminated against while working at the company. Arianna Huffington, an Uber board member who was in the room with Kalanick, wrote about the meeting in a blog post: “It was great to see employees holding managers accountable. I also view it as my responsibility to hold the leadership team’s feet to the fire on this issue.”
• The flexibility bind. This Harvard Business Review piece looks at a pair of studies that suggest that even employers that offer flexible schedules tend to penalize female—but not male—employees that actually take them up on the offer. While the research doesn’t explain exactly why that is, it seems clear that unconscious bias plays a major role.
Harvard Business Review
• Sizing up. Online personal styling service Stitch Fix, led by CEO Katrina Lake, is expanding to include plus-size clothing. Blake Schofield, the company’s director of buying, says the new options will come from more than 90 brands—15 of which did not offer plus-size options before partnering with Stitch Fix to create them.
• Trolling the troll. While his previous sexist and racist remarks apparently did little to hurt his career, Milo Yiannopoulos resigned from Breitbart News in the wake of a video in which he appears to condone pedophilia. When asked about the cancelation of the infamous troll’s upcoming book, Leslie Jones, one of his most high-profile targets, had this to say: “You guys are giving him too much energy. I was done the day I blocked him.”
• Millennial maven. Our latest Fortune MPW podcast features Facebook VP of People Lori Goler, who talks about how the tech giant is working with millennials—and the generation coming up behind them.
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Educator and former Second Lady Jill Biden has been named board chair of Save the Children. Instagram has hired Kristina Schake to head its communications department. Schake was the deputy comms director for Hillary Clinton’s recent presidential campaign and the former comms chief for former First Lady Michelle Obama.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Tweeting against terror. Ivanka Trump, who converted to Judaism before marrying Jared Kushner, spoke out about the wave of bomb scares that were called into Jewish community centers around the country on Monday, tweeting: “We must protect our houses of worship & religious centers.” Her father commented on the issue a day later, calling the attacks “horrible” and “a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil.”
New York Times
• Rise of the fembots. The Wall Street Journal‘s Joanna Stern takes on a familiar—but increasingly relevant—topic: Why do virtual assistants almost always sound female?
• Friendly fashion. Emma Watson is using her press tour for Beauty and the Beast to spotlight eco-friendly fashion.
• Just like Jackie? While it was hard to miss the nod to Jackie Kennedy in Melania Trump’s powder-blue inauguration ensemble, this story argues that the current first lady’s modeling of Kennedy goes well beyond fashion.
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ON MY RADAR
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The Hollywood Reporter
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