Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Megyn Kelly’s Alex Jones interview is a ratings bomb, Kim Kardashian’s new makeup line gets caught up in a skin-darkening scandal, and some good—and not so good—news about women on boards. Enjoy your Tuesday.
• Get on board already! I have some good news and some bad news this morning. Let’s just rip off the band-aid off and start with the latter.
A new report released last night reveals that the steady march toward gender parity of Fortune 500 board appointees has not just stalled, but actually reversed. After inching upward since 2009, women’s share of new board members dropped two percentage points to 27.3% in 2016. The dip means gender parity among incoming directors won’t be reached until 2032, according to the study—six years later than previously predicted. (To read all the details, check out my colleague Claire Zillman’s story.)
Some companies might try to blame the “pipeline” and the lack of “qualified” female candidates for the reversal. To that, I say, let’s take a look at Travelzoo—a public company where the female directors outnumber the sole male director four to one.
After adding two new female board members, the company is asserting that its board has the highest female-to-male ratio of any NASDAQ or NYSE-listed company. While Travelzoo didn’t explicitly set out to accomplish that goal, says director and former Deloitte LLP partner Mary Reilly, it just makes sense for the business, “since 64% of our members are women and women are usually the ones buying trips.” Now, just imagine what would happen if all the companies with majority female customer bases thought the same way…
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Tuning out. While Megyn Kelly’s interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones sure generated a lot of hype, that doesn’t seem to have translated into viewers: Her Sunday show earned just 3.5 million viewers, the lowest total of its three-week run.
New York Times
• On point. Phoenix Mercury star Diana Taurasi has scored her 7,489th career point, shattering the WNBA’s previous scoring record. And fans can expect that total to get even bigger: She recently renewed her contract through 2020.
• Kardashian kontroversy. Tomorrow, Kim Kardashian is launching a contour and highlighting kit, the first product from her new line, KKW Beauty. The rollout has not come off without a hitch, however. While the kit is predicted to be a sales blockbuster, the rollout has been marred by accusations that Kardashian darkened her skin—or to put it more bluntly, wore blackface—in a promotional photo for the line.
New York Times
• Speaking for Sweden. In today’s video from Fortune’s Most Powerful Women International Summit, Nina Easton speaks to Sweden’s Minister of Employment and Integration Ylva Johansson about the role her country played in the refugee crisis.
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Focus Brands has promoted Kat Cole to COO and President, North America. The ASPCA has named Mary Jo White, former Chair of the SEC, to its board.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Merkel reaches out. Speaking on a panel yesterday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel reached out to President Trump ahead of his visit to Europe next month, saying she’ll work to keep the Group of 20 nations united even after Trump’s decision to quit the Paris climate accord.
• Money changes everything. Fatima Baeshen, a director with the Arabia Foundation, writes about why she believes the women of Saudi Arabia will ultimately win the right to drive: Not because of activism or government policy shifts, but because of the power of economic reform.
• A good thing. Here’s one for all you Martha Stewart completists: New York-based actor/writer Ryan Raftery is bringing Stewart’s story to the stage later this year in a show called The Rise and Fall (and Rise) of Martha Stewart. It’s the third installment of Raftery’s “Titans of Media” trilogy, which has already included musicals about Andy Cohen and Anna Wintour.
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New York Times
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