Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Valentina (@valzarya) here. Women have—mostly—managed to stick it out in the White House, Facebook’s efforts to recruit female engineers seem to be paying off, and Avon chief Sheri McCoy is officially out. Have a lovely Thursday.
• Women of the White House. The list of White House advisors who have been fired or have resigned is getting longer by the day, but that roll—which consists of Reince Priebus, Anthony Scaramucci, Sean Spicer, Michael Flynn, Michael Dubke, Michael Short and Boris Epshteyn—is made up almost exclusively of men. The women of the White House, on the other hand, “have had the more stable ride,” Politico‘s Annie Karni notes. A quick refresher/update on what they’re up to:
Kellyanne Conway: Originally President Trump’s campaign manager, Conway is a presidential counselor (an unofficial spokeswoman) who is reportedly not leaving the West Wing anytime soon despite keeping a lower profile recently.
Dina Powell: Originally brought in as an advisor to Ivanka Trump, Powell has risen in the ranks to become deputy national security adviser. She was also on the final shortlist of people Trump was considering for the chief of staff job given to retired Gen. John Kelly, according to Politico‘s sources.
Hope Hicks: The communications adviser “maintains an unassailable position as a surrogate family member and loyal aide by the president’s side, where she has stood since before there was even a campaign.”
Sarah Huckabee Sanders: Now the White House press secretary, thanks to Spicer’s resignation.
The only women who left did so because they were associated with ousted men. Former deputy national security adviser K.T. McFarland was “collateral damage in Flynn’s firing,” while Katie Walsh, Priebus’ former deputy, “never overcame her internal reputation as a Priebus henchwoman.”
Other women in the White House include press aide Lindsay Walters, The Apprentice villain-turned-presidential advisor Omarosa Manigault, and, of course, Ivanka Trump.
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Avon’s top lady is out. In the second major piece of female CEO news in as many days, Avon announced this morning that its chief Sheri McCoy will resign in March. The beauty company has been under pressure to remove McCoy from activist investor Barington Capital, which accused her of overseeing “a tremendous destruction of shareholder value” and questioned her ability to manage the business effectively. Since McCoy took the top job at the cosmetics maker in April 2012, shares have fallen nearly 85%.
• Female engineers @FB. On Wednesday, the social network released a diversity update, which showed mild improvements across the organization, but a major bump in one area: female new graduate hires in engineering. This year’s class is 27% female—a number that is impressive considering that just 18% of computer science majors in the U.S. are women.
• Mean girls mean business. The Atlantic‘s Olga Khazan poses the perennial question: “Why do women bully each other at work?” There are essentially two competing theories, she finds. The first is based on evolution: “women undermine one another because they have always had to compete for mates and for resources for their offspring.” The second—and this resonates more with me, personally—is that woman simply react to the situation that they’re in. “When there appear to be few opportunities for women, research shows, women begin to view their gender as an impediment; they avoid joining forces, and sometimes turn on one another.”
• Divas doing good. Two pieces of celebrity news worth celebrating: Singer Rihanna‘s Clara Lionel Foundation is partnering with Ofo, a bike-sharing program, to give scholarships and bikes to young girls in Malawi to keep them in school. Meanwhile, actress Sofia Vergara is launching a subscription-based underwear company called EBY that will donate 10% of its sales to the Seven Bar Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides micro-financing to underprivileged women.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• That was fast. Eight episodes into its first run, NBC has pulled Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly off the air, replacing it with original episodes of Dateline. After debuting on June 4 to 6.2 million viewers, Kelly’s Sunday night show struggled to retain an audience. Her controversial interview with conservative conspiracy theorist Alex Jones delivered just 961,000 demographically-relevant live-same-day viewers, and subsequent ratings fell even further from there.
• Jacinda’s jab. On Tuesday, New Zealand’s 37-year-old Minister of Parliament Jacinda Ardern was elected the new leader of New Zealand’s Labour opposition party, becoming the youngest person and the second-ever woman to hold the role. In the early hours of her tenure, however, commentators asked her about her plans to be a parent. She finally hit back on Wednesday, telling a news host that she “elected to talk about [motherhood]…but for other women it is totally unacceptable in 2017 to say a woman should have to answer that question in the workplace.”
• Rated ‘S’ for sexist? Common Sense Media (CSM), a San Francisco-based nonprofit, has been reviewing films and television shows since 2003, with the intention of informing parents about the media their children might consume. It provides the minimum age each film or series is suitable for, along with a five-point rating system indicating the featured amount of sex, violence, foul language, binge-drinking or drug-taking. After urging from its users, CSM announced in June that it would be developing the system further—to account for representations of gender.
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