Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Valentina (@valzarya) here. Louise Linton is in hot water, Bill Cosby's retrial has been pushed back by five months, and Nikki Haley hints at having the ear of the president. Have a great Wednesday.
• Why can't we be friends? This Atlantic interview with Kim Elsesser, a professor at UCLA who studies psychology and gender and whose research focuses on that unspoken, yet oh-so-tangible divide between men and women, dives into the ways in which even the most well-meaning men can end up propagating a workplace boy's club. In the Q+A she lays out the following example:
A boss has season tickets to see a baseball team. He generally invites men from work to join him—not because of discrimination, but because he’s worried about how the invitation would be perceived if he extended it to a woman. So he invites male coworkers to the baseball game, and they discuss work—clients and upcoming projects. The boss hears these male employees’ ideas, and that gives them an advantage in the workplace. As time goes by, he gives them opportunities the women just don’t get.
Her research shows that part of the problem here is that men experience more discomfort than women when they are alone with a member of the opposite sex in a professional setting. (This may sound familiar to anyone who read about Vice President Pence's rule about not eating with women other than his wife—or the shocking percentage of Americans who feel similarly.) Some men are afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing—and of being accused of discrimination or harassment. Given those fears (valid or not) it's not surprising that some prefer to just drink with the guys.
Elsesser's fix for this dynamic is for organizations to emphasize the importance of opposite-sex interactions and to institute formal mentoring programs that pair women and men together. While this is a start, I don't see it fully closing the "closeness" gap between women and men. Formal office discussions can only get you so far when it comes to building relationships.
Here's one idea I've been piloting lately: socializing with senior male colleagues using the "buddy system." Bringing another work friend along to an outing can help ameliorate any anxiety he may have about hanging out with you solo. Of course, this isn't anything close to a magic bullet—it can't get you invited in the first place—but it can help normalize co-ed work socializing, which is a step in the right direction.
Do you have any advice for cultivating professional relationships with senior male colleagues? I'd love to hear it. Email me at email@example.com.
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
•Linton's Insta drama. An Instagram comment by Louise Linton, wife of U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, is going viral. The comment was targeted at a woman who criticized Linton for boasting about traveling with her husband on a government airplane (hashtags included #daytrip #hermesscarf and #valentino). Linton attacked her critic by pointing out that she and Mnuchin have more money than the commenter: "Have you given more to the economy than me and my husband? Either as an individual earner in taxes OR in self sacrifice to your country? I’m pretty sure we paid more taxes toward our day ‘trip’ than you did." Fortune
•Haley has his ear? Nikki Haley told George Stephanopoulos on ABC's Good Morning America Tuesday that she had a "private" conversation with President Trump following the white supremacy rally in Charlottesville, Va. that "was taken very well." The UN ambassador is one of few women of color in U.S. government (she's Indian American). Moreover, while South Carolina governor, Haley made the controversial decision to take down a Confederate monument after the 2015 shooting by a white supremacist in Charleston, S.C.Fortune
• A Swift surprise. Taylor Swift is expected to release new music on Friday, according to Variety's (unnamed) sources. The singer is rumored to be debuting the first single from her upcoming sixth album—or she may release the album in its entirety.Variety
• Diversity is so in. Model Naomi Campbell criticized the lack of diversity at British Vogue, highlighting how a staff photo taken under former editor Alexandra Shulman showed a complete absence of black employees. Shulman stepped down earlier this month and will be replaced by Edward Enninful, both the first man and the first non-white person to edit the magazine in its 100-year history.Guardian
•By the book. Girls Who Code is creating a publishing franchise and plans to release 13 books over the next two years through a deal with Penguin. The titles range from picture books to coding manuals and include a series of novels featuring girl coders. This week marks the release of the first two books: an illustrated nonfiction coding manual by the non-profit's founder, Reshma Saujani, and a fiction novel called The Friendship Code about a group of girls who become friends in an after-school coding club. People
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• The trial drags on. Bill Cosby’s sexual assault retrial will take place next March—five months later than previously planned—a Pennsylvania judge ruled yesterday. The delay is to allow his new defense team time to prepare for the case. The first suit, brought by Andrea Constand, ended with a hung jury in June. Constand alleges that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her in 2004. New York Times
• First child solidarity. Chelsea Clinton came to the defense of President Donald Trump's son Barron Monday night after he was attacked by conservative website The Daily Caller for how he dresses. "It's high time the media & everyone leave Barron Trump alone & let him have the private childhood he deserves," the former first daughter tweeted. Fortune
• Williams is still winning. Venus Williams, who reached two major finals this year—at the Australian Open and at Wimbledon—is having her best season in years. Yet instead of talking about her talent (she's ranked ninth in the world), sports media is focused on her age, with one announcer recently introducing her as “37 years young.” New York Times
ON MY RADAR
Actually, that's sexual assault Cosmopolitan
Defining 'hate speech' online is an imperfect art Wired
‘It’s unusual’: Uber’s new leadership VP Frances Frei acknowledges executive vacuum Fortune
The fight for equal pay: women, minorities on TV still making less than white men Variety
You will lose count of how many prospective bosses will say they’ve 'decided to go in a different direction' or 'to hire from within.' Some of the jobs you want will go to other people...But if you keep moving forward step by step, it will happen.
Alisyn Camerota, co-anchor of CNN’s morning show 'New Day.' Her debut novel was published last month.