Good morning, Broadsheet readers! The Harvey Weinstein scandal continues to snowball, we learn how women at Amazon fought for their paid leave, and Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit heads into our final day. Have a wonderful Wednesday.
• Talk of the town. The third and final day of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit in D.C. kicks off at 7:30 a.m. and culminates this afternoon with a string of on-stage appearances by government insiders and Washington watchers. Presidential advisor Kellyanne Conway, the first woman to lead a successful presidential campaign, will close out the Summit with an interview touching on America’s changing political landscape. A few highlights from today’s agenda:
- 10:10 a.m.: Tales from the trenches: Journalists weigh in on covering Washington and the new administration
- 10:30 a.m.: Sally Yates, former deputy attorney general
- 10:45 a.m.: Katy Tur, MSNBC anchor, NBC News correspondent on covering a crazy campaign
- 11:00 a.m.: Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president
Click here to visit the livestream, which starts at 8:40 a.m., and read on for a recap of the Summit’s action-packed second day…
NEWS FROM THE MPW SUMMIT
• Unexpected consequences. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the MPW Summit dinner crowd about the consequences of selecting a gender-equal Cabinet. “It has led to a better level of decision-making than we could ever have imagined,” he said. But there are challenges too, like coming up with a maternity leave policy for Minister of Democratic Institutions Karina Gould, who’s pregnant. Gould is helping write a new leave policy, Trudeau said. “[S]he gets to help define it, and hopefully we’ll get to show that it’s possible to be a minister and a mom, and everything, according to your own choices.”
• Mary makes a U-turn. General Motors’ CEO Mary Barra told the MPW Summit that she’s betting big on China—after having criticized the country’s plan to ban gasoline-powered vehicles just last month. GM is investing heavily in electric cars—last week, the company announced that it will be launching 20 new electric cars in the next five years—so China’s sheer size and regulatory environment make it an ideal market.
• Busting the black ceiling. Three powerful female execs—Home Depot’s U.S. Stores EVP Ann-Marie Campbell, J.P. Morgan’s Consumer Banking CEO Thasunda Duckett, and Ariel Investments President Mellody Hobson—talked about the dearth of black women in the upper echelons of leadership on the Summit’s big stage. “You need opportunity, but you also need to be in a culture where you can be heard, you can be understood, and you can be embraced,” Duckett said.
• The Bezos vacay fund. When asked on the MPW stage what she thinks about Amazon acquiring Whole Foods, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi—who says she has not talked to Jeff Bezos since the acquisition—quipped that she would like to tell the Amazon CEO to take a long vacation. “I’ll pay for it,” she joked. Her tongue-in-cheek reason for sending him away? “Every aspect of every vertical he’s disrupting. Every retailer would chip in for the Jeff Bezos fund. He’s a true visionary.”
• DVF’s third act. At 70 years old, fashion icon Diane von Furstenberg says the women she relates to most are millennials. “I feel that there’s something that is happening to women,” von Furstenberg said at the Fortune Summit. “I look at my daughter—she didn’t really care much about being a feminist, even though she is. But my granddaughters are very much feminists.” That realization is inspiring what DVF calls her “third act:” To use her voice and connections to be at “the service of women.”
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Jessica Bennett has been named gender editor of The New York Times. Prudential has promoted Lata Reddy to the role of senior vice president of diversity, inclusion and impact, which moves her into the C-suite.
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• A scandal snowballs. Women continue to come forward to accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct. Actresses Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie told the New York Times that the Hollywood producer sexually harassed them, and even more explosive accusations appeared in a new New Yorker article. The magazine reports that “three women—among them actress Asia Argento and a former aspiring actress named Lucia Evans” say that Weinstein raped them. A spokesperson for Weinstein denied those allegations.
• Managing expectations. More corporations are taking action to keep women from getting stuck in middle management. Intuit, for instance, enhances the professional visibility of rising tech stars through coaching and by connecting them with high-powered executive sponsors. Women could use the encouragement. A new study from LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Co. found that 39% of female senior managers who want a top executive job think they’ll get it, compared to 44% of their male counterparts.
• By design. Black-ish star Tracee Ellis Ross has designed clothing, accessories, and home decor that will be sold at JCPenney. The styles are affordable, with apparel priced from $29 to $74, and a selection of handbags, totes, and scarves costing $19 to $24. The actress says creating a collection that’s “accessible to everyone” has been a lifelong dream.
• A pressing matter. Slate has the behind-the-scenes story of how women at Amazon fought for a new, revolutionary leave policy that offers 20 weeks of parental leave to birth mothers and six weeks to all other new parents. The process started as many product ideas at Amazon do, with a mock press release that presented the concept to management.
• Party crasher. Yuriko Koike, who was elected as Tokyo’s first female governor last year, founded a new political party to challenge Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the snap election that will take place this month. If her Party of Hope gains power, Koike has vowed to shake up Japan’s rigid political establishment, where many MPs are the offspring of people who held the same office, a system she says favors business interests.
Correction: Yesterday’s Broadsheet misspelled Donna Karan’s name. We regret the error.
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