Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Steven Cohen’s investment firm is accused of being a “boys’ club,” women are getting scarcer at Walmart, and RBG talks about her life and times as a “a flaming feminist litigator.” Have a blazing hot Tuesday.
• Women of Walmart. 2018 has already been a big year for Walmart in terms of adding senior women to its ranks. Last month came the news that Judith McKenna will be taking charge of the retailer’s international business, and just last week we learned that former Justice Department official Rachel Brand is coming aboard to head global governance.
But even as women have gained a larger share of top jobs at the company—accounting for 31.2% of leadership roles in 2016, compared to 27.5% in 2009—the overall percentage of women in Walmart’s workforce has declined; in fact, it’s been falling for at least seven consecutive years.
So, what’s going on? This Bloomberg story traces the disparity to the company’s move away from general retail and into groceries. “While women hold about 60 percent of jobs at general-merchandise retailers, they account for just under half at grocery stores, according to federal data. That’s due in part to the unionized workforce of many grocers other than Walmart, which remains staunchly anti-union. Union membership tends to lean more male than female. Another reason is the types of products sold in department stores (think apparel, jewelry and cosmetics).”
It’s wonderful to see the company making an effort to put more women into those top-tier jobs, but the larger shift to an increasingly male workforce raises questions about the ability of current female employees to move up the ranks.
Bloomberg reports that, “Some rank-and-file women, including cashiers and customer-service desk staffers, claim they’re missing opportunities for advancement, according to a survey of 1,000 current and former female employees conducted last year by OUR Walmart, a labor advocacy group. More than four out of 10 women said ‘getting the same pay and opportunity as men at my store’ was a concern of theirs, the survey found.”
This would be a concern at any major company, but Walmart’s staffing trends hold outsized significance for one simple reason: The retailer is massive—it’s the single biggest employer in the Fortune 500.
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Cohen’s boys’ club? A female executive at Point72 Asset Management, the investment firm run by billionaire investor Steven Cohen, is suing the company, saying it “was a testosterone-fueled ‘boys’ club’ in which men commented on women’s bodies, belittled their abilities and paid them less than their male peers.” The suit also contends that women with years of experience were often referred to as “girls” or “sweethearts,” and were sometimes excluded from “men-only” meetings. Point72 denies the charges.
New York Times
• Notorious, flaming. In the most recent episode of her podcast Boss Files, CNN’s Poppy Harlow (who conducted the interview four days after giving birth to her second child!) talks to Ruth Bader Ginsburg about the power of the #MeToo movement, her own experiences with sexual harassment, the future of the ERA, and life as “a flaming feminist litigator.”
• Krawcheck on the cover. In this new cover story from our sister mag Money, Sallie Krawcheck breaks down the big financial gender gaps—investing, debt, and pay—and offers suggestions for how to close (or at least narrow) all three.
• Tame the trolls. The ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology team put together this smart and helpful guide to help sexual-misconduct whistleblowers stay safe online. It includes tips for securing your accounts and devices, as well as for scrubbing much of your personal info from the web to minimize the threat of doxing.
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Sheila Tran, former head of global comms at Yahoo, has been named VP of Communications at Crew. Harvard Kennedy School named Dina Powell, President Trump’s former deputy national security advisor for strategy, as a senior fellow.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• WorseWorks. Last summer, an ex-BetterWorks employee sued the company, claiming that CEO Kris Duggan sexually harassed and assaulted her and that management failed to take proper disciplinary action. Duggan, who denied the allegations, resigned—but the startup’s problems didn’t end there… This story provides some insight into what can happen to a company after a sexual harassment bombshell drops.
• Aftermath of abuse. In her first interview since publicly accusing former U.S. Olympic swim coach Sean Hutchison of years of sexual abuse, swimmer Ariana Kukors talks about her former coach’s controlling and manipulative behavior, her struggles with depression and anxiety, and her attempts to repair her damaged relationships with friends and family.
• Lone Wolf. Michelle Wolf, a vet of Late Night With Seth Meyers and The Daily Show With Trevor Noah, is getting her own weekly show on Netflix, set to launch later this year. “You can expect the types of jokes my former bosses would tell me we couldn’t do on TV,” she says of her forthcoming program.
The Hollywood Reporter