Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Lilly Ledbetter makes the connection between unfair pay and #MeToo, Elizabeth Holmes’ Theranos appears to be in its death throes, and we contemplate the right—and wrong—way to close the pay gap. Have a wonderful Wednesday.
• We need a win-win. I hope you’ll excuse us for leading with the gender pay gap for the second day in a row, but let’s face it: For women, every day is Unequal Pay Day.
According to Census data released last fall, the gender pay gap has shrunk in a statistically significant way for the first time since 2007, with women earning 80.5 cents for every dollar men earned in 2016. That was up from the 79.6 cents women made in 2015.
But is a shrinking pay gap always good news? Our colleague Claire Zillman reports that while the shift does reflect some positive trends—like the fact that women’s educational attainment has improved, setting us up for more lucrative jobs—the stats are troubling.
In 2016, average wages for women increased by 0.7%, returning to 2007 pre-recession levels. Yet during the same time period, men’s wages fell by 0.4% and are still below their pre-crisis level. The takeaway: Part of the reason the wage gap narrowed is that men are making less.
While we would all like to see the gap shrink into obsolescence, I think it’s fair to say that this is not how it should happen.
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Rebekah’s request. All eyes were on Mark Zuckerberg yesterday during the CEO’s Congressional testimony about—among other issues—the use of Facebook user data by Cambridge Analytica to target voters in the 2016 election. BuzzFeed reports that Rebekah Mercer, daughter of conservative billionaire Robert Mercer (who helped fund both the data analytics firm and President Trump’s campaign), had requested a month ago that Facebook pursue an independent investigation into “Cambridge Analytica, data collection, and the 2016 election”—a request the social network declined.
• Looking for the receipts. The FBI agents who raided the office of Michael Cohen, President Trump’s personal lawyer, on Monday were apparently looking for records about payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal—both of whom claim they had affairs with Trump—as well as information related to The National Enquirer’s role in silencing McDougal.
New York Times
• It’s all connected. Lilly Ledbetter, the plaintiff in the Supreme Court pay discrimination case Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and the namesake of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, reveals that unfair pay wasn’t the only issue she faced at work—she was also repeatedly sexually harassed. “I have come to realize that my #MeToo story should be just as much a part of my fight to close the wage gap as my pay discrimination story,” writes Ledbetter.
New York Times
• A bloodbath. Theranos, the struggling blood-testing company led by CEO Elizabeth Holmes, reportedly plans to slash around 100 jobs in a bid to stave off bankruptcy. After the move, the company, which had roughly 800 employees two and a half years ago, will be left with fewer than 25 workers.
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Winston & Strawn managing partner Kathi Vidal and FYRFLY Venture Partners co-founder Julie Allegro have been named to the board of SuperPhone. Allison Dew has been promoted to CMO of Dell.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Unsafe sisters? Lynette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson, a.k.a “Diamond and Silk,” two sisters who have attracted nearly 1.4 million Facebook followers for their videos praising President Trump, say the social network has deemed their content “unsafe.” In September, they say, Facebook began to prevent them from notifying followers of new videos and started to limit the spread of their posts. (It’s unclear whether they were affected by larger changes to Facebook’s algorithm.)
• Put privilege to work. Lauren Stiller Rikleen, president of the Rikleen Institute for Strategic Leadership, writes about why she was less than impressed by Tony Robbins’ apology for his critical #MeToo comments. “Robbins should use his considerable privilege to persuade his powerful and wealthy clients to invest time and resources to make real workplace changes, instead of developing strategies to avoid being called out for behaving badly,” writes Rikleen.
• Aping Amanpour. If you—like me—are in awe of the groundbreaking career of CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, you’ll want to take some time to read this “How I Get It Done.” But be warned, part of her routine includes being eternally on: “I would say we all work 24/7.”
• Beeing Bumble. Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe Herd writes about equal pay from a leaders’ perspective—and about building a workplace where women, including working moms, can thrive.