Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Eight women have accused Morgan Freeman of sexual harassment, Michelle Obama reveals the cover of her memoir, and Walmart is trying to lure moms back to professional work. Plus: A sappy note from me on my last day at Fortune. Have a marvelous Memorial Day weekend.
Scouring the news every day for stories of female power is the best job you can imagine. I’ve received dozens of kind notes from you over the years, describing how this newsletter has fired you up, given you a greater sense of purpose, or helped you muster courage to do something you otherwise would not have. Well, the same goes for me.
Kristen and I often write about the need for more women in positions of power, for more female entrepreneurs, for more diverse investors. After three years of reading and writing about the people wearing these hats, I’ve decided to try one (or more) on myself.
Since you haven’t hesitated to share your honest thoughts about this newsletter, I won’t sugarcoat this either: Leaving a job you love to venture into the unknown is terrifying. These past three years at Fortune have been the most interesting, challenging, and fulfilling of my career. To say that I’m sad to leave is an understatement; I’m heart-broken. But I’m holding onto the thought that by taking some time now to invest in myself, I will be able to do more to serve you all.
Please keep in touch! My personal e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ve created this very fancy Google form if you’d like to share your contact info with me.
It’s been an honor and a joy.
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Under arrest Disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein was in police custody this morning on rape charges—eight months after the blockbuster report on his abusive behavior sparked a cultural reckoning.
New York Times
• Him, too? Actor Morgan Freeman has been accused by eight women of sexual harassment. His accusers allege that the actor subjected them to various inappropriate acts, such as unwanted touching and public—and at times sexual—comments about their bodies. Freeman apologized to “anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected;” he’s already facing professional consequences.
• JPM’s secret weapon. My colleague Robert Hackett has written a wonderful (and nerdy) feature on the blockchain program at JPMorgan Chase. One-half of its leadership team is a purple-haired woman named Amber Baldet, “an unlikely banker from the start” who recently left the bank to launch her own blockchain startup, Clovyr. “We simply wanted to move more quickly than was really possible at a highly regulated entity,” Baldet says of the new venture.
• Walmart woos moms. Walmart Labs, the tech division of the retail giant, has signed onto Path Forward, a nonprofit that facilitates programs to aid caregivers—mainly moms—in returning to professional work after taking time off. Starting in September, Labs will offer three-month internships in software engineering and product management roles to candidates looking to restart their careers after caregiving breaks.
• Keep it moving. The Senate has (finally!) passed legislation that would overhaul the way sexual harassment complaints are handled on Capitol Hill. Among other stipulations, the new law would hold members of Congress personally responsible for paying settlements out of their own pockets. It now goes back to the House—where a similar bill already passed—to reconcile differences between the two chambers’ proposals.
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: The New Republic announced that Emily Cooke is joining as Editorial Director. Previously, she was Deputy Editor at Harper’s. Shannon Gordon has joined theBoardlist as CEO. She was most recently the VP of Customer Experience at Walmart.com and the SVP of Operations and Customer Experience at Shyp. New Enterprise Associates has promoted Carmen Chang, a former lawyer who leads NEA’s China practice, to the general partner level. United Continental Holdings has picked former Federal Aviation Administration boss Jane Garvey to be chairman—the first woman to hold the role.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Black women politics. Black women make up 7.3% of the U.S. population, but less than 5% of politicians, according to a new report by Higher Heights Leadership Fund and the Center for American Women and Politics. There are only 19 black women in Congress, and they hold only three statewide offices. With the midterm elections, however, that may soon change; several African-American women have already won primary races this cycle.
• Sweden’s sex law. The Swedish Parliament has passed a law requiring explicit consent from participants before they engage in a sexual act; it is the 10th country in Western Europe to recognize nonconsensual sex as rape. Under previous laws, prosecutors had to show “that there had been violence, a threat of violence or the exploitation of a victim in a vulnerable state to establish rape.” When the law goes into effect, a prosecutor will need to show that consent was not given.
New York Times
• Fashion’s glass ceiling. Glamour and the Council of Fashion Designers of America surveyed 535 fashion professionals throughout the industry about their ambitions, opportunities, and setbacks. A few notable takeaways: 100% of women said that gender inequality is a problem in the industry, compared with less than 50% of men. Even more disturbing: At junior levels, 25% fewer women than men get promoted without asking; by the time they reach management positions, the gap widens to 72%.
• Tracking progress. Having trouble keeping tabs on all of the women running for office? Check out Politico‘s neat interactive showing how many women have won primary races across the House, Senate, and gubernatorial elections.
ON MY RADAR
Michelle Obama revealed the cover of her memoir
A rape victim was just awarded $1 billion. Jurors told her: ‘You’re worth something.’
What’s behind the decline in female CEOs
Wall Street Journal
Southern Baptist leader removed as seminary president for remarks on women
New York Times