Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Tunis gets its first female mayor, ScarJo is in the hot seat yet again, and we imagine a future where 50% of CEOs are female. Enjoy your weekend to the fullest.
• Welcome to 2069. This curious Economist piece imagines a world in which women hold half of all global CEO jobs. Set in January 2069, it reflects on how the world got from here—women accounted for just 24 of the 2018 Fortune 500 CEOs—to there: real parity.
While it’s sad that this story can only be told as speculative fiction, the author’s vision is fascinating. The story predicts a second surge of anger over sexual harassment (“#MeTooRound2”), leading to a commitment at Davos 2019—where else?—to bringing the share of female CEOs to 50% with 50 years.
Interestingly, rather than improve the situation, the Economist sees this pledge setting off a massive backlash (something that some might argue is already in the works) and sparking the rise of “male-rights” groups and an onslaught of violence against women.
In the story, the tide starts to turn in 2021, driven by a milestone “successful class-action suit against Blokes&Partners, a prominent law-firm, by a group of mid-ranking female employees on the grounds of discrimination in promotion.”
I won’t spoil how the rest of the tale plays out—though I will note that many of the policies and changes that help this version of our world reach parity will be familiar to Broadsheet readers. None of the steps along the way require readers to buy into sci-fi mumbo jumbo or to suspend disbelief. That begs one simple question: What is stopping us from taking this story from fiction to fact?
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Casting controversy. Scarlett Johansson is facing backlash over news that she will play a transgender man in Rub & Tug, a movie based on the life of Dante “Tex” Gill, who ran a chain of Pittsburgh massage parlors as fronts for prostitution houses in the 1970s and ’80s. This isn’t the first time Johansson has found herself in the midst of an appropriation controversy—she also played a Japanese character in last year’s Ghost in the Shell. The news is drawing attention to a persistent Hollywood casting problem—transgender characters rarely appear in big budget entertainment, and when they do, they’re often played by cisgender actors.
• Madame mayor. Souad Abderrahim, a 54-year-old pharmacist from Tunisia’s moderate Islamic party, has been elected mayor of Tunis, the country’s capital. Abderrahim, who this story describes as “a former lawmaker and militant for women’s rights,” is the only woman ever to hold the position.
• Let’s ice out this stereotype. I can’t say that I was surprised by anything in this story about egg freezing, but I do think it’s worth a read, if only to help debunk the (sexist) idea that women who undertake the procedure do so because they want to focus on their career rather than start a family. The reality, according to researchers, is that most women chose to freeze their eggs because they have not yet found a partner.
New York Times
• Feeling blue. Macy’s is opening about 55 new Bluemercury stores through 2019. Macy’s bought the cosmetics brand, which was co-founded by Marla Beck, for $210 million in 2015.
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Goldman Sachs has added former Harvard University president Drew Faust as a director, making her the third woman on its expanded 12-member board. Kim Sinatra will step down as EVP and general counsel of Wynn Resorts on July 15. Sinatra knew for years about a $7.5 million settlement between former CEO Steve Wynn and a casino employee. Digital agency network Isobar has promoted Sue McCusker to chief client officer and Caroline Dean to chief marketing officer.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Tuning in! A new House of Cards trailer reveals that Claire Underwood (aka Robin Wright) has finally schemed her way to the presidency. I suspect HoC fans will soon be asking, Frank who?
• Woman vs. woman. Are women afraid to compete with one another at work? That’s the question asked by this Glamour story, which cites research that finds that women feel less comfortable going to head-to-head with their female peers than with male colleagues.
• Switch it up? In this NYT op-ed, author Susan Faludi argues that Republican Senators Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)—who have broken with their party on certain key issues—should switch their affiliation to the Dems. Her pitch may seen farfetched, but it has happened before: 21 senators have switched parties since 1890.
New York Times