Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Emma Hinchliffe here again as we close out Fortune‘s Most Powerful Women Next Gen Summit. Zola will move into physical retail, CBS ignores the elephant in the room at its shareholders meeting, and we hear wise words from Anita Hill once again. Have a terrific Thursday.
• How far we’ve come. We here at Team Broadsheet are very lucky. For the second time in three months, we got to hear from Anita Hill at a Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit.
When Hill spoke at the Fortune MPW Summit in October, it was less than a week after Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee about her memories of being sexually assaulted by now-confirmed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
The wounds were fresh, and the audience wanted Hill to tell them we’d all be OK. (And she did: “We want to believe that Christine Blasey Ford can survive, that I survived,” Hill said in October.)
A few months later, Hill’s talk—with the Broadsheet‘s own Kristen Bellstrom—had a different feel to it.
“Maybe the Senate hasn’t changed, but we have,” Hill told the audience of women.
To add a Next Gen twist, Kristen asked the crowd who was old enough to have watched Hill’s own testimony to the Senate Judiciary 27 years ago—and most of the audience said they were. (Next Gen is geared toward the under-45 crowd.)
But Hill is in tune with those who weren’t. As a professor at Brandeis University, she understands exactly what young women are thinking about Ford, about her own place in history—really, about all of it.
“They needed someone to tell them that even though the government may not care about what’s going on with them,” she said, “that there are those of us who do care.”
Hill has been in touch with Ford, she revealed in the New York Times last week, but she declined to share any insights into their conversations—fairly enough, out of respect for the sliver of privacy Ford has left.
But, as is her way, Hill offered tangible steps we can take next to solve these interconnected problems of sexual harassment, pay inequity, and the lack of women in leadership that are all part of, she says, the same “problem of power, power alignment, and abuse.”
One piece of advice for the Most Powerful Women in the room and reading this newsletter: Use the power we do have to make sure our organizations know that sexual harassment is underreported, that the fear of retaliation is very real, and that our leadership needs clear, accessible policies that tell employees what exactly will happen if they come forward.
A tall order for some companies—but one we can certainly keep pushing for.
“You’ve got a room full of women who are talking about this, who are listening,” Hill says. “Twenty-seven years ago, you couldn’t have filled this room with women.” Things have changed, indeed.
MORE FROM MPW NEXT GEN
• Register here. Following in its digital peers’ footsteps, Zola plans to open its first physical store in New York, Shan-Lyn Ma, founder of the wedding planning and registry startup, revealed at Next Gen.
• Millennials in the House. California Congresswoman-elect Katie Hill is fine with being labeled a millennial legislator. “We make up the largest voting bloc in the entire country right now,” the 31-year-old soon-to-be representative says.
• Down to a T. Target and Tesla might not seem to have that much in common, but both companies blend tech with another segment of their business—and both aim for diverse workforces, their human resources and diversity and inclusion executives said.
• Pay it forward. Peggy Johnson of Microsoft and Arlan Hamilton of Backstage Capital are working together to invest in underrepresented founders—and they both know what it’s like to be underestimated.
• The upside. Despite Facebook’s past failures in preventing hate speech and violence, the social network still offers “so much good” as evidenced by the rapidfire spread of the #MeToo movement, say Facebook head of global policy Monika Bickert.
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Tamara Hunter, head of feature casting for Sony, heads to Apple as head of casting, worldwide video—a position that will surely be key to Apple’s still hush-hush move to compete in streaming video and original content. Air France names Anne Rigail as its chief executive, making her the first woman to hold the job. Swati Shetty left her role as director of international originals and acquisitions for Netflix India. Judith Rodin, former president of the University of Pennsylvania and the Rockefeller Foundation, joins the board of Trilogy Education. Alyssa Henry of Square takes up her first board appointment at Unity Technologies.
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Keep on survivin’. U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May made it through a no-confidence vote on her leadership on Wednesday. That means she’ll stay on as prime minister, but her Brexit plan is still short of votes. The vote of no confidence was triggered by members of May’s own Conservative Party—and May promised them that she would step aside as prime minister by 2022.
• Elephant in the room. At CBS’s annual shareholders meeting, the network settled with three women who accused host Charlie Rose of sexual harassment and said CBS didn’t do enough to stop his behavior. Funnily enough, the name Les Moonves didn’t come up.
New York Times
• A simple favor. President Trump on Wednesday tweeted that payments made to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal allegedly made for both to stay silent about affairs with him were “a simple private transaction,” a.k.a. not subject to campaign finance law. That tweet came after Daniels was ordered to pay almost $300,000 in Trump’s legal fees over her dismissed defamation lawsuit against him.
New York Times
• In good company. Christine Blasey Ford made a rare public statement on Tuesday for an extremely worthwhile cause: honoring Rachael Denhollander, the first gymnast to accuse former sports doctor Larry Nassar of sexual abuse. Ford presented Sports Illustrated‘s Sportsperson of the Year award to Denhollander via video message.