Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Nellie Liang steps out of the running for a spot on the Fed board, we learn about the “godmother of Title IX,” and one bank’s gender pay gap is getting worse. Have a wonderful Wednesday.
• A gender pay gap grows. When the U.K. forced large companies to start reporting their gender pay gaps, there was skepticism (including from yours truly) about whether a name-and-shame approach alone would work.
The mandate, after all, does not require companies with gender pay gaps to narrow them. Would a ‘carrot’ of saving face be enough to trigger real progress?
This week we got a clue that the answer is, perhaps, no. HSBC updated its gender gap data and reported figures that were even worse than its first filing. Its median pay gap grew to 30% from 29%. The mean divide showed women at HSBC earning 61% less than men, worse than their 59% deficit last year. What’s more, female employees made up 33% of the bank’s top quartile of highest-paid employees this time around, down from 34%.
In a statement accompanying the new data, HSBC says it’s “confident” in its approach to pay. “If we identify any pay differences between men and women in similar roles, which cannot be explained by reasons such as performance/behavior rating or experience, we make appropriate adjustment,” the statement said. Even before the new filing, HSBC had the biggest gap among U.K. banks; the new data shows that, even after disclosure, it’d grown.
So much for public humiliation as a motivating factor.
All told, more than 10,000 U.K. companies complied with Britain’s new reporting requirement as of April last year, revealing a median pay gap of 9.7% between women and men across the participating firms.
The U.K. government has fielded all sorts of criticism over the reporting rules—like, for instance, that they exempt the pay of (mostly male) partners at large law and consulting firms—but lawmakers overseeing the project are standing by what they say is a “groundbreaking” approach. They’ve vowed to hold off on amending the guidelines for five years.
The U.K. is not alone in targeting the gap. The start of the year saw France enact a requirement that companies report their gender pay gaps. If one exists, firms have three years to fix it or else face a fine of 1% of total payroll. But given HSBC’s regression this week, it’s no wonder that countries taking fresh stabs at the problem—compared to the U.K.—are using more ‘stick.’
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Playing the long game. Women get more out of their stock options than men do, exercising those options more slowly and reaping the benefits, according to a 10-year study.
• 23andLark. 23andMe, led by Anne Wojcicki, is teaming up with another female-founded company, Julia Hu’s Lark Health, to integrate weight-loss coaching with its DNA testing. Lark is an AI coaching service, and it’ll incorporate weight-related genetic information from 23andMe.
• A disturbing resignation. The CEO of Hacienda HealthCare, Bill Timmons, resigned after a woman who has been in a vegetative state for years, gave birth while in the care of a private nursing facility owned by the company—meaning she had clearly been sexually assaulted while unresponsive. No one at the facility noticed anything was wrong until the patient gave birth.
New York Times
• Too slow? Nellie Liang, a former economist at the Federal Reserve, withdrew from consideration to serve on the Fed’s board of governors. Banking lobbyists and some lawmakers opposed the Trump administration pick because they thought Liang, who formed the Fed office that oversees risk in the financial system after the 2008 financial crisis, would slow down deregulation of the industry.
Wall Street Journal
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: LearnVest founder Alexa von Tobel is leaving Northwestern Mutual, the company that acquired her startup; she’s set to launch an as-yet-unannounced new venture. Former Bonobos CEO Fran Della Badia takes over as president of AM Retail Group, a retail subsidiary of G-III that operates stores and websites for DKNY, G.H. Bass, Karl Lagerfeld Paris and other brands. Former CVS Health EVP Mary Langowski joins the board of Advantia Health. Jo Ann Sanders will be VP of product marketing at Optimizely. Shawna Wolverton starts as head of product for Zendesk. Marie Myers of HP is the new CFO for UiPath. Honest Buildings hires Amy Pisano as chief revenue officer. Verizon Media hires Elizabeth Herbst-Brady away from Snap to be head of U.S. field sales. Aishah White joins Warner Bros. Records as SVP working on media and strategic development.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Well-connected in Connecticut. Ned Lamont is about to take over as governor of Connecticut—but a key to his administration will be his wife, Annie Huntress Lamont. Annie, a longtime venture capitalist and co-founder of firm Oak HC/FT with connections throughout Silicon Valley, will greatly help the new governor with his goal of luring more tech companies to Connecticut.
New York Times
• Doing Better. Pamela Adlon was one of Louis C.K.’s closest collaborators. They co-created the TV show that she stars in, FX’s Better Things, about a single mom raising three daughters in Hollywood. Now Adlon is moving forward without C.K.—figuring out how to get out from under the shadow of his sexual harassment and run things on her own.
• Fairy godmother. You might not know the name Bernice Sandler, but Sandler had a tremendous impact on women’s lives over the past four decades. The “godmother of Title IX,” who campaigned to prohibit sex discrimination in federally-funded educational institutions, died at 90 last week.
• Mini-me mentorship. Most mentor-mentee relationships have one thing in common: both people look the same. Seventy-one percent of executives with mentees said they’re of the same gender and race, according to a new study from the diversity nonprofit CTI. That has implications for something Kristen pointed out last month: men shying away from mentoring women in the age of #MeToo probably weren’t doing that much for them to begin with.