The Broadsheet: August 5th

August 5, 2014, 12:27 PM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers. More challenges are piling up for Mary Barra at General Motors, and LinkedIn is in hot water for not properly paying its employees. Read on to see what men can learn from female negotiators. Have a great Tuesday!


  GM Financial hit with subpoena. As if the Detroit automaker and CEO Mary Barra didn't have enough to worry about, now the Department of Justice is questioning certain subprime auto loans issued by GM's finance arm. The news comes shortly after it was disclosed that GM's website aimed at helping drivers learn more about their vehicles was providing inaccurate information. We will be watching to see how Barra responds to these latests setbacks. Fortune


 Bullock tops list of highest-paid actresses. With an estimated $51 million in earnings last year, Sandra Bullock is the top-paid actress in Hollywood, according to Forbes. Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence took the No. 2 spot with $34 million in earnings. In total, the top-ten highest paid actresses earned a combined $226 million last year, a figure that pales in comparison to the $419 million earned by their 10 male counterparts.  Forbes 

 Here's how to get Hillary Clinton to speak for free. All you have to do is host a worthwhile event in her hometown of Chappaqua, N.Y. On Sunday, the former Secretary of State spoke to a handful of local high school graduates from a summer scholarship program for no fee. The presumptive presidential candidate has made headlines in recent weeks for getting paid as much as $200,000 per event.  NYTimes 

 LinkedIn to pay $6 million for unpaid overtime. The professional networking site underpaid 359 employees across several states, the U.S. Department of Labor found. The charges are especially interesting given our discussion last week about how overtime is fueling the gender wage gap. In this case, it looks like LinkedIn could stand to pay its overtime workers more, not less. Fortune 

A female engineer pushed tech giants to reveal diversity numbers. Tracy Chou, a software engineer at Pinterest, convinced her company to be transparent about the diversity of its workforce. Now other companies are following suit. "While I see the reason for criticism, I also wish people would see that lots of these companies are working on it. To discredit companies because of current numbers [is] not particularly productive," she says.  San Fran Business Times 

More women are joining India's workforce. The country has the lowest female workforce participation rate among BRIC countries, but the numbers are improving, particularly in rural areas. Getting women to work in cities is more challenging because of the household tasks they usually remain responsible for.  Quartz 

 Meet the woman on the forefront of "Uberizing" dog care. Heidi Ganahl, the CEO and co-founder of Camp Bow Wow, just sold her doggy daycare business, with $71 million in revenues, to VCA Animal Hospitals for an undisclosed amount. Ganahl plans to stay on as CEO as the company hopes to make the pet care industry on-demand like grocery shopping and taxi services are becoming. WSJ


What men can learn from female negotiators

Next time your male coworker walks into a meeting and wants to get straight to business, you might want to tell him to rethink his strategy.

Engaging in just a little small talk before negotiations can give men a significant leg up, according to a study to be presented this week at the annual meeting of the Academy of Management. While women are by no means penalized for engaging in the same form of chitchat, men profit a great deal from doing the same.

“With men, because we are more expecting them to be focused on the outcome, we are pleasantly surprised when they engage in small talk and invest in the personal relationship, so they get the boost,” says study author Brooke Shaughnessy, a professor at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany.

Women do not receive nearly as much of an advantage from engaging in the same type of light discussion simply because it already is expected of them, study co-author and assistant professor at American University Alexandra Mislin adds. In fact, small talk neither helps nor hurts women. As long as women do not speak too “forcefully or rigidly” in negotiations, the researchers found that small talk does little to influence the outcome of a negotiation for women.

It’s interesting to note that while women can be penalized for behaving in traditionally masculine ways, the exact opposite effect appears to take place when men act stereotypically feminine in the boardroom. A similar conclusion could be drawn from a recent study that found while women are perceived poorly by their superiors for promoting women, men actually get a bump up in performance reviews for doing the same. 

Mislin added that a lot of men can brush off small talk as unimportant, but her research suggests that they can get a significant boost from something that takes little effort.

Women likely could get a similar boost from engaging in another communication skill, but Mislin and others have yet to discover exactly what that is. For now, we can rule out acting more masculine. 

What do you think about small talk during negotiations? Email me at


It's time for the NFL to tackle domestic violence. ESPN columnist Jane McManus argues that public opinion of the NFL can't sink much lower than it is right now. By advocating for domestic violence penalties in the collective bargaining agreement, commissioner Roger Goodell could signal that he is willing to create more standardized punishments for players like Ray Rice who are found to take violence out against women. ESPN

"I will what I want" should be your new motto. If you haven't watched Under Armour's new campaign for its women's line featuring American Ballet Theater soloist Misty Copeland, now is the time. Although Copeland didn't start dancing until 13 and was ridiculed by professionals for her larger body type, she ultimately defied the critics and was declared a prodigy. I'm not one to make a fuss about marketing campaigns, but this one is on its own level. Time

Stephen Colbert's advice to young women is amazing. Admittedly, I am a couple days late to this, but it is still worth highlighting. The late-night comedian responded to questions from teenage girls on the popular website Rookie, and his responses were not only heartwarming, but insightful. Click over to see what he has to say about misogynistic jokes, strict parents and more. Time


Girls Inc. struggles to find funding  NYTimes

Hong Kong has a surplus of women  Quartz

A girl-powered "Ghostbusters" matters  Forbes

Nordstorm buys website for men who hate to shop  Slate  

Your work is not your life  Slate 


The most important thing to remember is that most obstacles aren't real. A lot of roadblocks in business and in life are simply delays or illusions we create in our minds because there's a voice inside of us that feeds self-doubt and fear.

Melissa Jun Rowley, creator of docu-series <em>Magic Makers, s</em>howcasing humanitarian teens using STEAM to impact the world. She talked to Fast Company about her biggest challenges growing a business.