Good morning, Broadsheet Readers. Read on for an exclusive interview with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg about how the tech giant is empowering women with information. Speaking of Sheryl, scroll further for an hilarious post from The New Yorker on what it means for toddlers to “Lean In.” Have a great Thursday!
• American Apparel snags Laura Lee for board. The struggling retailer announced Wednesday that Google executive Laura Lee will become the second woman to join its board. At the tech giant, Lee runs East Coast content partnerships for Google and YouTube. Just two weeks ago, American Apparel had no women on its board but, in the face of sexual harassment lawsuits and the ousting of a controversial CEO, the retailer wised up. Studies have shown that just one woman on a board can improve a company’s performance, but American Apparel could use all the help it can get right now. Fortune
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Why the next Mark Zuckerberg probably won’t be a woman. Experts say that investors are less likely to bet on female startup founders because they don’t look like Mark Zuckerberg or other successful male entrepreneurs. The problem is referred to as “pattern recognition” and could be why women-owned companies receive just 7% of venture capital investments. HuffPost
• Susan Wojcicki talks balancing YouTube with fifth baby on the way. As the YouTube CEO aggressively tries to transform the video-sharing site into a larger piece of Google’s revenue stream, she is expecting her fifth child in December. “So I’m going to do my best to try and balance it, and come up with something that I think works for both my family and office,” Wojcicki says of the challenge. Re/Code
• Mary Jo White struggles to maintain reputation on Capitol Hill. The SEC chair is making the organization sluggish and ineffective, according to a NY Times report. Kara Stein, a Republican commissioner for the SEC, is just one of many vocal opponents of White’s strategy to reduce risk on Wall St. through regulation of products and practices, as opposed to regulation of banks and investment firms. NYTimes
• We have had only female U.S. treasurers for the past six decades. American presidents have traditionally viewed the position as a low-risk way to promote diversity within the ranks, The Atlantic’s Lenika Cruz explains. “Once an initial ceiling is broken, once an initial piece of progress is made, there is a tendency to continue down that path,” says one of her sources. The Atlantic
• Women are better at crowdfunding money than men are. New data from Kickstarter shows that women are 13% more likely than are men to meet their stated funding goals. WSJ
For Facebook, access to women’s rights information is a basic one
If you asked a group of women in Zambia to list their basic legal rights, a majority of them couldn’t even name five, says Chisenga Muyoya, co-founder of Asikana Network, a women’s rights nonprofit. Since 2012, Muyoya has reached about 1,000 women through her website and some local events to try and change that. Little by little, her hope is that more women will learn their rights and take action when they have been violated.
Now, through a partnership with Facebook’s accessibility initiative Internet.org, Muyoya will be able to instantly provide information to millions.
In late July, Facebook announced a new Internet.org mobile application—available on the Web and natively on Google Android devices, and intended for the developing world—that offers access to a limited set of services, 13 at launch, without subjecting a user to data charges. Those services include the Asikana-built Women’s Rights Application, or WRAPP, which provides access to women’s health and legal information.
The Internet.org app will launch in Zambia, a southern African nation that lies west of Mozambique, before rolling out to other developing countries. It is part of Facebook’s larger philanthropic mission to make Internet access more available and affordable. In Zambia, for example, just 15% of people are online.
“We live in a time where the digital divide is more of an economic divide,” Muyoya says. “We hope that through this partnership, we can make information more accessible to everyone.”
Facebook (FB) chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg says the Internet.org team’s first goal was to define what “basic” services the app would provide for free. Weather, Google search, Wikipedia, and Facebook seemed like obvious choices, but developers felt strongly that women’s services were equally important. Giving farmers access to information about the weather can transform the way they tend to their crops. In the same light, giving women the information they need to be informed about their rights could have a dramatic effect on societies.
After using WRAPP through the Internet.org app, “a woman is able to say to her husband, ‘I have the right to a vote’ or ‘I have a right to not be beaten’ or ‘I have the right to access healthcare,'” Sandberg explains. “Sometimes women don’t know those things. The goal is that giving out this information can be transformative and this is a very scalable way to do it.”
Click over to Fortune.com to read the full story.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• “Lean In” for toddlers. “When you are reading your toddler a book about bunnies and she points at you and says, ‘Hop! Hop!”’ she’s not being bossy. She’s being a woman who leads,” Kathleen Founds writes for The New Yorker. New Yorker
• What the O’Bannon ruling means for women’s sports. U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken last week ruled that the NCAA must revise its rules to allow college athletes to receive limited payments for the commercial use of their names and likenesses. How the decision will impact women athletes who are typically a part of non-revenue generating programs will depend on how the schools react. “I just think that we’re in such a new environment with college athletics that isn’t necessarily healthy for other (non-revenue generating) sports,” says Judy Sweet, co-founder of the Alliance of Women Coaches. ESPNW
• More women over 35 are having children out of marriage. The number of unmarried mothers between the ages of 35 and 39 shot up 48% between 2002 and 2012. The rise of the unmarried mom has been a cause of concern for years as married parents tend to have higher incomes. Children are also less likely to have access to multiple parents. But I think the rise might not be as bad as critics suggest. As taboos ease, unmarried middle-aged women with successful careers are more likely to have children on their own. WSJ
ON MY RADAR
Apple’s diversity video overstates diversity Fortune
Meet the woman behind Auntie Anne’s soft pretzels Fortune
How to do math like the first woman to win the Fields Medal Businessweek
‘Dumb husbands’ are helping the economy Bloomberg
7 steps to shorter conference calls Fast Company
A visual history of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton hugging The Wire
Companies are paying off employees who refuse to take vacation WSJ
For female directors, there’s a whole other set of things we have to think about, particularly when we are casting men, because there are some actors who have never been directed by a woman. Crew members, too. The way that you would deal with a black woman on the street is not the way you’re going to deal with this black woman on the set, and there have been a couple of times where that negotiation has been a little iffy.Ava DuVernay, the first black woman to win a best director prize at the Sundance Film Festival, talks about what its like to be among a growing group of female directors breaking through the glass ceiling in entertainment.