Good morning, Broadsheet readers. All eyes will be on Serena Williams this week as she gets ready to defend her U.S. Open title, and read on for how we can change the dialogue about women leaders. Are your friends and colleagues reading the Broadsheet yet? Forward them this email or send them to www.GetBroadsheet.com. Have a great Monday.
• Will Serena Williams make a comeback? The top seed and two-time defending U.S. Open champion will face 18-year-old American wildcard Taylor Townsend, who Williams has called the “future of American tennis.” This tournament will be Williams’s biggest test yet, after a meltdown at Wimbledon in July that made critics question if the 32-year-old is past her prime. “She’s always hungry,” Williams’s coach tells Sports Illustrated. “She always wants more so she’s constantly focusing on the next thing, never on the past.” SI
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Mary Barra gets iced. The CEO of GM took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on Friday after getting called out by HP CEO Meg Whitman. Barra took a page from Whitman’s book and nominated fellow female Fortune 500 CEO Phebe Novakovic of General Dynamics. YouTube
• Melinda Gates funds back to school. The philanthropist announced a $1 million donation to DonorsChoose.org, a nonprofit that directly funds classroom projects. Yahoo
• Taylor Swift a feminist? The pop singer is changing her tune, after years of keeping quiet on how gender issues affect her music. “As a teenager, I didn’t understand that saying you’re a feminist is just saying that you hope women and men will have equal rights and equal opportunities.” Time
• NBC News President revamps the network. Deborah Turness, who took over NBC News last August, has spent her first year on the job revamping Meet the Press and expanding the network’s digital presence. She also convinced Matt Lauer to stay on at Today. “NBC News hadn’t kept up with the times in all sorts of ways, for maybe 15 years,” says Turness. NYTimes
• Another first in American politics. Donna Christenson likely will become the first black woman to ever govern a U.S. state or territory. Policy Mic
• Becky Hammon moves on. The basketball star ended her 16-year WNBA career on Saturday as she gears up to become an assistant coach for the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs. ESPN
• MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Bethany Mayer, the former head of HP’s networking division, is now CEO of small networking firm Ixia.
You can’t be what you can’t see
Candida Brush is a professor of entrepreneurship at Babson College. When she asks students to name a successful entrepreneur, most of them will name men like Bill Gates or Howard Schultz over women like Sara Blakely or Tory Burch. Brush told the Wall Street Journal that this phenomenon has a simple explanation: Women are not in the picture.
“The lack of visibility of women entrepreneurs across materials and in the classrooms contributes to the stereotype that only men can be successful entrepreneurs. This must change,” says Brush.
Visibility is an important part of changing perception. While Brush is working to make women entrepreneurs more visible in an academic setting, I see other organizations elevating the presence of women leaders. Here are just a few examples:
- Getty Images updated its data base of stock photographer to include 3,000 photos of female leaders.
- Lego created a line of female paleontologists, astronomers and chemists.
- Sports Illustrated put Little League star Mo’ne Davis on its cover.
As Re/Code’s Ina Fried aptly wrote on Saturday, “You can’t be what you can’t see.” If we want more women to start their own businesses or study engineering or land a Sports Illustrated cover, we need to highlight the women who have already accomplishing those goals. All of the efforts above broaden the perceptions of what girls and women can do. With a little effort, more campaigns could follow suit.
What did I miss? Tweet me @CFair1 with other examples you’ve seen that highlight women in leadership.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Women tech founders strip down. A series of controversial underwear ads are featuring real female tech executives as models. The campaign was intended to empower women in tech, but critics say all it does is perpetuate Silicon Valley sexism. Time
• Let’s move to North Dakota? California is home to the most women-owned businesses, but Inc. says that North Dakota is the best state to be a female entrepreneur. Inc
• Women’s sports are getting less airtime. More women than ever before are playing sports, yet coverage of women’s sports on national television is declining. To make matters worse, the shrinking coverage can have a big impact on how female athletes are perceived by society. The Daily Beast
ON MY RADAR
How to close the startup gender gap WSJ
Hillary Clinton the “war hawk?” The Wire
Not everyone is on board with flexible work hours NYTimes
Email is killing us Quartz
I had dreams, but back then I looked up to Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson. It's the beauty of the WNBA that now little girls have big girls to look up to. I've always been telling the younger players to honor that, take care of that, and respect it.San Antonio Spurs Assistant Coach Becky Hammon