Good morning, Broadsheet readers. Today we hear from Mylan CEO Heather Bresch about her company’s ‘tax inversion’ deal and her changing perspective on being a female CEO in the Fortune 500. Read on to learn more about the 15-year-old tennis star who won her first-round match in the U.S. Open.
• Diane Sawyer signs off. After five years as the anchor of ABC’s World News, Sawyer said goodnight for the last time on Wednesday. The award-winning anchor will stay on at ABC to pursue original reporting and big interviews. Anchor and Managing Editor David Muir will take over her post. ABC News
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Christine Lagarde under investigation. The IMF head is under formal investigation by a French court for her role in a murky business transaction back when she was French finance minister. Lagarde denies all wrongdoing. WSJ
• Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand: Male colleagues called me ‘porky.’ The New York Senator tells People that a male senator told her the following in the congressional gym, shortly after having her first child: “Good thing you’re working out, because you wouldn’t want to get porky.” People
• Mary Barra to step out. GM CEO Mary Barra has planned her biggest public appearance since testifying before Congress on the company’s recall crisis. On Sept. 23, Barra will speak on a panel session on the future of business at the Clinton Global Initiative’s annual meeting in New York. Detroit News
• Speaking of Clintons… Hillary will stand by President Obama’s side for a two-day Democratic National Committee fundraiser next month. Obama might be the headliner, but all eyes will be on his possible successor. Bloomberg
• Safra Catz talks STEM. Oracle’s co-president and CFO on Wednesday called for more leadership in U.S. science and technical education, at the Colorado Innovation Network Summit. “We cannot possibly rest on our laurels. The competition now is higher and faster,” Catz said. Denver Business Journal
Mylan CEO: “I have struggled with this whole woman thing”
When Heather Bresch was first invited in Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit in 2011, she refused to go. Having just recently been named CEO of pharma giant Mylan, Bresch never thought about the gender implications of her appointment. Yet after a co-worker persuaded her to attend Fortune’s Summit, Bresch found her attitude changed. “I really had to step back and look at the statistics. Now less than 5% of CEOs in the Fortune 500 are women. Now that we are in these roles, we really have an obligation to make a difference,” says Bresch.
I asked Bresch to elaborate on why she thinks so few women are running Fortune 500 companies. Here was her reply:
As I recruit and hire lots of people, I realize it is a numbers game. The pool of women to interview is so much smaller than the pool of men. I am speaking about profit and loss (P&L) roles specifically. The chances of the one woman qualified for the job being the right fit has to be a hole-in-one versus the shotgun I have full of male candidates.
If you rewind the tape, middle school is an important time for girls. That is where you either gain confidence or lose confidence. That starts forming some girls to be a little bit more introverted. We get to high school and we know that girls are less interested in STEM and don’t succeed as much in science and math. That drives a lack of confidence. We get to college, and while we are graduating 50% men and 50% women, their degrees look different. In degrees like finance, accounting and engineering, women are certainly are not going to major in those topics if they didn’t feel like they were good at them in high school. So now, women are graduating in marketing or communications or English.
Women go get their first job and women start having a whole lot of hypotheticals and start thinking about careers that will ultimately give them work-life balance. Guys don’t think about that. Naturally, we see women going into more of these supportive roles in HR, legal and communications. But when it comes to owning a P&L, fewer women are pursuing those roles. At Mylan, I was the first woman to do it.
I realize it is because of all these natural filters that the pool of women for high-level executive positions is so small, almost nonexistent. I don’t think there is an easy solution. As I have this platform and opportunity, I want to continue to talk to girls so they can see it and see me in my role.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Women say GOP is “stuck in the past.” A report conducted by two large Republican groups concluded that female voters view the party as “intolerant,” “lacking in compassion” and “stuck in the past.” While 49% of women view Republicans unfavorably, just 39% view Democrats negatively. Politico
• CiCi Bellis is my hero. The 15-year-old tennis star won her first match at the U.S. Open, the youngest player to do so since Anna Kournikova in 1996. “When I was down 3-1, it was kind of a bummer. … I just kind of told myself, ‘Calm down. Don’t think about who you’re playing, who is on the other side of the court. Just be free. You have nothing to lose.'” Bellis with take on Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan today in the second round. ESPN
• Martha Stewart partners with Coke. Ever see a corporate/celebrity collaboration and wonder how it began? In some cases, Fortune’s Most Powerful Women events are to thank. At an MPW dinner in April, Martha Stewart was sitting next to Coke SVP Wendy Clark and reminisced about drinking Coke floats as a kid. Their dinner conversation resulted in a digital partnership between the two brands. Coca-Cola
ON MY RADAR
Maureen Dowd: Obama has a dream NYTimes
Why do we ignore female experts? The Guardian
WTA considers a women’s team event. NYTimes
Soccer moms sue FIFA on concussions Bloomberg
What if men weren’t allowed on Facebook? Slate
Jaguars CFO’s secret to success BizWomen
Here’s the truth of the situation: There’s nothing wrong with being who you are. There’s nothing wrong with liking the things you want to like and standing up for yourself and being comfortable with yourself, or there’s nothing wrong with women and girls and the things that they like and them being powerful. I wanted to tell a story that really reflected how I see Wonder Woman, and I felt that using that kind of twist at the end did that.Amanda Deibert, an artist-writer behind the new Wonder Woman story, explains what she thinks the character is all about.