Good morning, Broadsheet readers. A study out from Credit Suisse shows that promoting women into positions of power is more than a simple numbers game. Read on to learn which Fortune 500 COO is now a comic book hero, and to see why soccer player Hope Solo is not “like” Ray Rice.
• Japan's First Lady talks 'womenomics' in U.S. Like so many Japanese women, Akie Abe grew up thinking that becoming a housewife was the best way to be happy. Now, the First Lady is helping her husband, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, revive the country’s long stagnant economy by encouraging a jolt of female talent into the workplace. “We are in need of bold change,” she told an audience at Washington-based think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies on Tuesday afternoon. Fortune
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Hillary Clinton, Jack Ma on women and work. Female participation in the workplace has declined globally, the former Secretary of State said Tuesday night at a Clinton Global Initiative dinner in New York City hosted by Goldman Sachs. In some countries women can't even have bank accounts, making it nearly impossible for them to contribute to the economy. Closing the $380 billion global credit gap between women and men is a key way to solve this problem, Clinton said. Narrowing the gap could raise per capita income by 12% by 2030, according to research by Goldman Sachs. "The secret sauce of Alibaba is women," founder and executive chairman Jack Ma added at the same event. A third of Alibaba’s 18 co-founders are women.
• GE CMO's new job. Beth Comstock, who is far from your ordinary chief marketing officer, disclosed that she’s landed a new job leading a business unit—her first time in such an role. On top of her current duties, Comstock will oversee GE Lighting starting October 1. “It’s a 130-year-old business that’s being reinvented,” says Comstock of the unit, which brings in $3 billion in annual revenue. Fortune
• Sheryl Sandberg heading to Comic-Con? The Facebook COO and Lean In author is now the lead character in a biographical comic book. “Our goal is to show the behind-the-scenes machinations — many of them ignored by the mainstream media — that resulted in Sheryl Sandberg becoming a leading voice in empowering successful businesswomen,” says the comic book's publisher. Fortune
• Behind the scenes with Caroline Wozniacki. The 24-year old tennis star, who lost to Serena Williams in the U.S. Open last month, is a far cry from her business-focused rival. She forgot to pick up her prize winnings after the U.S. Open, and doesn't know how much she pays her dad to be her manager. "I have enough to eat, buy nice shoes," she says. "For me, it's about the tennis and the trophies. I'm not motivated by money." WSJ
• Meet a strong mom battling the NRA. Shannon Watts, a 43-year-old former stay-at-home mom from Indianapolis, is a founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense. In recent months, she has convinced several major U.S. companies to ban guns in their stores and restaurants. "It makes our moms feel like badasses to take on the most powerful lobbying organization in the country," says Watts. HuffPost
• 10 powerful women in video games. More women are playing video games in the U.S. than ever before, yet the number of women in positions of power in the gaming biz has barely budged. About 76% of game developers are men. Click over to meet 10 of the most powerful women working in the $76 billion global video game business. Fortune
• MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Lisa Sherman, executive vice president and general manager of the Logo cable channel, will become president and CEO of The Advertising Council on November 1.
More women business leaders does not mean more power
The number of women on boards and in top management positions is increasing in almost every sector and country. Yet a deeper look at the data highlights a troubling divide in responsibility between women and men in leadership roles.
Women comprised 12.7% of global board appointments at the end of 2013, up from 9.6% in 2010, according to a report by Credit Suisse released on Tuesday about the gender gap in top business jobs. Meanwhile, female representation in senior management positions has grown to the comparable figure of 12.9%.
However, in all regions and in most sectors, women have a significantly larger representation in roles like human relations, public relations and legal than in operational roles. Support or shared service jobs tend to carry less influence with the company, which translates to a shortage in power for women at the top. These findings are based on The Credit Suisse Gender 3000, a proprietary database from Credit Suisse made up of more than 3,000 companies across 40 countries and all major sectors.
"Women are more represented in management areas that carry less influence and have less direct P&L responsibilities," says Stefano Natella, global head of equity research for Credit Suisse. "There is no question about it; the chances of anybody going from an operations role to CEO are much higher than from a shared services role to CEO."
Click over to Fortune.com to read my full story.
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Hope Solo is not "like" Ray Rice. Both professional athletes have been charged with assault, but The Atlantic's Ta-Nehisi Coates argues that equating the two player's acts of violence is unfair. While pro soccer star Solo allegedly assaulted her sister and nephew in a family fight, Rice violently pummeled his fiancée in an elevator. "There is a reason why we have a 'Violence Against Women Act,' not a 'Brawling With Families Act,'" writes Coates. The Atlantic
• Ask Lena. The star and creator of HBO television series Girls, Lena Dunham, released a 12-part series of advice videos geared at young women. Fans from all over the country wrote in to Dunham with problems ranging from living as a plus-size woman to dealing with OCD. Dunham's upcoming book, Not That Kind of Girl, hits bookstands on September 30th. NYMag
• $10.1 million worth of female mice. The National Institute of Health is distributing a slew of grants to more than 80 scientists to address persistent gender bias in lab research. The bias starts early on: Including female mice in studies can drive up the costs, but is essential to adequately measuring the hormonal cycles of female animals. NYTimes
ON MY RADAR
Women's pay compared to men's from 1960 to 2013 WSJ
What the NFL is actually doing to stop domestic violence Sports Illustrated
Three Irish teenagers may have just solved world hunger Policy Mic
Where is Olivia Pope when you need her? New Yorker
Jimmy Choo announces IPO Fortune
5 tips for new team leaders HBR
If you don't have a seat at the table, you're probably on the menu.Washington works for those who have power. And no one gives up power easily, no one. Nobody's just going to say 'women have arrived and let's just move over. We have a chance but we have to fight for it.Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren