The Broadsheet: October 14th

October 14, 2014, 11:35 AM UTC
Fortune

Good morning, Broadsheet readers. The country’s second-largest mutual fund firm has a new female CEO, and Gallup released the results of a poll on the biggest issues facing working women. Read on to learn about an upcoming technology that some of the most powerful women in business are excited about. Have a great Tuesday!

EVERYONE'S TALKING

 Fidelity's ultra-private president becomes CEO. Abby Johnson will take over the CEO position at Fidelity Investments, succeeding her father. The second-largest mutual fund firm in the country, Fidelity has about $2 trillion in assets. In a rare interview with Fortune in June, she said she was curious about her family's business “the way any kid would be. You want to know what your parents do all day when you’re working your butt off at school.”  Fortune 

ALSO IN THE HEADLINES

Is Budweiser thirsty for Pepsi? Beer goliath Anheuser-Busch is considering a merger with PepsiCo, according to a report from Bloomberg. AB InBev, with $170 billion in revenues, could stand to grow from Pepsi's faster-growing markets with energy drinks and single-serve coffee. No deal is imminent, but the speculation gives Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi plenty to think about.  Bloomberg

 The sweet spot for women in business. There are only 15 women on Fortune's 40 Under 40 list this year, which is a problem. Yet there are plenty of incredibly powerful women in business in their early 40s including the global brand president of Clinique Jane Lauder and Spanx founder Sara Blakely. What can we take from this? "One easy explanation might be that in their 40s, those women with children have finally emerged from the early childcare years that can be the most time-consuming," writes Fortune's Leigh Gallagher. Another, less optimistic reason, may be that "the cards are still stacked against women."  Fortune

 Barbara Bush: Malala gives me hope. The CEO and co-founder of Global Health Corps (and daughter of George W. Bush) says it's difficult to encourage activism around education. Malala Yousafzai, who is now the youngest recipient ever of the Nobel Peace Prize, has the power to change that. "I know that there are many more Malalas out there—young women and men doing everything they can to build better lives for themselves, their families, their communities, and their nations," writes Bush.  Time 

Cleveland Fed president doesn't see huge difference between Bernanke and Yellen. "I think Janet is doing a lot of the things that Ben did in terms of collegiality, letting people voice their views. I don’t see it as a big shift," Loretta Mester, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, told the New York Times NYTimes 

Change.org COO: Forget work-life balance. To think about life at home and life at work as distinct worlds to balance is a big mistake, says Jennifer Dulski. Instead, you should consider the two spheres as layers on top of each other, with shifting levels of emphasis.  Fortune 

BROADVIEW

Driverless cars, a boon for working moms?

People are so excited about driverless cars right now that even 106-year-old auto goliath General Motors is getting in on the action. But while autonomous driving may reduce traffic and make zipping around town more efficient, Americans are just not ready for the technology yet, according to CEO Mary Barra.

“How comfortable would you feel if you had to take you hands off the wheel right now? Not very,” she said at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit. “It is step-by-step process to get the consumer comfortable with that and understand it.”

Yet Barra may be underestimating just how ready the population really is for driverless technology, especially working moms. At a Summit panel discussion on tech trends, Claire Hughes Johnson, the vice president of self-driving cars for Google [X], spoke about the latest developments in autonomous driving.

Like Barra, Johnson was cautious about how willing the audience of female executives would be to, say, put their children in a driverless car. “I myself am not ready,” said Johnson. Yet when the panel’s moderator asked the crowd who would put their kids in a driverless car today, a surprising thing happened.

A majority of the women raised their hands. Even the business leaders with their hands up were surprised by how large their “daring” cohort really was. But after a few moments, it became clear why so many women were willing to jump head first into driverless technology: Time.

The average mom drives her children around for 1,248 miles per year, according to a 2013 study. That’s the equivalent of mothers spending two weeks of every year just getting their kids from A to Z. In 1995 (the last time The Surface Transportation Policy Project surveyed the driving habits of working moms), mothers spent more than half their time in the car chauffeuring their kids and doing errands. In the last 20 years, there is plenty of evidence that suggests that percentage has only increased.

Click over to Fortune.com to read my full story

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

 Checkmated, by a 12-year-old girl. For the first time in 27 years, an American girl took home the World Youth Chess Championship title. “I love it; it’s a lot different from any other game,” says Jennifer Yu. “I want to see how far I can go.”  WaPo

 The hardest demo to get to run for office? Mothers of young children. Women typically wait until their kids are older to get into politics, so moms running for Congress with young kids like Staci Appel could be at an advantage come election season. “Having younger women in office is a positive trend because Congress runs on seniority, so these younger women will have a better chance of getting the seniority needed to become committee chairs and party leaders,” a source told Time.  Time

 Equal pay as top issue. Nearly 40% of Americans say equal pay is the biggest issue facing working women in the U.S. today, according to Gallup. Gallup

ON MY RADAR

How 3 female entrepreneurs bounced back Levo League

Is it really getting better for female MBA students?  Fortune

Homeland: The case against Carrie  The Atlantic

QUOTE

Daring is taking all risks and chances. It took me a long time to arrive at that—you know, from my gap teeth to my name. I'm realizing, You don't need to change<em> </em>anything<em> </em>about yourself. This is who you are, and it's okay. That's daring.

Uzo Aduba, the actress who plays Suzanne (Crazy Eyes) Warren in Orange Is The New Black.