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The Broadsheet: November 5th

Good morning, Broadsheet readers. I am on a plane right now to Austin, Texas, where I’ll be hosting some panels on diversity in tech at the annual Dell World conference. If you have a question for any of my panelists — including Telle Whitney, president and CEO of the Anita Borg Institute, or Tamara Hudgins, executive director of Girlstart — email me at Now on to today’s top stories:


• 100 votes.  Congress now has 100 women for the first time in U.S. history, as North Carolina’s Alma Adams (D) defeated Vince Coakley (R) in a special election for the state’s 12th Congressional district seat. Adams will be sworn in immediately, becoming the 80th female member of the House, joining 20 women currently in the U.S. Senate. WSJ

• A night of firsts. Republican Shelley Moore Capito defeated Democrat Natalie Tennant to become West Virginia’s first female senator. Republican Joni Ernst also won last night to become Iowa’s first female senator, while Democrat Gina Raimondo will become Rhode Island’s first female governor.

• Jeanne Shaheen fends off the competition. The New Hampshire Democrat won re-election in a highly-contested senate race against GOP candidate Scott Brown. In another first, Scott Brown is now the first Senate candidate to be defeated twice by women. Politico

• Wendy Davis’ big loss. The Texan state senator known for her filibuster of an abortion bill in 2013 will not be headed to D.C., losing to Republican Greg Abbott in the Texas governor’s race. Other notable female losses included Sen. Kay Hagen in North Carolina and Martha Coakley for Massachusetts governor. HuffPost

Mitch takes Kentucky. Mitch McConnell won a sixth term last night after defeating Democratic opponent Alison Lundergan Grimes, the state’s  35-year-old Secretary of State. In a victory speech, the soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader said Grimes ran a “spirited” campaign and “earned my respect.” WSJ

Starting early. Saira Blair, an 18 year-old college freshman at the University of West Virginia, will become America’s youngest state lawmaker, beating her Democratic opponent by more than 30 percentage points for a seat in the West Virginia legislature. Elise Stefanik, a 30-year-old Republican from New York, is now the youngest woman to win a seat in the House.


Squeezing Janet Yellen. A Republican-led Senate likely will heighten its oversight of the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate policies and regulatory duties, thus causing headaches for Janet Yellen. “If the Republicans take control of the Senate and thus have control of both the House and the Senate—two words for the Federal Reserve: Watch out,” a source told the Wall Street Journal.  WSJ

• Ditching politics for Silicon Valley. Companies from Airbnb to Uber have been poaching staffers from Washington for quite some time now–many of them women. Why? “People who work on campaigns tend to be scrappy,” a source told Fortune.   Fortune

Nuclear power. Fabiola Gianotti was named the first woman to head the Geneva-based nuclear research center known as CERN. The high-profile appointment makes her one of the world’s most prominent scientists. Bloomberg

From the White House to the NFL. Before the Ray Rice scandal hit, veteran Washington attorney Cynthia Hogan interviewed for a job with the NFL. Once the news broke, the league came back to Hogan and asked her if she was still interested. Her response? “Actually, you’re more interesting to me now.” Now she’s the NFL’s SVP of public policy and government affairs.  WaPo

• The next crop of female CEOs. The list of women COOs in the tech world is long. Could the role be fertile ground for a new group of high-powered female chief executives? Fortune’s Leigh Gallagher says yes: “Women COOs have the right combination of business chops, operating experience and leadership—plus the confidence and willingness to cede the stage to someone else. For now.” Fortune


 A male mentor speaks out. Mike Larrain, L’Oreal’s president of active cosmetics, thinks poor management is to blame for the shortage of women atop corporate America.“I’ve seen far too many talented and dedicated women rise through the ranks, but not able to reach their full potential because they drop off or are overlooked on their way up,” he said. Fast Company

• Oxfam takes on big chocolate. The international organization is challenging chocolate makers like Nestle SA, Mondelez International Inc. and Mars Inc to pledge to improve gender equality in the cocoa supply chain in Ivory Coast and Ghana. Time

Priced out. The French Finance Ministry is investigating why women’s products like razors, shaving creams and deodorants are more expensive than men’s, even when the items are basically identical.   Time


Pattie Sellers: How Chicago leads in luring businesses  Fortune

What Tyra Banks taught designer Rachel Roy  The Daily Beast

A boon for the women of Ecuador  NYTimes

The princess phenomenon persists   NYTimes


It's never too late. As old as I am, I keep fighting. How could anyone not vote?

Guadalupe Portillo, a 102-year-old California woman who became a citizen in 2013, tells Vox why she cast her first vote in a national election yesterday.


Nov. 5, 2014: An earlier version of this article misstated the political race that candidate Wendy Davis lost. It was for Texas governor, not the Senate.