Good morning, Broadsheet readers. American Apparel’s new CEO is already dealing with disgruntled executives, and Puma just brought on a pop star to help turn around its flagging image. Read on to find out what’s going on with actress Emma Watson’s viral HeForShe campaign. It’s almost Friday!
• Under fire. Just one day after being named CEO of American Apparel, Paula Schneider already is dealing with more than 30 executives who are upset with the decision to hire her. The resentful cohort is calling on the board to reconsider its decision to fire her controversial predecessor, Dov Charney. “From a reputation point of view, it’s a good choice,” Davia Temin, founder of Temin & Co., a New York crisis-management firm said about American Apparel’s decision. “It’s probably the only choice they had, doing something drastic.” Bloomberg
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Time to resign? Graças Silva Foster, CEO of Brazilian state oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, said Wednesday that she might resign amid a serious corruption scandal. “I need to be investigated,” she said, referring to allegations that Petroleo was central to a kickback scheme involving politicians and a few of the biggest construction companies in the country. WSJ
• Avon settles. The embattled cosmetics company announced on Wednesday that it settled charges with the U.S. Department of Justice and SEC over an alleged bribery scheme within its direct sellers’ business in China. Avon, which is led by CEO Sheri McCoy, agreed to pay $135 million. Fortune
• Push for peace. Syrian refugees are working to organize women still in the country to help end the nation’s three year-old civil war. “What has really impressed me is that even though the situation is extremely dangerous for almost every single person who does civil society work in Syria, people continue to do it,” the director of development for the Center for Civil Society and Democracy in Syria told Fortune’s Nina Easton. Fortune
• Puma finds love in a hopeless place. Next month, the German athletic apparel brand will bring in pop icon Rihanna as a “global ambassador” to refresh its stale image. WSJ
• From 1 to 1,500. Ten years ago, there was just one emerging markets-based company known to have a female director. Thanks to laws mandating female participation, today there are more than 1,500. Bloomberg
• $6.25 million. That’s how much money theSkimm, a daily newsletter written for young women, just raised in funding. If anyone wants to write a check for $6.25 million for The Broadsheet, shoot me an email. Kidding… sorta. NYTimes
• Resume update: Christine Duffy, president of Cruise Lines International Association, will become the first female president of Carnival Cruise Line.
• Correction: Yesterday’s Broadsheet incorrectly identified Ruchi Sanghvi as VP of operations at Dropbox. She has left Dropbox and is now in between jobs.
What’s next for HeForShe?
Before actress Emma Watson turned a discussion on gender equality at the United Nations into a viral YouTube video, Elizabeth Nyamayaro, the Senior Advisor to the Executive Director of UN Women, was hard at work.
Nyamayro is the lesser-known head of the HeForShe campaign, a movement aimed at getting men, not just women, to champion gender equality. In September, Watson, a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and the spokeswoman for HeForShe, got the campaign an impressive amount of attention — over 6 million hits on YouTube — with an impassioned speech announcing her involvement.
Three months later, now that the excitement surrounding Watson’s speech has died down, I checked in with Nyamayro to get a sense for what’s next for the campaign and how she plans to continue to build off its initial momentum.
What inspired you to launch HeForShe?
I joined UN Women about 11 months ago, and during my orientation, it became really clear that if we were going to advance the conversation about young women, we needed something that was going to change how we look at gender equality in a positive way. We need to make it a global issue. If it remains a women’s issue, then progress will remain slow. Men still hold power so you can’t really speak about imbalance against women without finding a way to engage men as meaningful partners.
What have you been doing since September?
The campaign took us by surprise. Initially we were asking the question, ‘Do men care about gender equality?’ and we found out that they do care. Then we started to get a lot of emails from men who signed up, who now want to do more. Men in Nigeria wrote us about what they could do to help find the missing girls. A man in Norway emailed us wanting to know what he could do about the woman who was raped in an Uber in India. Now we are working with McKinsey for a strategy about the other areas of the campaign. We have HeForShe as an awareness platform, but now we are moving to make it an advocacy platform to change public policy and the law.
What are you doing to engage business leaders on this issue?
In the latest gender equality report from the UN, we identified that corporations have a lot more work to do, so we are targeting companies to participate as well. We want concrete actions and concrete commitments within these companies to support gender equality. We have set up an advisory council within the private sector that includes business leaders such as Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent, Unilever CEO Paul Polman, Chanel CEO Maureen Chiquet and Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein.
To share The Broadview and read the full interview, click here.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• 1 in 4. Roughly 25% of California’s largest public companies have no female board directors, according to a new study. And it’s even worse in Silicon Valley. Fortune
• A surprisingly popular course. A course on female entrepreneurship at Stanford’s Business School has gotten so popular among both women and men that it has a waiting list. Fortune
• A first for the Church of England. A month after a historic change to religious law, Reverend Libby Lane will become the Church’s first female bishop. “This is unexpected and very exciting,” she said. BBC
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