Skip to Content

The Broadsheet: January 16th

Good morning, Broadsheet readers. The Oscar nominations have started quite the stir about both gender and race, and a newly-elected woman will deliver the GOP response to President Obama’s State of the Union address next week. Read on to learn how many Fortune 500 companies have all-male boards. Enjoy the long weekend and I’ll see you back here on Tuesday.

EVERYONE’S TALKING

Selma director snubbed. The African-American director of Selma, Ava DuVernay, was not nominated for an Academy Award despite wide speculation that she would be—nor was David Oyelowo, who played Martin Luther King Jr., nominated for Best Actor. While Selma got a Best Picture nod, no black actors were nominated in any major category this year. No women were nominated for Best Director or Best Original Screenplay either. Still, Academy president Cheryl Boone, the first black woman in that role, said that the Oscars don’t have a diversity problem  ‘at all.’  Bloomberg

ALSO IN THE HEADLINES

Taking on Obama. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), the first woman elected to the office from Iowa, will deliver the GOP response to President Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday. Ernst said she was “truly honored and humbled” by the responsibility, adding that “it’s a long way from Red Oak [Iowa] to Washington, D.C.” The Atlantic

• Men for women’s rights. On Wednesday, Iceland organized a conference at the United Nations for men interested in advocating for women’s rights around the world. “There is a need to engage men more,” said Iceland’s Ambassador Greta Gunnarsdottir. “The point is not to exclude women, but to include men.” AFP

• Moving fast. Despite the firestorm that rained down on Sony co-chairman Amy Pascal after hackers made her entire inbox public, the executive moved quickly to mend any relationships that were put in jeopardy. “I have no doubt some people were upset, but I think the relationships are so strong that they can be repaired. We don’t think we will have lost any business,” Michael Lynton, Sony Entertainment’s CEO, told Businessweek.  Businessweek

5 out of 10. Although women make up just 17.4% of Fortune 500 CIOs, half the CIOs in the top 10 companies in the Fortune 500 are women, according to a new report. Wal-Mart, Exxon, Ford, General Electric and Valero Energy all have female CIOs.  WSJ

• MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Liza Landsman, chief marketing officer at E-Trade, is leaving the company in February. Meredith Long, TIME’s executive director of the West Coast, will take over as the magazine’s publisher.

THE BROADVIEW

The 23 Fortune 500 companies with all-male boards

It’s 2015, and nearly 5% of Fortune 500 companies are still run by all-male boards of directors.

That’s the finding of a recent Fortune analysis in collaboration with S&P Capital IQ.

But here’s the encouraging news: The number of Fortune 500 companies with no female directors is down by 54% from 2013, when researchers at Catalyst had found that 50 Fortune 500 companies had all-male boards. A variety of reasons are behind the decline. Some companies on Catalyst’s 2013 list have dropped out of the Fortune 500. A few have since been acquired by companies with women on their boards. Still, others may have named a woman in response to the ever-increasing pressure to make corporate boards more diverse.

Despite this progress, several female business leaders told Fortune that it’s unacceptable for even one Fortune 500 company to be run by an all male board.

“It is not okay for a company to have a board that does not represent the views of their customers, and women are influential decision-makers, if not the key decision-makers, in many buying decisions,” said Maureen O’Connell, the CFO at Scholastic Corp. “Also, women often have a different style for interacting with other board members. For example, women tend to bring skills such as the ability to build consensus and to be inclusive in decision-making, which can lead to better problem solving.”

It’s important to note that 28% of Fortune 500 firms list just one female director. Still, studies have shown that it takes at least three women to enhance performance and governance and achieve effective critical mass.

Click over to Fortune.com to see the full list of companies with no female directors.

#FOODWINEWOMEN FRIDAYS

This month, The Broadsheet is partnering with our friends at Food & Wine to bring you news and inspiration from the top women in food and drink. Here are my three favorite stories from the series this week. 

 She brought foie gras to the U.S. Ariane Daguin launched her company, D’Artagnan, 30 years ago as the only purveyor of game and foie gras in the U.S. Now she is the leading supplier of organic poultry and game in the country, and the preferred vendor of famed New York restauranteurs like Daniel Boulud and Danny Meyer. “I never see myself as a woman talking to a man, I see myself as a supplier talking to the chef.” Fortune

• Life-changing bread moment. Melissa Clark, a food writer and cooking-show host, started her career by writing a book on how to use a bread machine — even though she had never used one. File this under “being in the right place at the right time and not being afraid to take a risk.” F&W

Power women in the kitchen. “When Americans think of a French chef, they usually see a male French chef,” said famed chef Jacques Pépin. “In my family I can count seven restaurants — all of them owned by a woman.”   F&W

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Waiting until 30. More than half of American women with at least a master’s degree are having children after their 20s, according to a study by Pew Research Center. Among mothers without a college degree, 62% have their first child before the age of 25.  Pew Research

Turned off by ‘brilliance’ Due to popular culture linking men but not women with “raw intellectual brilliance,” women are less likely to enter fields like philosophy and physics that are perceived to require inner talent, according to a study.  Bloomberg

ON MY RADAR

The richest women in the world  CNN

Meet Russell Simmons’ secret weapon  Fast Company

5 female CEOs who get up really early  Bizwomen

How to build a startup that changes the world  Fortune

QUOTE

We have these policies set up from the <em>Mad Men </em>era when dads worked and moms stayed at home. But that doesn’t reflect the American workforce anymore.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) speaks with <em>Businessweek</em> for its latest cover story on maternity policies in America.