Good morning, Broadsheet readers. President Obama addressed equal pay for women last night during the State of the Union and IBM CEO Ginni Rometty still has a lot of work to do to turn around the tech giant. Read on to hear why Facebook’s Carolyn Everson is excited to be at Davos. Have a great Wednesday!
• ‘Really. It’s 2015. It’s time.’ In Tuesday night’s State of the Union Address, President Obama said that Congress still needs to pass a law to guarantee women are paid the same as men for doing the same work. The president also revisited his promise to “make quality childcare more available, and more affordable” for middle-class and low-income families. “Stop treating childcare as a side issue,” the President said, adding that childcare is “not a nice to have, it’s a must have.” Fortune
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Gillibrand’s special guest. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) brought Emma Sulkowicz, the Columbia student who is carrying a mattress everywhere she goes on campus until her alleged rapist is expelled, as her guest at the State of the Union address. Gillibrand hoped Obama would address the issue of making campuses safer for female students, but it didn’t happen. WaPo
• Ernst talks compromise. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) said in the Republican rebuttal to Obama’s State of the Union that she hopes the president will work with her party to reach bipartisan compromise in both trade and tax reform policy. “The president has already expressed some support for these kinds of ideas,” she said. “We’re calling on him now to cooperate to pass them.” Ernst is the second woman in two years to deliver the Republican response to Obama’s speech as the party looks to attract more female voters. Politico
• IBM still on the decline. The tech giant reported a decline in both quarterly sales and profits. Since becoming CEO in 2012, Ginni Rometty has worked to transform the historic chipmaker into a tech company focused on cloud computing and data analytics. NYTimes
• ‘A defining moment for her.’ Deciding what to do with Yahoo’s $37 billion stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba could be one of the biggest decisions yet for CEO Marissa Mayer. “Marissa has a chance to really boost the stock if she plays her cards right,” Eric Jackson, managing partner of hedge fund Ironfire Capital, told the AP. AP
• Paris Mayor to sue Fox. Ann Hidalgo said she plans on suing Fox News for alleged inaccurate reports of areas in Paris that are “off-limits” to non-Muslims. “The image of Paris has been prejudiced, and the honor of Paris has been prejudiced,” she said. Time
• MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Sherry Neubert, former head of research and development for Goodyear, will become the tire company’s CIO.
Why Facebook’s Carolyn Everson is at Davos
For the countless year in a row, the World Economic Forum is being criticized for the shortage of women attending its annual conference in Davos.
As the gathering of business, political and thought leaders kicks off today, just 17% of attendees are expected to be women. While that percentage may seem low, it’s up slightly from 15% last year. Yet as Fortune reported this morning, Davos’ gender breakdown is a reflection of a global reality: Women are still too few in top positions at large companies and within the public sector.
Rather than focus of the shortage of women attending the conference, I wanted to hear from some strong female leaders in business who will be on the ground this week. Here’s what Carolyn Everson, VP of global marketing solutions for Facebook, had to say about what she is expecting to get out of Davos.
1. What business issues are top of mind for you that you hope will be addressed?
The power of connectivity is important and we have teams at Facebook helping to find ways to provide access to those not currently connected. The Internet enables progress and improves knowledge, economies, lives, and communities. At Facebook, my team works with the marketing partners all over the world, helping them to understand how people communicate in this ever-evolving world. Marketing is transforming – particularly as more people get connected and with the rise of mobile usage – and the shifts we are seeing today are truly impacting people, job opportunities, and also how we communicate.
2. Who are you most looking forward to hearing speak?
I am always looking to learn about how I can best inspire my team at Facebook. I’m excited to be at Davos this week, learning from and sharing with esteemed peers and global leaders. I am looking forward to “The Future Digital Economy,” during which panelists will discuss what is needed to ensure a thriving, open and secure digital economy. I am also excited for a discussion called “Leadership & Teamwork: On & Off the Field” led by Indra Nooyi, chairman and CEO of PepsiCo.
3. How can we get more women to come to Davos in the future?
In the coming years, the number of attendees who are women will rise, as the conversations that are taking place all around us today are going to fundamentally impact the path for women in the future. I’m inspired by the many incredible people who have dedicated their time to programs and research in order to encourage women to pursue degrees in STEM and achieve leadership positions. The formula for future success also begins with how we teach our children about the opportunities ahead of them – and encourage them to follow their dreams, and to look past any real or perceived barriers in order to achieve them.
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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• The end of a topless era. For the first time since 1970, readers of British tabloid The Sun will not see pictures of topless women on the infamous page 3. “Page 3 is really beyond its use-by date,” said David Banks, a former editor at The Sun. “It’s inevitable its time has come.” Bloomberg
• Sororities should throw parties. That’s the headline of an editorial published yesterday in The New York Times arguing that college sororities should not be barred from serving alcohol at their residences. Its basic thesis is that the drinking ban gives fraternities control over the party scene and, therefore, control over when women are permitted to drink socially. NYTimes
• An important lesson. Male students who took a Stanford Business School class on female entrepreneurship learned that “everyone has a unique perspective based off of their background, their personality” and “how they view the world.” It may sound simple, but the men taking the course said they likely wouldn’t have learned that lesson elsewhere on campus. Fast Company
ON MY RADAR
At 90, she’s designing tech for aging boomers NPR
Disney’s Frozen led to rare jump in toy sales Fortune
Please stop acting as if maternity leave is a vacation Time
The real knockouts of women’s boxing The Atlantic
No industry or country can reach its full potential until women reach their full potential. This is especially true of science and technology, where women with a surplus of talent still face a deficit of opportunity.Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg in a video announcement after backing the Global Fund for Women's online multimedia project, IGNITE: Women Fueling Science and Technology.