Good morning, Broadsheet readers. A startup led by a female founder secured $5.1 million in funding and Jeb Bush just might have a thing for powerful women. Read on to hear why Melinda Gates is excited about the power mobile phones have to transform the lives of the world’s poorest women. Have a great Thursday!
• Seeing beyond the workplace. Biases and injustices against women and minorities rarely check themselves at the office door, writes Roxane Gay, the author of New York Times best-seller Bad Feminist. In a new online column for Fortune, Gay will discuss ways the workplace can promote social change. “It sometimes feels like the workplace is immune from social upheaval. We go to work and do the best we can and at the end of the day, we return to our lives. We don’t abandon who we are, however, when we begin and end our workday. Who we are shapes how we are perceived in the workplace and in turn, how we perform in the workplace,” she writes. Fortune
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Jeb Bush and power women. If former Gov. Jeb Bush decides to run for president, a majority of his staff could very well be women. All of his previous chiefs of staff have been women, his current political team is almost entirely women and the head of his nonprofit foundation is a woman as well. As we all know, studies have shown that teams that include more female talent tend to perform better than all-male groups. WSJ
• Parting is such sweet sorrow. Tootsie Roll Industry’s long-time CEO, Melvin Gordon, died Tuesday at the age of 95. Ellen Gordon, his wife and the candy maker’s current COO, will take over the role. It’s unclear how old Ellen Gordon is, but Bloomberg reports she is in her 80s. Fortune
• A ring of funding. Ringly, a company who makes rings for women that sync with your phone and light up when you have texts, phone calls and more, just announced a $5.1 million Series A round of funding led by Andreessen Horowitz. “They told us ‘we see the space as expanding,'” co-founder and CEO Christina Mercando said about Andreessen Horowitz’s decision to invest in her startup. BizWomen
• Marissa on track? When Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer left Google in 2012, she was tasked with turning around Yahoo in two to three years and getting to double-digit growth in five years. As she rebuilds failing products and makes mostly smart acquisitions, it’s too soon to tell if the tech giant is “rebounding from irrelevance,” writes Farhad Manjoo for the New York Times. NYTimes
• A mining problem. The number of female board appointments among the top 100 mining companies in the U.K. has risen by just 3.1% since 2012. “At this rate it will take until 2039 for the top 100 listed mining companies to reach the 30 percent critical mass of women on boards,” which is too slow of a rate for the lobby group Women in Mining U.K. Bloomberg
• Big moves at P&G. David Taylor, the group president of global health and grooming , is now in charge of two of the company’s four business units making him a front-runner to succeed current CEO A.G. Lafley. Taylor’s promotion means Deb Henretta, No. 23 on Fortune’s Most Powerful Women list, will lose some of her responsibilities and become global president of e-commerce. “It’s hard to see Taylor’s elevation and Henretta’s horizontal move as anything but a confirmation that she is out of the running for the top job,” writes Fortune’s Jennifer Reingold. Fortune
• MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Beth Ford, Land O’ Lakes EVP and chief supply chain officer, is now a member of PACCAR’s board of directors.
Melinda Gates’ big prediction for women
In the next 15 years, the lives of people in the world’s poorest countries will improve faster than at any other time in history, says Melinda Gates. A big catalyst for all of this positive change? Mobile phones.
That’s one major takeaway from Bill and Melinda Gates’ annual letter outlining the global trends that the billionaire couple is focused on in 2015. The financial lives of the poor are complicated, they write, and the poorest people around the world do not have access to financial services. By 2030, the explosion in digital banking will give the poor more control over their money and help lift them out of poverty.
The key to that transformation will be mobile phones: In 15 years, 2 billion people who don’t have a bank account today will be saving money and making payments with their phones.
And if women — as opposed to only the husbands — have access to phones, Melinda predicts that the economic transformation across the developing world will be even more remarkable.
“Women talk about if they can get hooked up to the banking services, which have become ubiquitous in places like Kenya and Tanzania, they can then save small amounts of money,” she said in a meeting with a handful of reporters in New York on Wednesday. “Saving a dollar a day or two dollars a day could change everything” for women. And their children.
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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• The first 90 days. In a post on LinkedIn, GM CEO Mary Barra outlines her tips for what to do during the first 90 days in a new job or on a new assignment. “People don’t care what you know until they know that you care,” she wrote about the importance of listening to your team and always “adapt to meet the changing needs of the customer,” she adds. LinkedIn
• Decoding Obama. In the State of the Union Address, President Obama mentioned a World War II-era childcare program. The program was established in 1942 to give women access to childcare so they could go to work while their husbands fought, but it was also created to manage the “national security” threat of unattended children running around all over the country. Time
• Who should take parental leave? At first, experts say it’s important that you and your partner both absolutely agree that one of you should quit their job at all. Once you come to that conclusion, don’t automatically assume the person who makes less money will be the one to stay at home. “Who has the most appropriate disposition for the kids?” and “who won’t get bored by routine aspects of cleaning the house and doing laundry?” are also important questions to answer well before any kids enter the equation. Fortune
ON MY RADAR
Is staying at home with a Harvard degree ‘wasteful’? HuffPost Live
How to be a creative altruist with an exceptional career HuffPost
Women fight for better opportunities in Hollywood NYTimes
6 personality traits of high-performing women Business Insider
How did an American woman become queen of British VCs? Fortune
The incident (involving Jackie) happened or it didn't happen. What I see here (among fraternity members) is a sense of brotherhood and friendship. The article would never take me away from pledging a fraternity.Akin Yucel, a first-year student at the University of Virginia from Istanbul tells <em>Businessweek</em> while walking from one fraternity house to another during parties.