Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Carly Fiorina might be the GOP’s secret weapon against Hillary Clinton, and Mary Barra’s company posted some impressive earnings. Read on to learn why we should be alarmed by the shortage of women in power in Latin America. Have a great Thursday!
• A secret GOP weapon. Is Carly Fiorina the dark horse candidate in the GOP race for President? That's the question Megyn Kelly raised on Fox News this week, and Fortune's Pattie Sellers dives into why the former HP CEO has the fight in her to take on Hillary Clinton. “My strength is my strength, but it also can be a weakness,” she once told Sellers, referring to her aggressive nature. Fiorina recently took a shot at Clinton by saying, "Like Mrs. Clinton, I too have traveled hundreds of thousands of miles. But flying and traveling is an activity; it's not an accomplishment."Referring to this comment, Fiorina said in an interview with Bizwomen: "Everybody's record is fair game." Fortune
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Barra's big win. General Motors saw a 91% increase in fourth-quarter profit this year, fueled by uncharacteristically strong January car sales. The Detroit automaker, run by CEO Mary Barra, also awarded its 48,000 union workers with a record $9,000 bonus. WSJ
• Really, Cristina? Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, who is dealing with the dramatic fallout of an Argentine prosecutor's suspicious death, just stirred up more drama. During a visit with Chinese President Xi Jinping to raise investment interest from China, she sent out a tweet mimicking Chinese accents by replacing r's with l's. Bloomberg
• From law school to drones. Lisa Ellman met President Obama when she was his student at the University of Chicago Law School. Now she's helping her former professor work on policies that will make it possible for commercial drones to be flown in the U.S. "Most people think of him as President Obama, but I got to know him first as Professor Obama,” said Ellman. Note to self: Keep up with your favorite teachers. Fortune
• Mockingbird controversy. The announcement of Harper Lee's upcoming prequel To Kill a Mockingbird has added fuel to the conspiracy theory that Lee didn't write the legendary novel at all. Fortune
• The Warren loophole. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) is proposing a bill that would penalize large pharmaceutical companies for breaking the law. There's just one catch: Medical device manufacturers, who are largely based in Warren's home state of Massachusetts, are exempt from the rule. Time
• MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Kat Cole, former president of Cinnabon, is now group president at parent company FOCUS Brands, a global franchisor of eateries such as Auntie Anne's and Seattle's Best Coffee, as well as Cinnabon. Stevie Benjamin, former senior director of marketing connections at MillerCoors, is now vice president of media strategies at Target.
Latin America's powerless women
The number of Latin American women in executive leadership just went down by one. It may sound like an insignificant data point for an entire region but, for this one, it's substantial.
Amid a growing corruption scandal, the CEO of Brazil oil giant Petrobras, Maria das Graças Foster, resigned on Wednesday. Foster was one of just 9 female CEOs of big Latin American companies, according to the Latin Business Chronicle. That means that only 1.8% of the top 500 Latin American companies were run by women. To put that figure into perspective, 5% of Fortune 500 companies have female CEOs.
Foster's exit is particularly alarming given other disappointing global trends in the last several years. As reporter Erika Fry pointed out yesterday, since Fortune published its Global 500 list in July 2014, the number of women CEOs in the Global 500 has dropped from 17 to 14.
Although Foster topped Fortune's MPW International list in 2013, she dropped off in 2014 after the editors decided to showcase women in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) and the Asia-Pacific region separately. Because there are so few women in positions of power in Latin America, we couldn't justify creating a third list.
The departure puts a spotlight on the shortage of women in leadership in Latin America, but also the important role culture plays in this equation. Although Latin America has three female presidents, a recent Gallup poll reported that only 35% of the populace believes that women are treated with respect and dignity. Before we see more women coming to power in Latin America, policy makers and officials might want to look lower down the pipeline to force that stat to change.
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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• 'We suck.' Twitter CEO Dick Costolo opened up about the problem the social networking site has controlling trolls. “We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve sucked at it for years. We’re going to start kicking these people off right and left and making sure that when they issue their ridiculous attacks, nobody hears them." Mediaite
• REAL Monopoly money. For Monopoly's 80th anniversary and first appearance in France, the game maker is awarding 80 lucky buyers with more than $23,000 in real cash as opposed to fake Monopoly money. “We wanted to do something unique,” said Florence Gaillard, a brand manager at parent company Hasbro. The Guardian
• Saturday Night Palin. Sarah Palin will take part in SNL's 40th anniversary special. Palin, who was frequently parodied on the show by Tina Fey, first took the SNL stage in 2008. People
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ON MY RADAR
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Why the few female venture capitalists often give up Fast Company
There will never, ever, ever be parity at the top, because women think about power differently than men do. Women think about power much more horizontally. Men think about power vertically.<em>Fortune's </em>Pattie Sellers talks about women and power.