The Broadsheet: May 8

May 8, 2015, 11:46 AM UTC
Fortune

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! B-schools are worried about a dearth of female prospects, manicurists in New York are being horribly exploited, and yet another pro sports team steps in it. Also, Mother’s Day is Sunday–do you have a plan? Have a fantastic Friday!

EVERYONE'S TALKING

 Nailing an important issue. The NY Times finds that many New York City manicurists are underpaid, abused, exploited and exposed to potential health risks. I urge you to read it: You will think twice before booking your next mani/pedi.   New York Times

ALSO IN THE HEADLINES

Are female MBAs endangered? With fewer people interested in getting an MBA, business schools are worried that they won't be able to attract enough women to satisfy employer demand. As a result, they're creating more women-centric programs and fighting over top female prospects. WSJ

 Two days and counting. Are you a Mother's Day slacker? If so, it's not too late. Fortune has four ways you can harness the power of the Internet to make your mom happy this Sunday.   Fortune

What were they thinking? The NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers aired a promo ad for their playoff game against the Chicago Bulls that managed to turn a reenactment of the “Time of My Life” dance scene from Dirty Dancing into a spoof on domestic violence. Come on, pro sports teams: Enough is enough.  Slate

 Taliban talks women's rights? In talks in Qatar, members of the Taliban took a softer stance on women’s rights. If they were to return to power in Afghanistan, they claimed, they wouldn't roll back the progress women have made since the group fell from power in 2001.  WSJ

 The dark side of Tinseltown. A new Tumblr blog, "Sh-t People Say to Women Directors (& Other Women in Film)," allows women to anonymously share stories of the sexism they've encountered while working in Hollywood. The founders told Fortune that they set it up “as a sort of crisis intervention.”  Fortune

A win-win? Eileen Appelbaum, senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, argues that the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act is a win-win. Not only would the legislation provide workers with wage support for missed days, she writes, but it would also help businesses by reducing turnover.   Fortune

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: The Walt Disney Co. has promoted Leslie Ferraro to president of Disney Consumer Products. Previously, she served as executive vp, global marketing, sales and travel operations for Parks and Resorts.

BROADVIEW

How PwC plans to leverage political donations to help female politicians

"Money is the mother's milk of politics," the late California politician Jesse Unruh famously said. Ironically, for female politicians, that "mother's milk" can be a serious stumbling block.

There are 104 women serving in the 114th Congress. That's an all-time high, but female members still account for only about 20% of the total body. And while a host of factors have contributed to keeping Congress unequal, money is a big one. Fundraising is the number one barrier that stops women from running for higher office, according to a study from Political Parity, a nonpartisan group working to increase the number Congresswomen and female governors. Another report, just released by The Sunlight Foundation and the Center for Responsive Politics, found that nearly 75% of the biggest donors in the 2014 midterm election were men.

Laura Cox Kaplan, regulatory affairs and public policy leader for accounting giant PwC, says her firm is trying to clear the barriers by changing the way its political action committee distributes money to politicians. In 2014, PwC's PAC gave $1.5 million to political candidates, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a D.C. group that tracks political donations. While that figure pales compared to Washington's biggest donors, Kaplan hopes that by focusing money on female politicians, PwC will help improve the gender balance in Congress.

"Washington seems broken," says Kaplan. "We have seen both at PwC and with our clients that diverse groups function better." She believes that increasing women's power in politics will help break down gridlock in government and actually prompt lawmakers to get more done.

PwC began by reaching out to female members of Congress, who told the firm that changing the timing of donations could make a difference. So, Kaplan says, "We want to get more money out the door in the first quarter." The idea is that, by donating to women early, the PAC "can dissuade challengers to women who we think are doing a good job."

To read the rest of my story, click here.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

 Cosmic coupling. Good news for comedy fans: HBO has signed Amy Schumer to star in her first comedy special for the cable network. Even better news: It will be directed by Chris Rock. Time

 A third way. The U.S. State Department has a transgender problem: More than 1.5 billion people now live in countries that allow people to identify as neither male nor female on passports, but the U.S. immigration system has no way to process these documents. Buzzfeed

 Educated moms. New data reveal that a growing share of highly educated U.S. women are having children. While researchers can't fully explain the trend, they speculate that the uptick may mean that women in this demo are having an easier time juggling work and family.  WSJ

Boardroom brawlerIn an interview with the Des Moines Register editorial board, presidential candidate Carly Fiorina tackled the question of why she was fired from Hewlett-Packard. Fiorina said she was ousted in "a boardroom brawl," an experience that taught her "when you challenge the status quo, you are gonna make enemies. It is the nature of leadership."  Bloomberg

Meet the momager. Kris Jenner is the matriarch of Jenner/Kardashian clan, manager of the careers of her six children and executive producer of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” and its spinoffs. This profile looks at how Jenner created an odd new form of family business--and transformed the way we think about celebrity.  New York Times

Mom power. Perry Yeatman, CEO of consultancy Perry Yeatman Global Partners, runs down eight reasons that moms make the best CEOs. For one, all that time you spent bargaining with your six-year-old to eat her vegetables has turned you into a killer negotiator. Fortune

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ON MY RADAR

5 hero moms will give you extra reason to celebrate Mother's Day  Time

Christine Mau becomes the first female pilot to fly an F-35 Lightning II jet  NBCNews

Carly Fiorina's "Demon Sheep" went down in political ad infamy  NPR

Eve Ensler: How Mad Max: Fury Road became a feminist action film  Time

QUOTE

Everything I do scares the hell out of me. I'm always anxious. But as you get older, you worry less about what people think.

Rita Wilson, now starring in the play<em> Fish in the Dark</em> with Larry David