The Broadsheet: May 15

May 15, 2015, 11:49 AM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! The female writers of Mad Men weigh in on Hollywood sexism, Avon gets a mysterious takeover bid, and Reddit makes a move to stop users from being harassed. Have a great Friday.


 The women behind Mad Men. AMC's wonderful drama Mad Men ends this Sunday. While that's sad news for fans like me, this should cheer you up: Five of the show's 11 writers are women--a rarity in the TV industry. Fortune talked to them about sexism in Hollywood, whether they drew on their own experiences for their work, and what it's really like in the writers room. Fortune


Seriously? Austin, Texas is in hot water after its city manager organized a "diversity training" that alleged women aren’t interested in math, ask a lot of questions and process ideas differently from men. The training came after the city elected a majority female city council for the first time. Do I even need to tell you that female city council members--and everyone else, for that matter--are outraged? Time

 Redefining world traveler. In 2011, British adventurer Sarah Outen set out on a quest to circumnavigate the globe using only her own human power. Now, she is just 3,200 miles from accomplishing her goal. Daily Beast

Upvote! Online message forum Reddit, led by interim CEO Ellen Pao, is updating its policies to explicitly prohibit harassment against users. That's a big change for the company, which has long been known as an Internet free-for-all. New York Times

 Needing a makeover. In the wake of a New York Times exposé, the nail salon industry is in danger of becoming pariah-like. How can salons start protecting workers and win back customers? Fortune

 Spring speaking circuit. Want advice from some of America's most powerful women? Check out a college graduation. Among the luminaries scheduled to give commencement addresses this year: Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina (Southern New Hampshire University), Xerox CEO Ursula Burns (Williams), and IBM CEO Ginni Rometty (Northwestern).   Fortune

 A methodical ministerAyelet Shaked, Israel's new justice minister, has already stirred up her fair share of controversy--and she was just sworn in on Thursday. She doesn't seem bothered, though. “If you get into emotions, then it disturbs your work," says Shaked. "Sometimes you focus on what’s less important and not the main thing.”   New York Times


 A makeup mystery. Avon stock spiked yesterday on the news that a London-based investment firm called PTG Capital had offered to acquire the Sheri McCoy-led beauty company. There is a big catch, however: PTG does not appear to exist. Fortune

Female entrepreneurs flag? New data show that women opened just 36.8% of new U.S. businesses in 2014. That's the second lowest level in nearly two decades--and a sign that the entrepreneurial gender gap widened last year.  WSJ

Amal gets dissed. The Greek government has rejected a legal dossier from Amal Clooney, the highly accomplished attorney now best known as George Clooney's wife. In the brief, Amal urged Greece to enter into a legal battle with Britain over the return of a collection of Greek 5th century BC sculptures known as the Elgin Marbles. Daily Beast

Vive les femmes. The New York Times calls it the "year of the la femme at Cannes," noting that the French film festival is pointedly including more women this year--including Emmanuelle Bercot, whose film “La Tête Haute” will screen on opening night.  New York Times

America lags. When it comes to putting women on corporate boards, Europe is lapping the U.S. The EU has mandated that 40% of independent board seats must be held by women by 2020. Meanwhile, according to an analysis run for Fortune, only seven Fortune 500 companies have boards that have hit the 40% mark. Fortune

Mistakes were made. Lori Dickerson Fouché, CEO of Prudential Group Insurance, talks about what she's learned about managing--and confesses that she overworked some teams earlier in her career. She says she made the mistake of thinking that if she could do it all, so could they. New York Times

 Maisonneuve cashes out. Investment company Pimco says it's shutting down three active stock mutual funds and that its chief investment officer of global equities,Virginie Maisonneuve, is leaving the firm. Bloomberg

Tune in to Fortune Live today and every Friday at 3 pm ET at This week's guests: West Elm President Jim Brett and Robert Herjavec from ABC's Shark Tank. Plus, host Leigh Gallagher and her panel of experts go deep on how millennials are changing the workplace.

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America's worst CEO is being replaced  Fortune

Bomb threat at German Next Top Model  Daily Beast

I don't want to have children and that's okay  Time

Learn French or Spanish while you Gchat  Entrepreneur


Why are we afraid of that word? It exists and we can’t get rid of it, so let’s fight for it and embrace it.

Anna Kendrick, on feminism. Kendrick is the star of <em>Pitch Perfect 2</em>, which opens today