Skip to Content

The Broadsheet: June 30

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Angela Merkel is still struggling to keep Europe in one economic piece, Hillary Clinton’s email is coming back to haunt her and meet the woman who is leading Facebook’s efforts to friend Africa. Plus: A look at how women CEOs fared in this year’s Fortune 500. Enjoy your Tuesday!


• It’s all Greek to Merkel. German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke about the Greek debt crisis twice yesterday. Merkel made it clear that she does not want Greece to leave the Eurozone, saying “If the euro fails, Europe fails.” New York Times


• Gannett goes for a spin. TENGA, the media company formerly called Gannett, has completed the spin off of its publishing business. Gracia Martore will stay on as CEO of the remaining parent company, which owns or provides services to 46 TV stations and runs and USA Today

Founders flourish? Fortune‘s Pattie Sellers talks to Juliet de Baubigny, a senior partner at VC firm Kleiner Perkins, about why the tech industry is seeing a wave of founder-controlled startups, including Airbnb.  Fortune

• Benghazi blowback. A review of the emails from Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state appears to contradict her description of the memos about Libya she received from longtime adviser Sidney Blumenthal. While Clinton has said that the memos were unsolicited, the emails show that she repeatedly encouraged Blumenthal to “keep ’em coming.” New York Times

• Facebook friends Africa. In an attempt to reach the more than 1 billion people living in Africa, Facebook is opening a sales office in Johannesburg next month. It will be led by new hire Nunu Ntshingila, who also will run the office and oversee Facebook’s business in the region. Bloomberg

Gender-neutral judgments? Fortune‘s Jennifer Reingold weighs in on a new study that finds that having a female CEO neither helps nor hurts a company. Fortune

• New York power players. Crain’s New York Business has published its biannual list of the 50 most powerful women in New York. At No. 1: Alicia Glen, NYC’s deputy mayor for housing and economic development.  Crain's

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Nancy Brinker, founder of Susan G. Komen, has resigned from her paid position to assume an unpaid role as a top volunteer.


GM’s Mary Barra sets a Fortune 500 record for female CEOs

Are you an optimist or pessimist? The answer may determine what you think of this year’s crop of female Fortune 500 CEOs.

On one hand, General Motors, led by CEO Mary Barra, rose to the No. 6 slot in the Fortune 500 (the ranking is determined by annual revenues). That is the highest a female-led company has ranked since 1998, when Fortune started tracking gender in the C-Suite. On the flip side, in a year when corporate diversity has arguably been a hotter topic than ever before, the number of female CEOs in the F500 actually shrunk by one (going from 24 to 23). What’s more, the cast of characters has stayed largely the same, with only two new women—Safra Catz, co-CEO of Oracle, and Lisa Su, CEO of Advanced Micro Devices—joining the 2015 list.

Barra’s high ranking is certainly notable, given her particularly difficult year. GM recalled almost 27 million vehicles in 2014 and the death toll tied to a defective ignition switch used on older GM cars hit 100 this May. Nevertheless, the CEO has been widely praised for how she handled the crisis, and the company recently had its best quarter in North America since emerging from bankruptcy in 2009. Last year was Barra’s first on the Fortune 500 list.

Catz has the semi-dubious honor of being the only female co-CEO on the list. She stepped into the role last September, along with former Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd. Catz, who was Oracle’s CFO for many years, is known as a master of financials and operations. While many were skeptical that the co-CEO setup would work, Catz and Hurd seem to be balancing things relatively well so far. Perhaps they’re more worried about successfully guiding Oracle through its transition from traditional software seller to cloud computing company than squabbling over who has the bigger office.

To read the rest of my story, click here.


Black entrepreneurs blossom. A new report finds that the number of businesses owned by African-American women grew 322% since 1997, making black women the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the U.S. Fortune

A dangerous sport? Twenty-two years after Monica Seles was stabbed in the back during a tournament in Hamburg, Germany, safety concerns are still a serious issue in women’s tennis.  New York Times

• Digital darlings. MSNBC profiles eight tech-savvy women—including Emily’s List digital advisor Hilary Nachem and Rand Paul campaign strategist Rachel Kania—who are advising political candidates on how to maximize their digital outreach. MSNBC

• Forgive and forget? Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is sitting down with President Obama in Washington this week, for a meeting that’s expected to help heal the breach created in 2013 when leaked NSA files revealed that the U.S. had spied on Rousseff and other Brazilian officials.  WSJ

• Time to step up STEMA depressing new study shows that we have a long way to go when it comes to engaging girls in STEM. The survey of found that 15% of high school boys say they’re interested in a career in technology versus just 2% of girls.   Buzzfeed

Sizing up the split. This week, Hewlett-Packard, led by CEO Meg Whitman, will outline the financials of the two companies that will result from its split: HP Inc., which will sell PCs and printers, and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, a supplier of corporate technology.  WSJ

Share today’s Broadsheet with a friend:

Looking for previous Broadsheets? Click here.


Why mothers and teenage daughters fight  WSJ

Transgender is yesterday’s news: How companies are grappling with the “no gender” society  Fortune

Meryl Steep sends a letter to every member of Congress asking that they resurrect the ERA   Washington Post

Dunkin’ Donuts takes down help wanted sign asking for men only  Time


It is part of women’s DNA and brain functioning to solve problems for their families, communities and society.

Deborah Jackson, CEO of Plum Alley, a crowdfunding platform for female entrepreneurs