The Broadsheet: August 5th

August 5, 2015, 11:44 AM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! America’s CTO Megan Smith hosts entrepreneurs at the White House, Taylor Swift reveals the one woman who read her Apple open letter before she hit “publish,” and #iLookLikeAnEngineer takes over social media. Have a fantastic Wednesday.


 Pitching the Investor-in-Chief. President Obama and U.S. CTO Megan Smith hosted the first ever White House "demo day," modeled on the tech industry events where entrepreneurs present their startups to potential investors. But unlike the typical Silicon Valley version, Tuesday's demos in D.C. focused on women and minority founders, and the event prompted more than a dozen major companies to announce new plans and policies to improve diversity. Fortune


 Engineering a viral movement. Take a minute to search social media for the hashtag #iLookLikeAnEngineer. The campaign was launched by Isis Wenger, a developer at OneLogin who agreed to pose for a recruiting campaign for the company. When the ads prompted a sexist and negative response, Wenger wrote a Medium post asking other engineers to post their photos, demonstrating that there's no single way engineers "should" look. Medium

 Taylor tells all. In Vanity Fair’s September cover story, Taylor Swift talks about her open letter to Apple, which prompted the tech behemoth to reverse course and pay artists during the trial period of its new streaming music service. Swift reveals that only one person saw the missive before it hit the internet: “I read it to my mom,” she says. For more backstory on Taylor vs. Apple, check out Fortune's interview with Scott Borchetta, the record label executive who discovered and signed the pop star when she was 14. Vanity Fair

 Maxximum payout. TJX Companies CEO Carol Meyrowitz took the top slot in WWD's list of the 25 highest-paid retail execs, with a total 2014 comp of $28.7 million. WWD

A different kind of Netflix unlimited. Netflix redefined how we watch movies, and now the company appears to be doing something similar for parental leave: Netflix announced that it will allow employees to take unlimited maternity or paternity leave during the first year after their child’s birth or adoption. Fortune

Older and wiser. Although women over 40 are the fastest-growing segment of the workforce, most work in low-paid, low-skill industries. This story argues that if we want the next generation of female professionals to be "strong, assertive, and demanding," we need to keep more older women in the workplace to serve as role models. New York Magazine

 They're watching. Ellevate Network chair Sallie Krawcheck writes about her surprise at discovering how closely her children were observing her career. The lesson? Work like your kids are watching, writes Krawcheck—because they are. Medium

 Flying in the face of threats. Niloofar Rahmani, Afghanistan’s first female fixed-wing military pilot, is facing death threats from both the Taliban and her extended family for daring to work in the male-dominated world of military aviation.  WSJ

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: JMI Equity has promoted Kathy Fields to general partner. Square has added Ruth Simmons, the former president of Smith College and Brown University, to its board.


 Female energy. While the dearth of women in tech tends to grab all the headlines, the oil and gas industry has an even smaller percentage of female employees. This story digs into why that is—and what some people in the field are doing to try to attract more women. Fortune

 A final dive. Natalia Molchanova, widely regarded as the greatest free diver in history, is feared dead after failing to surface after a dive off an island near Ibiza. New York Times

 Boosting a baby boom? In China, married women face restrictions on freezing their eggs, and the process is entirely closed to single women. The reason? The country's "one-child policy" created a population imbalance, and now the government wants to encourage women to give birth so there will be enough young people to drive GDP growth and take care of the elderly. Quartz

 An awkward transition. When Issa Rae's YouTube show, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, went viral, she ended up with a deal with HBO. Two years later, her pilot hasn't gotten any further than a script. Why is she finding it so tough to translate her Internet success to the small screen? New York Times

 Mentee becomes mentor. Kathleen Murphy, president of Personal Investing at Fidelity Investments, writes about her unexpected role reversal in the Fortune/U.S. State Department Global Women's Mentoring Partnership program: She learned a ton from her mentee from Poland. LinkedIn

 What's Mandarin for "rent my apartment?" In more China news,, an Airbnb-like startup co-founded by Melissa Yang, raised $300 million in its latest funding round. WSJ

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Barbie beware: Bratz dolls are back  Fortune

Why breakups hurt more for women  Fusion

The age of the robot worker will be worse for men  The Atlantic

Student loan debt is leaving women broke and vulnerable  Vice


Your work is the rent you pay for the room you occupy on Earth.

Queen Elizabeth, Britain's Queen Mother, who would have turned 115 yesterday.