Skip to Content

The Broadsheet: September 3rd

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Marissa Mayer’s plan for her maternity leave unleashes a storm of think pieces, the woman who invented online luxury retail quits, and the excitement over the NFL’s first female coach may have been premature. Have a wonderful Thursday.

EVERYONE’S TALKING

Mayer’s minders. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s announcement that she’s pregnant with twins—and plans to take minimal time off—prompted a barrage of hot takes. Over at LinkedIn, Broadsheet alum Caroline Fairchild weighs in on how the CEO’s announcement will affect young women. Ellen Bravo, the executive director of Family Values @ Work, urged Mayer to set an example by taking leave. Then there’s Fortune‘s Dan Primack, who wants all the Internet busybodies to stop telling Mayer—and father-to-be Mark Zuckerberg, for that matter—how to parent. Yes, I too wrote a piece on this controversy. You can read it below. And please do let me know what you think.

ALSO IN THE HEADLINES

• Leaving fashionably early. Natalie Massenet, founder and executive chairman of online fashion group Net-A-Porter, has abruptly quit in the run-up to the company’s acquisition by Yoox. She was supposed to be chairman of the combined company, which post-acquisition will be the world’s largest online luxury-goods retailer. Bloomberg

• Female fighters. The U.S. Army is removing all restrictions on women attending its Ranger School, following last month’s historic graduation of two female soldiers. Washington Post

• One step forward, one step back. It seems that the excitement over the NFL’s first female coach was premature: Jen Welter was hired as a coaching intern by the Arizona Cardinals, but many expected the team to bring her on full-time when her internship ended earlier this summer. So far, that hasn’t happened.  Fortune

• Grading on a curve? A new experiment shows that elementary school teachers graded girls lower than boys on the qualitative portions of math tests, unconsciously perpetuating the belief that girls underperform in STEM subjects.  NPR

• Macro money. Emerson Collective, the socially-conscious investment fund started by Laurene Powell Jobs, led a $10 million financing round for Macro, a media company dedicated to producing film, television and web series for multicultural audiences. Bloomberg

BROADVIEW

Marissa Mayer can parent however she wants—as long as she sends one message to employees.

Looks like I am one of the “armchair nannies” my colleague Dan Primack fretted about in his recent post, “Stop telling Marissa and Zuck how to parent.

On Tuesday, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer took to Tumblr to announce that she’s pregnant with twins. Great news! But this portion of her post prompted mixed feelings—and a deluge of maternity leave think pieces: “I plan to approach the pregnancy and delivery as I did with my son three years ago, taking limited time away and working throughout.”

In a perfect world, I’d encourage CEOs like Mayer and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, who recently announced his impending fatherhood, to take their full parental leaves. It would be a powerful message to their own employees—and to other top executives in their industry—that taking time off to parent is important, fully supported, and good for business. Yet, I acknowledge that there’s no one-size-fits-all answer here: Mayer, Zuckerberg and everyone else should raise their children whatever way works best for them.

My beef? Mayer’s Tumblr post. Given today’s media world and the rising prominence of parental leave issues in our culture, it’s hard to believe she didn’t see this kerfuffle coming.

To read the rest of BroadView, click here.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Watching women’s wearables. Could it be that a company is finally making a wearable that women want to wear? Motorola’s Moto 360 smartwatch is the first Android Wear device to come in separate versions for men and women. Fortune

• A different kind of talking head. MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry talks about how she landed her eponymous show, what it’s like to be a “public intellectual,” and what inspired her to write her book, Sister Citizen. Broadly

• Bring on 2016. Bummed out about the dearth of women on late-night TV? Take solace in this new promo for Full Frontal, Samantha Bee’s upcoming TBS show, premiering in January. YouTube

• Manly motivation? New research finds that men who help with child care are more likely to have better relationships—and more satisfying sex lives—than than those who leave it up to their partner. New York Times

Share today’s Broadsheet with a friend:
http://fortune.com/newsletter/broadsheet/

Looking for previous Broadsheets? Click here.

ON MY RADAR

The witches of Salem  New Yorker

Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, is now a national figure  New York Times

Andy Roddick just wants to support all women  New York Magazine

Black female celebrities on magazine covers do sell, but will the fanfare last?  The Guardian

QUOTE

I’ve been a card-carrying, radical feminist since I was 19... Any woman who says they’re not a feminist is basically saying that they don’t believe in equal rights for women.

Actress Emma Thompson, whose new movie, <em>A Walk in the Woods,</em> opens Friday