The Broadsheet: September 28th

September 28, 2015, 11:57 AM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Samantha Power leads a charge to #Freethe20, a scandal brews over the first women to graduate from U.S. Army Ranger School, and FLOTUS launches a girls’ education campaign with a little help from Beyoncé. Plus: Fortune’s Pattie Sellers responds to Anne-Marie Slaughter’s much buzzed-about new book. Have a productive Monday.


Xi for she? China President Xi Jinping on Sunday co-hosted an event to recognize the 20th anniversary of a landmark women’s rights conference in Beijing. While President Obama did not attend, the U.S. made its presence felt. U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power led the American delegation and organized #Freethe20, a campaign to shame China and other countries for jailing 20 female activists. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton, who attended the inaugural event 20 years go, took to Twitter to criticize Xi for China’s detention of five prominent women’s rights activists earlier this year.


 Ranger school scandal? People reports that in January, a U.S. Army general told subordinates, "A woman will graduate Ranger School." This proclamation came months before any women enrolled in the prestigious and notoriously grueling school. And now Rep. Steve Russell (R-OK) wants to investigate whether the two women who graduated from Ranger School in August were given special treatment. People

 Michelle's mission. At the Global Citizen Festival in New York's Central Park on Saturday night, Michelle Obama (with a little help from Beyoncé) launched the #62MillionGirls campaign to help the world's 62 million girls who aren't in school. WSJ

 Don't mess with Mary Jo. SEC chairwoman Mary Jo White has disappointed some who want her to come down harder on Wall Street. But Fortune's Geoff Colvin makes the case that she has been more vigorous than her predecessors in pursuing financial wrongdoing.  Fortune

 Holding it together. Maria Pereira, head of research at Paris-based medical device startup Gecko Biomedical, is developing surgical glues and patches that could transform modern medicine. Time

 Lizzie's red carpet moment. After discovering a YouTube video about her called "The World's Ugliest Woman," Lizzie Velasquez, who suffers from a genetic disorder called Marfan Syndrome, was inspired to give an anti-bullying TED talk and become a motivational speaker. Now, she's the subject of a new documentary.  Fortune

 Aiming low? Harvard Business School researchers polled 650 recent MBA graduates about their careers and found that female respondents preferred less senior positions. Bloomberg

 Carly's contradictions. This New Yorker story investigates the many contradictions of GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, arguing that while she is able to marshal a range of details (some true, some less so) when it comes to policy proposals or her stance on abortion, her numbers are often "muddled or opaque" when she defends her record as CEO of Hewlett-Packard.   New Yorker

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Yelp's board of directors has named Diane Irvine chairwoman. Irvine, former CEO of online jewelry retailer Blue Nile, has been on Yelp's board since 2011.


Today's Broadview comes from Fortune Assistant Managing Editor Pattie Sellers.

What Anne-Marie Slaughter misses about why women still aren’t reaching the top

Anne-Marie Slaughter argues in Unfinished Business, her hot new book due out Tuesday (read an excerpt here), that corporate America and the U.S. government need to enact new policies and practices to help women advance. Kudos to Slaughter, who laid out the problem brilliantly in her 2012 Atlantic article, "Why Women Still Can't Have It All," and now continues to serve a lot of women well. But her advice misses a key part of the solution for getting more women into leadership positions.

Here's why: Even if companies provided utopian work environments for women, dropouts and "mommy trackers" would still quit the upper ranks. I have a good sense of this because I’ve overseen Fortune Most Powerful Women since its 1998 launch and I've interviewed hundreds of women leaders since. To most highly educated, high-potential women, success means much more than holding a top job. Women tends to view power horizontally—it’s about impacting many things broadly—vs. climbing the ladder, which is generally more of a turn-on to men. “Power is the ability to impact with purpose,” Oprah Winfrey told me years ago when I asked her for her definition. It's a definition that many woman covet.

Moreover, female concepts of power and success develops early. Women—even as they comprise nearly 60% of students entering top U.S. universities and tend to outperform men in the classroom—are up to 50% less likely than their male peers to enter competitive fields after graduating, notes Sally Blount, the dean of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. By competitive fields, she means areas such as investment banking and management consulting, which tend to be the best training grounds for big jobs later. One year out of college, women, on average, earn only 82% of what men earn.

So, many high-potential women opt out—or "opt lower" may be the more accurate term—practically before they begin their career. Two other pivot points follow...

To read the rest of Pattie's story, click here.


 Actress turned activist. Actress Patricia Arquette, who famously used her Oscar acceptance speech to advocate for wage equality, talks to Fortune about what she has been doing to continue to promote the cause. Fortune

 Ng plays ball. Kim Ng is the highest-ranking woman in Major League Baseball—and may become the sport's first female GM. ESPNW

 Redefining leadership. Ruth Bernstein, co-founder and chief strategy officer at content-creation agency YARD, writes that Hillary Clinton and Carly Fiorina "rose through the ranks in a world that was even more overtly sexist than the one we’re living in today" and should be credited for redefining what it means to be a leader in 2015. Fortune

Paragon of pension reform. Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, who was recently profiled in Fortune, is a role model for politicians in other pension-squeezed states. She finished a four-year pension overhaul without raising taxes or issuing risky pension-obligation bonds. New York Times

An undergarment mogul's moves. Spanx CEO Jan Singer talks about hiring leaders, pushing people to reach their potential, and doing what it takes to get your first big break. In her case, that meant cold-calling the president of Chanel. New York Times

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Here's the latest exec to call Carly Fiorina's business record "disastrous"   Fortune

The dark side of Silicon Valley diversity targets  Newsweek

How CST Brands CEO Kim Lubel confronts her biggest fear  Fortune

Lockheed CEO opens up on her life and career  CNN


Pope Francis would be the perfect pontiff—if he lived in the 19th century. But how, in 2015, can he continue to condone the idea that women should have no voice in church decisions?

Columnist Maureen Dowd