The Broadsheet: October 7th

October 7, 2015, 11:36 AM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Speculation about Ellen Kullman’s departure heats up, California’s Fair Pay Act is officially law, and a female founder wants you to try a wearable—for your brain. Have a wonderful Wednesday.


 Analyzing Ellen. The business world is still trying to wrap its mind around the sudden retirement of DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman. Fortune's Alan Murray and Stephen Gandel have opposing takes on the situation: Murray thinks Kullman's departure proves that activist investor Nelson Peltz won the war over the future of the company, while Gandel writes that Kullman's exit was on her own terms and not prompted by any ultimatum from Peltz. Meanwhile, Geoff Colvin writes that the announcement revealed a serious DuPont flaw: the company’s utter succession failure.


 Fair play on fair pay. California Gov. Jerry Brown signed the landmark California Fair Pay Act, which has been described as the strongest equal pay protection for women in the nation. It states that women should receive equal pay for doing “substantially similar work” as their male counterparts and must have the right to compare salaries with co-workers without fear of retaliation.  The Guardian

 Brain baubles. Fortune's Michal Lev-Ram writes about the latest crop of startups to come out of Disney's incubator program. Among this year's class: Emotiv, founded by Tan Le. Her startup makes wearables for your brain.  Fortune

 The global gap. When Hana Rado, COO of ad agency McCann Tel Aviv, found herself speaking about women in advertising at a conference where just 10% of the speakers were female, she decided to do something about it. Persona, the site she helped launch, includes nearly 700 qualified female speakers in a range of fields. Fortune

 Caring is expensive. A new study finds that childcare now costs more than rent in many areas of the U.S.—and sometimes more than college tuition. Many researchers see the rising cost of care as one of the reasons why women have started staying home in greater numbers.  Fortune

 A backhanded compliment? A French public television network's ad campaign celebrating its female hosts has been pulled from the air after viewers called it sexist. After watching this clip, I agree. New York Times

 Social butterflies. How do the Most Powerful Women fare on Twitter? Fortune's Polina Marinova crunched the numbers to reveal which women on this year's MPW list have the most followers. While it's not a shock to see Taylor Swift at No. 1, the runner-up may surprise you. Fortune

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Gerri Martin-Flickinger, a veteran of Adobe, VeriSign and McAfee Associates, has been named CTO of Starbucks.


 Board boys clubs. While 63% of women on corporate boards say that having female board members is “very important,” only 35% of their male counterparts agree, according to PriceWaterhouseCoopers' annual survey of public company directors. Bloomberg

 Acting their age. A TIME analysis reveals that male actors hit their professional peak at an average age of 46, while female actors typically top out at age 30. Time

 Investing in homogeneity. A new study finds that nearly two-thirds of the top 71 venture capital funds have no women as senior investment team members, while about 30% of the funds have a senior investment team comprised entirely of white members. New York Times

 Wrestling with a stock sale. Stephanie McMahon, a pro wrestler and the chief brand officer of World Wrestling Entertainment, has sold nearly 400,000 shares of WWE's stock since August, leading some to wonder whether the company has fundamental problems. Institutional Investor

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ModCloth does away with its plus-size 'section'  Racked

Angela Merkel should win the Nobel Peace Prize  Bloomberg

Hulu gets Inside Amy Schumer  Variety

Study shows how women directors get blocked in Hollywood  Fortune


We’re leaning in—the president is leaning in—to this relationship, but we’re limited in what we can do to help them.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, invoking Sheryl Sandberg lingo to make a point that major hurdles still restrict business and tourism even after efforts to normalize U.S.-Cuba relations