Skip to Content

The Broadsheet: March 15th

—Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Hillary Clinton is teaming up with Elizabeth Holmes, Madison Avenue keeps struggling with diversity, and VC just got even less appealing for women. Have a great Tuesday.

EVERYONE’S TALKING

A strange sisterhood. In a bizarre move, Hillary Clinton’s campaign has contacted potential donors about a fundraiser hosted by Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes—and featuring Chelsea Clinton as a speaker—slated to take place at the company’s Palo Alto headquarters next Monday. Despite Holmes’ past participation in Clinton Foundation events, this seems like a ill-chosen partnership for a candidate who has a problem convincing voters that she’s trustworthy. After all, Holmes has been at the center of a number of stories alleging that Theranos has been misleading about the efficacy of its technology.

ALSO IN THE HEADLINES

• A tough sell. The advertising industry is still suffering from some of the sexist and racist attitudes that plagued it back in the Mad Men era, but a new lawsuit—against the male CEO of ad agency JWT—has prompted some diversity-related soul-searching on Madison Avenue. Let’s hope it also prompts some action. WSJ

• A go-to girl. Meet Joelle Emerson, the founder of consulting firm Paradigm, which has become the go-to shop for hot startups—like Airbnb and Pinterest—that want to improve on diversity. Fortune

• When Barry met Misty. In this Time exclusive, President Obama and ballet superstar Misty Copeland bond over their shared experiences of rising to the top of their white-dominated fields, and talk about helping girls cope with societal pressures.  Time

Later, Avon. Now that Avon has sold off most of its declining North American business, the New York-based cosmetics company is set to slash 2,500 jobs and move its operational headquarters to the U.K. Avon CEO Sheri McCoy (no. 50 on Fortune‘s list of Most Powerful Women) says moving operations outside of the U.S. will allow the company to “dramatically rethink” its operating model. Fortune

• Girl talk. As you might expect, this analysis of the presidential candidates’ language finds that Hillary Clinton is the most “feminine sounding.” I was surprised, though, to see who came in second: Donald Trump. New York Times

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Bank of America Merrill Lynch has named global leveraged finance head A.J. Murphy its new head of global capital markets. Former WTA CEO Stacey Allaster has been hired as the U.S. Tennis Association’s chief executive for professional tennis.

THE BROADVIEW

The sexual abuse case against ex-Sequoia partner is bad for women in VC 

In the aftermath of Ellen Pao’s failed gender discrimination lawsuit against her former employer, venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, some industry watchers fretted that the suit might have a “chilling effect” on other VC firms when it comes to hiring more women.

Now, as another gender-related suit rocks Silicon Valley, it’s hard not to wonder about a different type of chilling effect—one felt by women in, or considering going into, venture capital.

Let’s be clear about one thing right off the bat: The complaint against former Sequoia Capital partner Michael Goguen is very, very different from the one brought by Pao.

Goguen is being sued by Amber Laurel Baptiste, who claims that he sexually, physically, and emotionally abused her for 13 years—and then agreed to pay her $40 million dollars in compensation for her suffering, only to stop the payments after the first $10 million. Goguen denies the abuse allegations in a counter-complaint, and further claims that Baptiste attempted to extort him and then violated the terms of their settlement.

Sequoia, which parted ways with Goguen after it became aware of the situation, was quick to tweet that the allegations “are unrelated” to the firm.

That may very well be true. Baptiste is not an employee of Sequoia and it possible that no one at the firm knew anything about her relationship with Goguen. I have no doubt that we’ll learn more about that as the case unfolds.

But that does not mean the VC firm will escape this ugly situation unscathed.

Read the rest of my story here.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

When the other shoe drops… Creative director of shoemaker Aquazzura Edgardo Osorio is calling out Ivanka Trump for aping his brand’s popular “Wild Thing” fringe sandal. “Shame on you Ivanka Trump. Imitation is NOT the most sincere form of flattery,” he wrote via the company’s Instagram account. The Fashion Law

• She rules. Hester Peirce, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center, thinks Washington has missed the boat on preventing the next financial crisis. As a new SEC official tasked with writing and implementing post-crisis rules, she’ll soon have a chance to try her own hand at the task. WSJ

• The GOP gap? A new study of top law firms finds that women have a much harder time making partner when they work under male bosses who donate to Republicans.  Washington Post

• Brava, Rawan! Rawan Okasha recently became the first woman to sing in public in Gaza for nearly a decade. In order to get approval for her historic concert, Okasha had to follow a litany of rules, including standing still while singing, dressing modestly and sticking to “patriotic music.”  New York Times

Afghan women’s advocate. On Monday, Laura Bush spoke on the NBC News show Today about a new book being released by the George W. Bush Institute called We Are Afghan Women: Voices of Hope. The former first lady said she has long been intrigued by Afghanistan and hopes our future president continues to pay attention to women’s issues there. Today

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

Looking for previous Broadsheets? Click here.

ON MY RADAR

What working women can do when they don’t get credit for collaboration  Quartz

Taylor Swift videos are more popular than network TV  Fortune

White House appoints first transgender person as primary LGBT liason  Buzzfeed

‘Siri, I was raped.’ The woefully inadequate way smartphones respond in a crisis  Fortune

QUOTE

American businesses used to have a silent partner. That partner was the American Wife.

Economist Heather Boushey, from her new book, <em>Finding Time: The Economics of Work-Life Conflict</em>, which details how those American wives became the American workforce.