The Broadsheet: May 19th

May 19, 2016, 11:25 AM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Melinda Gates calls out “sexist” data, Ivanka Trump plays defense, and Robin Wright channels Claire Underwood. Enjoy your Thursday!


 Act right. It's been interesting to watch actresses emerge as public advocates for pay equality and equal opportunities at work. True, their massive paychecks make it difficult to feel too outraged on their behalf. Yet their celebrity may make their actions useful to working women with less clout.

Speaking at an event on Tuesday, House of Cards star Robin Wright explained how she got the show’s producers to pay her as much as co-star Kevin Spacey. “You better pay me or I’m going to go public,” Wright recalls saying. “And they did." (She also noted that, as much as she likes playing Claire Underwood, she'd never go into politics).

Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter released its annual actress roundtable featuring seven of the top women in the biz, including Jennifer Lopez, Kerry Washington, and Sarah Paulson. Their conversation touched on the sexism they've encountered in Hollywood and when they've had to fight for producer credits and other professional merits.


 Down the drain. Theranos is withdrawing two years' worth of blood test results from its once-considered-revolutionary Edison machine. The Elizabeth Holmes-led testing startup will be issuing thousands of corrected reports in an attempt to appease federal health regulators, who began an investigation of the firm after the Wall Street Journal's October exposé. WSJ

 Dumping on data. Calling the available data "sexist" due to a lack of information on women and girls, Melinda Gates announced that The Gates Foundation is committing $80 million over the next three years to gathering intel that will shed light on issues like intimate partner violence and women’s economic contributions. She hopes the new information will help governments and other groups determine where services are needed and assess which initiatives are working.  Huffington Post

 Bernie burn. With the antagonism between Bernie Sanders and the Democratic Party coming to a boil, Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver yesterday attacked DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, saying, “It is clear almost from the get-go she has been working against Bernie Sanders...for personal reasons." Meanwhile, MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski called for her to resign.

 Comstock walks the walk. General Electric vice chair Beth Comstock talks about investing in GoodLooks, a marketplace for lifestyle experts such as nutritionists and personal stylists. "I think female founders need to be supported,” she says. “So I’m trying, in my limited way, to put my money where my mouth is.” Fortune

 Groping for an explanation. Ivanka Trump went on CBS This Morning to defend her dad against the allegations in the New York Times about his relationships with women. Asked about the story of one woman who claims that Trump pawed at her during a work dinner, Ivanka responded: "He’s not a groper." Fortune

 Rock & roll them to sleep. Lisa Roth—sister of David Lee Roth—talks about creating Rockabye Baby, a series of albums that turn rock and pop hits into lullabies. Interestingly, she doubts she would have come up with the idea if she had kids herself. "I think I would have been too protective of my child to consider lullaby renditions of Tool,” says Roth. Fortune

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Elizabeth Spayd has been named public editor of the New York Times. She is currently editor and publisher of the Columbia Journalism Review. Investment bank Perella Weinberg Partners has added former U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab to its advisory board. Nissan has promoted Mayra Gonzalez, the automaker's sales boss in Mexico, to president of the unit, making her the first woman to lead a Nissan Group country operation.


 TV takeover. ABC's new entertainment president Channing Dungey proved she's not afraid to shake things up, announcing a new fall schedule that will no longer include a "TGIT" night of all Shonda Rhimes-produced shows. AdWeek

 Overrated? Megyn Kelly's much-hyped primetime special with Donald Trump landed with a sad thump in the ratings department, handing Fox a distant third-place finish among broadcast networks in its time slot. Fortune

 The mom penalty. A new study looks at how becoming a mother affects the gender pay gap in different countries. Interestingly, having a kid in Ireland puts a big dent in working mothers' salaries, while it barely registers for moms in Italy, Spain and Belgium. Fortune

 A coaches' coach. Meet Martha Beck, the life coach who specializes in coaching other life coaches. Think that sounds goofy? Some people clearly disagree: Beck grossed $3.5 million last year. Bloomberg

Tune in to Fortune Live, hosted by Leigh Gallagher, today and every Thursday at 11 am ET at

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Beyoncé's Lemonade coloring book is here  Vogue

UN breaks new ground on the gendered aspects of torture  Council on Foreign Relations

Missing Chibok girl rescued from Boko Haram  Time

Hillary Clinton PAC is launching its first attack ads against Trump  Fortune


There are probably more ugly women in America than attractive women.

Former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell, attempting to explain why he thinks Donald Trump's criticism of women's looks will come back to haunt the GOP candidate. Something tells me Rendell might run into some blowback, too.