The Broadsheet: August 8th

August 8, 2016, 12:07 PM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Valentina Zarya (@valzarya) here. The Olympic Games dominate the news cycle, Renee Zellweger follows Jennifer Aniston’s lead, and I talk to a slew of experts about how sexual harassment in the C-suite affects company culture. Have a great Monday.


A gold ceiling? If you've been paying attention to coverage of this summer's Olympic Games, you've probably noticed that women are expected to be some of Rio's biggest stars. Gymnast Simone Biles is considered the best in the world—maybe even in the history of the sport. Swimmer Katie Ledecky's world record in the 1,500-meter swim is 13 seconds faster than any other female competitor in history.

Yet despite their increasingly high profiles and tremendous athletic ability, female Olympic athletes still lag behind men in participation, events, and medals awarded, notes the Wall Street Journal. The Rio Olympics will feature 169 events for men and 137 for women, meaning that men will walk away with more than 55% of the total gold, silver, and bronze medallions.

Ledecky, who beat her own world record and won gold in the 400-meter freestyle event yesterday, is the perfect example of this disparity: she won’t be competing in the 1,500-meter swim at the Rio Olympics because the longest race for female pool swimmers is 800 meters. The same is true for sports like cycling, in which men have longer courses, and tennis, where women play fewer sets. Michael Joyner, a sports scientist that the WSJ spoke to for the story says that physiologically, this is unnecessary: the notion that women have inferior endurance "is totally anachronistic."


Ugliness in a beautiful sport. In related, horrible news, the Indianapolis Star has published the results of an in-depth investigation into how USA Gymnastics, the sport's governing body, failed to alert authorities to years of allegations of sexual abuse of underage female gymnasts by their coaches. The Star compiled accounts of abuse by more than 50 coaches, three of whom are now serving prison sentences for their crimes (and a fourth who killed himself while in jail).  Indianapolis Star

How Ailes happened. Over the weekend, New York Magazine reported that former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes spent millions of dollars of the network's budget to settle sexual harassment claims and run negative PR campaigns against his personal and political enemies. How is a leader like Ailes able to keep this kind of behavior up for so many years? The organizational behavior experts I spoke to said it comes down to three things: a culture of fear, financial success, and a lack of accountability at the company and in our culture at large. Fortune

 Barring sexism. Today, the American Bar Association's policy-making body is scheduled to vote on an amendment that would prohibit harassment and discrimination while practicing law. Female lawyers are often subjected to subtly sexist behavior, such as being patted on the head or called "honey" or "darling" in the courtroom. New York Times

 Promoting inequality. What's the No. 1 complaint of women who say they work for an employer who treats men and women differently? According to a new survey from career site Fairygodboss, shared exclusively with Fortune, promotions—or rather a lack there of—outrank even unfair pay.  Fortune

 First Jen, now Renee. A few weeks after Jennifer Aniston's scathing HuffPo editorial about the media's obsession with female beauty, Renee Zellweger pens her own take on the subject. She writes: "What if immaterial tabloid stories, judgments, and misconceptions remained confined to the candy jar of low-brow entertainment and were replaced in mainstream media by far more important, necessary conversations?" Huffington Post

 Fortune, unfiltered. Don't forget to check out Fortune's new weekly podcast, hosted by digital editor Aaron Task and featuring in-depth conversations with the brightest leaders in business today. iTunes


Each week, Fortune asks our Insider Network — an online community of prominent people in business and beyond — for career and leadership advice. Here's some of the best of what we heard last week.

Sweat like an Olympian. Here's what entrepreneurs can learn from Olympic athletes, writes Promise Phelon, CEO of TapInfluence. Fortune

It's not rocket science. Sally Blount, dean of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, has five remarkably simple tips for women trying to break through in male-dominated industries. Fortune

Taking on the Street. This is what it really takes for a woman to take on Wall Street, writes Janice Ellig, co-CEO of Chadick Ellig, chair of the Women’s Forum of New York, and investor in the film Equity.  Fortune


 411 on The Information. Jessica Lessin, the former Wall Street Journal reporter who founded the small-but-profitable tech news site The Information in 2013, says that the key to the publication's success is that unlike most traditional media companies, it isn't shackled to the advertising treadmill. Instead, the company relies solely on subscriber fees. Fortune

 Controversial counsel. Susan Estrich, a famed feminist legal scholar, is being criticized for her decision to defend Fox News CEO Roger Ailes against the sexual harassment lawsuit brought by former network anchor Gretchen Carlson. Estrich, 63, helped change the legal and cultural understanding of  “acquaintance rape,” which, she argued, was systematically devalued or ignored by the legal system compared with crimes involving a stranger. Washington Post

 Ad it up. In the wake of Saatchi & Saatchi chairman Kevin Roberts' resignation just a few days after he commented that women lack “vertical ambition” and the gender diversity debate in advertising is “over," Sarah Hofstetter, CEO of digital marketing agency 360i, weighs in on how to make the advertising industry more woman-friendly. Fortune

 Second Spouse? Anne Holton is the daughter of a governor, a legal aid lawyer, a family court judge and, until very recently, Virginia’s secretary of education. Holton resigned from the government post when her husband, Tim Kaine, was chosen as Hillary Clinton’s running mate.  New York Times

 Gates' girl gang. The Maverick Collective is a philanthropic group that demands women's time as well as money: Each member of the Melinda Gates-chaired initiative must commit to three years of involvement, give at least $1 million, and do actual work to solve a social problem. New York Times

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Black Lives Matter leader says even great people can be part of the problem Bloomberg

Did Elena Ferrante write Hillary Clinton’s book? New York Magazine

Ghostbusters to Splash: Is gender-flipping the new gritty reboot? Rolling Stone


I am not a feminist. I don't think I qualify. I believe in women and I believe in equality, but I think there is so much that needs to be done that I don't even want to separate it anymore. I'm so tired of separation. I just want people to be treated equally.

<em>Sex and the City </em>actress Sarah Jessica Parker