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The Broadsheet: August 17th

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Cathy Lanier is joining a new team, female CEOs are catnip for activist investors, and some companies are taking big steps to recruit female board members—and seeing big results. Have a wonderful Wednesday.


• The pre-debate debate. As part of a campaign shakeup, Donald Trump is promoting Kellyanne Conway, a veteran GOP pollster and strategist who has served as an adviser for several weeks, to campaign manager. The news comes on the heels of reports from The New York Times and CNN that former Fox News chief Roger Ailes is advising Trump on debate prep—a claim disputed by campaign spokesperson Hope Hicks.

If Trump really does want to make up ground with female voters, calling in Ailes would be a disaster. It’s difficult to imagine that women would come out in droves—or even trickles—to support a candidate who seeks the counsel of a man who just lost his job over very serious sexual harassment charges.

Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, apparently is looking for someone to be the Trump stand-in for practice debates—a role that would require some unlucky Clinton aide to quiz his or her boss on such touchy subjects as Monica Lewinsky and Gennifer Flowers. Hard to imagine that Clinton staffers are jostling for that job.


• An active target. New research finds that, all else being equal, female Fortune 1000 CEOs have a 27% chance of facing shareholder activism at some point in their careers. For their male counterparts, the likelihood is nearly zero. Fortune

• Running a new play. Washington D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier announced that she will step down to become SVP of security for the National Football League. Lanier, who spent 26 years on the D.C. force, will begin work in the NFL’s New York headquarters next month. NBC4 Washington

Homogeneous diversity. Researchers from MIT and Northwestern find one major problem with corporate diversity programs: While many of these initiatives treat women and minorities in the same ways, what motivates one group may actually de-motivate the other. Fortune

• All a board. This WSJ story examines Facebook’s in-house diversity hiring incentive, in which recruiters are rewarded bringing in black, Hispanic or female engineering hires. (The program has yet to significantly move the needle on diversity at the tech giant.) The paper also has an article on the small but growing number of companies—including Ecoland, Symantec, and Johnson & Johnson—that are revamping how they recruit female directors. 

• American unexceptionalism. And if you’re not convinced such measures are necessary, consider this Financial Times analysis, which finds that female directors hold 15% of U.S. corporate board seats, compared to 25% in Europe.  Financial Times

• Triple threat. Check out Katie Ledecky, Michael Phelps, and Simone Biles—who picked up her fourth gold medal yesterday in floor exercise—on the cover of Sports Illustrated.   Sports Illustrated


• Fly girls. Women, who make up just 4% of certified U.S. airline pilots, receive very few of the employer accommodations typically allotted to new moms. Now, female pilots from various airlines are beginning to push for paid maternity leave, temporary ground assignments, and other arrangements that would help them balance motherhood and their careers.  New York Times

AG Out. A day after being convicted on nine criminal charges, including perjury and criminal conspiracy, Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced her resignation.  New York Times

• Inside Amy Schumer’s book. While I have no doubt that Amy Schumer’s new book of essays, The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo, will deliver plenty of biting humor, it also contains a number of upsetting revelations, including the fact that she was once in an abusive relationship. People

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Number of women in jail has grown far faster than that of men  New York Times

Ashley Judd is going back to school for a PhD  CNN

Birth of a Nation star Nate Parker addresses college rape trial  Variety

Ivanka Trump is vacationing with Wendi Deng  Vanity Fair


And then suddenly there’s this hand on my shoulder, like, ‘Get up, get up! We have to finish this!'

New Zealand runner Nikki Hamblin, describing being helped up by Team USA's Abbey D’Agostino, after the pair collided on the track during the women’s 5,000-meter race