Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Meg Whitman readies to sell off another chunk of HPE, women hear feedback differently than their male colleagues, and a pair of sisters prepare to take the Paralympics by storm. Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend. The Broadsheet will be back in your inbox on Tuesday.
• Why so sensitive? Earlier this week, I had a long discussion with a female friend about why, even when the majority of feedback you get at work is positive, it’s so hard to keep any negative responses in context. Sometimes, it can even feel like the criticism is all you hear.
So as you can imagine, I couldn’t wait to read about new research examining the differences in how men and women respond to feedback. The study involved 221 MBAs who were asked to rate themselves and their classmates on various skills. The researchers found that when students discovered that their peers had scored them lower than they had scored themselves, the women were far more likely to lower their own self assessments to match the smaller number.
While this sensitivity can prompt women to seek out training and mentorship, according to lead researcher Margarita Mayo, it also can damage their confidence. Personally, I plan use this information to help process feedback in a more productive way—and I hope any managers and team members out there will keep it in mind the next time they’re weighing in on the performance of their colleagues. Fortune
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Software for sale. Hewlett Packard Enterprise is reportedly in talks to sell its software division to buyout firm Thoma Bravo for between $8 billion to $10 billion. The move appears to be part of CEO Meg Whitman’s strategy to further focus the business and comes after a May announcement that HPE will spin off its enterprise services business. Fortune
• Sisters in speed. Tatyana McFadden, “one of the best athletes most Americans have never heard of,” and her sister Hannah are competing in wheelchair racing in the Paralympic Games in Rio. They are racing in three of the same events and, if they end up side-by-side on the podium, will be the first sisters to do so in a Paralympics. New York Times
• Lawsuits of the rich and famous. Melania Trump has filed a libel lawsuit against The Daily Mail and a blogger over reports that she was an “escort” in the 1990’s. Meanwhile, a New York state appeals court has dismissed a lawsuit in which actress Lindsay Lohan accused the maker of Grand Theft Auto video games of basing a character on her without her permission.
• From Huma to Hope. On this week’s Broad Strokes, Valentina Zarya and I chew over the media coverage that painted Huma Abedin as a bad mom, discuss the implications of a study that finds female board members are more likely to have tech backgrounds than male board members, and ask whether Hope Solo was pushed out of soccer for sexist reasons. Fortune
• A new kind of new dad. Backchannel editorial head—and Fortune alum—Jessi Hempel writes about her transgender brother Evan, who was born female and gave birth to his first child this spring. Her incredibly moving story makes it clear that it’s past time for us to reconsider our gendered ideas about pregnancy and parenting—including how expectant parents are covered by insurance and accommodated at work. Time
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Diageo has tapped Sophie Kelly, former CEO of The Barbarian Group, as SVP of marketing for whiskey brands in North America. Google has hired Kate Lanphear, the former editor of Maxim, to oversee its new search product for Fashion Week.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• In the soup. Campbell Soup CEO Denise Morrison addressed problems with the company’s Campbell Fresh business, highlighting a product recall and crop issues. Fortune
• Sounds like a nice guy! When Trump campaign CEO Steve Bannon was working for Biosphere II in the 90’s, recordings show that he called Abigail Alling, an ex-employee who was indicted for damaging the facility, a “bimbo” and threatened to take her complaint about him and “ram it down her f–king throat.” Buzzfeed
• Milking it. Jen Gann, a writer at New York Magazine and mother of a 4-month-old, has a suggestion for how to ease the work life of breastfeeding moms: “Let’s just pump at our goddamned desks.” New York Magazine
• Pam on porn. Pamela Anderson co-wrote this WSJ op-ed, which warns about what she and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach describe as the “addictive dangers of pornography” and urges readers to pledge not to indulge in porn. WSJ
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