Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Yet another sexual harassment scandal breaks at Fox News, Elaine Chao is in the confirmation hot seat, and Mary Barra strikes a deal with Girls Who Code. Have a great Wednesday.
• The good wife? Yesterday morning, we reported that Ivanka Trump is resigning from management and operational roles at the Trump Organization and her fashion brand in an effort to comply with ethics laws that could interfere with her husband Jared Kushner’s newly-announced job in her father’s administration. Trump herself will not immediately take a formal role.
Conflict of interest issues aside, I cannot help but see this as a powerful woman sacrificing her career so that a man (well, two men in this case) can advance his. Though the latest reporting from Axios suggests that Trump is still jockeying for position behind the scenes—and certainly would have some influence through her husband’s role—it’s disheartening to see her abandon her identity as a businesswoman. After all, her forthcoming book is called Women Who Work, not Women Who Whisper in the Ears of Powerful Men.
In fact, while it seems highly questionable that anyone in Donald Trump’s family should become a senior White House advisor, if it has to be someone, why not Ivanka? Women have been “behind every strong man” for too long. It’s time for one to be in front of him.
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Uh-oh, O’Reilly. The New York Times has obtained documents that show that Fox News executives secretly settled with on-air personality Juliet Huddy over allegations that she was sexually harassed by the network’s top host, Bill O’Reilly. What’s more, Fox apparently struck the deal just weeks after ousting former CEO Roger Ailes over similar charges. Both the network and O’Reilly’s lawyer are denying the charges, but if true, this suggests that the network’s woman problem is very, very large indeed. New York Times
• DeVos cools her heels. Betsy DeVos, president-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for education secretary, had her confirmation hearing postponed yesterday. A Senate committee said the delay was to accommodate the chamber’s schedule, though the change comes on the heels of Democrats’ protests that DeVos had not yet been cleared by ethics officials or signed an agreement addressing possible conflicts of interest. Fortune
• Chao in the driver’s seat. Today’s confirmation docket includes transportation secretary nominee Elaine Chao. Having already served in two administrations, her hearing is expected to be one of the least contentious (“a piece of cake,” according to Florida Democrat Bill Nelson, the ranking member of the committee running the hearing). Nevertheless, Wired has three questions it would like to see Chao answer. Wired
• Ghost in the machine. And speaking of cabinets: In his Tuesday morning email, Axios‘s Mike Allen laid out Hillary Clinton’s “ghost cabinet”—the folks she was expected to nominate, had she won. The list is packed with prominent women, including Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Albright Stonebridge Group senior counselor Wendy Sherman, and Center for a New American Security CEO Michèle Flournoy. In fact, I count nine women in the cabinet list alone. President-elect Trump, for reference, has nominated four women so far. Axios
• Cars to coding. Fortune‘s Kirsten Korosec talks to GM CEO Mary Barra about her decision to provide Girls Who Code with a $250,000 grant to expand its programs aimed at closing the technology gender gap. Fortune
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Wal-Mart Stores Inc. CIO Karenann Terrell is leaving the company.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Pao’s new post. Ellen Pao, who lost her gender discrimination suit against Kleiner Perkins in 2015, has been named chief diversity and inclusion officer for the Kapor Center for Social Impact and a venture partner at Kapor Capital, both of which are run by tech veterans Freada Kapor Klein and her husband Mitch Kapor. SFGate
• Use your (own) words. Politico reports that Monica Crowley, Trump’s pick for a top National Security Council job, plagiarized passages in her Ph.D. dissertation. Meanwhile, HarperCollins is withdrawing the digital edition of Crowley’s 2012 book What the (Bleep) Just Happened? from retailers, after a CNN report found that sections had been plagiarized.
• Sayonara, Caroline. Caroline Kennedy will depart Japan next Wednesday after three years as U.S. ambassador. JFK’s daughter not only helped manage relations with one of America’s most important allies, but her status as the first woman to hold the post has been consequential for female empowerment in the traditionally male-dominated culture. New York Times
• Sister act. In the latest issue of Interview, Beyoncé puts on her journalist hat to interview her sister, Solange. Interview
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