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The Broadsheet: January 12th

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Dina Powell is headed to the White House, researchers find a gender and race pay gap on boards, and Pattie Sellers thinks I could not be more wrong about Ivanka Trump. Have a wonderful Thursday.


• The power of Powell. It’s official: Goldman Sachs partner Dina Powell is joining the Trump administration in a senior role focused on entrepreneurship, economic growth, and women’s empowerment. Given the news that she’s been advising Ivanka Trump, the appointment is not a surprise, but it’s certainly a departure from some of the president-elect’s more controversial picks.

This CNN piece is a nice backgrounder on Powell, who joined the George W. Bush White House at 29, becoming the youngest-ever head of the presidential personnel office. She also served in the State Department and has earned many fans on both sides of the aisle. And speaking of fans: I should disclose that Powell was also key to starting the Fortune/U.S. State Department Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership, as Pattie Sellers recounted to CNN.

She later left for the private sector, heading up Goldman Sachs’ Impact Investing business and the Environmental Markets Group. She was also president of the Goldman Sachs Foundation, where, among other things, she oversaw “10,000 Women,” an initiative dedicated to fostering the economic growth of women entrepreneurs around the world.

With her proven devotion to women’s empowerment and the ability to get things done, Powell’s appointment is an exciting moment for women hoping to find a champion in the Trump White House.


• She said, she said. Woo-hoo! My thoughts yesterday on Ivanka Trump’s decision to step down from her businesses certainly kicked up some dust. I heard from some of you who agreed—and some who think I’m totally off base. Our own Pattie Sellers is in the latter camp and called me up to tell me so. Our conversation sparked this essay on my disappointment in seeing Trump cede the prominent advisor role to her husband—and Sellers’ take that Trump is “smart to trade one type of power and influence for another.” Want to weigh in? Email me at Fortune

• The hearings go on…In her confirmation hearing yesterday, transportation secretary nominee Elaine Chao said that she and President-elect Donald Trump support using direct federal spending to fix the nation’s crumbling infrastructure system.  Huffington Post

…and on. Meanwhile, in his Senate hearing, secretary of state pick and fomer Exxon Mobil chief Rex Tillerson offered tentative support for State Department programs that provide contraceptives and economic aid to women in developing countries—though he stopped short of pledging to continue funding those initiatives at their current levels. Huffington Post

Above board? A new study looking at the compensation of more than 70,000 board members finds that women and minority directors make, on average, more than their white male counterparts. But when the researchers focused in on individual boards, a gender and racial pay gap emerged. So, what’s the disconnect? Fortune‘s Maddie Farber explains. Fortune

• Reflecting on Redstone. This cover story looks at the bold steps that “accidental mogul” Shari Redstone has taken at Viacom thus far, including scrapping the CBS merger, naming Bob Bakish CEO, and ousting veteran programmer Doug Herzog.  The Hollywood Reporter

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Hope Cochran has joined Madrona Venture Group as a venture partner. She was previously CFO of King Digital, creator of Candy Crush. 


• Achtung! Gap ahead. Germany has passed a new law intended to ensure equal pay. It will require companies with 200 employees or more to provide workers with pay criteria and those with 500 or more employees to report regularly on equal pay efforts. The AP

• A losing game. ESPN’s Mina Kimes mulls the case of Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill—who was drafted by the NFL team after he was kicked off his college team for a brutal assault on his pregnant girlfriend—and the league’s continuing struggle to address its persistent problem with domestic violence. ESPN

• Civil rights warrior. Sue Fulton, chairwoman of the U.S. Military Academy Board of Visitors and a founding member of LGBT soldier group OutServe, talks about being a member of the first co-ed class at West Point and advocating for civil rights within the military. New York Times

• On Trump and tech. On Kara Swisher’s Recode Decode, Republican consultant Juleanna Glover and Democratic pundit Hilary Rosen discuss the ways in which Donald Trump’s administration might deal with tech industry issues. Recode

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What it meant to have a feminist president  Huffington Post

Eighteen women and girls accuse Michigan doctor of sexually abusing young gymnasts  New York Times

Jessica Alba’s Honest Company recalls this baby product after complaints  Fortune

New York AG Eric Schneiderman announces bill that would keep contraception free even after Obamacare dies  Gothamist


I wasn’t as pissed as I should have been. I mean, we get paid a lot, so it’s hard to complain, but the disparity is crazy.
Natalie Portman, on getting paid less than co-star Ashton Kutcher for their 2011 romcom 'No Strings Attached'