Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Two Republican women stand between Betsy DeVos and confirmation, Sheryl Sandberg gets back in the political ring, and, yes—Beyonce is pregnant with twins. Enjoy your Thursday.
• Sandberg speaks. In the days following Donald Trump’s election, some women in the tech world wondered why they weren’t hearing more from Sheryl Sandberg, who is almost as well known for being an advocate for women as she is for being COO of Facebook.
Yesterday, Sandberg acknowledged—and apologized for—that silence, and sent a clear signal that she intends to continue supporting women’s issues: a $1 million donation to Planned Parenthood.
Speaking at the Watermark Conference for Women, she told the audience that her decision not to post on social media about the Women’s March on Washington was a “mistake.” That mea culpa comes on the heels of her first post-inauguration political post, a condemnation of Trump’s executive order reinstating the “global gag rule” that prevents the U.S. from giving funding to any international health organizations that provide abortions.
“The last time the global gag rule was in effect, research showed more women who lost access to contraception had unwanted pregnancies and abortion rates doubled,” she wrote. “The best way to prevent abortion is through more family planning services, not fewer.”
The Planned Parenthood donation appears to be an attempt to put her money where her mouth is.
Sandberg is obviously not the only top executive feeling her way through the post-Trump world. But she has carved out an important role for herself that goes well beyond day-to-day business. I hope she will continue to be true to her dedication to women’s concerns and not self-censor at a time when so many women are hungry for her leadership. Fortune
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Senate showdown. Republican Senators Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) said yesterday that they will vote against Betsy DeVos, Trump’s nominee for secretary of education. That could mean a 50-50 standoff, with VP Mike Pence being called in to put DeVos over the top. Republicans have a 52-48 majority and no Dems are expected to support her. Politico
• Clinton hits the books... This fall, Simon & Schuster will publish a book of personal essays by Hillary Clinton, reflecting on her life “up to and including her experiences in the 2016 presidential campaign.” It’s interesting to note that the book (Clinton’s sixth) is being put out by the same publisher that’s been criticized for cutting a deal with right-wing writer Milo Yiannopoulos. Fortune
• … and goes back to school. In other Clinton news, the former secretary of state will be the 2017 commencement speaker at Wellesley College, her alma mater. In 1969, Clinton became the first student to ever speak at the college’s commencement, kicking off her storied career with a barnburner of a speech. CNN
• Fierce fetuses. I don’t usually cover much celebrity news, but I hope you’ll give me a pass for this one: Beyoncé and Jay-Z are expecting twins. Beyoncé—No. 51 on our list of Most Powerful Women—announced the news with an Instagram post that shows her cradling her clearly-pregnant stomach. Time
• Not your dad’s GoDaddy. When you think “GoDaddy ad,” do you still picture a model in a bikini? The company has been working to move past its history of sexist marketing and its latest Super Bowl ad is a big step in the right direction, thanks in part to a subtle shout out to women in tech. Fortune
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Today host Tamron Hall is leaving the show—and NBC. First Lady Melania Trump’s social secretary is expected to be Natalie Jones, the State Department’s former deputy chief of protocol, appointed by President Obama in 2011. Lindsay Reynolds, associate director of the White House Visitors Office during the George W. Bush administration, will be the first lady’s chief of staff. BankMobile, a division of Customers Bank, named chief strategy officer Luvleen Sidhu as president in addition to her current role.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Fly girl. Sarah Robb O’Hagan, the former president of Equinox Holdings, has new gig: CEO of Flywheel Sports. She took the job at the urging of former Coach chief Lew Frankfort, who now serves as executive chairman of the boutique fitness studio. Fortune
• One and done. A new study looking at directors of the 1,000 top-grossing films from the past 10 years reveals that 80% of female directors are “one and done”—in other words, they made just one movie from 2007 to 2016. For men, that stat is 55%. The Hollywood Reporter
• Get engaged. Data from Boston Consulting Group finds that a full 69% of companies generate lower levels of employee engagement among senior women than their male counterparts. Why that matters: Workers who aren’t engaged are more likely to leave. Fortune
• Eatable ink. Last summer, Red Robin CEO Denny Marie Post told the managers of the dining chain that if they could improve a key quality metric, she would get a tattoo of a Red Robin hamburger emblazoned on her arm. They did—and Post is holding up her end of the deal by getting the ink during a company meeting in Las Vegas. USA Today
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ON MY RADAR
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