Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Neil Gorsuch gets quizzed on sex discrimination, women are getting an edge on high-paying jobs, and Uber plans to conclude its sexual harassment investigation next month (and share the results with the public). Have a fantastic Wednesday.
• Gorsuch gets his say. In day two of Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing, Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin asked the judge about the letter written by one of Gorsuch’s former law students, which alleges that he asked the class to raise their hands if they knew women who had used their companies for maternity benefits then quit soon after having the baby. According to the student, Gorsuch insisted that “many women do this.”
Yesterday, in his first official response to those claims, Gorsuch said he was “delighted to actually clear this up.” Here’s his account of what happened that day:
“I do ask for a show of hands, not about the question you asked but about the following question, and I ask it of everybody: how many of you have had questions like this asked of you in your employment environment, inappropriate questions? And I am shocked every year, Senator, how many young women raise their hands. It is disturbing to me.”
When asked if it would be illegal sex discrimination for employers to ask prospective female employees, but not prospective male employees, about their family plans, Gorsuch avoided making a legal judgment, instead replying: “I’d agree with you it’s highly inappropriate.” Time
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• An Uber update. Uber board member Arianna Huffington told CNN that, while the ride-hailing company has “unquestionably” had some bad apples, it does not have “a systematic problem” with sexism. Then, speaking on a call with reporters yesterday afternoon, she said that the company plans to conclude an internal investigation into sexual harassment allegations against it by the end of April—and that it will make the results public. Huffington was one of three senior female leaders on the call, which CEO Travis Kalanick did not join. The others were chief HR officer Liane Hornsey and regional general manager for U.S. and Canada Rachel Holt.
• The other Trump effect. The Women’s March on Washington has come and gone, but many women are continuing to be politically engaged. Since February, the number of women who have contacted Emily’s List—a PAC that aims to help elect pro-choice Democratic female candidates—about potential runs for office has skyrocketed from 4,000 to 10,000. That’s roughly ten times as many as reached out during the entire 2016 election cycle (from January 2015 to last November). Fortune
• That’s rich. Forbes’ annual global billionaires ranking includes 227 women (or 11% of the list)—a new record. With a net worth of $39.5 billion, L’Oreal cosmetics heiress Liliane Bettencourt comes in as the world’s wealthiest woman for the second year running. Forbes
• The EQ edge. A new study by three economists finds that the high-paying occupations of the past few decades (think jobs like doctors and software engineers) require increasing levels of interpersonal skills such as collaboration, empathy and managing others. That trend has been helping women—who research has found to excel in those areas—into more lucrative jobs. WSJ
• Weapons on the cheap. Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson says she’s “more optimistic than ever” about the company’s growth prospects, as refocusing on Lockheed’s core defense business has helped make weaponry more affordable for cost-conscious governments—including the Trump administration. As you may recall, the price of the F-35 jet fighter, Lockheed’s largest program, has drawn fire from President Donald Trump. Fortune
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Avon calling. Cerberus Capital Management, the private equity giant that now owns Avon Products’ North American business, is attempting to turn the floundering direct-sales company around. Still, some of the company’s top sellers—yes, the Avon ladies!—are less than enthused about Cerberus’ plans. WSJ
• Lahren’s views. The Blaze, the conservative cable news channel founded by Glenn Beck, has reportedly suspended talk show host Tomi Lahren for one week after she made pro-choice comments during an appearance on The View. Fortune
• State of the gap. Projections released by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research today show that it will take the U.S. until 2059 (another 42 years!) to close the 20-cent gap. However, some states are predicted to fare better than others: Florida may reach parity by 2038, while women in Wyoming may have to wait until year 2153 until they make as much as their male counterparts. Fortune
• An eye on Ivanka. NPR talks to ethicists and historians about the implications of Ivanka Trump’s increasingly formal role in her father’s administration. While other presidents have relied on their children for counsel, Trump’s situation is unique, according to the story, since she will “have an expansive portfolio, not just offer insights. She will not be sworn in, nor need Senate approval.” NPR
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ON MY RADAR
Kesha’s amended lawsuit against Dr. Luke rejected by judge The Hollywood Reporter
Women paleontologists are donning beards because of sexism Quartz
Michelle Obama had the ultimate power brunch this weekend New York Magazine
South Korea’s impeached president says she will cooperate with corruption probe Washington Post