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The Broadsheet: March 29th

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Former Deputy AG Sally Yates is back in the headlines, Mary Barra is under pressure to split, and Uber finally releases its diversity numbers (Spoiler: They’re not great). Have a wonderful Wednesday.


• Your Uber stats have arrived. Uber released its much-hyped diversity report yesterday—the first time the ride-hailing company has divulged details about the gender and racial composition of its workforce. And as any regular reader of this newsletter knows, the disclosure comes at a time when the company is facing intense scrutiny for its treatment of female employees.

Like most other tech companies, Uber is overwhelmingly white and male. Women account for 36% of its global workforce, 22% of overall leadership positions, and 11% of technical leadership jobs. Overall, the company is 50% white. White employees hold 77% of leadership positions; the company has no black or Hispanic employees in technical leadership roles (“This clearly has to change,” says the report).

In a blog post on the numbers, head of HR Liane Hornsey, writes that the company is “ramping up” its presence at recruiting events and outreach to Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic Serving Institutions, as well as “committing $3 million over the next three years to support organizations working to bring more women and underrepresented groups into tech.”

While Uber, like the vast majority of its Silicon Valley cohorts, has a very, very long way to go on diversity, transparency—and the acknowledgement that change must come—are the first steps forward. Fortune


• May makes it official. British PM Theresa May has signed a letter of official notice under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, meaning the U.K. is now formally kicking off its departure from the EU—as well as a two-year negotiation process that will determine what its relationship with Europe will look like. The letter is due to be delivered to the European Council president today. Time

Not even a good pun... Speaking of May, when the U.K. PM met Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Monday, most news organizations focused on the high stakes of the diplomatic summit—but not The Daily Mail. The tabloid led with a photo of the leaders, both of whom were wearing skirts, using the headline: “Never mind Brexit, who won Legs-it!” Not surprisingly, readers on both sides of the pond were less than pleased. In actual Scotland news, members of the Scottish Parliament voted to back Sturgeon’s bid to purse a binding referendum on independence in late 2018 or 2019.

• Backing Barra. On Tuesday, Greenlight Capital urged General Motors to split its common stock into two classes, a proposal that was swiftly rejected by the carmaker. Greenlight head David Einhorn appeared on CNBC, saying that he is supportive of GM CEO Mary Barra, despite her objection to the hedge fund’s proposal. Fortune

• UGH, O’Reilly. Appearing on Fox & Friends, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly dismissed statements from Congresswoman Maxine Waters—the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus and the senior-most black woman serving in the U.S. House of Representatives—saying, he “didn’t hear a word she said. I was looking at the James Brown wig.” (O’Reilly laster apologized for the racist, sexist comment.) Hillary Clinton, speaking at conference in California yesterday, referenced the incident, saying: “Now too many women, especially women of color, have had a lifetime of practice taking precisely these kinds of indignities in stride. But why should we have to?”

• Silencing Sally Yates? In letters to a Justice Department official, a lawyer for former Deputy AG Sally Yates wrote that the Trump administration was trying to limit her testimony at congressional hearings focused on Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. The hearing was later canceled by House intelligence committee chairman Devin Nunes, who Democrats are calling on to recuse himself from the investigation. The White House, meanwhile, maintains that it did not interfere with Yates’ plans to testify. Fortune

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Sanyin Siang, executive director, Coach K Center on Leadership & Ethics at Duke University Fuqua School of Business, is joining Google Ventures as an advisor. Donna DeMaio will rejoin AIG as EVP and chief auditor. She succeeds Martha Gallo, who was recently named CIO, and was previously president of CEO of former AIG subsidiary, UGC. Amy Nelson is stepping into the role of CEO of Venture for America, a fellowship program that empowers recent college graduates to launch their careers as entrepreneurs.


• A bloody bad idea? Fortune‘s Claire Zillman weighs in on a proposed law that would give women in Italy three days of paid leave each month if they experience painful periods. While acknowledging that it’s important to destigmatize menstruation and care for workers’ health needs, Zillman notes that such policies may make employers more likely to hire men and “threaten to undermine women’s long-standing battle to discourage the notion that their natural cycle makes them weak or in any way less able.” Fortune

• Bee’s knees. In this Q+A with Samantha Bee and her producer and writing partner at Full Frontal, Jo Miller, Wired’s Virginia Heffernan calls the pair’s comedy news program “the most mercilessly feminist show (ever) (in history).” Wired

• Heather’s new handle. High-powered lobbyist Heather Podesta today changes the name of her eponymous (and formerly Democratic) firm to Invariant, in a move “meant to reflect an expanding bipartisan team,” Axios reports. Podesta founded her firm in 2007 with one employee. Today, Invariant is the largest independent, woman-owned lobbying firm in the country and does government relations for companies like Snapchat and SpaceX. Axios

• Icing the gap. Yesterday, Iceland became the first country to introduce legislation requiring employers to prove they are paying men and women equally. Although Iceland has had equal pay laws for half a century and consistently appears at or near the top of international rankings of gender equality, women in the country still earn 14% to 20% less than men. New York Times

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These are the 5 best cities for women in tech  Fortune

Marina Benjamin on what we don’t talk about with women and aging  Slate

The past lives of Shirley MacLaine  New York Times

Can we retire this Hollywood ‘wife’ trope?  Refinery29


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