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The Broadsheet: May 15th

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Valentina (@valzarya) here. Economists crunch the numbers on motherhood, Sheryl Sandberg celebrates Mother’s Day with activism, and Fortune’s MPW community gathers in Manhattan to celebrate the Fortune/U.S. State Department Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership. Have a productive Monday.


To mark Mother’s Day, a number of business publications looked at how motherhood affects women in the workplace. Here’s the breakdown:

The good

Fortune‘s Maddie Farber writes about new data from Accenture, which shows that moms who return to work after having a child are just as likely to aspire to a senior leadership position as their female colleagues without children (70% vs. 67%). Moreover, mothers are more entrepreneurial than their child-free counterparts; the professional services firm’s survey found that 53% of U.S. mothers say they would like to start a business within a year, compared to just 35% of those without kids.

The bad

While motherhood may not impact women’s ambitions, it does affect their earnings, writes The New York Times Claire Cain Miller. Citing two new research papers, she notes that the gender pay gap widens sharply when women are in their late 20s to mid-30s—around the age when some become mothers. Unmarried women without children, meanwhile, continue to earn closer to what men do. According to the data, college-educated women make about 90% as much as men at age 25 and about 55% as much at age 45.

The ugly

It’s not just mothers who are losing out when they leave the workforce to have children. Bloomberg‘s Ben Steverman writes that the U.S. economy overall is stalling because the high cost of child care and a lack of workplace flexibility makes it unattractive for moms to go back to work. Those gaps carry an economic cost: the U.S. economy would expand 5% if as many women were employed as men.


 A toast to the mentees. Members of Fortune‘s Most Powerful Women community are in New York City tonight to celebrate the conclusion of the 2017 Fortune/U.S. State Department Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership. The evening will feature an interview with former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson, as well as words of wisdom from Urban Zen founder Donna Karan and Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts. Fortune

Sheryl calls for action. On Mother’s Day, Sheryl Sandberg used her company’s platform to advocate for paid leave, a higher minimum wage, and affordable childcare. “It’s time for our public policies to catch up with what our families deserve and our values demand,” she wrote in a Facebook post. Fortune

Mama’s Bail Out Day. Hundreds of black women were bailed out of jail for Mama’s Bail Out Day, a campaign orchestrated by more than a dozen groups affiliated with Black Lives Matter. The Mother’s Day effort is meant to call attention to how the bail system disproportionately affects black families and communities. These women have only been arrested—they haven’t been convicted of a crime. Time

Trump’s secret tax weapon. Shahira Knight, special assistant to President Trump for tax and retirement policy, was among the White House and Treasury Department staffers responsible for putting together the one-page outline of the president’s tax plan in five days. A former House Ways and Means Committee staffer, she also knows her way around Congress. Bloomberg

Former FLOTUS’s fighting words. Speaking at the Partnership for a Healthier America summit in Washington, D.C., Michelle Obama criticized President Trump’s reversal of regulations for improving school lunches. “This is where you really have to look at motives, you know. You have to stop and think: why don’t you want our kids to have good food at school? What is wrong with you?” The Guardian

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Karol Mason, a former assistant attorney general in President Obama’s administration, will be the next president of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.


Each week, Fortune asks our Insider Network — an online community of prominent people in business and beyond — for career and leadership advice. Here’s some of the best of what we heard last week.

She had $300 in her pocket. Russina Sgoureva, head of business technology transformation at Farmers Insurance, came to the U.S. as a student immigrant. She shares her tips on how she made allies in the professional world.  Fortune

• Move like a cheetah. Taking strategic pauses throughout the day enables you to stop and change directions quickly, writes Cheryl Strauss Einhorn, founder of CSE Consulting and adjunct professor at Columbia Business School. Cheetahs have a similar ability to slow down and pivot, and that’s what makes them such effective hunters.  Fortune

Priorities, prioritize, prioritize. How do most people deal with work overload? Either they drop too many projects or burn out, says Ebay’s consumer selling VP Laura Chambers. Instead, prioritize and communicate with your team so you have a clear plan around what needs to get done ASAP and what can wait.  Fortune


Not afraid of change. Linda Yaccarino, the head of advertising sales for NBCUniversal, has become an outspoken leader in an industry contending with far-reaching disruption as viewers change how and where they watch TV. She has drawn particular attention for her criticism of Nielsen ratings—the current standard for how TV ads are bought and sold—and for her use of digital properties like Snapchat, BuzzFeed, and Apple News. New York Times

• More love for MalalaToday, Malala Yousafzai will become one of five recipients of the 2017 International Ellis Island Medal of Honor, which recognizes “individuals who have made it their mission to share with those less fortunate their wealth of knowledge, indomitable courage, boundless compassion, unique talents and selfless generosity.” Read her letter accepting the award here: Time

• But why Weidel? Alice Weidel is the new face of the Alternative für Deutschland, the right-wing movement that flourished in the backlash to the 2015 migrant crisis, when Angela Merkel opened the borders to over 1 million asylum-seekers and other migrants. Weidel is probably not who you might expect to spearhead such a party: She’s well-traveled, multilingual, and openly gay. Fortune

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You know, mom, sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I had told you how much I love the sound of your laughter.
Actress Diane Keaton