Good morning, Broadsheet readers! A blunt Hillary Clinton talks about why she thinks she lost the election, President Trump may be preparing to gut the Obamacare birth control mandate, and the top female CEOs make more than their male counterparts—but what does that tell us? Have a stellar Thursday.
• Paid the cost to be the boss. Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal published a story touting the news that,”Female CEOs earn more than male chiefs.“
Similar articles appear every year (indeed, we at Fortune published one just last month) and while technically accurate, they bug me. First of all, this isn’t exactly big news: As WSJ‘s Joann Lublin notes in her piece, women in top CEO roles have out-earned their male counterparts for six of the last seven years. But more importantly, such stories suggest that America’s biggest corner offices are a haven for gender equity—which does not appear to be the case.
The WSJ piece focuses on pay data for the chiefs of the S&P 500—just 21 of whom are female. Given that sample size, it’s difficult to draw any real conclusions by comparing median male comp to median female comp. (If you do want to compare salaries by gender, Fast Company‘s Kathleen Davis points out that the top-earning male CEO still out-earns the highest-paid woman—by about $63 million.) And those few women who do make it to the top? “They must be exceptional,” Heidi Hartman, president of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, tells Lublin.
I also suspect that focusing on the comp of a group of 21 extremely well-paid CEOs distracts some readers from the larger point: The vast majority of women in the U.S. still face a gender pay gap. And for those who will never reach the rarified stratum where the WSJ is parsing their options packages, that gap can have a significant impact on their lives.
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Clinton at Code. Hillary Clinton spoke at the Code Conference yesterday, where the big question was how she lost the election—and who was at fault. “I take responsibility for every decision I made, but that’s not why I lost,” said Clinton. Fortune‘s Alana Abramson breaks down the various factors she says contributed to the her defeat, which include Russian interference, fake news, and media coverage of her private server and Goldman Sachs speeches. Fortune
• Contraception controversy. Vox reports that it has obtained a copy of a Trump administration draft regulation that would create broad exceptions to the Obamacare birth control mandate, purportedly “allowing any employer to seek a moral or religious exemption from the requirement.” For context: More than 20% of U.S. women of childbearing age had to pay money out of pocket for oral contraceptives prior to the Obamacare mandate, a number that shrunk to less than 4% after the mandate took effect. Meanwhile, Motto has a list of 46 secular companies that previously filed lawsuits arguing they shouldn’t be required to pay for birth control for their employees on religious grounds.
• Kelly overload. Megyn Kelly is suddenly everywhere as NBC ramps up the publicity offensive around her new show, Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly, which debuts June 4. Among other topics, Kelly touches on her relief about stepping back from the daily political grind, her feelings about being the target of media gossip, and her stint as a stay-at-home mom.
• Crew love. Debra Crew will remain CEO and President of Reynolds American after its takeover by tobacco giant BAT, which is expected to close later this year. Crew took over from Susan Cameron in 2016, and many had expected her to be replaced by the new owners. FT
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Jill Granoff, former CEO of Vince and Kenneth Cole, will join PE firm Eurazeo as CEO of its new investment division, Eurazeo Brands.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Trendspotting. Mary Meeker, who leads growth-stage investments for VC firm Kleiner Perkins, revealed her closely-watched annual Internet Trends report yesterday. A few of her findings: smartphone growth is slowing, voice control is on the rise, and e-commerce continues to grow. Fortune
• Ch-ch-ch-changes. Digiday’s new list of media “changemakers” includes a number of interesting and impressive women—including our own Jen Wong, COO of Fortune parent Time Inc. Digiday
• No love. Fortune’s Claire Zillman weighs in on the French Open’s decision to revoke the credentials of Maxime Hamou after the 21-year-old tennis player repeatedly kissed Eurosport journalist Maly Thomas and held her by the neck and shoulders during an interview on Monday. Sadly, Hanou is not the first man to celebrate by surprising the nearest available woman with an unwanted kiss, but there is something unusual about his situation: He was punished. Fortune
• Heads down. Kathy Griffin continues to experience blowback for her tasteless photo holding a severed, bloody head that was clearly supposed to be Donald Trump’s. CNN announced it has terminated its agreement with the comedian to host its New Year’s Eve program. Fortune
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