Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Valentina (@valzarya) here. Bill Cosby is going on a teaching tour (yes, really), the Senate releases its version of a healthcare bill, and we ponder the possibility of Arianna Huffington as Uber’s next CEO. Have a wonderful weekend.
• Where’s the rage? Yesterday, tech blog The Information published a story with the headline “Silicon Valley Women Tell of VC’s Unwanted Advances.” At first glance, there didn’t seem to be much news there (which is, of course, a problem in itself). Yes, Silicon Valley is sexist. Yes, women face harassment at work. We’ve heard it before.
But the contents of the piece are much more outrageous than the headline lets on. The story details how venture capitalist Justin Caldbeck, who over the past decade worked at Bain Capital Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners before starting his own firm, Binary Capital, allegedly made unwanted sexual advances towards half a dozen women:
Ms. Wang alleges Mr. Caldbeck, while informally trying to recruit her for a tech company job, tried to sleep with her. Ms. Ho said that Mr. Caldbeck, while discussing investing in their startup, sent her text messages in the middle of the night suggesting they meet up. Ms. Hsu says that Mr. Caldbeck groped her under a table at a Manhattan hotel bar.
Pando‘s Sarah Lacy points out that the critical point to notice here isn’t simply Caldbeck’s alleged behavior, but that three women let their names be used in the story. “Those women, Niniane Wang, Susan Ho and Leiti Hsu, took massive professional and personal risks in doing this,” Lacy writes. “Most men in the startup world won’t speak on the record about a VC who treats them poorly. For three women to do so and risk the industry’s retaliation shows not only their courage, but the giant shift that’s taking place in Silicon Valley.”
So, why didn’t the story make more of a splash? Why not the same level of outrage on social media that we saw in the aftermath of Susan Fowler’s blog post about harassment at Uber? While I can’t speak for the entire Internet, I would venture to guess that it’s for the same reason that I myself initially scanned the headline and decided that this was nothing new. Perhaps, with everything going on—between Uber, Bill Cosby, Roger Ailes, and yes, Donald Trump—we are becoming desensitized to stories of women receiving unwanted sexual advances. We are getting less angry, when, in fact, just the opposite should be happening. The Information
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• From Thriving to driving? Fortune‘s Polina Marinova throws another name into the mix of who might be next to run Uber: Huffington Post and Thrive Global founder Arianna Huffington. “Although it might sound like a long shot,” she writes, “it’s not quite so surprising given her growing influence.” And Huffington, who is already a board member, is actually a pretty good culture fit, Polina argues. “She’s blunt, aggressive, and convincing—qualities that have helped her build multiple companies.” Meanwhile, more than 1,000 Uber employees have signed a petition asking the board to give an active role to founder Travis Kalanick, who was forced to resign earlier this week. Fortune
• What the Senate bill says. Senate Republicans yesterday released their version of a measure to repeal and replace Obamacare. Despite expectations to the contrary, it looks pretty similar to the House bill proposed last month. If passed, the new law would end the Obama-era mandate that most Americans have health insurance, further cut Medicaid funding, and offer states the ability to drop many of the benefits required by the Affordable Care Act—such as maternity care. New York Times
• Not how this should have ended. BuzzFeed has the heartbreaking story of a young woman who accused a powerful man of rape. After reporting the incident, she—instead of receiving justice—found herself under investigation for multiple other crimes. After transferring universities to get away from her alleged attacker, she ended up committing suicide. A summary doesn’t do the story justice; it’s worth reading in full. BuzzFeed
• Cosby back on the mic. Speaking of powerful men who have been accused of rape, Bill Cosby, whose sexual assault trial ended in a mistrial Saturday due to a deadlocked jury, plans to host a series of “town hall” meetings to teach young people how to avoid allegations of sexual misconduct, according to his spokesperson. TIME
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Spotify’s board has two new members: Padmasree Warrior, the ex-Cisco CTO and CSO who is now CEO of electric car maker NIO, and Cristina Stenbeck, executive chairman and principal owner of Investment AB Kinnevik. Dustee Jenkins, chief communications officer and SVP of communications at Target, is leaving the company.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• They’re reporters, after all. Earlier this month, female reporters at The Wall Street Journal emailed the publication’s editor-in-chief Gerard Baker and his deputy Matt Murray on behalf of nearly 200 staffers, expressing their frustration with the lack of diversity in the newsroom. The email, obtained by HuffPost, notes that leadership hasn’t addressed the publication’s significant gender pay gap or its lack of racial diversity. HuffPost
• Just blame genetics? A Florida university official suggested that women make less money than men because they genetically lack the skills to negotiate for a better salary. Edward Morton, a State University System of Florida director, made the comment while board members were discussing ways to close the wage gap between men and women who graduate from Florida’s public university system. Fortune
• Relax a la Ivanka. Ivanka Trump Spas, located at Trump hotels in Vancouver and Washington, are the first hotel facilities to bear the first daughter’s name. Both opened in the past nine months, leveraging the 35-year-old’s sudden global profile. Bloomberg
• Fearless Women. Tali Gumbiner and Lizzie Wilson, the creative team at McCann New York behind Fearless Girl, the controversial Wall Street statue, talk about a mishap during its creation and share the story of when the statue was first installed on Wall Street in the early hours of March 7. AdWeek
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