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The Broadsheet: July 17th

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Remembering a math whiz, the Doctor is in (and female!), and more charges of sexual harassment fly in Silicon Valley. Have a productive Monday.


• Trouble in tech-land. In the latest tale of alleged sexual harassment in Silicon Valley, Bea Kim, a former employee of BetterWorks, is suing the performance-tracking startup and its CEO, Kris Duggan, over charges of sexual harassment, discrimination, assault, and battery. Court filings from Kim describe an environment of frequent sexist comments from top executives—including “vulgar and graphic jokes and comments about women, rape, and female body parts”—a bizarre incident during a company retreat in which Duggan touched Kim roughly and inappropriately, and an inadequate response by the company. The suit also alleges that “women who attempted to complain to HR and upper management were deterred from complaining and told to be a ‘cool girl’ or that ‘it’s a female issue’ and ‘cattiness’ or were simply ignored.” (Duggan has declined to comment on ongoing litigation.)

Meanwhile, several of the women included in Katie Benner’s New York Times stories about sexual harassment in the VC community appeared on Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly yesterday. While the show was largely a recap of what was described in the Times, one of the entrepreneurs—The Muse co-founder Kathryn Minshew—did share upsetting new details of alleged harassment, though she declined Kelly’s invitation to name the man involved.

Stay tuned: I have a feeling that what we’re hearing from Kim, Minshew, and the rest of the women who have come forward thus far is just the first chapter in what is likely a very long story.


• All eyes on Aspen. No doubt the issue of sexism in tech will also be a hot topic of conversation at Fortune‘s annual Brainstorm Tech conference, which kicks off today in Aspen. Among those in attendance: Mattel CEO Margo Georgiadis, Forerunner Ventures founding partner Kirsten Green, and Instagram COO Marne Levine. Check out the livestream starting at 2pm Mountain Time: Fortune

• Mirzakhani did the math. Maryam Mirzakhani, the first and only woman to win a Fields Medal—the math equivalent of the Nobel Prize—died on Saturday at the age of 40.  Fortune

• An American (first lady) in Paris. While Melania Trump has been maintaining a low profile at home in the U.S., the first lady seems more at ease taking a public role during the president’s overseas trips. On last week’s visit to Paris, for instance, Trump “spoke French with sick children during a visit to Necker hospital, toured the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte and garnered positive reviews for her reserved demeanor and adherence to diplomatic protocols on Bastille Day.” Washington Post

• The Doctor is in. Jodie Whittaker is taking on the iconic title role in Doctor Who. She will be the first female doctor in the show’s 36 seasons.  Fortune

• Teeing up the blowback. It’s been a big month for women’s dress codes! The LPGA is getting some attention for its new rules regulating what female golfers can wear on the tour. Among the newly-banned items: plunging necklines, leggings unless under a skirt or shorts, and short skirts—even with shorts underneath.  Golf Digest

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: ITV, the U.K.’s biggest commercial broadcaster, announced this morning that it has poached EasyJet chief Carolyn McCall as its CEO.


• Jennifer Garner, Inc. This story looks at why Jennifer Garner, who hasn’t been considered a major movie star in many years, has become ever more visible as a company pitchwoman (Capital One Bank and Neutrogena) and commands massive speaking fees for corporate conferences.  BuzzFeed

• Cock-a-doodle-doo! While women in China are making some economic progress, they remain largely excluded from the top levels of politics: Since the Communists came to power in 1949, no woman has ever sat on the party’s highest body, the seven-member Politburo Standing Committee, while the 25-member Politburo has just two women. The problem is so entrenched that it even has its own saying, which compares a woman with power to “a hen crowing at dawn.”  New York Times

• Fitzgerald’s fight. One week into the job, Brenda Fitzgerald discusses her priorities as the new director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which include fighting infectious disease and strengthening early-childhood development. She has her job cut out for her: The Trump administration has proposed a $1.22 billion, or 17%, cut to the CDC’s budget for fiscal 2018.  WSJ

• Austen’s pride…and prejudice. This op-ed dismisses the frequently-repeated claim that Jane Austen hid her writing and was reluctant to claim credit for it. In fact, writes Devoney Looser, a professor of English at Arizona State University, “evidence from her own pen points to Austen’s being a deliberate, careful, proud author who shared her writing with family and friends and recorded their opinions about it.” New York Times

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Dem rising star Kamala Harris meets with Clinton inner circle in Hamptons  New York Post

Columbia settled with the man accused of raping ‘mattress girl’   Buzzfeed

Halle Berry shares the best business advice she ever received  Fortune

Betsy DeVos is sending the wrong message to sexual assault victims  Fortune


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