The Broadsheet: July 24th

July 24, 2017, 12:11 PM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Valentina (@valzarya) here. Apologies for the delay this morning—I had some technical difficulties. On to the news: Ivanka Trump’s first ethics disclosure is out, a female Senator is eyeing John McCain’s seat, and the women of the BBC want action on the gender gap. Have a great Monday.


Creepy clausesThe New York Times' Katie Benner takes a look at nondisparagement agreements and the role they play in enabling sexual harassment in the workplace. Increasingly found in standard employment contracts, these agreements help create a blanket of silence around companies.

They are particularly common in the tech world, where they're used by everyone from VC firms to startups to Silicon Valley giants (including Google). Nondisparagement agreements have become so widespread that several federal agencies are studying whether they are having a chilling effect on workers when it comes to speaking up about wrongdoing or filing lawsuits.

In signing such an agreement, an employee gives up her right to speak freely about her experience at a company. As a result, she is prohibited from coming forward about workplace harassment—and her harasser is able to move on and victimize other women at other companies.


 Not a pipeline problem. According to interviews with nearly two dozen chief executives, would-be chief executives, headhunters, business school deans and human resources professionals, the reasons women don't reach the top extend beyond the "pipeline problem." Writes the New York Times' Susan Chira: "Women are often seen as dependable, less often as visionary. Women tend to be less comfortable with self-promotion — and more likely to be criticized when they do grab the spotlight. Men remain threatened by assertive women. Most women are not socialized to be unapologetically competitive. Some women get discouraged and drop out along the way. And many are disproportionately penalized for stumbles." (Much of this will sound familiar to those who read Jennifer Reingold's excellent 2016 investigation of the dearth of women at the top.)   New York Times

 Ivanka's cash flow. Ivanka Trump or her trust received at least $12.6 million since early 2016 from her various business ventures and is guaranteed a minimum of $1.5 million a year even as she serves in a top White House position, according to her first ethics disclosure. Though she resigned from nearly 300 leadership positions at various entities within the family real estate businesses and at her fashion brand, she has continued to receive millions of dollars from both. Ethics experts say her and husband Jared Kushner's extensive holdings pose potential conflicts of interest. New York Times

Spotlight on the BBC. On Sunday, some of the most high-profile female presenters at the BBC called on the network to "act now" to address its gender pay gap. The BBC revealed last week that it currently pays its top male star five times more than its best-paid female presenter. Fortune

Finger-pointing at Fitzgerald. As the Trump administration’s newly appointed director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, formerly the health commissioner of Georgia, is now one of the nation’s top public health officials. Fitzgerald is facing backlash from public health advocates for having accepted $1 million to fight child obesity from Coca-Cola—a company some health experts say is a major cause of the problem. New York Times

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Apple has appointed Deirdre O’Brien to be its new VP of People. Prior to her appointment, O’Brien was the company’s VP of worldwide sales and operations. New Vornado Realty Trust spin-off JBG Smith has named Carol Melton, EVP of Time Warner, and Ellen Shuman, managing partner of Edgehill Endowment Partner, to its board. Tracey T. Travis, CFO of The Estée Lauder Companies, has been named to Accenture’s board. Julie Bornstein is stepping down as Stitch Fix's COO. She will remain an investor and advisor to the company.


A very welcome trend. A push across the Middle East to repeal "marry-your-rapist" laws—which allow rapists to avoid criminal prosecution if they marry their victims—is finally gaining traction. Experts attribute this to a steady expansion of women’s education in the region and a new kind of public activism spurred by social media. New York Times

Advanced Progress. The share of women and minority high school students taking computer science for college credit has spiked this year, thanks in part to a new Advanced Placement computer science course. The new AP course, Computer Science Principles, is considered more accessible and creative than the traditional CS offering, which focuses on a specific coding language. Recode

 Collins not compromising. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) isn't showing any signs of budging on the health care bill. During an appearance at the Maine Medical Center Research Institute on Friday, the Senator said repealing Obamacare is "unacceptable" because it would leave millions without insurance. The vote to repeal Obamacare is expected to take place Tuesday. Fortune

Ward wants a seat. A day after Sen. John McCain’s brain cancer diagnosis was revealed, his onetime political opponent Kelli Ward, who lost to the Arizona Senator in last year’s Republican primary, urged him to think about his political future sooner rather than later—and expressed interest in the possibility of taking over his Senate seat. In a statement on her website, Ward said McCain’s cancer is “both devastating and debilitating” and he “owes it to the people of Arizona to step aside” when he’s no longer able to perform his duties. Washington Post

Share today's Broadsheet with a friend:

Looking for previous Broadsheets? Click here.


The 25 best companies for women Refinery29

A warrant to search your vagina New York Times

'Wonder Woman 2' officially announced at Comic-Con Entertainment Weekly

Halle Berry chugs an entire freaking glass of whiskey Mashable


The reason for so many strange bedfellows is that paid leave helps so many different people meet so many different, pressing needs.
Melinda Gates, in an op-ed about Washington’s new paid family and medical leave policy