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40 Under 40, Ginni Rometty on the Trump Council Fiasco, the Kardashian Decade

August 17, 2017, 12:13 PM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Valentina (@valzarya) here. Fortune’s list of 40 Under 40 is live, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty sheds some light on why Trump’s advisory council disbanded, and the Kardashians are celebrating the 10th anniversary of their reality show. Have a lovely Thursday.


 40 U 40. Fortune's list of 40 Under 40 is live! The list, "a litany of fresh-faced leaders upending industries and helming some of the world's most important businesses, not to mention the largest global economies," features a grand total of 16 women—the same number as last year's ranking. Because some slots are shared by more than one person (which is often the case with co-founders), that makes the list 30.7% female.

This year's set includes women you probably know...

  • Serena Williams (no. 7) this year set the new record for number of Open-era grand slam titles (23) while finding the time to join the board of a major company (online survey giant SurveyMonkey) and speak out forcefully for equal pay for women of color.
  • Susan Fowler (no. 24) set off a chain of events that led to major upheaval at Uber with her blog post about being an engineer at the company. These days, she is editing Increment, Stripe's new quarterly publication aimed at engineers.

...and women you probably don't (but should):

  • Amber Baldet (no. 31) leads the team at JPMorgan that’s developing Quorum, a corporate blockchain project at the company. A regular of hacker conferences, Baldet bridges the divide between Wall Street and the crypto set.
  • Leilah Janah (no. 40) founded Samasource, which sets up workers in Kenya, Uganda, India, and other underprivileged parts of the world as remote freelancers for the tech sector, an arrangement that boosts their average wages from less than $2.50 a day to more than $8.

See the full 40 Under 40 list here


 Show's over, folks! On Wednesday, President Trump announced that he was "ending" two of his business advisory councils: a manufacturing initiative and a strategy forum. The tweet with the news came after the latter reportedly decided to disband on its own, a chain of events confirmed by a letter IBM CEO Ginni Rometty sent her employees the same day. The group "can no longer serve the purpose for which it was formed," the executive wrote. "Earlier today I spoke with other members of the Forum and we agreed to disband the group."  Fortune

New Hope for Trump? Hope Hicks is reportedly going to be named the new White House communications director. According to The Daily Caller, 28-year-old Hicks was offered and accepted the position to replace Anthony Scaramucci, who was relieved of the position just ten days after taking over from Sean Spicer. Fortune

Heavens to Betsy. The story of Betsy Duke is the story of hard work—and a little bit of luck. On Tuesday, Wells Fargo named her chair of the board, making her the first woman to oversee the lender. While she's now the highest-ranking woman in U.S. banking, her climb to the top was less than glamorous; her first job in the industry was as a teller. Fortune

SAP on the gap. Nearly a year into her tenure as president of SAP’s North America division, Jennifer Morgan embarked on the mission of finding out and erasing the pay gap between male and female employees. What she found during the process, however, surprised her: "Inequalities existed, and 70% of it was for females—but 30% were with males...It was just eye opening because it’s a gender-equity issue, but many times it’s just an equality issue." WSJ

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Zenefits today announced the appointment of Lisa Reeves as senior vice president of product.


Women go to work. The difference between men’s and women’s participation in the labor force is now the narrowest it's ever been. More women are entering the workforce, a trend coinciding with faster job growth in so-called pink collar industries—such as health care and education—as well as women's entry into male-dominated fields. Among the top 10 fastest-growing women-owned businesses are plumbers, electricians, and carpenters.  Fortune

Uber-strong need for leadership. Fortune's Leigh Gallagher weighs in on the search for Uber's next CEO—and argues that it's okay that it won't be a woman. "Uber doesn’t need a woman CEO specifically; it needs the best person. And there are many reasons that person is unlikely to be a woman," she writes. Between Uber's size, scale, hyper growth rates, and complex nature of the business, a future leader would need a very specific set of qualifications. "Even though there are women CEOs of the biggest Fortune 500 companies, for example, there are simply far fewer of them with experience transforming large companies than there are men." Fortune

The K decade. Love them or hate them, this milestone should at the very least raise some eyebrows: next month, reality show Keeping Up With the Kardashians will have been on the air for 10 years. With a combined social media reach of 700 million-plus followers (that's nearly twice the U.S. population), the family is one of the best-known in the world. Here's the Hollywood Reporter's cover story on how that happened. Hollywood Reporter

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If anything, this pregnancy has given me a new power.
Serena Williams