Good morning, Broadsheet readers! We get an exclusive look at GoDaddy’s diversity “brag sheet,” Ursula Burns joins Uber’s board, and private equity has a serious woman problem. Have a productive Monday.
• Go, GoDaddy. GoDaddy’s diversity report—or its “brag sheet,” as CEO Blake Irving refers to it—seems to tell a similar story to other those of other tech companies: Change is happening, but not as quickly as one would hope. The number of women at the company increased by two percentage points since last year, from 24% to 26%.
But, Irving insists that the report doesn’t tell the whole story. “I think progress isn’t just measured in numbers,” the Internet company chief, who is retiring at the end of the year, tells me. “The real jump is in [women’s] promotion trajectory.”
After taking the helm of GoDaddy in 2012—a time when the company was perhaps best known for its ads featuring scantily-clad women—Irving began working with the Clayman Institute for Gender Research in order to improve both outside perceptions of the company and its internal culture (though he notes that “the internal culture at GoDaddy never matched that external brand”).
After months of observation, the Institute, which works with corporations to promote gender equality, concluded that GoDaddy was “a lot like most tech companies”—that is to say, it had a culture in which women and minorities were not always given the same opportunities as white men. While many companies have tried to tackle this problem through unconscious bias training, says Irving, he decided to “experiment” with a different approach.
Irving’s team noticed that women were not getting promoted at the same rates as men (a phenomenon that is not unique to GoDaddy). At that time, promotions happened on an ad hoc basis, with employees who felt they were qualified raising their hands for open jobs. Yet, because men tend to believe they are qualified for jobs much more readily than women do—remember the statistic that men apply for a job when they meet 60% of qualifications, but women apply only if they meet 100%?—more men were asking to be promoted (and therefore being promoted) than women.
To rectify this, Irving’s team decided to ask managers to review all employees as potential candidates for promotion—even those who didn’t ask. As a result, promotions of women jumped 30% in a single year. Fortune
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Life in plastic, it’s fantastic? Fortune’s Michal Lev-Ram writes about her search for the answer to questions that have plagued many a mom: “How had my experience of playing with Barbies shaped me, if at all? And how could it shape my daughters? Most importantly, as a feminist (and a writer who often covers women in powerful positions) how could I justify letting my girls play with a doll whose ‘greatest quotes’ include the following gem: ‘Math class is tough!’” Fortune
• Trump’s latest target. Carmen Yulín Cruz, mayor of the Puerto Rico capital San Juan, is in a high-profile altercation with President Donald Trump after having publicly criticized the administration’s insufficient response to Hurricane Maria. “This is, damn it, this is not a good news story. This is a ‘people are dying’ story,” she said Friday. In response, Trump pointed the finger back at her (via Twitter, of course): “Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help.” New York Times
• PE’s woman problem. Private equity has the biggest gender imbalance in the alternative asset space, according to an Axios analysis of data from industry research firm Prequin. Women make up less than 18% of all employees in the private equity industry, and just 9% of senior execs. Of those women who do work in PE firms, half are in either marketing or investor relations. Only 14% are investors. Axios
• Meet the mastermind. If you’ve ever wondered how the Fortune Most Powerful Women franchise got started, you’ll find the answer in this episode of Paul Samuel Dolman’s What Matters Most. (Hint: It has everything to do with Dolman’s interview subject, Pattie Sellers, Fortune‘s former assistant managing editor and the current executive director of MPW Live Content.) What Matters Most
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Former Xerox CEO Ursula Burns has been appointed to Uber’s board of directors.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• It’s about time. Private banks are just now “discovering women.” According to research by the Boston Consulting Group, only 2% of private banks globally think of women as a distinct client segment, even though they control 22% of the assets under management, or some $21 trillion. It’s a segment that will become even more difficult to ignore. Why? For one thing, women outlive men by about five years—making them the primary decision-makers about assets inherited not only from their parents but also from their spouses. Barron's
• Nicole’s real-life role. Nicole Kidman writes a powerful letter to survivors of domestic violence, advocating for women to support one another: “Imagine: if you can fall back on the 3.5 billion sisters, and the many good men who are with us, what could we possibly not achieve?” The actress portrayed a victim of domestic abuse in the HBO series Big Little Lies, a role that won her an Emmy. Porter
• Sirleaf’s legacy. Liberia’s first female president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is preparing to step down next weekend, as the country goes to the polls on Oct. 10. Her legacy is a complicated one, but where Sirleaf’s fans and critics clash most often is over her dedication to female empowerment. Though she won the Nobel Prize for Peace for her efforts to further women’s rights in 2011, detractors point out that Liberia ranks just 146th of 190 countries in terms of women in the legislature and that just ten of 58 candidates in Sirleaf’s Unity Party are women. Quartz
• Thanks, but no thanks. Last week, President Trump directed the Education Department to commit at least $200 million towards computer science education. While several corporations and nonprofits celebrated the initiative, Girls Who Code did not. In this powerful editorial, the nonprofit’s CEO Reshma Saujani explains why: “I do not believe this initiative—nor any partnership with this White House—can reverse the harm this administration has already done in attempting to legitimize intolerance. Indeed, collaborating with this administration, on any issue, emboldens it only further.” New York Times
ON MY RADAR
Group of white men in Patagonia vests confused for VC Fund, raise $500 million Fortune
Why are women still set up to fail in the C-suite? Fortune
How Ruth Bader Ginsburg called out a man’s unconscious bias Fortune
NBC should’ve seen the Megyn Kelly trainwreck coming Fortune