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raceAhead: MPW Next Gen On The Black Ceiling, Judges So White, Pirelli So Woke

Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Next Gen Summit wrapped up yesterday, with a panel titled,“The Black Ceiling.”

The panel was a follow-up to a Fortune story of the same name that did a grim duty – it highlighted a deeply disappointing element of the otherwise celebratory ranking of this year’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business,

There was only one black woman on this year’s list, represented by Ann-Marie Campbell, No. 18, Home Depot’s EVP for U.S. stores. And while there was initially an uptick in women CEOs from 2016 — 32 women in CEO jobs, up from 21 in 2016 – there are currently no African American or black women in the top spot.

So while there are cracks appearing in the glass ceiling for other women, for black women, that ceiling is increasingly looking and feeling like cement.

Jamie-Clare Flaherty, Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Obama Foundation, Tracey Patterson, Service Delivery Lead, Accenture Operations, and Bärí Williams, the head of business operations for StubHub North America, discussed the challenges they have faced in their careers, calling on black women to ask for what they want and for allies to do better.

“Black women sit at this intersection of both race and gender,” said Patterson. “If we think about the challenges we experience as a woman, being underestimated, trying to raise our voice, this is amplified when you add African-American on top of that.”

All agreed that programs designed to foster female empowerment need to go further in recognizing the challenges unique to African-American women. “Underneath that layer are several different complexities. I think the first step is understanding that layer exists,” said Patterson.

A new understanding of allyship emerged from the room.

Speaking from the audience, Lauren Antonoff, Senior Vice President of Presence and Commerce, GoDaddy, shared candidly about an epiphany she experienced attending a panel on intersectionality at the most recent annual Grace Hopper Celebration. Her dedication to gender parity in tech had largely benefited white women because she held them as a proxy for all women. “They were my ‘default,’” she said. “I thought I was doing the right things, doing the good work.” Intersectionality, in all its forms, is now top of mind for her, as it was for many in the room.

Click here for the video.

On Point

Pinterest’s plan for inclusionFor Candice Morgan, head of inclusion and diversity at Pinterest, data is important. But, she says, “the way you get that data to move in the right direction is arguably more important.” Here’s one point in this helpful analysis: The company emphasizes managerial training in “equitable” feedback and bias mitigation. But they also encourage managers to find ways to help individual contributors grow. “[I]nclusive managers who, according to our employees, inspire more risk-taking and create more opportunities for individuals to embrace their unique contributions,” she says. And they are systematizing mentor and sponsorship with the aim of creating future leaders. “A lot of companies have a very specific profile of who they recruit, but few have a clear and focused way to open up opportunities for current employees to rise up the ranks.”Jopwell

When your abuser is a leader in your faith
You may remember the horrifying story of Washington, D.C.-area Rabbi Barry Freundel, who pleaded guilty in 2015 for surreptitiously taping more than 150 women in the bathroom of the mikvah ritual bath. One of his victims, Bethany Mandel, explores her complicated feelings in light of the Roy Moore allegations. “There is something particularly insidious about being victimized by a man who claims to be righteous,” she says. Not only is your dignity and sense of safety destroyed, “You are also robbed of your faith and, very often, of your religious community, which can view you as the real betrayer of the faith for speaking out.” But in the case of Moore, who may or may not be supported by evangelical pastors, Mandel says to expect the worst. “The damage that will be done to the Republican brand and those Christians who watch their religious leaders stand by Mr. Moore will be irreversible.”
New York Times

We’ll be talking about this for the next 40 years
The rate at which President Donald Trump has nominated white men to federal court judge positions could prove to be the most lasting part of his legacy. Ninety-one percent of his nominees have been white, and 81% have been men, according to an analysis by the Associated Press. The last time African-Americans and Hispanics were so poorly represented among federal judge nominees, George H.W. Bush was in the White House. And these are lifelong appointments, the AP was careful to mention. “Nobody wants to talk about it,” Trump has said about the mark he’s leaving on the judicial system, “but when you think about it … that has consequences 40 years out.” Here’s an idea: Let’s talk and think about it. 
AP Politics

White people: Would you go to a networking event called “Come Meet a Black Person?”
This coming Thursday, an organization of content creators in the Atlanta area are hosting an inclusion-themed event called “Come Meet a Black Person.” The event was inspired by a 2014 study which showed that 75 percent of white people do not have black friends or friends of any other race. Cheryle Moses, the founder of the Urban Mediamakers, says that while people have been supportive of the “lighthearted” framing, the intent is serious. “I know everything about white people, but a lot of white people don’t know much about our culture or our community. Not real stuff anyway,” she said. I’ve been thinking about this for two days, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m probably missing some local element that makes this framing workable. Good luck tomorrow, Cheryle. If it goes off the rails, I recommend sending all the b-roll from the event to Jordan Peele. At least you’ll get a story by credit.

The Woke Leader

Pirelli turns black bodies into a Wonderland of wokeness
This isn’t the first time Pirelli has released its famous calendar with an all-black cast of models. Model Naomi Campbell appeared in the first one, then 16 years old, and returned this year flanked by Brother Love, nee Puff Daddy/Swag/Sean John/P. Diddy/Diddy/Puff Daddy/Puffy. But it is the first time Pirelli has used an all-black cast in 30 years. When chatting with a Vanity Fair reporter about appearing as the Duchess from Alice in Wonderland in the 2018 Pirelli Calendar, comedian and talk show host Whoopi Goldberg wanted to make one thing clear: “[Pirelli] knew something was needed. I think not everybody will appreciate it or like it, but I don’t think Pirelli really gives a shit.” Click through to get lost in the Wonderland that’s a behind-the-scenes photo gallery.
Vanity Fair

A delightful short film aims to encourage empathy for immigrants and refugees
A group of Disney artists, claiming heritage from more than 30 different countries, have banded to together in their off-hours to create Weeds, a short, animated film designed to highlight the plight of immigrants and refugees.  The three-minuteish short was directed by Walt Disney Animation Studios artist Kevin Hudson (Big Hero 6, Moana), and animation supervisor Hyun Min Lee worked with nearly 40 other Disney artists to create the story of a dandelion who is struggling to get to a place where the grass is literally greener. In the summer of 2016, when anti-immigrant rhetoric was building, Hudson had an epiphany while pulling weeds in his own yard. “I looked over at my neighbors dry and barren yard and suddenly had this amazing feeling of empathy for the little plants wilting in the sun and realized what they must feel like looking over at my green yard.” Click through for the utterly charming trailer, an interview with Hudson, and for a limited time, the entire short.
Animation World Network

On Colin Kaepernick’s hair
Ameer Hasan Loggins was one of the expert contributors to the GQ issue that named Colin Kaepernick as its Citizen of the Year, a smart move that allowed Kaepernick to maintain his stance of strategic silence, while providing a platform for the people who know him and have informed his work. In this follow-up piece from The Undefeated, Loggins assessed the photos and styling that Kaepernick chose. Kaepernick’s Afro shined like a crown of black consciousness on the cover of GQ, serving as a crucial component for framing his unspoken love for black aesthetic affirmation,” he says. Conversations about hair and “presentability” continue to be present in black spaces, and Loggins was there when a heated discussion took place at one of Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camps in Chicago. Click through for Kaepernick’s righteous response.
The Undefeated


Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery / None but ourselves can free our minds / Wo! Have no fear for atomic energy / ‘Cause none of them-a can-a stop-a the time / How long shall they kill our prophets / While we stand aside and look? / Yes, some say it’s just a part of it / We’ve got to fulfill the book / Won’t you have to sing / These songs of freedom? / ‘Cause all I ever had / Redemption songs
Bob Marley