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Hope Hicks, Wall Street’s #MeToo, Serena Williams: Broadsheet Feb. 28

February 28, 2018, 12:35 PM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Hope Hicks is in the House hot seat, Serena Williams is the GMOAT, and we all need PhDs. Enjoy your last day of February!


 Back to school! Our colleague Claire Zillman writes about a new "set of rules" for working women seeking equal pay, published by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce yesterday. Rule No. 1? Get one more degree—just one!—than a male counterpart to achieve his same earnings. Here's Georgetown's reasoning:

A woman with a bachelor’s degree earns $61,000 per year on average, roughly equivalent to that of a man with an associate’s degree. The same rule holds true for women with master’s degrees compared to men with bachelor’s degrees and for each successive level of educational attainment.

Why the disparity? “Part of it is self-inflicted,” Nicole Smith, the Georgetown Center’s chief economist who co-authored the report, tells Claire, pointing to women’s choice of occupation in a given field as a leading culprit. “If you really like medicine, you should be a surgeon. You don’t have to be a nurse,” Smith says. She admits that might not be the feel-good, follow-your-passion advice that everyone wants to hear, but it’s a message that needs saying. “It’s not only about money, but money matters. Guys care about money,” she says.

The other part is far more complex and includes "the discriminatory tradition of undervaluing women’s work, women’s disproportionate share of caregiving obligations, lack of child care, and women’s salary negotiating tactics as possible causes." To go deeper, click here: Fortune


Money over #MeToo. We've written about the odd silence of Wall Street women when it comes to the #MeToo movement. While some have pointed to the confidentiality agreements signed by big banks' employees, Vanity Fair's Bethany McLean has a different hypothesis: it's about money. In the words of one former banker: “For many senior women there is way too much on the table." Culture also plays a role: “When you are rewarded for toughness there’s a big disincentive...to come forward with a story that would put a dent into your armor,” writes another Wall Street woman in an e-mail. “That over time becomes identity.” Vanity Fair

Hicks stays mum. White House communications director Hope Hicks, a confidante of President Trump who was by his side during the campaign and early months of his administration, appeared before House investigators yesterday in relation to Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election. She reportedly did not answer questions about events and conversations since Trump took office. Guardian

 Melania moves on. Melania Trump has parted ways with Stephanie Winston Wolkoff over the news that the latter's firm was paid nearly $26 million for event planning by a group that oversaw President Trump’s inauguration. Winston Wolkoff was simultaneously working as an unpaid senior adviser to the office of the first lady. New York Times

 Double tap for the Gap. A new viral Gap Instagram ad that shows a mother nursing her baby son is getting cheers online for normalizing breastfeeding. The last notable breastfeeding ad, by gym chain Equinox, garnered a similarly positive response. People

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Frances Frei, a leadership expert hired to help fix Uber's corporate culture, is leaving after less than a year. Pinterest has tapped Silicon Valley veteran Francoise Brougher to be its first COO. Moonfruit cofounder Wendy Tan White is exploring an AI and 'deep tech' fund.


KKW's just like us! Kim Kardashian West's life looks glamorous on Instagram, but her days are so meticulously planned that they remind me of the balancing act of, well, all women. She tells Marie Claire: "My day is so micromanaged. I now wake up at five, get a little bit of work done, work out at six, home by 7:15, wake up my son for fifteen minutes, wake up my daughter, breakfast for the next thirty—it's like literally if anything throws me off, I'm f*cked." Marie Claire

Not-so-happy hours. Slate's Rebecca Gale argues that "we should rethink pairing drinks and work" in the wake of the #MeToo movement. Explains Antonia Abbey, a professor of psychology at Wayne State University: “When people socialize with co-workers, they tend to forget the ‘work’ script and think in terms of the ‘party’ script." And the link between alcohol and sexual violence are clear: The substance is associated with approximately half of assaults, according to Abbey's research. Slate

Norton and the NYT. Remember Quinn Norton, the tech writer the New York Times hired as an editorial board member and then fired about six hours later (after it emerged that she was friends with neo-Nazis)? She describes the whirlwind experience with the Times in this editorial about how "social media created a bizarro-world version" of her. Norton writes: "The internet lets people create and then interact with a character. Regardless of who I am and what I’ve done, there is now a Nazi-sympathizing and homophobic 'Quinn Norton' out there." Atlantic

 4 billboards outside Indian Wells. Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian has the best welcome-back-to-work surprise for his wife, Serena Williams. On her way to Indian Wells, Calif. early next week, Williams will be greeted by giant images of her daughter, along with the caption, “Greatest momma of all time. G.M.O.A.T.” Fortune

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