Ivanka Trump, Elizabeth Warren, Rent the Runway: Broadsheet March 12
Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Kristen has the scoop on the Great Place to Work Summit, Alibaba’s co-founders are investing in Rent the Runway, and Elizabeth Warren is definitively not running for president in 2020. I’m in Austin for SXSW today through Wednesday. Give me a shout if you’re here! (Or come to my panel). Wherever you are, have a fantastic Monday.
• Greetings from Great Places. Hello, Broadsheeters! This is Kristen. I spent a couple of days last week at the Great Place to Work Summit in San Francisco. Among my personal highlights from the conference was getting to spend some time on stage talking to Thrive Global founder and CEO Arianna Huffington and Jennifer Morgan, SAP president, Americas and Asia Pacific Japan. Not surprisingly, the two women were fonts of smart career advice, so I've put together a few of the highlights for you:
Friends don't let friends make decisions while sleep deprived
Huffington has spent the last few years becoming sleep's biggest fan and lobbyist, and her devotion to shuteye was on full display Thursday, as she cautioned the audience against the dangers of making key decisions when you're dragging. "I can identify every mistake I've made in my business life...It was when I was exhausted and I was basically ignoring the red flags...or wanting to check something off my to-do list to be less overwhelmed." The takeaway: Make time to rest, your career will thank you.
The struggle is real—so share it
When you're the boss, it can be tempting to pretend you always have all the answers. But revealing your own limitations can be powerful, says Morgan. Sharing your doubts and uncertainties—and how you work through them—can help empower your employees.
"When you're rising up and you look at the people above you, I think all of us think they have it all figured out—that there’s a special answer key out there that you will be exposed to someday," she says. "The reality is... I haven't found it yet. So, I think as leaders it's really important that we share the reality of the struggles and challenges, and to share what works for us."
Embrace your feminine side
Morgan rattled off a list of qualities that she often sees in women: empathy, humility, authenticity, vulnerability ("and when I say vulnerability, I don't mean weakness"). "In the past, these were traits women were trained not to share—that those aren't leadership traits," she said. But in today's digital world, people are increasingly looking to work for someone who embodies those humanistic values, said Morgan: "Being your true, authentic self captures more followership and creates a lot more success than trying to be somebody you're not."
Managers aren't mind readers
Huffington shared the story of a woman who was struggling at work because her manager had set a daily 7:30 a.m. conference call—the same time that she needed to drop her daughter off at school. The conflict was disrupting the woman's life—but it turned out that her manager had no idea.
"Women are often very reluctant to speak up about what’s important to them, especially when it comes to children, because they think it’s going to be seen as a sign that they’re not sufficiently dedicated, that they're on the 'mommy track.'" she said.
The solution to such problems can be as simple as creating better communication, noted Huffington. Employers must do better about asking workers what they need—and employees must be better about telling them.
While it's not a new thing for Huffington—indeed, she's been beating this particular drum since at least 2014—I have to mention her invocation of #StyleRepeats because I think it's such on-point advice. Noting that she'd worn the same dress to two previous events before appearing on the Great Place to Work stage, Huffington told the women in the audience, "we're at a competitive disadvantage with men—we waste an enormous amount of time and energy on picking a different outfit for every occasion." So, even the playing field by buying something you love—"I'm not against beautiful clothes"—and "wear it again and again and again."
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• BABA buys into RTR. Blue Pool Capital, a financial firm that invests the wealth of Alibaba founders Jack Ma and Joe Tsai, has invested $20 million in Rent the Runway, the clothing rental platform run by co-founder and CEO Jennifer Hyman. “I have huge respect for Joe and Jack and wanted to opportunistically involve them in the business as we embark on our biggest growth stage,” Hyman says. Recode
• Ivanka one year in. WaPo paints a portrait of Ivanka after a year in the White House, which "comes from interviews with more than a dozen administration officials, lawmakers and outside confidants, many of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to offer a more candid assessment." Among some of the juicier details? Her husband, Jared Kushner, reportedly views her as “freelancing” on “pet projects” as opposed to the administration’s stated top priorities. (She has pushed for paid family leave and STEM education.) And staffers call the couple "Javanka"—which they hate. Washington Post
• Warren won't run. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has announced that she will not be running for president in 2020. She is, however, running for re-election this year. NBC
• No thank you for your service. A Dropbox folder called "Hoes Hoin" containing hundreds of nude photos of female U.S. service members is currently circulating online. This is just the latest example of the military's ongoing problem with revenge porn and online harassment. Last March, the Defense Department launched an investigation into a private Facebook group of Marines, where photos of nude military servicemembers were non-consensually shared in a Google Drive folder. Vice
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Empowering Puerto Rico. Vogue has a beautiful mixed-media feature on the women of Puerto Rico, who are rebuilding the island after the devastation of Hurricane Maria. They've canvassed communities in order to diagnose the most critical needs, "and have returned when they said they would with supplies and support." Most importantly, they're empowering themselves—and each other. And by doing so, "the women of Puerto Rico have empowered the entire island." Vogue
• Don't Barbie-fy Frida. Frida Kahlo’s great-niece Mara de Anda Romeo is upset about Mattel's use of the artist's image (the toy company recently released an Inspiring Women series that included Kahlo). She believes that "the appearance of the doll, its characteristics, the history the doll" should match "what the artist really was.” Other critics have complained that the doll is more Barbie-like than Frida-like. Time
• Swooning over Newman. Susan Sarandon says legendary actor Paul Newman shared his salary with her once he discovered that she was being paid less than he was in the 1998 film Twilight. "He stepped forward and said, 'Well I'll give you part of mine,'" Sarandon recounts. "So, yeah, he was a gem." BBC
• Sherry shaped the law. Sherry Johnson was forced to marry her rapist at age 11 and has worked for six years to ban child marriages in Florida. Her efforts finally yielded results this Friday, when the state's legislature passed a bill prohibiting marriage for anyone under 17. She received a standing ovation from legislators, who credit her tireless campaigning for getting the bill passed. Cosmopolitan
ON MY RADAR
Rebecca Miller on the mother of all subjects: her father New York Times
How to lose your job from sexual harassment in 33 easy steps The Atlantic
How American Idol host Ryan Seacrest escaped his sexual harassment allegations unscathed Fortune