Marines, Charlie Rose, Beverly Cleary: Broadsheet April 13
Good morning, Broadsheet readers! The Marines will soon get their African-American female general, Beverly Cleary turns 102, and we get a look at what it’s like to be a woman at Microsoft. Have a revitalizing weekend.
• Time to reboot? It's no secret that the big technology companies struggle to attract, retain, and promote women. Yet this Seattle Times piece notes that, when it comes to female representation, Microsoft consistently ranks on the low side when compared with its tech titan peers. So, what's going on in Redmond?
According to this deeply-reported piece, which author Matt Day says is based on "interviews with more than three dozen current and former employees and a review of hundreds of pages of court filings and internal documents," the answer is fairly straightforward: "A culture of casual sexism, a male-dominated hierarchy slow to change, and poor resolution of employee grievances."
As someone who's read (more than) her fair share of stories about bad company culture, Day's piece stands out to me for his examination of Microsoft's early days and the way that even seemingly minor decisions, like what type of performance reviews to use, can have massive ramifications. It's a vivid illustration of how cultural norms are created—and how difficult they are to undo.
Ultimately, the story paints a picture of a company that wants to improve, but has not yet confronted just how deep that reinvention must go to succeed.
Ellyn Foltz, a former Microsoft sales manager who left the company in 2014, tells Day: “Having been an executive in the technology industry, you don’t make deep, important cultural change without owning up to what’s going on. I don’t think that’s happening at Microsoft.” Seattle Times
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• White male faces of Facebook. Reflecting on Mark Zuckerberg's (seemingly endless) testimony before Congress this week, our colleague Ellen McGirt looks into whether Facebook's lack of diversity might be contributing to its data privacy issues or the way the platform has been used to circulate racist or sexist propoganda."In theory, a diverse set of employees (with influence) would be better able to identify ways their product might harm certain customers that a majority-culture leadership team might miss (or ignore) in a company’s quest for domination," writes Ellen. Fortune
• We salute you, general! President Trump has nominated Marine Corps Col. Lorna Mahlock, currently the deputy director of Operations, Plans, Policies, and Operations Directorate at Marine Corps Headquarters in Washington, to be promoted to the rank of brigadier general. If confirmed (as is expected), she will be the first African-American female general. Time
• Rise of the early risers. The reigning women of morning TV—Gayle King, Norah O’Donnell, Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, and Robin Roberts—talk about the "historic year in broadcast news" that included the firing of industry heavyweights Charlie Rose and Matt Lauer, as well as their push for equitable pay. "We actually should be paid much more in some instances," says O'Donnell. The Hollywood Reporter
• Happy birthday, Beverly! This Vox piece celebrates the iconic Ramona Quimby on the occasion of creator Beverly Cleary's 102nd (!!!) birthday. Vox
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Malgosia Green, formerly chief product officer at Top Hat, has been named CEO of Plenty of Fish.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Poor Charlie?? The Twitterverse is less than thrilled about this look at how Charlie Rose is faring after being accused of serial sexual harassment. As HuffPo editor-in-chief Lydia Polgreen tweeted, "Now let’s check in on the women whose careers he derailed." The Hollywood Reporter
• No more room service. In an attempt to combat sexual harassment, the Screen Actors Guild wants to end meetings in “high-risk locations." Sag-Aftra has requested a new guideline telling “producers and executives to avoid arranging meetings in hotel rooms or private residences." If the meeting cannot take place in another setting, the union proposed that a “support peer” be present. The Guardian
• Petitioning the PD. More than 450 women in Italy’s Democratic Party (PD) have signed a petition calling on its leaders to fix the party’s “sexist internal culture.” Their appeal comes at a time when all the front-runners to replace former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi as party leader are men, and the PD has lost its former status as the party with the highest level of female representation in parliament. Politico
• In the vanguard. Meet Michelle Louie, co-manager of the Vanguard 500 Index Fund, which includes a staggering $367.5 billion in assets. The WSJ calls the massive fund "ground zero for the passive-investing revolution." WSJ
ON MY RADAR
The real reasons millennial women don't talk about their salaries Refinery29
International Champions Cup will add women’s event this summer New York Times
Appointing yet another white, male director is a missed opportunity for the Met New York Times
How Demi Lovato is promoting drug rehab and mental health at her concerts Fortune