Skip to Content

Meghan Markle, Women.NYC, Pennsylvania Primaries: Broadsheet May 17

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Women have infiltrated PA politics, gender roles are more complex than we think, and NYC has big news for its female residents. Have a terrific Thursday.

EVERYONE’S TALKING

Big Apple’s big news. Yesterday evening, I had the pleasure of attending the launch of Women.NYC, a campaign to brand the Big Apple as the best place in the world for women. As part of the launch, the city unveiled a new portal—Women.NYC doubles as its web address—for the city’s female-focused resources. The goal of the site is to help women navigate everything from pre-kindergarten applications to small business loans to wage discrimination reporting. Or, in the words of Alicia Glen, the deputy mayor of economic development and housing (and the mastermind behind the campaign, along with NYC’s first lady Chirlane McCray): To avoid the “maze of misery” that is government bureaucracy.

The site is just “the beginning of a discussion about what it means to be a woman in New York City,” Glen told me at the Brooklyn Museum event. The mayor’s office expects to launch a new initiative every month as part of the campaign, with major news coming next week (stay tuned!) Coming attractions include programming—the city will soon launch an initiative for women over 50 who want to go back into the workforce—and changes to the physical environment of New York City. “It doesn’t go unnoticed that the only woman [statue] in Central Park is Alice in Wonderland.”

In addition to helping women find tactical, public support, the deputy mayor said the city is sending a very loud message to NYC-based private businesses that “we expect you to change and to step up” when it comes to supporting women. How are they expected to do this? Close the city’s gender wage gap by 2028, reach gender parity on boards and senior leadership teams by 2025, and offer at least six weeks of paid parental leave for new parents.

An entertaining sidenote: When I asked Glen how long it took her team to put this initiative together, she answered: “Because we’re women, it didn’t take us that long—maybe 4-6 months. Pretty epic in government terms.” Yet another reason we need more women to run for office.

ALSO IN THE HEADLINES

PA’s pink wave. Currently, Pennsylvania’s 18 House members and two U.S. senators are all men. But the days of an all-dude PA delegation are over: In the Fifth Congressional District near Philadelphia, Republican Pearl Kim and Democrat Mary Gay Scanlon won their respective primaries on Tuesday, and will face off in the general election. It was big night for female candidates in the state: Kim was the sole Republican woman running, but the Democrats nominated at least seven women for House seats. Fortune

No gender roles? Women take care of the kids, men bring home the bacon. Like it or not, that’s the typical setup in a heterosexual household. Same-sex couples, meanwhile, have long been thought to divide up chores more equally—an assumption that does not hold true once the couples have kids, according to new research. Though the couples are still more equitable, “one partner often has higher earnings, and one a greater share of household chores and childcare.” These findings show that what we think of as gender roles are not just about gender, notes NYT‘s Claire Cain Miller: “Work and much of society are still built for single-earner families.” New York Times

• Haspel’s path is clear. The Senate Intelligence Committee yesterday recommended Gina Haspel as the next director of the CIA, a decision that clears the path for her confirmation by the full Senate. Wall Street Journal

Young women want a way out. The number of young Americans contemplating or attempting suicide rose sharply between 2008 and 2015—a trend that disproportionately impacts girls. While the study didn’t dive into why exactly the number of teens contemplating self-harm more than doubled, it adds to evidence that mental health problems are taking a bigger and bigger toll on young women. Fortune

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Lolita Taub has joined Backstage Capital as an investment principal. She is a former investing partner at Portfolia. Sarah Smith, a former executive at Facebook and Quora, has joined investment firm Bain Capital Ventures as its first female partner. Air France-KLM board member Anne-Marie Couderc will be appointed as non-executive chairwoman of the airline company.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

• No $$$ is enough. Michigan State University announced that it’s reached a $500 million settlement with the 332 (!!!) women who say they were sexually assaulted by sports doctor Larry Nassar. The abuser himself has already been sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison. Fortune

No tweeting and praying. The Vatican wants its nuns to stop using social media and has issued new legislation to limit its use. The new rule “aims at safeguarding recollection and silence: in fact, it is possible to empty contemplative silence when the cloister is filled with noises, news, and words,” the Vatican document states.  Fortune

Sam Bee gets in the game. Full Frontal host Samantha Bee yesterday announced a new mobile trivia game based on the upcoming midterm elections: “It is called This Is Not a Game: The Game. It might be the biggest, dumbest, most ambitious thing that we have ever arm-barred [Turner executive] Kevin Reilly into agreeing to.” The mobile app is drawing comparisons to HQ, a real-time trivia game that offers cash prizes.  Fortune

Share today’s Broadsheet with a friend.
Looking for previous Broadsheets? Click here.

ON MY RADAR

White girls at the table  Guernica

Meet the women taking over for Eric Schneiderman Cosmopolitan

New privacy rules could make this woman one of tech’s most important regulators  New York Times

Fox settles discrimination lawsuits for roughly $10 million New York Times

QUOTE

You think this is just a year-round tan?
A scene from 'Suits,' in which Meghan Markle's character confronts a question about her mixed-race heritage.