Skip to Content

Bozoma Saint John, Glenn Thrush, MPW London: Broadsheet June 12

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Bozoma Saint John leaves Uber, Glenn Thrush accuser Laura McGann says she was the subject of a “whisper campaign,” and MPW International is in full swing in London. Have an inspiring Tuesday.

EVERYONE’S TALKING

• Not normal. One of the highlights of Day 1 of Fortune‘s Most Powerful Women International Summit was last night’s dinner conversation with Laura Boldrini, the former president of the Italian Chamber of Deputies (Italy’s lower house of parliament).

Boldrini, who was an advocate for refugee rights before running for office, told the MPW crowd that she has received thousands of death and rape threats. In particular, she discussed the online abuse she continues to receive from Matteo Salvini, the leader of the right-wing League party and, as of June, Italy’s minister of the interior. Salvini has compared her to a blow-up sex doll and posted calls for her to be raped or killed on social media. Her daughter has also been repeatedly targeted by similar threats.

“Why do we as women have to accept this? Why is this considered almost normal?” she asked.

To stop such behavior, she says, “We have to start with boys, with men. We have to educate them on supporting equal rights.” She also called on women to take a strong, public stance on equality and to support one another: “If women do not commit themselves, who else should?”  Fortune

MORE FROM MPW LONDON

• Risky business. Lloyd’s of London CEO Inga Beale told the Summit attendees about how the 330-year-old insurer is attempting to cope with the unpredictable actions of President Donald Trump—and the effects those erratic moves can have on world markets—saying, while “we try to plan for every eventuality, sometimes we cannot.” Another factor that keeps the insurance chief up at night? Cyber attacks. Beale says she and a group of executives at the World Economic Forum recently mapped out a scenario in which one of the world’s three largest cloud providers goes down and estimated that, in just three days, the U.S. would lose $16 billion in business. Fortune

• Staying ahead of the startups. Not surprisingly, disruption is emerging as one of the most prominent themes at the London gathering. Take Booking.com CEO and president Gillian Tans, who talked about how her company is responding to the growing challenge from upstart Airbnb. A big part of that strategy is moving quickly to increase its “non-hotel listings,” which hit 5 million in April—up 27% in the past year.  Fortune

• Sweat the details. One of the questions tackled at the MPWI Summit yesterday will be very familiar to Broadsheet readers: What concrete steps can we take to move the needle on business diversity? One tip that jumped out at me: Be specific. In other words, the idea that your company will promote “more” women isn’t enough. How many? By when? Who is responsible for meeting these goals?  Fortune

• AI insight. Artificial intelligence is exciting—and terrifying. In order to see that the technology is managed correctly, governments, NGOs, and companies must work together, says Joanna Shields, CEO of Benevolent AI and an alum of Google, Facebook, and the British government. “AI will change our lives in ways that we don’t truly understand,” she told the London crowd. Fortune

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Bozoma Saint John has left Uber to become CMO of Endeavor, the holding company of Hollywood talent agency WME.

ALSO IN THE HEADLINES

• Strength in numbers? Yesterday, a federal judge in Seattle heard arguments on whether a group of more than 8,000 women can band together to pursue a class action discrimination suit against Microsoft. The women allege that the company paid them less than men, and stalled their career advancement following maternity leave. Microsoft, for its part, has denied any discrimination.  Bloomberg

• Careless whispers. Chances are you remember the hubbub around New York Times politics reporter Glenn Thrush, who was first suspended, then moved to a new beat after being accused of making improper advances toward young female journalists. Well, it seems that that story isn’t quite over yet. A new report from Jezebel states that Vox politics editor Laura McGann, who both wrote about Thrush’s behavior and reported being the subject of his advances, says she was “subjected to a bizarre whisper campaign” during the period when Thrush was being investigated by the Times for his alleged sexual misconduct. “She came to believe that sources sympathetic to Thrush were telling the New York Times, media reporters covering the Thrush affair—and her own colleagues and her bosses—that her supposedly scandalous sex life made her suspect, an unreliable reporter, and someone who didn’t need to be listened to.” Jezebel

• Parsing Powell Jobs. Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of Steve Jobs and the sixth richest woman in the world, is transforming the concept of philanthropy with the Emerson Collective, a creation that is “equal parts think tank, foundation, venture capital fund, media baron, arts patron and activist hive.” This profile asks: “What is her vision and where is it taking us?” Washington Post

• Gov gripes. While Democratic women have been cleaning up in congressional primaries, it’s shaping up to be a very different story for those running for governor. The NYT digs into why some of the latest crop of female gubernatorial candidates say they’re struggling to “build as much political and financial support as their male rivals.” New York Times

• Ad it up. Adweek’s annual Creative 100 includes a host of women who are transforming the advertising world, including Scout Lab co-founder Michelle Nguyen, Laundry Service chief creative officer Alyson Warshaw, and Fancy co-founders Katie Keating and Erica Fite. Adweek

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

ON MY RADAR

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner made $82 million while working in the White House last year  Fortune

#MeToo goes to church: Southern Baptists face a reckoning over treatment of women  NBC News

High school valedictorian’s mic cut when she talks about campus sexual assault  NPR

Study: Nearly 80% of movie critics are men  Fast Company

QUOTE

I’m a killer, and I’m ambitious, and I’m going to compete.
Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon’s television and movie division