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Brett Kavanaugh, Reese Witherspoon, Russell Simmons: Broadsheet July 11th

July 11, 2018, 10:07 AM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Reese Witherspoon launches a VOD service, we meet the first female driver of a Saudi Arabian ride-sharing company, and—surprise!—most employers aren’t doing much to adjust to the #MeToo era. Have a wonderful Wednesday.


 Actions>words. As the #MeToo movement continues to work its way through society, I've been waiting to hear stories about the smart and innovative ways employers are tackling the issue and moving to make their companies safer and more inclusive places for women to work. And while there've been a few that have embraced the challenge, I haven't exactly been blown away by business's response.

Now, a new survey of 1,100 people published in the Harvard Business Review suggests that I'm not alone. Here's what the researchers found:

  • 19% of women and 23% of men say, “My workplace has provided additional training.”
  • 23% of women and 17% of men say, “I’ve seen tangible changes at work that increase my confidence the system will respond appropriately.”
  • 16% of women and 14% of men say, “My workplace has introduced new policies, procedures, or systems that make it easier for people to speak up when they have concerns.”

Fighting sexual harassment and gender bias isn't easy. But these numbers suggest that most companies aren't even really trying. Meanwhile, individual employees and managers are reacting—often in ways that are likely to cause other kinds of damage. (65% of men surveyed said it’s now “less safe” to mentor and coach members of the opposite sex; Half of the men said that, "since the movements began, they know someone who has been wrongfully or excessively harmed by an accusation of sexual harassment.")

The takeaway is clear: companies cannot ignore this moment—they must act. That means talking openly about sexual harassment, experimenting with new policies, and showing support for employees who speak up. (Click here to read more about what actions authors Candace Bertotti and David Maxfield recommend).

Is your company making significant changes or trying new policies you're excited about? Let me know at kristen.bellstrom@fortune.com.


 Your driver has arrived. Meet Ammal Farhat, the first female Saudi driver for Careem, Uber’s rival in the Middle East. Uber, meanwhile, says it has pledged more than a quarter of a million dollars to finance women's driving-school costs—but the company has yet to get any female drivers on the road.  WSJ

 Hello, Hello SunshineHello Sunshine, Reese Witherspoon's production company, is teaming up with AT&T's DirecTV to create a Hello Sunshine subscription channel. The platform will launch July 17 with Witherspoon's first unscripted series, Shine On With Reese, followed by decluttering docuseries Master the Mess on Sept. 4. The Hollywood Reporter

 Kavanaugh's playbook? Slate's Mark Joseph Stern weighs in on President Trump's nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, arguing that the judge "will gut Roe [vs. Wade] at the first opportunity." He says Kavanaugh's ruling on a 2017 case, in which the Trump administration barred an undocumented minor from terminating an unwanted pregnancy, provides a "roadmap" for how the nominee would dismantle the landmark case protecting women's access to abortion. Slate

 Such jokers. Looking to expand your comedy world? Netflix has announced an international stand-up comedy event series that will feature 47 comedians from 13 regions. Among the female comedians to watch: the U.K.'s Ellie Taylor, France's Shirley Souagnon, and South Africa's Tumi Morake. Fortune

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Morgan Stanley has promoted Susie Huang to co-head of investment banking. Huang, who currently heads its U.S. merger business, will be one of the first women to run a Wall Street investment banking business. Chelsea Clinton joined the board of Nurx, an online medical platform. Uber HR head Liane Hornsey is out after being accused of ignoring racial discrimination allegations.


 Campaigning with Claire. This piece goes inside Sen. Claire McCaskill's (D-MO) campaign against GOP challenger Josh Hawley—a race in which "Hawley [is] challenging McCaskill’s authenticity and McCaskill [is] casting her much younger opponent as an Ivy League-educated whippersnapper." Politico

 Another Simmons accusation. Alexia Norton Jones, granddaughter of late book publisher W.W. Norton, tells Variety that she was raped by Russell Simmons in 1990. (He denies the charges.) In total, more a dozen women have now accused the Def Jam co-founder of sexual assault and rape.  Variety

 Drink up. Women in the wine world have not been immune to the challenges faced by female chefs and other women in the culinary industry. Ruffian Wine Bar's Alexis Percival created a women-only wine tasting group "after years of frustration with the outright and subtle examples of sexism in her industry."  New York Times

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There’s a gender gap in vacation time too  Fast Company

It's happening! J.Crew is finally introducing plus sizing  Refinery29

The Tour de France only allows men. So women are biking it themselves.  Women's Media Center

Two women change Nascar while changing tires  New York Times


It doesn’t make you weaker. On the contrary, for you to say, 'Listen, I don’t understand. Can you explain that?' There’s some strength in that, because you are going to end up knowing, as opposed to not knowing but pretending that you know.
Elle editor Nina Garcia, on asking questions