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Oprah Winfrey Empire, Angela Merkel, Paternity Leave: Broadsheet July 12th

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Oprah Winfrey expands her empire, Handmaid’s Tale wine goes haywire, and we explore the reasons why dads desperately need to take their paternity leave. Have a great Thursday.

EVERYONE’S TALKING

Love your leave. As more companies offer paternity leave to new fathers, a concerning trend is emerging: they’re having a hard time convincing dads to take it.

The Wall Street Journal reports that a Deloitte survey of more than 1,000 U.S. workers found that one in three male respondents reported feeling worried that taking leave to care for a newborn would put their career at risk. More than 50% of men said they felt that using their parental-leave perks would be seen as a lack of career commitment.

To combat these factors, some firms are introducing new initiatives to urge fathers to take time off. At Twitter, for instance, “fathers gather quarterly for ‘Dads Lunches’ to trade parenting tips and talk through how and whether to take the full 20 weeks of paid leave the social-media firm offers,” WSJ reports. Likewise, American Express hosts discussion groups for new or soon-to-be fathers to talk about preparing for and returning from paternity leave. A theme at the companies profiled in the story is for higher-up executives to set an example by taking their own paternity leave.

The WSJ story paints the issue as a matter of logic. Men with the luxury of leave should take it since “it’s borderline idiotic” not to, as one source puts it.

But there are benefits to parental leave participation not mentioned in the article. In short, it’s good for women and equality at home—and in the workplace.

Previous research has found that dads who take paternity leave are more likely later on to pitch in with tasks like diaper changes, bedtime stories, and nighttime check-ins. That may unburden mothers, to some extent, from their disproportionate share of unpaid labor, leaving them more time to dedicate to work.

At work, meanwhile, when men take paternity leave it theoretically applies the stigma of parenthood more evenly. Rather than associating parental leave with only women—and potentially discounting their professional commitment as a result—employers must consider the possibility of leave for both female and male job and promotion candidates.

ALSO IN THE HEADLINES

• Angela’s answer. Angela Merkel pushed back against President Donald Trump’s claim at the NATO summit yesterday that her country is “totally controlled” by Russia. The German chancellor said her nation makes its own independent decisions and that she needs no lessons in dealing with authoritarian regimes since she grew up in East Germany when it was part of the Soviet sphere of influence.  Guardian

• Money where her mouth is. Oprah Winfrey is back in the news with another investment—this time it’s a stake in True Food Kitchen, a health-driven restaurant chain. Like Winfrey did with her wildly successful Weight Watchers investment, she’s joining the board of True Food and is expected to help the company with strategy.  Fortune

Comfortable with Kavanaugh. Now that President Donald Trump has nominated Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court, all eyes are on the two Republican Senators who could determine the outcome of his confirmation hearings. And so far, Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Susan Collins (Maine) have indicated they’re comfortable with Trump’s pick, though their minds may not be entirely made up. “He clearly is qualified for the job,” Collins said. “But there are other issues involving judicial temperament and his political, or rather, his judicial philosophy that also will play into my decision.” Politico

• Put a cork in it. Today in misguided marketing: MGM had unveiled a collection of wine inspired by the Hulu show The Handmaid’s Tale only to endure swift social media backlash. Commentators blasted the promotion as an attempt to capitalize on themes of rape, misogyny, and unbridled patriarchy. MGM and wine seller Lot18 have since pulled the plug on the project. Hollywood Reporter

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Ripple is hiring Kahina Van Dyke, recently of Facebook, as its new SVP of business and corporate development. Bumble founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd has joined the board of Imagine Entertainment. Equinox Fitness Clubs’ Chief Executive Officer Niki Leondakis has left after less than a year and a half in the role.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

• A surprise second win. Just how popular is Democratic newcomer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez? The 28-year-old who unseated 10-term incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley in June has won another primary—in a district she wasn’t even running in. Voters in New York’s 15th district, which neighbors Ocasio-Cortez’s, elected her to the Reform Party ticket, but she’ll stick with her 14th district nomination.  Fortune

Bowing out. Maude Gorman was named this year’s Miss Plymouth County, but she’s since turned in her crown. She abandoned her title after a skit at the Miss Massachusetts competition last month mocked the #MeToo movement. Gorman, a rape victim, has been an outspoken advocate of sexual assault survivors.  New York Times

Kylie’s killing it. Forbes has a new covergirl in Kylie Jenner, whom the magazine says is set to become the youngest-ever self-made billionaire at age 20. Forbes

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ON MY RADAR

The CEO who’s leveling the playing field between credit unions and big banks  Bloomberg

NASA’s chief wants former astronaut Janet Kavandi to help run things. Trump is looking at this guy instead Quartz

Actor Shay Mitchell is the female travel host you’ve been waiting for  Fast Company

The epic battle between breast milk and infant-formula companies  Atlantic

QUOTE

Don’t start with no. Don’t imagine anything is not possible. Because the second you start shutting things down in a competitive environment, you set yourself up to lose.
—New Tender Greens CEO Denyelle Bruno