Sheryl Sandberg, Microsoft Paid Family Leave, Glossier: Broadsheet August 31
Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Sheryl Sandberg gets charitable, Glossier enters “phase two” and Microsoft moves the needle on parental leave. Happy weekend-ing; we’ll see you back here on Tuesday!
• Moving the needle. Microsoft yesterday announced that it will soon require suppliers and contractors to provide their workers with 12 weeks of paid parental leave.
The new policy adds to Microsoft's decision in 2015 to require vendors to give 15 days of paid time off to employees assigned to Microsoft contracts. And it's similar to the effort Facebook unveiled that same year that mandated that contractors pay workers at least $15 an hour.
Microsoft's new program comes with some caveats: It covers third-party firms with 50 employees or more, the per-week benefit for workers is capped at $1,000 a week, and it applies to companies that "perform substantial work for Microsoft"—a rather vague qualification. At the same time, Microsoft says it will help its partners abide by the new rule, even if that means Microsoft itself pays higher costs.
But all told, the initiative has tremendous upside. It will provide paid parental leave to "thousands" of people across the country, the company says. And it chips away at a stubborn problem that's emerged in the recent parental leave arms race: rich employees getting even richer. Many of those receiving plush perks already have the means to more easily shoulder the financial burden of having a kid.
For instance, Netflix kicked off the benefit battle in earnest in 2015 when it offered a year of unlimited parental leave. Yet, its initial narrow targeting of the benefit—to salaried employees of its streaming unit, not workers in its DVD distribution business, some of whom were paid hourly—prompted swift backlash.
Since then, companies (perhaps woke to Netflix's PR nightmare) have widened the scope of their policies beyond white collar workers to hourly laborers who, say, occupy Chobani's factory floor or make up Hilton's housekeeping staff.
Microsoft is taking the trend one step further, applying its parental leave ethos past its own direct payroll. And—in the absence of federally mandated paid leave—rightfully so. Microsoft and those of its ilk possess outsized—arguably, bloated—influence, with their stranglehold of our everyday technology and trillion dollar-ish valuations. If they're going to carry such weight, it's important that they throw it around in the name of something good.
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Share-ing the wealth. SurveyMonkey, the company once helmed by Sheryl Sandberg's late husband Dave Goldberg, is set to go public. The Facebook COO holds a 9.9% stake in the company that Goldberg left to her and plans to donate the proceeds from the IPO to the Sheryl Sandberg and Dave Goldberg Family Foundation, according to SurveyMonkey's Wednesday SEC filing. Fortune
• Take two. The next step in Glossier's beauty takeover involves a social-selling site that's supposed to combine e-commerce and social media in a new way. The site is still in the planning stage, but it's part of what founder and CEO Emily Weiss describes as Glossier's "phase two." Bloomberg
• Getting [rid of] fresh. Campbell Soup is abandoning the strategy of former CEO Denise Morrison. The company announced Thursday that it's selling its fresh foods business—including its refrigerated soup line—and its international arm. The decision, under interim CEO Keith McLoughlin, undoes Morrison's attempts to move Campbell toward fresher offerings to meet changing consumer tastes. Morrison retired from the company abruptly in May. Fortune
• Coffee run. Coca-Cola announced this morning that it's buying U.K. coffee chain Costa for $5.1 billion. Costa is part of conglomerate Whitbread, headed by CEO Alison Brittain, who was No. 46 on Fortune's MPW International list last year. Brittain had been planning to spin off Costa, but the company says a straight sale of the unit, which has 2,400 shops in the U.K., was more profitable. BBC
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Carnegie Mellon professor and foreign policy scholar Kiron Skinner will be the top planner at the State Department.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Cuomo v. Nixon. If you didn't catch any of the Cynthia Nixon-Andrew Cuomo primary debate in New York's gubernatorial race Wednesday night, here's the recap: it was intense. Cuomo kept calling Nixon a "corporation" and asked her to "stop interrupting." At least the temperature was hopefully comfortable. The Cut
• Airing grievances. Journalist Ronan Farrow spent months gathering material on Harvey Weinstein during his time at NBC. So why did the network never air his reporting? (The New Yorker published it instead.) Rich McHugh, a producer who recently departed NBC's investigative unit, is claiming "the highest levels of NBC" put a stop to Farrow's story in what he's calling “a massive breach of journalistic integrity.” NBC is disputing that characterization, saying that Farrow's work was not ready for broadcast. New York Times
• Protecting the accused. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is set to introduce new rules that would protect students accused of sexual assault or harassment and protect universities from liability. The Obama administration issued guidance on college sexual assault, but the Trump administration is choosing more binding rules. New York Times
ON MY RADAR
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Here comes the tattooed bride: Why women are getting inked for their weddings Washington Post
How these Asian-American female weightlifters are making #fitstagram more inclusive Bustle