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Ruth Porat, Stitch Fix, Melania Trump Africa: Broadsheet October 2

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Melania Trump gets started on her four-country Africa tour, Stitch Fix faces investor fears, and we preview Day 2 of the MPW Summit. Have another powerful Tuesday.


• Dinner with Ruth. The first night of Fortune‘s Most Powerful Women Summit wrapped with a stunning California sunset—and an equally arresting conversation with Ruth Porat, CFO of Alphabet and Google, and former CFO of Morgan Stanley. In a wide-ranging conversation with Fortune‘s Pattie Sellers, Porat talked about her experience helping the U.S. financial system survive the 2008 crisis, her two run-ins with cancer, and her role in bringing some measure of Wall Street-style discipline to moonshot-loving Google. 

She also addressed the criticism that’s been leveled at the tech giant recently over its data privacy and data collection policies, saying: “Privacy had been very important for Google since inception.” But after social media extremism became a big issue last year, she learned another “key lesson:” “[W]e need to constantly raise the bar on ourselves.” 

A few other highlights from Day 1:

Technologists agree: We should all stop worrying about A.I.—and start worrying about data.

The stock market may be booming, but CFOs, a “glass half-empty” bunch, still have concerns.

OpenTable CEO Christa Quarles has a great suggestion for measuring progress on diversity: analyze the hires you made just in the prior quarter.

Desiree Gruber, founder and CEO of Full Picture, explains why storytelling has become an essential corporate skill.

Tune in to our livestream today, starting at 8:05 am Pacific. On the Day 2 docket: Amy Hood, executive vice president & CFO, Microsoft; Elaine Chao, secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation; Maria Sharapova, tennis champion; Megyn Kelly, anchor and host, Megyn Kelly Today; Channing Dungey, president, ABC Entertainment Group; and our first ever town hall, “Getting to Equal—and Beyond.” Watch it all right here:   Fortune MPW livestream


Style box sliding. Stitch Fix lost a fifth of its value Monday after the personal styling service’s revenue fell short of expectations. Investors worry that the company, led by Katrina Lake, faces too strong a competitor in Amazon. In the same day, Stitch Fix announced its first overseas expansion into the United Kingdom. Fortune

IG ready. Re:Store, a startup backed by Sequoia Capital, raised $1.7 million for a new concept: WeWork for retail. The company will sign long-term leases for storefronts and invite your favorite indie, Instagram-friendly brands to set up shop IRL for a monthly membership fee. Founder Selene Cruz calls the space’s aesthetic “Glossier meets Reformation,” and it’ll offer inventory services and co-working for brands, too. Fortune

Who’s not thinking? President Donald Trump sparred with ABC News reporter Cecilia Vega in a strange exchange yesterday. After he called on her at a press conference, he said, “She’s shocked that I picked her. She’s in a state of shock.” When she denied being surprised, he followed up: “That’s okay, I know you’re not thinking. You never do.” Washington Post

Leaning in on mic. Lean In is leaning into podcasting. Sheryl Sandberg’s organization is set to debut “Tilted: A Lean In Podcast” on Oct. 9, featuring Serena Williams, Eva Longoria, and Phoebe Robinson in its first episodes. The podcast will explore gender bias in “unexpected places,” and it’ll be hosted by Lean In president Rachel Thomas with Sandberg appearing as a guest. Lean In

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Jemele Hill’s next job after leaving ESPN will be as a staff writer at The AtlanticGita Gopinath, an expert on exchange rates, sovereign debt, and capital flows, is the new chief economist for the International Monetary Fund and the first woman to lead the economic research department. Donna Strickland was one of three scientists awarded the Nobel Prize in physics. She’s the first woman in 55 years, and only the third overall, to garner the award.


First lady diplomacy. Melania Trump is starting her first solo trip abroad, visiting Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, and Egypt. The tour comes with some baggage and expectations considering President Trump’s “shithole countries” comments and the Trumps’ Kenya-focused history of birtherism. New York Times

Mitchell’s memo. Rachel Mitchell, the prosecutor GOP senators hired to question Christine Blasey Ford last week, made headlines with a memo saying that a “reasonable prosecutor” wouldn’t bring a case against Brett Kavanaugh. That conclusion ignores one thing: Kavanaugh isn’t on trial, and the standards for convicting a person of sexual assault aren’t the same as those for choosing a Supreme Court justice. Vox

Wine women. Women are determining the future of winemaking. One San Francisco Champagne bar with more than 30 investors is backed entirely by women, and women in the industry are changing how brands market to the women who consume 80% of wine bottles. Fortune

Today’s Broadsheet was produced by Emma HinchliffeShare it with a friend. Looking for previous Broadsheets? Click here.


How New York’s postwar female painters battled for recognition  The New Yorker

Matilda at 30: ‘She would have been prime minister for a couple of years by now’  The Guardian

What happens when an adoptee looks for answers  The Cut


You’re much more credible saying something’s your mission when you’re out there doing it.
Guardian Life Insurance President and CEO Deanna Mulligan at Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit