Good morning, Broadsheet readers! J.C. Penney puts a new Most Powerful Woman on the Fortune 500, Elaine Chao talks the future of transportation tech, and the Fortune audience greets Anita Hill. Have an extra-powerful Wednesday.
• Beyond Anita and Christine. The two times Anita Hill appeared before the crowd at Fortune‘s Most Powerful Women Summit on Tuesday—once during an introductory exercise and again on stage—she received a raucous standing ovation. Hill admitted that she doesn’t always get that reaction, but she could guess why it happened Tuesday. “I attribute it to this moment in history that we’re all experiencing and some of the emotions that we’re reliving,” she said.
Hill was thrust back into the spotlight in recent weeks given the striking similarities between her experience in 1991, when she accused now Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment, and that of Christine Blasey Ford, who testified about allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, which Kavanaugh denies.
“We want to believe that Christine Blasey Ford can survive, that I survived, and that each of us will survive this time and any of the indignities that we have experienced,” Hill said on Tuesday.
Interestingly enough, around the time Hill appeared on the MPW stage, President Donald Trump spoke at a rally in Mississippi where he mocked Ford before a crowd of thousands, deriding her inability to recall some specifics of her alleged attack. Previously, he’d shown relative restraint by not attacking Ford directly.
So much for that.
The skepticism of Ford’s claims is familiar to Hill, whom Senators grilled with explicit and personal questions some 27 years ago. But Hill argued on Tuesday that she and Ford aren’t the only ones who know that feeling.
“I’m the only person who has had to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, but I really think that a lot of people have a good sense of what it feels like,” Hill said. In fact, calls to the National Sexual Assault Hotline soared 147% when Ford testified last Thursday, so we know her experience resonated widely. “Any number of us have been in those situations where we either didn’t come forward because we didn’t think we’d be believed or we didn’t think it mattered,” Hill said Tuesday. “We have suffered some indignities that we didn’t care to share, but more importantly we thought that nothing would happen even if we shared it.”
The Summit rolls into its final day tomorrow. Tune in to our livestream starting at 8:40 AM Pacific time to catch Bumble’s Whitney Wolfe Herd, Surgeon General of the U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Nadja West, Facebook and Instagram’s Marne Levine, and more. Fortune
MORE FROM THE MPW SUMMIT
• Barrier breaker. Beth Ford addressed the reaction to the news that she had became the first openly lesbian woman to be named CEO of a company in the Fortune 500 when she took the helm at Land O’Lakes. She says she received messages from parents who had shared her inspirational story with their queer children and notes from strangers thanking her for openly living her truth. “It was quite overwhelming in some ways and emotional,” Ford told Summit attendees. Fortune
• No regrets. ABC Entertainment Group president Channing Dungey told the Summit audience that she does not regret greenlighting the rebooted Roseanne. But she didn’t hesitate to cancel the show after Roseanne Barr tweeted a racist joke about Valerie Jarrett. The star “crossed a line that cannot be crossed,” said Dungey. Fortune
• The man at MPW. David Solomon, the new CEO of Goldman Sachs, spent his first two days on the job at MPW. One of the only men at the Summit, he detailed his efforts to hire more women, especially in the entry-level classes of Goldman analysts. Fortune
• Transport tech. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao says she has “besieged Silicon Valley” with regulations over the changing technology of transportation. Self-driving cars, drones, and more are in Chao’s line of sight. Fortune
• Legal eagles. Robbie Kaplan, founding partner of law firm Kaplan, Hecker & Fink, and Karen Dunn, partner at law firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner, told the Summit crowd about their plans to sue the leaders of the White Supremacists who organized the deadly rally in Charlottesville, Va.—despite repeated harassment and threats of deadly violence. Fortune
• More IPOs? New York Stock Exchange president Stacey Cunningham thinks it should be easier for companies to go public. Making that process less burdensome allows everyday investors to get in on the next business giant before they’re big enough that their stock is out of reach. Fortune
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Carrie Palin, the first chief marketing officer at Box, will be CMO at SendGrid.
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Jill C. Penney. There’s a new Most Powerful Woman in town. J. C. Penney announced Jill Soltau as CEO on Tuesday. The former Joann Stores CEO replaces Marvin Ellison, who announced he would leave the retailer in May and has since taken over Lowe’s. Soltau will bring the number of women leading Fortune 500 companies back up to 25 after the departure of Pepsi’s Indra Nooyi—still far below the 32 on the list in mid-2017. Fortune
• Time’s here. Time’s Up has its first CEO: Lisa Borders, president of the WNBA. The former Coca-Cola exec is tasked with taking the organization from an anti-sexual harassment legal defense fund to a proactive force for women’s rights and equality. Fighting for air time, sponsorships, and respect for the WNBA makes her especially well-suited to the job. Fortune
• Foodie step forward. The James Beard Foundation is making an effort to make its prestigious restaurant awards more inclusive. The volunteer committees that control who gets nominated for an award will have to be as diverse as the U.S. population, as will the judges who vote on winners. It’s nice timing with Fortune‘s Most Powerful Women Summit, which last night featured top female chefs in partnership with the James Beard Foundation. New York Times
• Direct involvement. The Wall Street Journal reports that President Trump personally directed efforts to stop Stormy Daniels from speaking publicly about her alleged affair with him. Trump reportedly told lawyer Michael Cohen to seek a restraining order against Daniels and to coordinate the effort with Eric Trump. Trump’s team has previously claimed Cohen tried to stop Daniels from talking on his own. Wall Street Journal
ON MY RADAR
National Portrait Gallery unveils Malala Yousafzai picture The Guardian
When do good boys become bad men? Elle
If men had to get IUDs, they’d get epidurals and a hospital stay The Outline