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IBM Red Hat, Netflix Paid Leave, JC Penney CEO: Broadsheet October 29

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Ginni Rometty doesn’t plan to step down as IBM CEO anytime soon, Netflix’s paid family leave policy isn’t as good as it sounds, and what you think of the economy may depend on your gender. Have a mindful Monday.


Econ 101. Given last week’s stock market plunge, this new research on the difference in how men and women view the U.S. economy seems particularly apt.

Historically, there’s been little gap in how the genders perceive the state of the economy. But that changed after the election of President Donald Trump, reports the New York Times: “Since then, men have become significantly more confident, while women’s confidence has stalled.” Indeed, the paper’s poll found that almost half of men said their family finances had improved over the past year, but only 30% of women said the same. What’s more, the divide isn’t simply an issue of politics—Republican women were more positive about the economy than their Democratic counterparts, but still significantly less likely to say the economy is “good” or “excellent” than Republican men.

So, what’s behind the split? Researchers have theories, but they aren’t certain. One idea: Hiring has been particularly strong in “male-dominated sectors such as manufacturing, construction and mining.” Corrine McConnaughy, a political scientist at George Washington University, pointed to the uneven nature of the economy as another possibility. “She said research had found that men, on average, gauged the economy based on their own financial situation. Women tend to weigh more heavily the experiences of the people they see around them,” reports the NYT.

Then there’s Addie Chase, a 67-year-old from Stratford, Conn., who says her financial life is order, but she can’t help but be affected by the larger economic struggles she sees in her state—and by her frustrations with the national political environment.

“I just feel like I’m angry all the time, which isn’t my personality,” she told the Times. “Because women are so upset about how things are going, it colors their whole outlook.”  New York Times


Big Blue’s big bucks. IBM, led by CEO Ginni Rometty, made its biggest acquisition to date: $33 billion for software company Red Hat. Rometty called the acquisition a “game-changer,” but for those who think it might be a move toward a leadership transition for the company, she had a correction: “I’m still young and I’m not going anywhere,” Rometty said. Bloomberg

Rest in peace. The Washington Post has a touching reflection on the lives of the 11 people who were killed at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue on Saturday—including 75-year-old Joyce Fienberg and 97-year-old Rose Mallinger, who had been attending services for decades.  Washington Post

Counting Penneys. Jill Soltau, the new CEO of J.C. Penney, is making $17.4 million this year—$3 million less than what the executive she’s replacing, Marvin Ellison, earned when he took on the role in 2014. Soltau, who has more retail experience than her predecessor, is technically making more in her base salary and signing bonus, but Ellison received more in stock options. Barrons

A year on paper? The Wall Street Journal late last week published an investigation of Netflix’s workplace culture, where firings are common and the reasons why are shared with all employees afterward. Buried in that story was some news about Netflix’s parental leave policy: Widely praised for providing a year of paid family leave, Netflix this year considered rolling back that policy. Managers now tell their reports that most employees only take between four and eight months.   Wall Street Journal

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Germany’s Angela Merkel on Monday said she will not seek re-election as chair of the Christian Democrats party, a move that indicates she won’t run for a fifth term as chancellorYara Bayoumy has been named The Atlantic‘s senior editor for national security coverage.


Get out the vote. Before this month’s royal tour reaches its end, we got a feminist—and political, by royal standards—moment from Meghan Markle. The Duchess of Sussex met New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and gave a speech celebrating the country’s 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage, reminding listeners of the importance of voting.  The Cut

Skateboarding’s turn. Former pro skateboarder Neal Hendrix, a member of the sport’s U.S. Olympic governing body, has been accused of sexual misconduct and suspended from his position. Skateboarder Julie Lynn Kindstrand, who is now 25, said she reported to the police that Hendrix gave her “sex lessons” starting when she was 14. Wall Street Journal

Safe (simulated) sex. HBO will now staff all its shows with an “intimacy coordinator,” devoted to making sure sex scenes are filmed responsibly and actors are protected in the process. The network started the practice on The Deuce and found it made such a difference that hiring someone in the role will be standard across all shows.  Rolling Stone

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


4 women running for office with student debt on how they’re making it work  Bustle

Don’t marry someone who won’t take your career as seriously as their own  Medium

Why women are shut out of horror  Longreads


I don’t compromise that much, though, do I?
Chef and 'Barefoot Contessa' mogul Ina Garten