Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Land O’Lakes retracts its support for Iowa Rep. Steve King, Google workers plan a walkout over sexual harassers protected by the company, and female candidates are still raising less money than men. Have a spooky Halloween.
• Vote with your wallet? With the midterm elections less than a week away—go vote, everybody!—politics have been very much on our minds here at Broadsheet HQ. (If you didn’t yet read the oral history of the 1992 Year of the Woman we published yesterday, please do.) So, it’s no surprise that I found this New York Times story about the state of funding for female candidates interesting—and alarming.
Like it or not, it’s very difficult, if not impossible, to win election to statewide or national office without significant cash to fund your campaign. Take the House of Representatives, where, more than 90% of the time, the candidate who spends the most wins, according to FiveThirtyEight. (For more on how that trend has played out in recent Congressional races, check out this fascinating data tool from Open Secrets)
The Times story looks at why, despite the surging ranks of women running for office, female candidates still lag when it comes to raising money. The problem is most acute among women who are Republican, challenging incumbents, or running in places where they’re unlikely to win—but it affects the vast majority of female candidates. The NYT reports that, among Democratic primary winners on the ballot for House seats, women have raised an average of $1.4 million, $185,000 less than the average for men.
There’s no single reason for the gap. Women may lack the business connections of male politicians or are less likely to be sitting on a fortune that they can use to self-fund their campaign. Then there’s the fact that the majority of donors are still men.
To be sure, there are some money-green linings to this cloud. Women are increasingly becoming campaign donors—sometimes with a special focus on helping female candidates. And female candidates are excelling at raising money from small donors (i.e. regular people).
Also worth noting: in the wake of Trump’s election, Democratic women have been beneficiaries of what is aptly called “rage giving,” according to the Times.
As we wait to see how the latest crop of female candidates fares in next week’s election, it’s an important reminder: Getting women to run is only part of the equation. Truly closing the gap in political representation will likely mean doing the same to the fundraising divide. New York Times
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Walkout with a (Mountain) View. More than 200 Google employees are planning a walkout for Thursday in protest of the company’s protection of powerful male executives accused of sexual harassment, and the $90 million exit package given to one, Android inventor Andy Rubin. Organizers are asking Google to consider a list of requests aimed at helping people affected by sexual harassment or power dynamics at work. Fortune
• Not-so-super PAC. Land O’Lakes was the subject of calls for a boycott over its PAC’s $2,500 donation to Iowa Rep. Steve King, a white nationalist sympathizer. Beth Ford took over as Land O’Lakes CEO on Aug. 1, and the donation was given in June under her predecessor, Chris Policinski. The company issued a statement Tuesday withdrawing its support for Rep. King. Washington Post
• Dropping like flies. Kleiner Perkins investor Lynne Chou-O’Keefe is raising her own $65 million fund called Define Ventures. Kleiner recently lost its famed investor Mary Meeker, and at the time Chou-O’Keefe was mentioned as the firm’s last female investor standing. If Chou-O’Keefe is moving on to her own fund, Kleiner might be down to zero. Former Kleiner investor Beth Seidenberg also left for her own firm, Westlake Village BioPartners, founded with a $320 million fund earlier this year. TechCrunch
• Where to work. Fortune partner Great Place to Work has crunched feedback from more than 4.5 million U.S. employees to rank the best workplaces for women. Check out the companies that made the cut for best ‘large’ and ‘small/medium’ employers.
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Corie Pauling was promoted to chief diversity and inclusion officer at TIAA.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• ‘The biggest bet of her career.’ A closer look at what IBM’s $33 billion acquisition of Red Hat means for Ginni Rometty: In the words of the Wall Street Journal, the CEO is “betting her legacy” on the deal. Wall Street Journal
• Apple update. Apple Pay, which is led by Jennifer Bailey, has been playing catch-up with Venmo on peer-to-peer payments and has spent much of the past year increasing merchant acceptance to 60%. Bloomberg
• On screen and off. Electric Arts is the company behind FIFA, Battlefield, and The Sims. Now chief studios officer Laura Miele, one of the few women executives across all video game companies, is working on women’s representation in gaming. Wall Street Journal
• The other half. Quartz’s “How We’ll Win” project has a new series looking at men’s views of feminism. LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman says he wishes he’d befriended more women while at Stanford and Reddit co-founder/Mr. Serena Williams Alexis Ohanian says that men are paralyzed by insecurity and patriarchy. Quartz
ON MY RADAR
On Angela Merkel: The end of an era in Europe Washington Post
Taylor Swift’s savvy, smiley Instagram voter drive The Atlantic
How I Get It Done: Beth Comstock, former vice chair of GE The Cut
Jennifer Lawrence launches production company Excellent Cadaver The Hollywood Reporter