Taylor Swift UMG, Equal Pay France, Rhodes Scholars: Broadsheet November 20
Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Taylor Swift uses her new record deal to cut artists in on Spotify profits, a star Goldman Sachs VP was allegedly fired while on maternity leave, and a press-shy CEO speaks out. Have a terrific Tuesday.
• Investing in women. Abby Johnson, head of Fidelity Investments and No. 3 on our 2018 MPW ranking, is a famously press-averse CEO, so when she does give an interview, it’s worth paying attention.
In this Bloomberg Markets story, she and right-hand woman, personal investing president Kathleen Murphy (MPW No. 34), talk about cryptocurrency, Fidelity’s industry-first zero-fee index funds, and what Johnson learned from her dad, who ran the company for decades.
The interview ventures into prime Broadsheet territory, including some discussion of Fidelity’s 2017 sexual harassment issues (the company ended up firing two high-level managers and Johnson moved her office from the executive floor to a more central area so she could keep an eye on things). The pair also talk about their push to diversify the firm, noting that half of their new hires at Fidelity branches this year are women—though they allow that the company does not currently have any women running its top funds.
Not surprisingly, Fidelity is also focusing on building the ranks of female investors. Says Murphy: "We’re in the midst of a $22 trillion shift in assets to women, because of longevity, because they’ll outlive their spouse, because of divorce, whatever. Second, and related, 9 out of 10 women will be the sole decision-maker in their household on their finances at some point in their life, either due to the death of the spouse, divorce, or because they stayed single over the course of their career."
Women approach investing in their own way, adds Murphy, saying Fidelity is doing everything from redesigning its offices to changing the language they use to meet the different—and too long ignored—needs of women looking to build their wealth.
If all of this prompts you to reflect on your own attitude about investing, I recommend taking a look at Fortune's new investing guide, which includes our picks for the top investments in emerging markets and the 30 best stocks to buy for 2019.
It's worth remembering, as Murphy puts it, that "women are absolutely just as good as men at investing when they actually take the step."
"We’ve proven that," she says, "and they’re actually slightly better."
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• But her emails. A White House investigation has found that Ivanka Trump, the first daughter who also serves as an assistant to the president, used a personal email account to send hundreds of messages last year to White House aides, Cabinet officials, and her assistants, with many of them violating federal records rules. Scrutiny of Trump's email use follows her father's fierce criticism of Hillary Clinton for a similar practice during his 2016 campaign. Washington Post
• Bonne idée. A concrete solution in France to solving the gender pay gap: Starting in 2019, companies will be required to report how much they pay women compared to men. If there's a gap, they have three years to fix it. If they don't make the deadline, they'll be fined 1% of their total payroll. Wall Street Journal
• Tale of two parents. In 2016, 15-year Goldman Sachs veteran Tania Mirchandani was fired while on maternity leave with her third child—something she didn't see coming because her male boss (who said of her pregnancy news, "that's a lot of mouths to feed") had four children of his own. Mirchandani filed a gender discrimination complaint—which just became public—in 2017, and is seeking $1.5 million in damages. Goldman says Mirchandani was terminated "for strategic business planning reasons." Bloomberg
• Shake it up. The music industry is reverberating from the seismic news that Taylor Swift left her label of 12 years, Big Machine Records, for Universal Music Group’s Republic Records. It's not clear how much Swift earned on the deal, but one stipulation of her new contract is interesting: if UMG sells any of its shares in Spotify, the money must be redistributed to the label’s artists. Fortune
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: ESPN host Kate Fagan is leaving the network, saying that she no longer has confidence in a show about "characters" in women's sports in the current landscape of sports media. Debbie Crosbie takes over as chief executive for the troubled U.K. bank TSB. Kristen Ankerbrandt is the new CFO of Compass.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Rhodes record. This year's class of Rhodes scholars includes 21 women, more than have ever previously won the prestigious prize in a single year. Associated Press
• Kim concedes. The blue wave in Orange County, California was astonishing, flipping four House seats over to the Democrats. That meant that Republican Young Kim lost her bid for office, conceding on Sunday. Kim would've been the first Korean-American woman in Congress. Refinery29
• Tragedy in Ohio. A devastating story out of Cleveland: a former judge who spent nine months in jail for assaulting his wife in front of their children—and afterwards was hired to work in the Cleveland mayor's office—is now accused of killing her. Aisha Fraser, a sixth-grade teacher, was fatally stabbed on Saturday. BuzzFeed
• Headscarf in the House. Before the next session of Congress starts, Democrats are working to abolish a 181-year-old rule that bans hats and other head coverings from the House chamber. Incoming Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar wears a headscarf, and she's working with Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi to exempt religious headwear from the rule. Roll Call
ON MY RADAR
How America's first women voters lost the franchise The Atlantic
Jill Abramson: The GOP thinks #MeToo is a chance to exploit the 'biased' press New York Magazine
How Caroline Hirsch shaped 30 years of comedy without cracking a single joke The Daily Beast
Meet the actress behind Broadway's first lesbian romantic lead Elle