Heidi Cruz, Paycheck Fairness Act, Julia Hartz: Broadsheet February 1
Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Heidi Cruz was a near miss for the World Bank job, Victorina Morales of the Trump National Golf Club will attend the State of the Union, and more companies are beginning to cover infertility treatment. Have a fantastic Friday.
• In demand: IVF. At The Broadsheet, we've covered a plenty of companies' splashy new parental leave policies. (And to be clear, we hope to cover many more!) But there is one related benefit that doesn't often get the same Official Press Release treatment: coverage of infertility treatment.
Yet according to a story in the New York Times, such policies are increasingly in demand, and are in fact becoming more generous and widespread—not just in the hyper-competitive industries you might expect (tech, banking, consulting), but also at companies like General Mills, Chobani, and Designer Shoe Warehouse.
The Times credits to the shift to "a combination of fading taboos around difficulty conceiving; a competitive job market with employers eager to adopt recruiting and retention tools; and the reframing of infertility as an issue less about ambitious women who have waited too long than one of corporate diversity and inclusion. The rising power in the workplace of women in their 30s, many of whom take responsibility for building a family, cannot be discounted."
But while it's great to see such policies becoming more common, employers as a whole are clearly still in the very early stages of truly working out how to help employees who are facing fertility issues. On that front, I found this Slate piece to be a helpful companion to the NYT.
Among the issues pinpointed in the two stories: the massive time suck and emotional toll of going through fertility treatments while balancing the demands of work, the possibility that your employer might change its infertility coverage in the midst of the sometimes years-long process, the frequency with which coverage does not extend to same-sex relationships or single employees, the fear that revealing the intention to get pregnant could harm a woman's career, and of course, the still massive gap between the "haves and have-nots" when it comes to any infertility coverage at all.
I suspect we'll be hearing much more about the importance this benefit in the months and years to come. In the meantime, I'll be thinking about the women who came forward to tell these journalists about their infertility struggles. As their stories make clear, talking about the issue—and thereby fostering empathy and wiping away stigma—is one critical step toward supporting our coworkers and employees in their quest to become parents.
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Be our guest. It's certainly shaping up to be an interesting State of the Union. Victorina Morales, the former worker at Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey who came forward as undocumented, will attend the address as the guest of her congresswoman, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman. Washington Post
• Close call for Cruz. An unexpected twist in the World Bank president saga: President Trump reportedly met with Heidi Cruz about the job, but passed on her as a candidate. If you'll recall, Trump said many less-than-kind things about Cruz while he ran against her husband, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, during the 2016 Republican primaries. Bloomberg
• Lawyering up. Here's one distinction Melania Trump has earned during her time in the East Wing: she's our most litigious first lady. Trump has won settlements against three media outlets for “false statements" so far—and is the first presidential spouse to even sue a publication over those kinds of stories. Washington Post
• Hartz's history. In a long interview, Eventbrite CEO Julia Hartz describes how she navigated founding a company with her now-husband. "I was 30, we had just had a baby, and I was like, 'Am I just a random sideshow? How am I going to be a value add to this business?'" she says. "So I decided to focus on people. That can itself sound nebulous, but it was one of the best moves for the company." New York Times
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Julia Steyn left General Motors and her role as head of its car-sharing program, Maven. Diane Greene, most recently CEO of Google Cloud, is joining Stripe’s board of directors.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Back in session. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, signed by President Obama in 2009, marked its 10th anniversary earlier this week. So, it's rather timely that Sen. Patty Murray and fellow Democrats have reintroduced the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would bolster equal pay protections for women. Fortune
• On thin ice. Yesterday we linked to a story about NBC's mishandled commentary about women players during the NHL All-Star game—but things actually got worse. Reporter Pierre McGuire seemed to try to explain hockey to Kendall Coyne Schofield, a five-time World Championship gold medalist player who was making her broadcasting debut. Time
• More than a mink. Fur has a complicated history—for more reasons than just animal rights. Fur has fallen out of fashion and out of favor just as black women have secured the ability to purchase it, Jasmine Sanders writes. "My mother never had a house,” Sanders's mother tells her in the story. “But she had fur.” New York Times
ON MY RADAR
Navy to launch first all-female flyover to honor pioneer fighter pilot Rosemary Mariner Huffington Post
How 10 women of color actually feel about working in book publishing Bustle
You and the excuses we make for traumatized men Bitch Media
Rams' male cheerleaders make NFL history at the Super Bowl Los Angeles Times