Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Women of color are getting the short end of the stick on their post MBA-paydays, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax’s accuser steps forward, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar faces the first scandal of her possible 2020 presidential run. Have a kickass Thursday.
• Bad boss or double standard? Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar is widely expected to announce that she’s running for president at a Minneapolis event on Sunday. If she does throw her hat in the 2020 ring, the Democrat will have gotten a jumpstart on at least one aspect of campaigning: Dealing a nascent scandal.
Last night, the Huffington Post published a piece reporting that at least three people withdrew from consideration to lead the senator’s campaign, due in part to what the story describes as Klobuchar’s history of mistreating her staff.
The article, written by Molly Redden and Amanda Terkel, describes a range of behaviors, including public shaming of employees via email, tasking staffers with personal chores like picking up dry cleaning and washing her dishes, and leaving “tardy” slips on late staffers’ desks—which, in at least one case, led to a dressing down that brought an aide to tears.
The HuffPo reporters also talked to former staffers who said that the senator simply has very high standards: “Those employees described working for her as a challenge, but an exhilarating one that caused them to grow and perform their best work.” Klobuchar’s office, meanwhile, referred the reporters to other ex-staffers who “shared glowing statements about working for her.”
Redden and Terkel are explicit about the role the senator’s gender plays in this story, noting that some pro-Klobuchar former aides “question whether former co-workers who thought she was abusive were falling for sexist stereotypes about female leaders with high standards.” And indeed, it’s hard to come up with examples of similar stories about male leaders, political or otherwise. (Readers: Do you have examples? Please share them with me at firstname.lastname@example.org) We all know the dynamic, which has been documented again and again by researchers. Men are decisive, women are bossy. Men are tough, women are bitches. And that old classic: Women can be competent or liked—but never both.
That said, being a bad boss has no gender. I’m willing to bet that many of you have suffered through one or two in your career and some of them have probably been female. High standards are important, as is pushing your employees beyond their comfort zone. But belittling and venting anger at the people who work for you—much less demanding that they scrub your dirty pots and pans—is not acceptable behavior from any boss, and is certainly not the sign of a great leader.
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Meltdown in Virginia. Vanessa Tyson, the college professor who accused Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexually assaulting her in 2004, has come forward, issuing a statement that details the alleged incident. (Fairfax confirms that the two had a sexual encounter, but claims it was consensual.) Her charges come amid a broadening crisis in the state, after a second high-ranking official (the attorney general) admitted to wearing blackface when he was in college. Politico
• No MBA required to understand these numbers. A new study looking at MBA grads finds—to no one’s surprise—that female and minority MBAs still earn less than their white male counterparts after securing their degrees. When you break out women and people of color into two distinct groups, minorities face the largest post-graduation gap (though the women’s gap is the only one that grows over time). Account for the intersection of the two and you’ll see another familiar trend: Women of color have the largest gap—earning a full 52% less than white men. Fortune
• An ironic title? Appearing on Fox News on yesterday, former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson denied accusations that she plagiarized sections of her new book, Merchants of Truth: Inside the News Revolution. She was responding directly to allegations made just an hour earlier by Vice News correspondent Michael Moynihan; several others also came forward with similar accusations. HuffPo
• Threat fret. Nancy Pelosi followed up Tuesday night’s meme moment by calling President Trump’s SOTU reference to “ridiculous partisan investigations” an “all-out threat” and insisting that the House will not back off any of its probes into possible misdeeds by the administration. New York Times
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Caryn Marooney is stepping down as leader of Facebook’s communications group. Brie Carere has been promoted to EVP, chief marketing and communications officer of FedEx Corporation.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Walmsley targets cancer. Speaking on GlaxoSmithKline’s earnings call yesterday, CEO Emma Walmsley (No. 1 on Fortune’s Most Powerful Women International list) said the company is focused on developing new drugs that will allow it to become a major player in the lucrative, but crowded, field of cancer medicine. WSJ
• The diva effect. This Variety story looks at how performers like Celine Dion, Britney Spears, and Lady Gaga transformed Las Vegas residencies into “a sign you’ve made it, not that you’ve lost it.” Variety
• Doubling down on Detroit. Actress-turned-producer-turned-activist Sophia Bush added another hyphen—female founder—when she launched Detroit Blows, a Detroit-based one-stop, nontoxic finishing salon, with her friend Nia Batts, formerly senior director of strategic partnerships and social innovation at Viacom. In this Q+A, the pair talk about the business and its philanthropic arm, which is dedicated to helping other entrepreneurs invest in Detroit. Refinery29
ON MY RADAR
An Australian lawmaker wants to block R.Kelly from performing in the country Fortune
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, cancer survivor, enjoyed a nice night out Vanity Fair
A dying young woman reminds us how to live New York Times
An era of female-run TV is coming to an end Time