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Lisa Borders, Heather Nauert, Leather Jackets: Broadsheet for February 19

February 19, 2019, 12:58 PM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Women are scarce among the one-percenters, President Trump needs a new UN ambassador nominee, and we learn the lessons behind the latest C-Suite look. Have a terrific Tuesday.


 The new power suit. What do Nasdaq’s Adena Friedman, IBM’s Ginni Rometty, Weight Watchers' Mindy Grossman, Ellevest's Sallie Krawcheck, and GM's Mary Barra all have in common? They're all successful CEOs in their own right, yes. Also, they seem to share an affinity for what's emerged as a wardrobe staple of female executives: the leather jacket.

Barra even chose a leather jacket for her December visit to D.C., where she addressed GM plant closings and layoffs with lawmakers. The look has become a signature for the auto chief, who "does have quite the collection,” her spokesperson allows.

In this month's issue of Fortune, Kristen examines the growing, glossy-hide trend that's popping up at shareholder meetings, product launches, media conferences, and in the halls of Congress.

It's worth stating the obvious here: some women (and men) take great interest in fashion—a trait that is not irreconcilable with, say, a keen grasp of the rapid evolution of the auto industry. What women choose to wear is often another means of communication, and, as Kristen's story proves, it can say a lot about current workplace culture and where women fit into it.

"The [leather jacket's] shift from grunge to luxe came at the perfect moment," Kristen writes. "In the mid-aughts, the corporate world was struggling through an era of fashion chaos. The rise of the hoodie-wearing tech founder was driving the old rules about 'appropriate' work wear toward obsolescence. For some female executives, the leather jacket offers a solution to the casual quagmire and, thanks to its rich history, sends an unusually complex message."

Susan Tynan, founder and CEO of Framebridge, told Kristen she wears a leather jacket to pitch investors: "There’s no playbook for what a woman should wear when she’s pitching. You want to wear something that shows respect for significance of what you’re asking for—and you also have portray yourself as someone who is rolling up your sleeves to do the job.”

Krawcheck wears a leather jacket because it conveys strength: “It occupies the space between an Armani structured jacket and a sweater.” (And truly: Who among us feels her most powerful in a sweater?)

And I'm especially partial to the analysis of Emma McClendon, associate curator of costume at the Museum at FIT. The leather jacket, she says, is "coded in power, strength, resistance. It’s kind of subversive.”

So be sure to don your power leather jacket—be it literal or figurative—as you dive into this week. Fortune


The marrying kind. New research finds that women earn enough on their own to classify for 1% status in just one out of every 22 top-earning households, according to new research published in the American Sociological Review. That statistic hasn't budged for at least 20 years. The reason? The authors point to more obstacles and discrimination for women in the labor market: "[M]arrying a man with good income prospects is a woman’s main route to the 1%.” Washington Post

 Handling it. Handelsbanken, one of Sweden's biggest banks, has named Carina Akerstrom as its first-ever female CEO; she'll replace Anders Bouvin, who's retiring as chief executive. Akerstrom has worked for Handelsbanken for decades and has been deputy group CEO since 2016. Reuters

A taxing debate. New Zealand on Monday became the latest country to toy with a digital tax on multinationals like Google, Facebook, and Amazon. PM Jacinda Ardern said her Cabinet agreed to debate how to update the nation's tax framework to ensure such tech giants pay their fair share. "Our current tax system is not fair in the way it treats individual tax payers, and how it treats multinationals," she said.  CNBC

 Nanny state. Heather Nauert, the former State Department spokeswoman whom President Donald Trump nominated for UN ambassador, has withdrawn her name from consideration. Nauert cited family concerns in her decision, though her employing of a nanny who was not allowed to work in the U.S. was reportedly also a factor. CNN

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Lisa Borders has resigned as president of Time’s Up for family reasons. Time’s Up COO Rebecca Goldman will be her interim replacement. Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, a former Michelle Obama advisor who ran unsuccessfully for Maryland governor last year, is joining Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service or LIRS as its next president and CEO. Yext has named Wendi Sturgis as CEO of Yext Europe.


More Meg. New York Times Magazine has a new interview with actress Meg Ryan, who—near the height of her fame in 2003—chose a life outside of Hollywood's spotlight. “I wanted to live more,” she says. New York Times

Hello, Dolly (and Lily and Jane)! The 1980s classic 9-to-5 has gotten a musical makeover in London. The show is an "unashamedly" period piece that's "about subtle as a sledgehammer," according to The Guardian. But it still manages to make the case that "equal pay, flexible hours and in-house daycare are not only vital targets but also make for better business." To that I say, encore. The Guardian

On the campaign trail. Netflix is campaigning hard for its first Oscar. The streaming service pushed Roma with a Roma Experience Day in Hollywood in December, consisting of a museum-style exhibit of the film's costumes, a Q&A with its director, Roma stickers, and even Roma-stamped chocolates. The force behind the drive is Lisa Taback, an Oscar-campaign veteran with best-picture winners The King's Speech, The Artist, and Spotlight to her name. New York Times

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Phylicia Rashad is everybody’s mom  Wall Street Journal

History has a massive gender bias. We’ll settle for fixing Wikipedia.  Washington Post

'I know what it feels like to be hunted': Brigitte Bardot on life in the spotlight  The Guardian


When you are finally in space and you're...looking back at Earth and you realize for the first time in your life there's nothing standing between you and your dream.
Astronaut Anne McClain, responding to elementary school students' questions from the International Space Station