Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Snap allegedly targeted women during layoffs, some strings were pulled to get Ivanka Trump her security clearance, and Sen. Martha McSally makes a powerful statement. Have a tremendous Thursday.
• McSally’s moment. Speaking at the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday, Sen. Martha McSally revealed that she was raped by a superior officer while in the Air Force.
McSally—a freshman Republican senator from Arizona and the first woman in the Air Force to fly in combat—made the statement at a hearing about preventing sexual assault in the military. She said that she did not report the attack at the time because she did not trust the system to protect her.
From the New York Times:
“I thought I was strong, but felt powerless,” Ms. McSally said, pausing periodically throughout her remarks as she sought to maintain composure. “The perpetrators abused their position of power in profound ways.”
McSally, who has previously talked about being sexually abused in high school, said the Air Force attack caused her to consider leaving the armed forces. “Like many victims, I felt the system was raping me all over again,” she said. “But I didn’t quit, I decided to stay.”
Her testimony leaves little doubt about how serious a problem sexual assault in the military was and is—and how vital it is that the failings be addressed. It also suggests that even congresswomen are feeling increasingly empowered to tell their #MeToo tales: McSally’s appearance comes on the heels of Sen. Joni Ernst’s (R–Iowa) revelation that she’s a survivor of rape and other abuse. But perhaps most powerfully, McSally’s words convey just how much fortitude it takes to keep moving forward after such an attack. Her strength is evident not just in her decision to stay in the Air Force, but in her will to go on to break boundaries—and, years later, to share her story with the world.
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• A story that won’t disappear. Snap has allegedly disproportionately targeted women during layoffs. The company paid settlements to three female employees who brought up concerns when all six people let go in a round of layoffs were women—a move that took place just months after an engineer had accused the company of fostering a sexist culture. Wall Street Journal
• On clearance. You might have heard about Jared Kushner’s security clearance and how President Trump pulled some strings to get him approved. Now it appears that POTUS did the same thing for Ivanka Trump. CNN reports that the president pressured former chief of staff John Kelly and White House counsel Don McGahn to grant Ivanka the clearance against their recommendations. CNN
• Grand designs. Fortune hosted our Brainstorm Design confab in Singapore this week. Alice Rawsthorn, the design critic and author of Design as an Attitude, was among the experts who addressed attendees; she argued that bad design is just as important as good design—just for different reasons. Fortune
• Equal pay season. Earlier this week was Asian American and Pacific Islander Equal Pay Day—the day marking at what point into 2019 AAPI women had to work to earn what white men did in 2018. It’s the first Equal Pay Day of the year, meaning that AAPI women face the smallest wage gap—but Fortune‘s Ellen McGirt explains why that statistic can be misleading. Fortune
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia Jessie K. Liu will be President Trump’s nominee for associate attorney general, the No. 3 job at the Justice Department. At Rethink Education, Michelle Dervan was promoted to partner and Ebony Pope was appointed principal. Mary Langowski joins the board of Upwell Health. Dena Cook is the new executive VP and global head of communications and PR for Mattel. Zhang Wei resigned from the board of Alibaba Pictures Group; she’s still its president.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• All hail the King. In this Q+A with O, Gayle King talks about what was going through her mind during that now-infamous R. Kelly interview on CBS This Morning. Oprah magazine
• Yum, yum. Yum China is betting big on KFC. The Chinese restaurant operator, helmed by Joey Wat, No. 20 on Fortune‘s Most Powerful Women International list, is opening two stores a day, its second-fastest pace in 30 years. Bloomberg
• Bye, Batali. More than a year after sexual harassment allegations were made against him, Mario Batali is finally getting out of the restaurant businesses. He has sold his shares in the Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group; a new company will operate the group’s 16 restaurants and will be run by Tanya Bastianich Manuali. Batali is also offloading his shares in Eataly, the chain of high-end Italian supermarkets. New York Times
• Study up. Scientists have been reluctant to involve pregnant women in their research, deciding instead to protect them from uncertain outcomes. But that strategy has led to a dearth of research about pregnant women. This in-depth story explains how attitudes toward pregnant women in research are changing. (And in related news: a new study shows that men in science receive an average of $41,000 more in federal funding than women do.) Washington Post
ON MY RADAR
Lizzo isn’t just part of a movement. She’s a movement all her own Allure
The first all-female spacewalk is scheduled for March 29 Fortune
A long talk with Kirsten Gillibrand New York Magazine
Taylor Swift: 30 things I learned before turning 30 Elle