Lee Stowell, RBS, Warren Maternal Mortality: Broadsheet April 26
Good morning, Broadsheet readers! A Cantor Fitzgerald harassment suit goes public, a woman appears poised to break the glass ceiling in U.K. banking, and Joe Biden enters the presidential race—after a conversation with Anita Hill. Have a wonderful weekend.
• Biden runs...into Anita Hill. Yesterday morning, Joe Biden finally took the step he's been hinting at for months: He's officially running for president. His announcement video focused almost exclusively on President Trump, and, unsurprisingly, did not include any mention of the recent discussion around his history of what some have called improper touching.
However, that's not to say that he didn't take some steps to address the inevitable—headlines like this one in the Washington Post, which asks: "Does Joe Biden have a woman problem?"
For one thing, the campaign revealed that it has hired Symone Sanders, a prominent African American political strategist, as a senior adviser. Former DNC chair Donna Brazile told the AP that Sanders, a vet of Bernie Sanders 2016 bid, "understands how to build a coalition, and that women of color are the backbone of the Democratic Party.”
Then came this New York Times story, which reports that Biden called Anita Hill a few weeks ago to apologize for his role in the Clarence Thomas hearings. (As background, he was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee at the time and had, until now, famously not made any private apology to Hill for his involvement in the proceedings.)
However, Hill declined to follow the forgiveness and redemption script, with the NYT reporting that, "she left the conversation feeling deeply unsatisfied and declined to characterize his words to her as an apology. She said she is not convinced that Mr. Biden truly accepts the harm he caused her and other women who suffered sexual harassment and gender violence."
“I cannot be satisfied by simply saying I’m sorry for what happened to you. I will be satisfied when I know there is real change and real accountability and real purpose,” she said, adding that she is troubled by improper touching allegations and cannot support Biden until, as the Times phrases it, "he takes responsibility for what he did."
It's a fascinating moment in the now 28-year history between the two. Will this be the end of the story? With Biden's official run just beginning, that's doubtful. The Times suggests that "Mr. Biden’s treatment of Ms. Hill will echo throughout his campaign unless he can find a way to convincingly put it to rest." Hill, for her part, says she watching to see whether Biden—and other candidates—are willing to make sexual harassment and gender violence central issues in the campaign. “I’m really open to people changing," she says.
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• From arbitration to out in the open. The story of the alleged harassment, discrimination, and retaliation suffered by junk-bond saleswoman Lee Stowell at Cantor Fitzgerald—including a colleague leaving poop in her Bernie Sanders mug—is one that would usually be hidden from public view in arbitration. But a judge's ruling as mandatory arbitration loses favor with the public has put the lawsuit in the spotlight. "This is where every woman gets stopped,” Stowell says of moving out of arbitration. “We’re now on the starting block. I get to run.” Bloomberg
• A not-so-modest proposal. Sen. Elizabeth Warren unveiled a remarkable policy proposal at the She the People conference for women of color. Warren's plan would aim to fix the maternal mortality crisis affecting black women by providing financial incentives for hospitals that drive down the rate of black moms who die of complications related to childbirth—and cutting funding from hospitals that don't. Also at She the People, Bernie Sanders faced boos from the audience, which seemed underwhelmed with his reaction to a question about countering the rise in white supremacy. For more on the event, check out this report from Fortune's Ellen McGirt.
• Rose at RBS. The chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland, Ross McEwan, announced that he'll resign, putting a spotlight on who will next lead the bank. A favorite for the job is Alison Rose, perhaps the most powerful woman in U.K. banking and currently deputy CEO of NatWest Holdings, the portion RBS that excludes its investment banking business. Rose would be the first woman to run a major U.K. bank. And at the same time, a hunt is underway for a new governor for the Bank of England, with some urging the institution to choose the first woman for that job, even as Brexit makes it a less plum position. Guardian
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Sandi Peterson, former group worldwide chairman of Johnson & Johnson, joins Clayton, Dubilier & Rice as senior operating partner. Home Care Assistance CEO Lily Sarafan joins Thumbtack's board of directors. Anthropologie promoted Hillary Super to global brand president. Helena Feltham joins the board of Ted Baker; as a human resources expert, she is expected to help the company navigate the aftermath of the "forced hugging" controversy involving its founder.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Inside Emerson. Bloomberg takes a close look at Laurene Powell Jobs' Emerson Collective: "part charitable foundation, part venture capital firm, operating in near-total secrecy, despite being run by one of the most famous women in business." The LLC has backed about 30 startups and made a killing in Pinterest's IPO. Bloomberg
• Mueller-gate. In even more political news, Hillary Clinton wrote an op-ed arguing that the Mueller Report should be treated like Watergate, with slow but steady investigations and public hearings. Washington Post
• Cleaning up. Do men need to earn points to convince more of them to do household chores? A new app called Labor of Love, founded by a dad who was shocked at how much his wife had been doing at home when she went back to work and tasks weren't magically getting done anymore, turns domestic work into a game in attempt to get more husbands (and kids) to do their part around the house. MEL Magazine
ON MY RADAR
Rom-coms were corny and retrograde. Why do I miss them so much? New York Times
Meghan Markle might be taking an American approach to maternity leave Refinery29
Ali Wong, comedy's reigning Queen Mom Vanity Fair
Here's what happened inside The Markup Columbia Journalism Review