To Diversity the Financial Industry, Break the Wheel: Broadsheet
Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Trump’s tariffs would affect women more than men, Kelly Craft has a confirmation hearing to become UN ambassador, and an update from our Brainstorm Finance conference in Montauk. Have a great weekend.
• Breaking the wheel. Greetings from Montauk, N.Y., where I spent most of the week at Fortune's inaugural Brainstorm Finance conference, learning about banking, blockchain, and of course, all things Libra (Facebook's newly-announced cryptocurrency).
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of moderating a panel discussion on diversity—or lack thereof—in the financial industry with Ellevest CEO Sallie Krawcheck, Citigroup vice chairman and chairman of banking, capital markets, and advisory Ray McGuire, and Edward Jones managing partner Penny Pennington. To my delight, it was a spirited discussion that touched on everything from the pay gap, to the issues holding women back in fintech, to #MeToo backlash on Wall Street.
Krawcheck was characteristically unsparing in her assessment of the industry's problems, dismissing the usual talk about diversity groups and mentoring programs.
“Guys, we’ve been doing that for years and years and years. If it was gonna work, it would’ve worked,” she said. Instead, she called on financial leaders to “break the wheel.” In other words, half measures won't do—CEOs must take drastic steps if they hope to create more inclusive cultures.
McGuire talked about Citigroup's own step, which, while not necessarily drastic, is certainly industry-leading: Earlier this year, it disclosed its global pay gap: women at the firm earn 29% less than men. While the bank did face shareholder pressure, the disclosure was voluntary—and it remains the only big bank to reveal such information to the public. To get from good to great, said McGuire, “you have to figure out how good you are.”
Pennington, meanwhile, shared an example of a smaller-scale effort that is, in its own way, similarly boundary-pushing. Edward Jones recently introduced a program that incentivizes retiring financial advisors to refer their business to another advisor who’s a woman or person of color. Perhaps not surprisingly, not everyone at the firm was a fan of the policy, including some female advisors, noted Pennington.
"Several of them have said to me, ‘Penny! I don’t want anybody to think that my practice is growing because someone felt like they had to do something special for me because I’m a woman.'" she said. "That’s not the point of it at all... But it has raised a level of awareness that might not have been part of the conversation as often as it could have been or should have been."
Have a wonderful weekend—and please take some time to recharge. We have to get back and break some wheels next week!
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Tariffs' target. President Trump's tariffs on apparel from China would hurt women more than men, J.C. Penney and its CEO Jill Soltau argued in a letter to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. The retailer examined the tariffs' effects on its prices, and increased prices' effects on its core customers: middle-class working women. Bloomberg
• VR struggles to get real. For Fortune's July cover story, Aric Jenkins examines the rise and fall of virtual reality, from the next hottest thing to another cool technology that has so far failed to catch on in everyday life. Verizon VP of global learning Lou Tedrick describes how the company used VR to train employees how to react during an armed robbery. Yelena Rachitsky, who was a Facebook executive producer with the VR studio it shuttered, weighs in on the tech giant's efforts. Fortune
• The other tech enforcer. Big tech is wary of Margrethe Vestager, the European commissioner for competition known for doling out fines. But another figure in Europe's regulation of tech is Helen Dixon, Ireland's data protection commissioner. Ireland is at the forefront of taking on Facebook and others over data privacy. CNBC
• Not-so-soft skills. For Fortune, New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray and Mayor Bill DeBlasio write about introducing social-emotional learning in the city's classrooms. Managing emotions and resolving conflicts are "hard skills." "And just like reading and math, they should be taught, practiced, and strengthened," the pair says. Fortune
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: L’Oreal SA promoted Delphine Viguier-Hovasse to head of L’Oreal Paris, the first woman in the top job at the world’s biggest beauty brand. People magazine hires Glamour executive editor Wendy Naugle as deputy editor. Angelina Jolie joins Time magazine as a contributing editor, writing monthly about human rights. BMO appointed Shannon Kennedy to run BMO Family Office. The National Safety Council hired Lockheed Martin's Lorraine M. Martin as president and CEO. Sweaty Betty named Julia Strauss CEO. Tapestry, the parent company to Coach, Kate Spade, and Stuart Weitzman, named Abercrombie & Fitch's Joanne C. Crevoiserat CFO, as former CFO Andrea Shaw Resnick becomes global head of investor relations and corporate communications.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Gen Z in the house. At Brainstorm Finance, 17-year-old, brain-computer interface developer Ananya Chadha sat down with Fortune's Shawn Tully. Chadha develops applications for blockchain involving genetic data. "Blockchain is so powerful for things that most people forget about," she says. Fortune
• Craft's confirmation hearing. Kelly Craft, the U.S. ambassador to Canada nominated to replace Nikki Haley as ambassador to the UN, appeared in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for her confirmation hearing Wednesday. Democrats grilled Craft on her frequent travel outside of Canada, and the nominee expressed her appreciation for the UN's mission—notable in comparison to the Trump administration's commentary on the institution. Vox
• Dressed to kill. At the World Cup, the women's players aren't shying away from colorful hair or a bold lip. (If you haven't seen the Netherlands' Shanice van de Sanden's leopard-print buzz cut, you've got to take a look.) Players say it makes them feel more at ease and confident, helping with their game—unlike past league-imposed markers of femininity in sports, like skirted uniforms. New York Times
• Guns out. Here's an interesting subculture: female gun influencers on Instagram. Since firearms retailers aren't allowed to run ads promoting them directly, influencers are a loophole. Influencers turn guns into just another lifestyle on Instagram—and it's a lucrative job. Vox
ON MY RADAR
The strange phenomenon of the 'hero wife' MEL Magazine
The term 'domestic violence' is a failure The Atlantic
Women's sex toy startup sues New York City's MTA over 'double standard' in advertising rules Fortune