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How Women’s Educational Gains Are Changing the Working World: The Broadsheet

August 21, 2019, 10:14 AM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Reshma Saujani argues men should redirect their bravery, Jane Lauder becomes one of the world’s 500 richest people, and women’s pursuit of higher education is having a knock-on effect. Have a wonderful Wednesday. 


- Getting educated. The Wall Street Journal yesterday reported that this year could see the moment when women start making up the majority of the U.S.'s college-educated workforce. Surpassing that threshold reflects women's pursuit of higher education; they have constituted the majority of college students seeking bachelor's degrees since the 1980s. 

College-educated women's increased representation is changing employers' approach to benefits, with companies aiming to attract and retain such skilled talent with offerings like egg freezing and improved paid parental leave. 

At the same time, there are some not-so-nice forces behind the trend. Economic Policy Institute senior economist Elise Gould tells the WSJ that women are looking to education as a way to narrow the gender pay gap. I wrote about Georgetown data on the subject last year and it ain't pretty: Women with a bachelor's degree earn the same as men with an associate's degree—a disparity that persists as you climb the rungs of the academic ladder. In other words, some women may be obtaining advanced degrees simply so they can make as much as less educated men. 

But let's end on a high note. Pew Research's Richard Fry surmises that since college degrees are often a prerequisite for promotions, working women's educational gains indicate their improved ability to advance in the corporate world. 

Claire Zillman 


- A better use of bravery. Growing up, boys receive endless messaging about the importance of bravery and risk-taking—sending them to the C-suite, public office, and beyond. Now, Girls Who Code CEO Reshma Saujani writes, men need to use that bravery in service of women. Fortune

- Mette's meetingDanish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, the nation's youngest PM who assumed the job in June, has gotten wrapped up in President Donald Trump's obsession with buying Greenland, a self-governing country that's part of the Denmark kingdom. Trump cited her disinterest in selling Greenland to the U.S. as his reason for canceling his planned visit to the Danes. Washington Post

- A pretty good Monday? Jane Lauder—heir to the Estée Lauder fortune, global brand president at Clinique, and a member of Eventbrite's board of directors—became one of the world's 500 richest people this week after her wealth surged by $447 million on Monday (that's right: in one day). Estée Lauder reported strong earnings thanks to sales growth in Asia; Lauder is now No. 461 on Bloomberg's list of the world's wealthiest, one of 69 women in the group. Bloomberg

- Work/work. How do couples where both partners work, well, make it work? Harvard Business Review examines the question from a few angles: how spouses choose which career to prioritize when, how couples decide about whether to relocate, and the choice some partners make to live apart. Harvard Business Review

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Barbara Messing is leaving her post as Walmart CMO. Ava DuVernay's film collective Array promoted Tilane Jones to president. Uber hired Square's Melinda Roylett as U.K. general manager. Former New Hampshire Republican Party chairwoman Jennifer Horn resigned from the board of Log Cabin Republicans in protest of the pro-LGBT GOP organization's endorsement of President Trump. Founder and president of Nature Knows Inc. Andrea Watson joins the board of women-focused ridesharing service Safr. Former head of HR at Eventbrite Carolyn Satenberg joined Digit as its first head of people. 


- Daily 2020 update. Dr. Jill Biden gave a less-than-inspiring pitch this week for her husband's candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination. "Your candidate might be better on, I don’t know, health care, than Joe is, but you’ve got to look at who’s going to win this election," the former second lady said. "And maybe you have to swallow a little bit and say, ‘OK, I personally like so and so better,’ but your bottom line has to be that we have to beat Trump.” The next day, Sen. Elizabeth Warren put forward her criminal justice reform proposal, which includes repealing most of the 1994 crime bill Joe Biden authored. 

- Chile's communist reformers. Camila Vallejo and Karol Cariola became known in Chile eight years ago as student-movement leaders; now the pair have introduced a labor-reform bill that would cut the maximum hours of the workweek in Chile from 45 to 40. As stars on Chile's left (both are Communist Party members) who are opponents of Chile's president, the duo earn comparisons to, yes, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Bloomberg

- Money moves. Are you familiar with modern monetary theory—or its best-known advocate, Stephanie Kelton? A senior economic adviser to Bernie Sanders, Kelton has become an economic rock star based on the argument that the government should simply print more money to pay for major programs like the Green New Deal. The theory worries many—their main fear being inflation—but Kelton has made the fringe proposal more mainstream than ever. The New Yorker

Today's Broadsheet was produced by Emma Hinchliffe. Share it with a friend. Looking for previous Broadsheets? Click here.


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"It’s a bit like being a hairdresser—some people take the chance to disclose their worldly secrets."

-Jenny Watkins, a black cab driver in London, on her job