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Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit Is All About the Sisterhood: raceAhead

September 17, 2019, 6:04 PM UTC

Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit international edition is in full swing and with an all-star line-up, including P&G group president, North America Carolyn Tastad, Blanca Treviño, President and CEO, Softtek, and Jean Yoon, the trailblazing star of the Kim’s Convenience, the award-winning Netflix show about a Korean family living and working in Canada, now in its fourth season.

Put on your headphones and get your power on with the livestream here.

If you only have time for one update, do check out this powerful conversation between former PepsiCo chair and CEO Indra Nooyi and Fortune’s Nina Easton, who talk about what it was like for the former CEO to step away from the top spot. 

In a word, liberating.

“When you’re a female, colored woman, immigrant serving as a CEO of a large company and undertaking a transformation, there are tons of critics,” she said. “All the time you were in the public eye trying to answer the critics. So it was a grind all the time.”

Now, she’s working on a new book that she hopes will create a “sisterhood” of women leaders. 

“It’s very, very important that we stop talking about unconscious bias, and start doing something about it,” she said. “The onus is not just on the men. It’s on the women.”

If you haven’t already, sign up for Fortune‘s Broadsheet newsletter, an essential guide to building a better, more gender-balanced world and a celebration of female excellence.

Ellen.McGirt@fortune.com
@ellmcgirt

On Point

Soccer announcer fired for openly racist, on-air comment Luciano Passirani was attempting to compliment Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku on the television program Top Calcio 24, when he veered into familiar territory. "Lukaku is one of the strongest, I like him a lot because he has strength," he began. "If you go one-on-one with him, he will kill you. Either you give him 10 bananas to eat, or... " Dear reader, I am pleased to report that the program director jumped in and had him removed. "One of our commentators, in trying to define Lukaku's strength through a series of compliments, unfortunately chose a very bad metaphor that turned out to be racist," said Fabio Ravezzani. "We cannot tolerate that, even unintentionally." Click through for more racist nonsense that Lukaku, who was signed away from Manchester United, has already experienced playing for Inter Milan.
CNN

Andrew Yang has some thoughts about Shane Gillis The presidential candidate has rankled some of his supporters, many of Asian descent, by preaching forgiveness after Gillis, a newly anointed SNL staffer, was dismissed after it was revealed that he trafficked in racist comedy, even referring to Yang himself with a racial slur. "For the record, I do not think he should lose his job. We would benefit from being more forgiving rather than punitive," Yang tweeted, along with an offer to meet. Mr. Yang took "a position that’s very much at odds with the Asian-American community," Jenn Fang, the creator of an Asian-American advocacy blog, Reappropriate, told the New York Times. "He’s trying to let Shane Gillis off the hook so he can cater to other voters that he needs to get to the White House."
New York Times

Puerto Rico has been losing schools at an alarming rate This powerful photo essay by Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi tells a terrible tale of neglect, corruption, and environmental damage. Hundreds of schools have closed on the island in the last few years, mostly due to the 2017 hurricane and the failure of the federal and local government to restore and rebuild the island. The feature took weeks of reporting to put together. "Even in schools that remain in use, mold creeps, roofs are torn and gymnasiums sag like wet shoe boxes," writes Jonathan M. Katz in the accompanying text.
New York Times

On Background

The unlimited whiteness of theoretical physics Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein is one of a handful of black women to earn a PhD in physics, and her experience in the primarily white field has given her a unique insight into how academia treats non-majority culture people, and how it may or may not be contributing to the greater good. But this wonderful interview with Lawrence Ware does double duty: It explains what a theoretical physicist does all day. The short answer is math. The longer answer is well worth your time. "I’m an expert on a hypothetical particle called the axion. This axion might be the particle that extends dark matter," she say. "I don’t collect data out in the world. I collect data in my mind." The second best part? When she was 11 years old she emailed Steven Hawking to find out how to get a job like his. Guess who got an email back?
Public Books

New research proves that Franklin Leonard is a genius Leonard is the founder/inventor of The Black List, the now famous annual compilation of promising but overlooked scripts reviewed by an invite-only cohort of Hollywood agents, producers, and other Hollywood insiders. While researchers from Harvard Business School pointed out some basic flaws in how the list actually operates, the outcome is clear. The researchers found that Black-Listed scripts were twice as likely to be made into films, with 30% of them produced, compared to 15% of non-listed scripts. They also generated 90% more revenue than films with similar budgets. While famous writers still tend to get produced more often, they found that the crowd-sourced nature of the list works as a predictive tool. Can you imagine a similar process for early stage ideas and business development? I can.
HBS Working Knowledge

Do people really care about equality? This is the central question of this piece from The Nation, that notes that income inequality has been a subject of much debate since 2008, but there is little real energy behind addressing it. Atossa Araxia Abrahamian give a great review of the history of inquiry into poverty and the wealth gap—the concept isn’t new but addressing the gap has been less of a priority than simply helping people be slightly less poor. The economic crash of 2007/8 popularized the language of inequality and generated a ton of grants and white papers but little actual policy change. Now that it’s campaign season again, it’s worth asking what everyone is fighting for. "Are the new inequality activists interested in achieving equality, or just fighting inequality?" she asks.
The Nation

Quote

“The love expressed between women is particular and powerful because we have had to love in order to live; love has been our survival."

—Audre Lord, in Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches