Meet the 2019 Fortune Most Powerful Women in Business: The Broadsheet

September 23, 2019, 12:11 PM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Alison Rose is the first woman to run a major U.K. bank, women are behind Netflix’s entries in the streaming content wars, and these are the Most Powerful Women of 2019. 


- Meet the MPWs. Fortune launched our 2019 list of the Most Powerful Women in Business this morning. I think it's fair to say that this year's ranking is the most competitive ever—which, given that this our 22nd time publishing the annual list, is no small thing. Case in point: Of the 36 women now running Fortune 500 companies, only 22 earned a spot. 

Sitting atop the list for the second year running is Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson. And the Lockheed chief isn't the only one who successfully defended her turf: this year's Top 5 hasn't budged. But there was some upheaval in the single digits, with Julie Sweet rocketing up the list to No. 9 (she was No. 32 in 2018) after being named global CEO of Accenture. 

The newcomers are always one of the most interesting aspects of the list. This year's highest ranking newbie is Shari Redstone, vice chair of Viacom and CBS, who lands at No. 14 in acknowledgement of her coup in combining the two companies and earning the unofficial title of the most powerful woman in U.S. media. Other new names include Best Buy CEO Corie Barry, AMD CEO Lisa Su, and Flex CEO Revathi Advaithi.

We have a tradition of naming a No. 51—a sort of bonus pick who might not fit the list criteria perfectly, but is nonetheless an undeniably powerful force. This year that spot goes the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team, who not only utterly demolished the competition at the 2019 World Cup, but who have emerged as true leaders in the fight for equal pay in sports and beyond. Read our colleague Jen Wieczner's interview with Megan Rapinoe, Christen Press and Alex Morgan here.

Please take a moment to explore the full 2019 MPW list here—and have a Most Powerful Monday.

Kristen Bellstrom


- Fighting the streaming war. Also in the Most Powerful Women issue of Fortune, Michal Lev-Ram takes us behind the scenes of Netflix's big bet on original content. Who's leading that charge? Women, of course. Bela Bajaria, Channing Dungey, Cindy Holland, Lisa Nishimura, and Melissa Cobb are on the front lines as the streaming wars arrive. Fortune

- Women who won. At the Emmys last night, Phoebe Waller-Bridge cleaned up for Fleabag—including an acting win that blocked Julia Louis-Dreyfus from setting an all-time record as the Emmys' most honored performer—and called her awards proof that "a dirty, pervy, messed-up woman can make it to the Emmys." Patricia Arquette rallied for an end to prejudice against trans people, honoring her late sister Alexis Arquette, when she won a supporting actress trophy for The Act. And Michelle Williams, honored for Fosse/Verdon, issued a call to arms for equal pay (recall her equal pay controversy on All the Money in the World reshoots): "The next time a woman and, especially a woman of color, because she stands to make 52 cents on the dollar compared to her white male counterpart, tells you what she needs in order to do her job," she said, after thanking the network and studio on this project for paying her equally, "listen to her." Fortune

- Bank on it. Days after Claire reported on how far the U.S. banks are from putting a woman in one of their top jobs, the U.K. leapfrogged ahead. Alison Rose will be the next CEO at RBS, the first time a woman has ever run one of the U.K.'s big four banks. Bloomberg

- A FAIR deal. On Friday, the House passed the Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal (FAIR) Act, a bill that would ban companies from requiring workers and consumers to resolve legal disputes in private arbitration. As we've discussed in the Broadsheet many times, these clauses make it impossible to sue over allegations such as sexual harassment or assault, keeping such charges out of the public eye. Vox

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: As Siemens spins off its power and gas business, Lisa Davis, who had been CEO of Siemens Energy, will be co-CEO of Siemens' Gas and Power Operating Company until the company's shareholders meeting in February 2020; she will then be an advisor until her contract expires. KeyCorp CEO and chairman Beth Mooney will retire in May. Proximus CEO Dominique Leroy will leave her role early before becoming CEO of KPN in December (a controversial transition); Proximus CFO Sandrine Dufour will be interim CEO. Amid its IPO uncertainty, WeWork has seen an exodus of executives including real-estate fund chief investment officer Wendy Silverstein, global head of real estate partnerships Sarah Pontius, and chief communications officer Jennifer Skyler. Austin-based creative agency GSD&M named Kirya Francis VP of diversity and inclusion. 


- Path to the presidency. The New York Times examines how Sen. Elizabeth Warren's experience building the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau—and then losing out on the chance to lead it permanently—led her to the presidential race. New York Times

- Under new management. When she took over PagerDuty in 2016, Jennifer Tejada brought with her years of expertise in management built after starting out at Procter & Gamble. "I was the only person who knew how to do a performance review," she says of her time in the dot-com boom of Silicon Valley. Now she's leading the software company through its post-IPO era. Financial Times

- Married at Manhattan? Kimberly Watkins worked for Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang when he was CEO of test preparation company Manhattan Prep. Watkins says that when she returned from her honeymoon, Yang fired her "because he did not believe she would want to 'continue working as hard' after she was married." Yang denied the allegation and said he "made decisions about hiring and firing singularly based on performance." HuffPost

- Emergencia Feminista. Protesters in 250 cities and towns throughout Spain declared a "feminist emergency" after 19 women were murdered by current or former partners this summer. The numbers are the worst in more than a decade. Guardian 

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


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