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When Women Run an NFL Team: The Broadsheet

September 26, 2019, 10:23 AM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! The FTC sues Match, AOC introduces a sweeping anti-poverty proposal, and women are running at least one NFL team. Have a terrific Thursday. 

EVERYONE'S TALKING

- The women behind an NFL team. In introducing the Most Powerful Women International list on Tuesday, we mentioned that some of the honorees came from industries where women are still rare: chemicals and oil and gas and metal manufacturing.

Now, the Wall Street Journal is out with a new story about women owning another arena that’s typically male-dominated: the front office of an NFL organization. 

The WSJ profiles the Philadelphia Eagles, whose owner Jeffrey Lurie has an advisory team that’s more than 50% female, with chief of staff Tina D'Orazio, general counsel Aileen Dagrosa, SVP of marketing and media Jen Kavanagh, SVP of revenue and strategy Catherine Carlson, and executive director of the Eagles Autism Challenge Ryan Hammond holding top jobs. It won’t surprise you that the Eagles are an outlier in the league, where women account for 28% of franchise jobs despite a fanbase that’s near gender parity.

Lurie says it wasn’t necessarily his intention to hire women. Rather, his goal was to assemble a staff with “diversity of thought,” which meant hunting for candidates beyond traditional football circles. “That seems to result in lots of women winning these hiring decisions,” he says. 

There are parallels, of course, between Lurie’s experience and that of boardrooms searching for new perspectives, with the latter starting to look beyond typical candidates—namely current or former CEOs—to find directors who are not male and not white. 

The results of the Eagles’ unintentional diversity push echo the proven upside of diversity in the corporate world too. Philadelphia is considered a league leader in using analytics in player evaluation and game-time decision making, and it’s stood out for its embrace of players’ social justice causes; other teams have downplayed or dismissed them. And if ever there was a mic-drop—er, football-spike—moment in the debate over the benefits of diverse viewpoints, the Eagles pulled it off in 2018 by winning sports’ ultimate title, the Super Bowl.

Claire Zillman
claire.zillman@fortune.com
@clairezillman

ALSO IN THE HEADLINES

- Fair housing. For Fortune, Department of Housing and Urban Development assistant secretary for fair housing and equal opportunity Anna María Farías writes about the agency's effort to fight sexual harassment in public housing. "No one should have to endure harassment and mistreatment in order to keep a roof over their head," she says. Fortune

- The anti-poverty new deal. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez introduced a new signature policy proposal yesterday: an anti-poverty package that would take into account the cost of childcare, health care, and "new necessities" like Internet access when measuring poverty. It would cap annual rent increases, ensure access to social welfare programs for people with convictions and undocumented immigrants, and more. New York Times

- A suspect Match. The Federal Trade Commission sued the Match Group, led by CEO Mandy Ginsberg, over using "fake love-interest advertisements" to trick users into buying subscriptions. The company says it wasn't fraud, as the FTC argues, but spam. Fortune

- #balancetonporc. Sandra Muller launched a version of #MeToo in France when she accused media executive Eric Brion of making inappropriate sexual remarks at a work function in Cannes. But a court has now found Muller guilty of defamation; her lawyer called the decision a "regression," and Muller plans to appeal. Guardian

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Dawn Fitzpatrick, chief investment officer at Soros Fund Management, has joined the board of Barclays. Citigroup has promoted Val Smith to chief sustainability officer, a new role at the bank. Rebecca Campbell, who was president of Europe, Middle East, and Africa for Disney's direct-to-consumer and international segment, will now oversee Disneyland Resort. Sephora's Mary Beth Laughton joins Gap Inc. as president and CEO of Athleta, taking over for Nancy Green, who moved to Old Navy. Courtney Jeffries was promoted to COO of Satisfi Labs. Marqeta hired MuleSoft's Vidya Peters as CMO. 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

- Open book. For Fortune, Bailey Pennick takes us inside Reese Witherspoon's Book Club. Witherspoon "doesn't sleep a lot," her staff jokes, instead working to grow the Hello Sunshine empire and "deepen what it means to be a member of Reese’s Book Club." Fortune

- Own goal. How much is the Women's World Cup worth? Turns out, not even FIFA knows. While U.S. Soccer Federation lobbyists cited a $131 million stat while trying to make the case that the U.S. Women's National Team is not underpaid, it wasn't correct. Rights for men's and women's competitions are sold as a package, and FIFA says it cannot distinguish between the revenues as a result. Wall Street Journal

- Field trip. The frequent French debate over Muslim women's head coverings in public life was revived this week when the country's education minister, Jean-Michel Blanquer, objected to mothers who wear headscarves accompanying their children on school trips. A parents' association's advertisement had featured a mother in a headscarf with the tagline, "Secularism is about welcoming all parents without exception." Guardian

- Trolling teens. Greta Thunberg—who just won the "Alternative Nobel," by the way—isn't the only climate activist facing harassment online. A new generation of teens—and mostly teen girls—taking on the issue are being hacked, doxed, and harassed online. BuzzFeed

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

ON MY RADAR

The niceness trap Gen

Fiona Apple is still calling bullsh*t Vulture

Mattel, creator of Barbie, bets big on gender-neutral dolls Fortune

Plácido Domingo withdraws from Metropolitan Opera after sexual harassment allegations Time

QUOTE

"My main goal is to get rid of the word exclusive, and bring in the word inclusive."

—Serena Williams on her firm Serena Ventures