1 in 4 Corporate Board Members Are Women on This Continent

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! President Trump has some interesting commentary while signing the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commemorative Coin Act, Stacey Abrams will produce a TV show, and one continent has a big lead when it comes to women on boards. Have a wonderful Wednesday and a happy Thanksgiving to those in the U.S.—we’ll be back on Monday. 


- A continent to watch. Quick—take a guess: What continent do you think has the highest representation of women on corporate boards?

Answer: Africa, where one out of four board members are female, according to a new report from McKinsey Global Institute. What's more, women account for 22% of executive committees on the continent, beating the global average by 1 percentage point. They're also 25% of political representatives (the global average is 21%).

Of course, Africa is a big place—and its 54 nations are far from aligned in providing such opportunities to women. McKinsey attributes the high scores to the progress made in Botswana, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and South Africa. And this Bloomberg story on the report fairly points out that in addition to offering few financial or educational chances, some African nations can be quite dangerous places to be a woman. 

But overlooking the continent's gender leadership in areas like boards and government would be a mistake. And consider where it could go from here: According to McKinsey, if all African countries matched South Africa’s level of parity by 2025, Africa's economy would grow by 10%—or $316 billion.

Kristen Bellstrom

Today's Broadsheet was produced by Emma Hinchliffe


- Demanding action on domestic violence. The French government took steps this week to stop domestic violence: increasing efforts in schools to raise awareness of gender-based violence, opening a domestic violence hotline, hiring specialized social workers in police stations, and increasing treatment of violent partners to avoid repeat offenses. The announcement follows marches against gender-based violence this weekend; France has one of the highest rates of domestic violence in western Europe. Critics say the programs announced are not sufficiently funded to be effective. New York Times

- Don't call her Shiv. The Financial Times interviews Jennifer Johnson as she prepares to take over Franklin Templeton, the $693 billion fund group founded by her grandfather and currently run by her brother. She says conversations growing up were more about her mother's career in medicine than about asset management—and that her family is nothing like the Roys on Succession, despite running a multi-billion-dollar business. Financial Times

- Canva 2020. Canva CEO Melanie Perkins hopes her company next year will have the same recognition as Facebook or Twitter. The chief executive talks to Fortune about her 2020 goals for the $3.2 billion Australian design startup. Fortune

- Mr. and Mrs. At the White House yesterday, President Trump signed the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commemorative Coin Act, issuing 400,000 $1 silver coins for the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage. While signing the bill, Trump also took credit: "Why wasn’t it done a long time ago? … Well, I guess the answer to that is because now I’m president, and we get things done." Meanwhile, First Lady Melania Trump was at a youth summit on the opioid crisis in Baltimore, where she was met with a minute of boos from the audience of middle and high school students.  

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: SoulCycle CEO Melanie Whelan has resigned; CNBC reports "both sides felt it was time for a leadership transition." Jill Wight of The Carlyle Group joins Morgan Stanley Capital Partners as a managing director. Splunk president of worldwide field operations Susan St. Ledger joins HashiCorp's board of directors. Iris Snyder of Reed's joined Whisps as CFO. Cisco Systems' Susie Wee joined the board of directors at Analog Devices, Inc. 


- Changing capitalism. Mariana Mazzucato is trying to change how the world thinks about economic value and capitalism. The economist argues that the state has been an "under-appreciated driver of growth" and that the left focuses too much on redistribution of wealth and not its creation. New York Times

- Dependent care? Being able to stay on a parent's health insurance plan until they're 26 means that more "dependents" are having children of their own. Their maternity care costs, however, may not be covered by their insurer. Some insurance plans cover prenatal visits and pregnancy costs for a primary policyholder or spouse, but not for "adult dependents." Women aren't finding out about the costs until the bills come in. CNBC

- Always watch Never Tell. Multi-hyphenate alert: Stacey Abrams will produce a CBS drama based on her romance novel Never Tell. The politician has written eight novels under the pen name Selena Montgomery. The show will follow "a star linguistics professor with a complicated past who joins forces with a charismatic investigative journalist" in a missing persons case. The Hollywood Reporter


The weaponization of mansplaining The Cut

In the 2010s, The Handmaid’s Tale arrived: Margaret Atwood on whether anything shocks her anymore Vulture

Climate change is brutal for everyone, but worse for women Wired 


"For the same reason I want to make movies about women, I also want to make movies that help men be better men and that can be an antidote to toxic masculinity."

-Marielle Heller, director of A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood


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