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These women are the World’s Greatest Leaders

April 20, 2020, 12:15 PM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Sheryl Sandberg’s Option B is more relevant than ever, Michelle Obama weighs what her 2020 involvement will look like, and these are 2020’s greatest leaders. Have a productive Monday. 

– World’s greatest. The governors. The mayors. Mary Barra. Rihanna.

These are the World’s Greatest Leaders, as honored in the May issue of Fortune. The annual list usually highlights all kinds of leadership, but this year is devoted to those demonstrating particular skill and inspiration during the coronavirus crisis.

You’ve probably heard about the governors, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer among them, who are fighting for their citizens’ health and financial security during this crisis. The mayors—San Francisco’s London Breed, Seattle’s Jenny Durkan, Chicago’s Lori Lightfoot, and Oakland’s Libby Schaaf—are doing the same.

Rihanna is No. 16 on the list of 25 for her significant financial commitments—among the first from a celebrity—to helping families impacted by the pandemic. Mary Barra and her efficacy in pivoting GM to manufacture ventilators put her at No. 9. There are also appearances by Angela Merkel, Challenge Seattle’s Chris Gregoire, and Rachael Bedard, the Rikers Island physician who won’t let the public forget about her vulnerable patients. You can see the whole list here.

For more from Fortune‘s May issue—and a different kind of leadership—check out my story about the future of the restaurant industry. I spoke to different kinds of restaurateurs—from the CEO of Chipotle to the owner of a small eatery—about what’s at stake for their businesses and industry. Moonlynn Tsai, co-owner of the New York Malaysian restaurant and coffeehouse Kopitiam, went through two years of savings in a month. She’s fighting for her 28 employees and her establishment, a touchstone of the Chinatown community.

Emma Hinchliffe


- The world's Option B. Sheryl Sandberg wrote her book Option B about personal grief. But she's adapting its lessons to the kind of mass grief the world is experiencing right now over the coronavirus pandemic. In this interview, she shares that she lost a family member (her fiancé's cousin) to complications from the virus. Business Insider

- Her own kind of politics. Even though President Barack Obama has endorsed Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential race, Michelle Obama has not yet officially backed the former VP and may choose not to to avoid getting back into the partisan fray. For now, her primary focus is voter turnout. NPR

- First pick. In the WNBA draft on Friday, Oregon's Sabrina Ionescu—the standout of this year's college basketball season—was the first pick, as expected; she went to the New York Liberty. The draft also included honorary picks for the late Gianna Bryant and her teammates, Alyssa Altobelli and Payton Chester. ESPN

- Inside voices. Think childcare during a pandemic is tough in the U.S.? In Spain, children aren't allowed outside—at all. The country is considering relaxing the strict rules. NPR

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Joy Driscoll Durling, CIO and digital enablement officer of Vivint Smart Home, joined Domo's board of directors. 


- Shoot for the moon. If you're at all interested in women and space, you've got to check out this series. The package covers everything from the women who could be the first to walk on Mars to the new spacesuit that wasn't quite designed for women to the female-dominated NASA jobsMarie Claire

- The original coronavirus discovery. In 1964, June Almeida looked into her microscope and found what would soon be known as "coronaviruses." She's finally getting her scientific due: National Geographic

- The risk of mikvah. Synagogues are closed and Passover seders took place over Zoom, but one tenet of Orthodox Jewish life remains in place: the mikvah, or the ritual bath Orthodox women must take after their periods before getting physically close to their partners again. Women are scared of the potential for coronavirus transmission in the shared pools, but don't see alternatives—besides physically separating from their husbands indefinitely. The Atlantic

- Dress for climate success. Greta Thunberg, fashion icon? Even though the climate activist discourages buying more than you need, children's brands are now selling clothes inspired by Thunberg's yellow raincoat or even her own image. The real way to dress like Greta, though, is to buy secondhand. Washington Post


How Erykah Badu created her own livestream company for ‘Quarantine Concert Series’ Variety

It’s time for the hospitality industry to listen to black women Eater

Patti LuPone, live from her basement The New Yorker

Allow Fiona Apple to reintroduce herself Vulture


"I’m not trying to take away anyone’s diaper delivery, but no corporation is above the law.”

-Stacy Mitchell, co-director of the Institute of Local Self-Reliance, who advocates for stricter regulation of Amazon