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Fortune is adding a new dimension to its Most Powerful Women list

August 5, 2020, 12:41 PM UTC
FORTUNE Most Powerful Women Summit 2019
FORTUNE Most Powerful Women Summit 2019 October 23rd, 2019 Washington, BEHIND THE MODERN MILITARY—JETS, ROCKETS AND AUTONOMOUS TECH Marillyn Hewson, Chairman, President, and CEO, Lockheed Martin Photograph by Stuart Isett for Fortune
Photograph by Stuart Isett for Fortune

This is the web version of The Broadsheet, a daily newsletter for and about the world’s most powerful women. Sign up to get it delivered free to your inbox.

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Cori Bush has an AOC moment, Rihanna talks Fenty Skin, and Fortune is shaking up its MPW lists. Have a wonderful Wednesday.

– A list fit for 2020. For more than 20 years, Fortune has compiled its Most Powerful Women lists to highlight the world’s leading female executives and call attention to their contributions to the business community.

To determine the two rankings—one of U.S.-based executives and one of executives based outside the U.S.Fortune editors have long leaned on four criteria: the size and importance of the woman’s business in the global economy, the health and direction of the business, the arc of the woman’s career, and her social and cultural influence.

But a year like 2020 requires a shake-up. This year Fortune is adding a new factor to our original four: how an executive wields her power to shape her company and the wider world for the better. Did she introduce hazard pay for frontline employees during the pandemic? Has she instituted gender/racial pay parity? Or maybe she’s measurably reduced the company’s carbon footprint?

The coronavirus pandemic and the world’s reckoning with racism have demanded that leaders act in ways that don’t always show up on an earnings report; in fact, they’ve demanded that, at times, earnings take a back seat. Fortune is eager to consider leaders who’ve met this extraordinary moment as we determine what it means, right now, to be a powerful woman in business.

As we embark on this project, we urge you to help. Here you will find a form where you can nominate female executives at for-profit, private sector businesses who merit consideration. The deadline is Aug. 24.

We look forward to receiving your suggestions and sharing the 2020 MPW lists with you in the November issue, appearing online in October.

Claire Zillman

Today’s Broadsheet was curated by Emma Hinchliffe


- Upset city. In Missouri's primary on Tuesday, nurse and Black Lives Matter activist Cori Bush ousted Rep. William Lacy Clay in another stunning upset of the Democratic establishment. Meanwhile, Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib holds an early lead against her Democratic primary challenger Brenda Jones, but final results aren't expected until later today. In New York, longtime Rep. Carolyn Maloney held onto her Democratic nomination in results determined six weeks after the state's primary.  

- Creative juices. Fast Company's new list of this year's most creative people in business features a cover devoted to Joy Buolamwini, founder of the Algorithmic Justice League, who has fought against the dangers of unregulated facial recognition in Big Tech. Other listees include Monica Lewinsky, Mozilla chief innovation officer Katharina Borchert, WNBA star and president of the players' association Nneka Ogwumike, and more. Fast Company

- Stepping forward. In the 1990s, Lee Eun Kyung was on the panel of judges that oversaw South Korea's first-ever sexual harassment case, argued by Park Won-soon, the mayor of Seoul who died by suicide last month after he was accused of sexual harassment. Now Lee, a longtime advocate for women's rights, is speaking out about the case against Park: "It’s risky for me to speak publicly to the press about this issue, but I wanted to talk. I wanted to give power to the victim in the small way that I can," she says. Time

- Skin in the game. In a new Harper's Bazaar cover story, Rihanna talks about developing Fenty Skin, the new skincare line she launched in July to complement Fenty Beauty. "It takes a long time," she says of what's different about skincare compared to makeup. Harper's Bazaar

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Oxiris Barbot resigned as New York City health commissioner, reportedly citing her "deep disappointment" in Mayor Bill de Blasio's handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Amy O'Keefe, CFO of Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare, joins WW International in the same role. Christina Smedley, most recently VP, brand and marketing for Facebook's digital wallet Novi, joins Robinhood as CMO. Glassdoor promoted Bhawna Singh to chief technology officer and SVP of engineering; Samantha Zupan to SVP of corporate communications; and Amanda Runner to SVP of marketing. Quantcast added American Advertising Federation COO Constance Cannon Frazier to its board of directors. Affiliated Managers Group added Tracy A. Atkinson, a retired State Street executive, to its board. Joanne Phoenix joined Glyconics' board of directors. Kite Pharma's Bethany Dudek joins Arcutis Biotherapeutics as VP of quality. VoteAmerica named Aisha McClendon national constituencies director. 


- Good sports. Brown University is facing pressure over its recent decision to demote five women's sports from varsity to club status. A Rhode Island judge ordered the school to submit all related documentation as civil rights groups question whether the university violated agreements related to gender equity in sports. Bloomberg

- #GymnastAlliance. Gymnasts around the world have started using the hashtag #GymnastAlliance to share their own experiences of abuse and toxic environments following the release of Athlete A, the Netflix documentary about USA Gymnastics. New York Times

- Lessons from Milwaukee. Jeanette Kowalik is Milwaukee's health commissioner—and her city declared racism a public health crisis in the city a year ago, long before the current burst of wider attention to issues of racial equity. Kowalik is now responding to the pandemic and her other priorities, including making Milwaukee a more livable city for Black women. CityLab


How white nationalists weaponize motherhood The Cut

Can you breastfeed after being teargassed? Slate

The calm voice asking thorny questions in Death, Sex & Money New York Times


"Because I finished it."

-Twilight author Stephenie Meyer on why she decided to publish Midnight Sun, the first Twilight novel in a decade