Why it’s not a bad sign that companies aren’t talking about Black Lives Matter anymore

August 24, 2020, 12:33 PM UTC

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Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Greta Thunberg meets with Angela Merkel, AOC shares her beauty routine, and Frances Frei knows how to turn around corporate America. Have a productive Monday.

– Next steps. If you have a problematic corporate culture on your hands, call Frances Frei.

The Harvard academic is best known for being brought in to turn around Uber’s company culture in 2017; now, with businesses nationwide eager to examine where they have fallen short in supporting their Black employees, her expertise is more in demand than ever.

I spoke to Frei earlier this month about what companies should be doing right now to follow through on the bold promises many made in June. I wanted to know if it was worrying to her that companies’ contributions to public discussion about Black Lives Matter have drastically quieted in the past two months.

Frei says that being quiet can actually be a good sign. One of the first steps for any organization reckoning with its culture is “standing, walking, and talking,” she says—a stage that includes the kind of societal conversations corporations engaged in earlier this year. The next step, says Frei, is to take action internally. “I don’t mind if they’re not talking as long as they’re busy at work improving things,” she said in answer to my question. “If less talking means they’ve graduated to this third phase of justice, I consider it progress.”

But, of course, there’s a caveat: Progress should be visible very soon. If it’s not, that’s when public pressure comes back into play. “Meaningful change,” she says, “happens quickly.”

Read the rest of our interview—and Frei’s guidance for how companies should support working mothers (hint: stop having so many meetings!)—here.

Also, a bit of housekeeping: We’re in the final days of accepting nominations to Fortune‘s Most Powerful Women in Business list. Use this form to apply or submit candidate by the end of the week.

Emma Hinchliffe


- 'Less drama.' Kellyanne Conway, an advisor to President Donald Trump, says she will leave the White House at the end of the month. Conway's husband George, a lawyer and Trump critic, will also step back from his role at The Lincoln Project, a group of Republicans dedicated to defeating Trump. Conway cited her four children and the challenges of at-home learning in explaining her departure. "For now, and for my beloved children, it will be less drama, more mama," she said. Washington Post

- Meetup. Greta Thunberg and fellow youth activists Luisa Neubauer, Anuna de Wever van der Heyden, and Adélaïde Charlier met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week to push for action on climate change in Europe (Germany right now holds the rotating EU presidency). "It feels good, I would say," Thunberg said after the 90-minute meeting. Associated Press

- Sibling dynamics. Maryanne Trump Barry, the former federal judge and sister of President Trump, was secretly recorded by her niece Mary Trump (author of Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created The World’s Most Dangerous Man), saying that her brother "has no principles." In response to the recordings, the President said, "Every day it’s something else, who cares." Barry didn't respond to request for comment. Washington Post

- Clock's Tik-ing. As TikTok says it will sue the Trump Administration over a ban, learn more about the woman running the shortform video app's U.S. operation. Vanessa Pappas, former global head of creative insights for YouTube, remembers the first TikTok she ever saw ("a man wearing a cardboard box, scuttling around his apartment like a crab") and is now tasked with keeping up with the lightning-speed paces of both the platform and regulation surrounding it. Marie Claire


- Medical emergency. A new study tracking 1.8 million hospital childbirths over more than two decades finds that Black newborns are three times more likely than white newborns to die when cared for by white physicians; when they're cared for by Black doctors, Black babies are far more likely to survive. Fortune's Maria Aspan has more details here: Fortune

- The protesting cycle. Now that it's been a few months since protests over George Floyd's death began, some women who regularly protested and encountered tear gas report experiencing troubling symptoms related to their menstrual cycles. Shorter- or longer-than usual period, extreme cramps—"we have the same uterus-type things going on," one protester says. Marie Claire

- Kagan court. When conservative justices sided with liberals on recent Supreme Court decisions, unhappy conservatives blamed Justice Elena Kagan. The "silent strategic genius" behind the "Kagan court" is adept at working with those she disagrees with—whether you view that as a good thing or not. Bloomberg


Lori Loughlin gets two months in prison after judge accepts plea deal in college bribery scandal Fortune

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on self-love, fighting the power, and her signature red lip Vogue

Reading Elena Ferrante in English? You’re also reading Ann Goldstein New York Times


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