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Indra Nooyi, Symone Sanders, and Dylan Farrow share career—and life—advice

June 24, 2021, 12:26 PM UTC

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Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Britney Spears speaks out against her conservatorship, a Japanese couple challenges a law requiring them to have the same family name, and MPW Next Gen heads into Day 2. Have a wonderful Thursday.

– Top tips. Fortune‘s Most Powerful Women Next Gen Summit kicked off yesterday with a powerful—and eclectic—lineup of speakers. One thing they had in common? They all gave great advice.

First, we heard from former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi. She shared with Fortune‘s Beth Kowitt some of the most practical career advice I’ve ever heard: “Understand the politics in the organization, but don’t play the politics of the organization.” That’s certainly a tip anyone in a tricky work situation can keep in their back pocket.

Next up, we were joined by Symone Sanders, the political strategist and spokesperson for Vice President Kamala Harris. Sanders offered some advice the veep has shared with her:

“Young women are often made to feel like they have to be focused on the next thing,” Sanders recalled hearing Harris say. “Focus on the thing in front of you right now. Do that thing extremely well, and the next opportunity will come to you.”

And finally, we closed out the day with Dylan Farrow, the author and activist who recently examined her allegations of child sexual abuse against her adoptive father, Woody Allen, in the HBO docuseries Allen v. Farrow. (Allen has denied those allegations.) An audience member asked the now 35-year-old Farrow what her advice would be to her younger self—whether that was who she was as a child, a teen, or a young adult.

“I feel like I have a bunch of younger selves,” Farrow said. “Looking back on my life, I was very focused on what people think of me and that sort of drove me to not be as authentic in myself, in my skin, and in my life as I would have liked to have been.”

“I would encourage my younger self to be brazenly authentic,” Farrow said.

Thanks to all our speakers for such great advice. Next Gen continues today with entrepreneur Bobbi Brown, model and author Emily Ratajkowski, WNBA player-turned-owner Renee Montgomery, and more.

Emma Hinchliffe

The Broadsheet, Fortune’s newsletter for and about the world’s most powerful women, is coauthored by Kristen Bellstrom, Emma Hinchliffe, and Claire Zillman. Today’s edition was curated by Emma Hinchliffe


- Cameo queen. Also on the Next Gen stage, Fran Drescher, The Nanny actor and cancer non-profit president, shared how social media platforms like Cameo have expanded the reach of her brand. "It's making...the accessibility of the celebrity something that really translates into monetary success, and the advancement of raising consciousness too,” she said. She also shared her dream Cameo picks (dead or alive): Brad Pitt and Eleanor Roosevelt. Quite the pairing! Fortune

- Facebook vs. Apple. In her Next Gen interview, Fidji Simo, head of Facebook's app, took a swing at Apple over the tech giant's cut of in-app purchases. "We fundamentally think that other platforms that take very large revenue share are hurting that economy," she said, referring to app creators. Fortune

- Competitive advantage. At Next Gen, leaders from Wondery, Chipotle, and Crooked Media all weighed in on how leaders can best adapt to seismic shifts like the pandemic. “Don’t be a deer in headlights when you hit these moments, especially if you’re a company that’s nimble and can switch gears quickly,” said Jennifer Sargent, CEO of Wondery. “It’s a great time to gain market share and get ahead of competitors.”

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: U.S. President Joe Biden is set to nominate Cindy McCain, widow of Sen. John McCain (R–Ariz.), as ambassador to the UN's food and agriculture program. Self-driving car company Embark Trucks named former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to its board. Robin Sparkman, founding CEO of StoryCorps, is the new president and co-CEO of ProPublica. 


- Britney speaks. Britney Spears testified before the judge who oversees her conservatorship yesterday, sharing that she feels in shock, traumatized, and just "want[s her] life back." The singer shared some troubling details, including that she currently has an IUD in place, but wants to get it removed to try to have a third child—but that her conservators won't allow her to do so. Variety

- Seeking blind spots. BackingMinds, a Swedish fund led by Sara Wimmercranz and Susanne Najafi, has raised $60 million for its second fund. (Its first VC fund in Sweden has paper returns of 500%.) The founders' aim is to "look for the blind spots of venture capital [and] find these arbitrages," Wimmercranz says. Financial Times

- Same name. Japan's Supreme Court rejected a challenge to a 19th Century-law that requires married couples to share the same family name. Critics say the system promotes gender bias. “It’s incomprehensible that this is constitutional,” said Fujiko Sakakibara, a lawyer representing the couples that filed suit. Japan's conservative ruling party, including Gender Equality Minister Tamayo Marukawa, have backed the law, arguing that it supports family unity. Bloomberg


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Why Helen Hunt wasn’t initially mad about ‘Mad About You’ Wall Street Journal

Formula 1’s future is an all-women’s series Wall Street Journal


"Right now feels a bit like that moment after you’ve had a baby, and you can’t remember what you wore before you were pregnant."

- Fashion designer Victoria Beckham, whose line is reducing dress prices by 40% as it switches to simpler silhouettes.

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