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The Maya Angelou quarter is here. Where’s the Harriet Tubman $20?

January 12, 2022, 2:17 PM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! WNBA players want to expand the league, women’s participation in the labor force is bouncing back, and the Maya Angelou quarter is here. Have a wonderful Wednesday.

– Got a quarter? I will admit that I’ve become one of those annoying never-has-cash people. And coins? Forget it. But the latest from the U.S. Mint has me breaking out my old change purse: the Maya Angelou quarter.

The author, poet, and activist is the first Black woman to appear on the coin, part of a program that will also honor, according to the Wall Street Journal, “Dr. Sally Ride, the first woman astronaut; Wilma Mankiller, the first female principal chief of the Cherokee Nation; Anna May Wong, Hollywood’s first Chinese American film star; and Nina Otero-Warren, a New Mexico suffrage movement leader.”

Angelou will be first; coins featuring this fittingly poetic design started shipping to U.S. banks yesterday:

The new Maya Angelou American Women quarter—the first of its kind.
U.S. Mint

Not to be a downer, but I will say this lovely news made me think about the fate of the Harriet Tubman $20 bill, which, after much fanfare during the Obama administration, has gone MIA. To be more specific: in 2016, the Treasury Dept. announced that the legendary abolitionist would replace slave-owning and otherwise problematic President Andrew Jackson. The plan went cold during the Trump years and, though President Biden has embraced it, there’s no clear timeline about when the bill might actually go into circulation.

Why is the process so painfully slow? Depends on who you ask. From bureaucratic disfunction, to essential safeguards against counterfeiting, to the simultaneous need to make other changes, such as adding tactile features so blind people can identify bills, the list of explanations offered is long and complex.

Of course, there are some who say the problem is far simpler. As Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) told the Washington Post : “If we can put a helicopter on Mars, we ought to be able to design a $20 bill in less than 20 years. It’s all about commitment.”  

Kristen Bellstrom

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


- Growth spurt. For the first time since the start of the pandemic, growth in labor force participation is higher for "prime working age" women than for men. In December, 75.9% of women ages 25 to 54 were participating in the workforce or looking for work, down just 1 percentage point from pre-pandemic levels. Bloomberg

- Bouncing new ideas. WNBA players are fighting for the league to expand—with more teams and bigger rosters—to create more open spots and opportunities for athletes. But league leadership says it doesn't have the resources to pursue that vision just yet. NYT

- Ad justice. A new report from the Center for Intimacy Justice found that at least 60 companies focused on women's health had their advertisements rejected by Facebook for promoting adult content. The disallowed ads promoted products and services including "a breastfeeding workshop, pants for postpartum comfort, and consent education." NYT

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Former NBCUniversal News Group chair Patricia Fili-Krushel joins the board of Reddit. Former Mastercard exec Deb Barta joins BlockFi as COO. Valerie Capers Workman is leaving her role as VP, people at Tesla to join Handshake as chief legal officer.


- Burnout differences. Does burnout look different depending on your gender? In men, equating self-worth with earning capabilities can contribute to burnout at work. At home, working a "gender-typed" role like that of parent can lead to faster burnout in men, researchers found. NYT

- Terms and conditions. Would term limits help more women gain positions of power in politics? Term limits–which Gov. Kathy Hochul recently expressed her support for in New York—can incentivize more women to run for office. The 19th

- Popular proposal? The Biden administration's expanded child tax credit expired last month and efforts to revive it have stalled. Even though the tax credit paid parents $300 per month for each child under 6, it was less popular than proposals to lower prescription drug costs and expand Medicare, according to polling. Analysts in part blame low support among older Americans; initiatives that support Americans throughout all stages of life tend to be more popular. NYT


The perpetual rage of motherhood The Cut

Lindsey Vonn: The world deemed me 'dramatic' for my injuries. A man would've been called resilient Time

Your guide to the sad moms of Oscar season Vulture


"I didn’t know why she was my favorite. I couldn’t put my finger on it. She just was. I think that’s what a good teacher does."

-Quinta Brunson on the teacher who inspired her new ABC comedy Abbott Elementary

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