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Anita Hill on Uber whistleblower Susan Fowler: She set the stage for #MeToo

February 18, 2022, 1:30 PM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Figure skating is tough on its young competitors, Twitter’s CEO takes parental leave, and Anita Hill is honoring the fifth anniversary of #MeToo. The Broadsheet will be off on Monday for Presidents’ Day in the U.S.—see you back here on Tuesday.

– Anniversary to remember. As we noted last week, 2022 will mark the fifth anniversary of the #MeToo movement. Time flies, huh?

In honor of the occasion, Anita Hill will author a series of op-eds for Fortune. Her first one is out this morning and its an homage to Susan Fowler who, in February 2017, was thrown into the public eye after detailing the rampant misogyny and harassment she faced at Uber.

Fowler (who now goes by Susan Rigetti) set the stage for the #MeToo reckoning that would come eight months later. Now, Hill argues, “we should credit Fowler for showing employers how to respond to sexual harassment complaints.” Coming from Hill—who testified before Congress about workplace sexual harassment three decades ago—that’s high praise. The law professor elaborates in her op-ed:

The Uber Blog offered companies three frames of reference for progress that remain salient: Clean up contaminated cultures; fix broken structures; and empower workers, victims, and bystanders. Fowler revealed how leaders, especially those in management who engaged in or ignored sexual harassment in their organization, shape culture. Second, she detailed how the lack of standards and transparency in human resource offices’ sexual harassment procedures failed victims miserably. And, finally, she exposed work colleagues’ complicity in bad behavior, and the role of bystanders who saw no option other than to go along with workplace harassment.

Hill has led the Hollywood Commission, an effort to stamp out sexual harassment in the entertainment industry, since 2017. But without the public unmasking that first took place in the tech industry—starting, in many ways, with Fowler—Hollywood may not have been as poised to take action, she says.

Read Hill’s full op-ed here. And be on the lookout for the rest of her pieces in the months to come—I know I will be.

Emma Hinchliffe
emma.hinchliffe@fortune.com
@_emmahinchliffe

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ALSO IN THE HEADLINES

- Skating scrutiny. Kamila Valieva, the 15-year-old Russian figure skater under scrutiny for a positive doping test, faltered during her free skate. Her teammates, Anna Shcherbakova and Alexandra Trusova, won gold and silver. But Trusova broke down after earning silver; she was heard saying, "I hate this sport." Some are now taking a closer look at the trio's coach, Eteri Tutberidze, and her methods.

- Leave it. Twitter’s new CEO, Parag Agrawal, is drawing praise for taking paternity leave. Paid leave advocates hope his decision will encourage other fathers to do the same and normalize parental leave for parents of all genders. Agrawal's leave is relatively short though, at "a few weeks." Guardian

- Drug safety. Businessweek's latest cover story examines the future of the abortion pill mifepristone. The drug could provide a more accessible pathway to terminating pregnancy if Roe v. Wade is overturned. But in the two decades since mifepristone's FDA approval, it's faced a maze of regulatory challenges despite being "safer than Tylenol." Bloomberg

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Kelly Grier won't stay for another term as EY U.S. chair and managing partner and will retire from the consulting firm after 30 years; her successor in June will be Julie Boland, who has been U.S.-central region vice chair. The Riveter is relaunching its coworking business, bringing back founder Amy Nelson as co-CEO alongside former VP of operations Heather Carter

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

- Golden bear. Women won big at the Berlin Film Festival, where two of three best film awards went to movies from female directors. A female director won the best director prize and both acting awards went to women, after the acting-categories went gender-neutral last year. Claire Denis won best director for Fire (Or Both Sides of the Blade), and Alcarràs by Carla Simón took home other major awards. Guardian

- Underdog to frontrunner. Kathy Hochul stepped into the job of New York governor following ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo's scandal. Since then, she's gone from emergency appointee to the clear frontrunner in the state's next gubernatorial election. She now has the state Democratic Party's official endorsement in the race. New York Times

- Pachinko goes Hollywood. The TV adaptation of the novel Pachinko is set to air on Apple TV+ next month. In a new interview, author Min Jin Lee discusses her extensive research process and hints at some turmoil behind the scenes (she is no longer associated with the series.) "Hollywood is like this beautiful fantasy," she says. The New Yorker

ON MY RADAR

Toni Morrison called her only short story an 'experiment.' But it's no game L.A. Times

Why Republicans stalled Sarah Bloom Raskin’s bid for top Fed post Wall Street Journal

Pose is over, but Michaela Jaé Rodriguez is just getting started Vanity Fair

PARTING WORDS

"Because of the letter, I felt heard and like I mattered for the first time in my life!"

-Britney Spears, on being invited to discuss her conservatorship experience in Congress.

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