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September 27, 2021

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! Rep. Karen Bass may run for mayor of L.A., Anita Hill and Christine Blasey Ford chat for a new podcast, and it’s the end of an era in Germany. Have a great Monday.


– End of an era. Before Germany went to the polls this weekend, at least one outcome was certain: this election would mark the end of Angela Merkel’s 16 years as chancellor.


For many German voters—especially young voters who don’t remember a time before Merkel—this election was the among the biggest of their lives. In the Sunday vote, the Social Democratic Party squeaked out a narrow victory over Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, signaling a demand for at least some change.


Handing over control to another party isn’t the outcome Merkel wanted as she left office, but, given recent polling, it’s not surprising. At one point, Merkel had a carefully-considered succession plan, but that strategy blew up in 2020 when CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer resigned amid a political scandal. Since then, Merkel’s involvement in the race for her job has been less hands-on; she only hit the campaign trail with CDU candidate Armin Laschet in the week before Germans went to the polls.


There are a few factors at play in these results, including voter fatigue after 16 years of Merkel and CDU leadership. Over the past few weeks, article after article has examined Merkel’s legacy—including areas in which her decade-and-a-half in office hasn’t moved the needle for women. There are the persistent gender gaps in German boardrooms, the realities of German workplaces still unfriendly to working mothers, and a national political landscape that doesn’t look that different for women than it did when Merkel first rose to national office.


But zoom out to the global level, and Merkel’s impact is clearer. For almost two decades, the chancellor was the most visible and powerful female world leader on the planet. Merkel’s leadership may not have led to full gender equity in German politics or business, but that would have been a tall order for any one politician. Instead, as Merkel leaves office, she’s no longer the only woman at the global table. And that counts for something.


Emma Hinchliffe
emma.hinchliffe@fortune.com
@_emmahinchliffe


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


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ALSO IN THE HEADLINES


- California, here she comes. Rep. Karen Bass, the Democratic congresswoman, is reportedly planning to run for mayor of Los Angeles. L.A. progressives have urged Bass to run in the 2022 election that will decide who leads the U.S.'s second-largest city. Politico


- A better Broadway. The first Tony Awards in more than two years reflected on Broadway's resilience throughout the pandemic, but attendees also demanded that the industry pursue racial equity. Host Audra McDonald urged Broadway to “commit to the change that will bring more awareness, action and accountability to make our theatrical industry more inclusive and equitable for all.” And in her acceptance speech, Adrienne Warren, who won for her portrayal of the title character in Tina: The Tina Turner Musical said, “The world has been screaming for us to change." New York Times


- Listen up. Need a new podcast to listen to? The four-part series Because of Anita features a rare recorded conversation between Anita Hill and Christine Blasey Ford. The duo, both of whom testified about sexual harassment or assault as part of a Supreme Court confirmation hearing, reflect on their membership in the "club of two" they never asked to join. Washington Post


- 'Salomon Sisters.' Independence Point Advisors is a new bank on Wall Street, but the project is also known by its code name "Salomon Sisters." Anne Clarke Wolff, formerly of Bank of America, is leading the bank that will be owned and managed by women and people of color. Bloomberg


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT


- World stage. As the UN General Assembly comes to a close today, the presence of female leaders remains small—but has improved. That's in part because there are three more female world leaders in 2021 than there were this time last year. Bangladesh's Sheikh Hasina, New Zealand's Jacinda Arden, and Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid were among this year's speakers. Fortune


- Calling for care. In an op-ed for Fortune, Sen. Tammy Duckworth and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo argue that Congress must pass the Biden administration's Better Care Better Jobs Act, which includes historic investment in Medicaid home and community based services. That program is the "backbone" of the U.S. care economy, the politicians say. Fortune


- Stock up. There's still a major gender gap in stock options, a survey for the WSJ finds. Twenty-four percent of male employees hold stock options compared to 17% of female workers, but the bigger gap is in the value of that equity; men's averages $104,902 to women's $26,361. WSJ


ON MY RADAR


This is the year we pass paid leave New York Magazine


The surveillance apparatus that surrounded Britney Spears New York Times


Why pregnant people are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine boosters Fortune



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PARTING WORDS


"Almost all of them have the same story I have, which is someone else saw it in them before they saw it in themselves."


-Dick's Sporting Goods CEO Lauren Hobart on how female CEOs view themselves


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