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Broad Strokes for September 23, 2016: Talking Gender Again at the UN & Breaking Up Brangelina

September 23, 2016 00:00 AM UTC
- Updated May 12, 2020 16:27 PM UTC

We're talking about Brangelina's breakup and how it's being covered and the latest gender initiatives to hit the UN. Tune in!

Transcript
[MUSIC PLAYING] Welcome to Broad Strokes, Fortune's weekly show where we talk about the news that matters to women. We have a ton to get through this week. And obviously, first up on the docket is Brad and Angelina. Unless you didn't go on the internet or talk to anyone else, you know that Angelina Jolie filed for divorce from Brad Pitt this week. This was huge news on the internet. But I do think it's worth looking at some of the sexism that's come out in the way the public has reacted and in some of the news coverage. Yeah, I think one of the really interesting kind of parts of this whole story is Jennifer Anniston. You saw so many Jennifer Anniston memes portraying her as really happy about the divorce, as if she got her revenge. And to me, this just seemed like super sexist. You're basically saying that this woman has nothing going on in her life besides her ex-husband, that she's spent the past 10 years of her life pining over Brad Pitt. Jesus. [MUSIC PLAYING] There was a really interesting study released this week by Bain & Company and by LinkedIn. And this study basically looked at a lot of things. But to me, the most interesting part was this idea of endurance. Now, endurance is kind of like a fuzzy word. But what they basically mean is how likely an executive was to feel satisfied at work, to feel like their hard work was worth it, that they feel successful day in and day out and they want to keep striving for success. What I found really surprising was that even at the most senior levels, women had far less endurance than men, that basically women are saying, this kind of wasn't really worth my time. The speculation about why that might be true, some of that really rang true for me. I mean one thing that they asked also in the study is about stress levels. But they specifically asked, is the stress hurting your life outside of work? And women were more likely to say yes. And there's also this idea of vertical and horizontal ambition. For a lot of women, what really motivates them is not necessarily power or prestige or money, which is oftentimes what you get when you get to the top. A lot of these women are much more motivated by making an impact or doing something for the greater good. And so maybe they see that once they get to the top, they're not really making as much of an impact that they want to. [MUSIC PLAYING] So if you were in New York this week, you knew that we were totally gridlocked out, which is a sure sign that the UN General Assembly was in town and also the Clinton Global Initiative. Every time there are these big international gatherings, we get announcements about women. And this time, we did. We got announcements from companies, from nonprofits, basically pledging to bring more women in and running through a bunch of different programs that they're planning to unroll. It's amazing that these companies, these nations, these institutions are focusing so much on women. But you know sometimes it feels like it's just a flurry of announcements. But then at the end of the day, when you look back two, three months from now, you kind of wonder what actually happened and whether anyone actually moved the needle. Yeah, I'd like to see more reports, like the one that came out this week from UN HeForShe that was basically sort of like a report card saying, last year all of these universities said that they were going to accomplish all these goals. This year, they're saying here's where we are now. And we're going to keep doing these reports so you're going to know how close they are to meeting their goals. I think transparency is really key here and it's a much kind of easier thing to grasp than dollars spent. I think Coca-Cola is actually doing a really good job of this. Five years ago CEO Muhtar Kent basically said, we want to empower five million women entrepreneurs by 2020. It's really clear who you're targeting, what the deadline to reach your goal is. And so I think that's a really excellent approach. Unfortunately, that's all the time we have this week on Broad Strokes. Come back next Friday for another episode on Fortune.com. [MUSIC PLAYING]