Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Women candidates are flooding the Texas primaries, Kellyanne Conway gets an OSC reprimand, and is going pill-free just another side of the lifestyle trend coin? Have a wonderful Wednesday.
• Get that glamour work. Readers of this newsletter are probably familiar with the concept of “office housework,” which includes tasks like taking notes, reserving conference rooms, and ordering lunch. Unsurprisingly, women are usually the ones getting stuck with it. But spending time planning birthdays and getting her male colleagues coffee isn’t the only thing hurting the average woman in the workplace. She’s also significantly less likely to get assigned to “glamour work”—assignments that may get her noticed by senior leadership and can lead to a promotion.
HBR reports that white women were 20% less likely than white men to get assigned to glamour projects, while women of color were 35% less likely. For lawyers, the findings were similar: white women were 18% less likely and women of color were almost 30% less likely than white men to say they have equal opportunity to high-quality assignments.
How do managers fix the disparity? One way is to make the selection process more transparent. “Formalize the pool of employees with the requisite skills by writing it down. Establish a rotation of plum assignments with the pool…Some companies have instituted formal systems where an ‘assignments czar’ is in charge of doling them out, monitoring peoples’ workloads, and making sure employees are getting equal opportunities.”
While some managers may argue that certain assignments can or should be given to high-performers, that argument is a weak one (if only two people at a company can handle a challenging assignment, that’s a major problem). A better approach is to invest time in getting others up to speed—or to “reframe the assignment, breaking it into smaller pieces that other people can work on.” Doing so will help women share the spotlight and bring in diversity of thought—which we all know can make a final product that much stronger.
Harvard Business Review
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Starting off strong. A record number of women are seeking public office in Texas, which kicked off primary season yesterday. Fifty women are running for congressional seats across the state (half won their primaries outright or advanced to runoffs yesterday). About 110 are seeking local office. This is particularly notable in a state where only three female representatives are in the House (out of 36).
• Billionaire broads. According to Forbes’ annual World’s Billionaire rankings, released yesterday, the share of women on the list has hit an all-time high of…12%. Only two women are in the top 20, but none have reached a top ten spot. Walmart heir Alice Walton, at number 16, is the richest woman in the world.
• Oh, Kellyanne. The Office of Special Counsel (OSC), an independent government investigative agency, found that Kellyanne Conway twice violated the Hatch Act, a federal law prohibiting government employees from engaging in political activities. In a letter to President Donald Trump, the OSC referred her violations for the President’s “consideration of appropriate disciplinary action.” Her offense? “Advocating for and against candidates” in last year’s Alabama Senate special election.
• Stormy files suit. Adult film star Stormy Daniels, who alleges that she had an extramarital affair with Donald Trump, filed a lawsuit against the president Tuesday, alleging that he never signed the NDA that his lawyer, Michael Cohen, had arranged with her. Daniels also alleges that Cohen continues to bully her into staying quiet. Says the suit: “On or about February 27, 2018, Mr. Trump’s attorney Mr. Cohen surreptitiously initiated a bogus arbitration proceeding against Ms. Clifford in Los Angeles.”
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Nancy Gibbs, former top editor of Time, will be a visiting member of the faculty at Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy. Tina Tchen, a co-founder of Time’s Up and chief of staff to former First Lady Michelle Obama, will helm the Recording Academy’s task force on gender bias in the music industry. Deborah Wahl is joining GM as CMO of Cadillac.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Money to mother. Kimberly Seals Allers calls attention to how the conversation about paid leave in the U.S. leaves out women of color: “White women are calling for time to mother, but black women still need money to mother,” she writes, pointing out that the pay gap between white women and black women is the fastest growing income inequality there is, according to a report by the Economic Policy Institute. (Today, black women earn 19% less than white women, according to that report.)
• Being sexist costs you. A man who verbally abused a female police officer has become the first person to be convicted in Belgium under a new law that criminalizes sexism in public spaces, which took effect in 2014 after a documentary revealed the catcalls, wolf whistles, and jeering women in Brussels were experiencing on a daily basis. The man must pay a 3,000 euro fine or risk spending a month in prison.
• Pill-free living. This Quartz piece is an interesting take on using fertility apps in lieu of hormonal birth control: it’s a lifestyle goal. “In a culture obsessed with elimination as a form of aspiration—be it dairy, screen time, chemicals, or gluten—the fertility-tracking movement has inadvertently framed hormonal birth control as something to avoid.” But there’s potentially a downside to that message.
• Go Team Indigenous! I loved this multimedia NYT piece on Team Indigenous, one of the 38 all-female groups competing in the 2018 Roller Derby World Cup. The team includes 20 athletes from indigenous communities in Canada, the U.S., South America, New Zealand and elsewhere around the globe. They are “reclaiming” their space.
New York Times