Fortune 500 Boards, Taiwan Same-Sex Marriage, Nike Pregnancy: Broadsheet May 20

Emma Hinchliffe
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Endeavor IPO, Disney Georgia, Abigail Spanberger: Broadsheet May 30

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Emma Hinchliffe here today. Nike will stop docking pay for pregnant athletes, Taiwan legalizes same-sex marriage under President Tsai Ing-wen, and some Fortune 500 companies have cleared the 50/50 hurdle on their boards. Have a mindful Monday.


    50/50 on the 500. When last year’s Fortune 500 came out, Claire covered the 12 companies on the list that at the time still had zero women on their boards (a problem that hasn’t disappeared—see today’s Movers and Shakers).

    This time around, we looked at the companies on the other end of the spectrum: those with a true 50/50 gender split on their boards—and the rare few where women actually outnumber men as directors.

    Five companies—Ascena Retail Group, Best Buy, Navient, Williams-Sonoma, and Ulta Beauty—are at 50/50. Another five—Bed, Bath & Beyond, Casey’s General Stores, Viacom, CBS, and Omnicom Group—have more women than men in directorships.

    Board watchers started monitoring this phenomenon after GM announced some changes to the ranks of its directors—retirements, not appointments—that would soon leave the company’s board with more women than men. Those changes haven’t taken effect yet, so we can’t yet count GM as part of the above group, but when they do it will be a first for the auto industry.

    Keep in mind, the companies that have achieved 50/50 or better are 10 out of 500. And some of these companies have a #MeToo overhaul (CBS) or a battle with activist investors (Bed, Bath & Beyond) to thank for their gender-diverse slates of directors.

    But despite the more than three-dozen companies that still have zero or one woman on their boards, there are another two-dozen above the 40% mark—ones to watch. Fortune Emma Hinchliffe @_emmahinchliffe


    World news roundup. Angela Merkel is facing pressure from her Christian Democrats successor Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer to resign as German chancellor after this month’s elections for the European parliament. Controversial former Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner will run as vice president this year. The #MeToo movement hasn’t lived up to women’s hopes in France. And Taiwan became the first place in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage, part of President Tsai Ing-wen’s 2016 campaign platform.

    Just do it. After athletes including runner Alysia Montaño spoke out last week about losing sponsorship pay after becoming pregnant, Nike says it will adjust the language in its contracts to protect athletes’ pay during pregnancy. Wall Street Journal

    They’ve got plans for that. As anti-abortion legislation moves forward, Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand both released plans to fight it. Both proposals include the codification of Roe v. Wade into federal law; for Gillibrand, fighting these laws is, in part, a turnaround strategy for her campaign, which is struggling to attract donors.

    Mother for office in Miami. Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, is running for office in Florida, on the Miami-Dade County Commission. Since her son’s death, Fulton has been an anti-gun activist; she’ll join fellow Mothers of the Movement Rep. Lucy McBath and mother of Michael Brown Lesley McSpadden, who ran for office in Ferguson, Missouri, in pursuing elected office. The Hill

    MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Katherine Blair joined the board of directors at Skechers—the first woman on the brand’s board. Former MetLife chief communications officer Jeanmarie McFadden joined Brunswick Group as partner.


    Mills in Maine. Maine Governor Janet Mills signed into law a first-of-its kind bill last week; Maine will be the first state to ban the use of Native American mascots in all public schools, colleges, and universities. Penobscot Nation tribal ambassador Maulian Dana spearheaded the push for the legislation. Washington Post

    Uh-oh, uBiome. We’ve covered the ups and downs of uBiome over the past few weeks, but it just got more dramatic. Former co-CEO Jessica Richman (who recently resigned) reportedly lied about her age to appear on lists of younger founders; she’s now 45. Richman and her co-CEO Zachary Apte were in a relationship that employees were encouraged not to discuss publicly. And the company tried to pass off smiley stock photos as happy customers. Business Insider

    #MeToo in motivation. A yearlong investigation of motivational speaker Tony Robbins reveals how he berated abuse victims and “subjected his followers to unorthodox and potentially dangerous techniques;” former staffers and fans have accused him of inappropriate sexual advances. BuzzFeed

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