Boss Betty Brief: Publicis buys industry’s largest independent woman-owned agency, Walmart sees a major exec departure & moreA roundup of the biggest female-powered news across major industries
GENERAL ASSEMBLY: ICYMI (we did, somehow), the NYT’s Sunday Review had a good Op-Ed on the the “gender judo” powerful women do in the workplace to be successful. The piece explains that “savvy women learn that they must often do a masculine thing (which establishes their competence) in a feminine way (to defuse backlash),” and rightly goes on to describe this as “revolting.” Why do we have to bend over backwards in heels and lipstick and the whole kit-and-caboodle to get the same response a man would just by going about his business? Well, maybe because that’s the way the world works, at the moment, but you have to do the personal math for yourself to determine if this course is the right one for you. “[S]ometimes what women need to do to survive and thrive in the world is exactly the opposite of what they need to do to change it,” the Op-Ed reads. What a choice [NYT]. One thing that we know improves the prospects of women in the workplace is more transparency when it comes to pay data. Companies with more than 100 employees have a Sept. 30 deadline to submit the most detailed reporting on pay ever required in the U.S. to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The data must be broken down by gender, race and ethnicity. How this will translate into action is the outstanding question [WSJ].
Here’s the BB breakdown of the biggest female-focused news by industry. Have news to share? Email us at email@example.com.
ADVERTISING & MEDIA: The woman-led agency Rauxa was just acquired by Publicis Groupe, which has been on an acquisition spree this year. Rauxa, led by founder Jill Gwaltney and CEO Gina Smith, was the ad industry’s largest independent woman-owned agency. The two will continue to helm the company, reporting to to the top execs at Publicis [AdWeek]. Ch-ch-changes: WPP’s VMLY&R named Jen McDonald chief client officer of North America and brought on Najla Haddad (formerly of Digitas North America) and Michelle Derderian (formerly of FCB) as executive directors of client engagement. McDonald, who’s been at VMLY&R for 11 years (she joined VML before its merger with Y&R), will continue to lead the firm’s Wendy’s account in her new capacity [AdAge]. Big job alert: Walmart is on the hunt for a new CMO and an SVP of retail marketing following the announcement that its current marketing chief, Barbara Messing, will step down Aug. 30 [AdAge]. Ogilvy-owned agency David named Sylvia Panico global chief operating officer. The agency has seen a high degree of churn in its executive ranks this year [AdWeek]. Condé Nast’s chief human resources officer, JoAnn Murray, is leaving at the end of the year amid a general reshuffling as the company continues to adjust to the changing media landscape [BoF]. The names of the 13 ViacomCBS board of directors were released and include seven women, including the board chair: from CBS, Candace Beinecke, Barbara Byrne, Linda Griego and Susan Schuman; from Viacom, Judith McHale and Nicole Seligman. And, of course, Shari Redstone will serve as chair of the board (referred to in numerous articles as chairman — nope) [Variety].
FINANCE: A decent proposal: In Europe, trade associations representing top banking and asset management firms are considering pushing proposals that would shorten the trading day in order to recruit more women to the sector. The two organizations involved — the Association for Financial Markets in Europe (banks) and the Investment Association (asset managers) — said the idea was in its early stages and they were planning to discuss the proposal with their members. The Investment Association expressed a “strong interest in culture across the investment management industry, from boardrooms to the trading floor, and how this can play a pivotal role in fostering good mental health and creating inclusive workplaces where employees can thrive” [Financial Times]. Bank of America poached star dealmaker Jean Greene from investment banking house Lazard. Greene, who is known in the industry in part for her work on the $100 billion merger between Anheuser-Busch InBev’s and SABMiller, will be a managing director at BoA [BI].
LAW: Nominees for Corporate Counsel and InsideCounsel‘s 2019 Women, Influence & Power in Law Awards are in — are you on the list? In the in-house category, Michelle Fang — chief legal counsel for ride-sharing company Turo — is the only nominee for general counsel of the year, and former MetLife general counsel Sheila Murphy is set to get a lifetime achievement award [Corporate Counsel]. Houston lawyer Michelle Acosta is furious that the San Antonio attorney she sued for allegedly grabbing her backside in the lobby of a courthouse was offered a plea deal. Allan Manka — who was Acosta’s opposing counsel at the time of the alleged incident — first pleaded not guilty but later took the deal, which includes a $400 fine and a $200 donation to a nonprofit [Corporate Counsel].
MANUFACTURING & RETAIL: Walmart’s CMO, Barbara Messing, will leave at the end of the month. She “has decided to leave Walmart and return to the Bay Area with her family,” according to an internal memo. Michael Francis, who previously led marketing for both Target and DreamWorks, will temporarily assume some of her duties [AdAge]. In other Walmart news, the massive retailer prevailed in a gender discrimination suit in a Florida federal court filed by former employees who alleged unequal pay and lack of parity in promotions. The judge said he’d seen hints of “something rotten” in Walmart’s corporate culture but that there wasn’t enough there to substantiate the workers’ legal claims [WWD]. Lumber Liquidators named Nancy Walsh, formerly of Pier 1 imports, its new CFO. It may take some time for Walsh to get the company on solid flooring (ha! ha?) as earlier this year Lumber Liquidators had to shell out $33 million in fines related to allegations that it had misled investors about dangerous elements in its laminate flooring and just last year had to pay $36 million to settle a related class-action suit [WSJ].
SCIENCE & HEALTHCARE: Alive, one of the oldest providers of hospice care in the U.S., appointed Kimberly Goessele as its president and CEO. Previously, Goessele was COO at 180 Health Partners, a Nashville nonprofit that provides healthcare to pregnant women struggling with mental health issues [Yahoo! Finance]. Gail Boudreaux’s Anthem is partnering with MaineHealth to create a join venture that will make Medicare Advantage insurance plans available to seniors in the state this fall [BusinessWire]. Unhealthy numbers: Two out of three women said they were not encouraged to pursue a career in STEM, according to a new survey by Emerson; 79 percent of respondents said that companies need to work harder to prep and train the STEM workforce [Industry Week].
If there’s no relevant news of note to share in a given sector, we skip it for the day. Did we miss something? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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