Women and Power: Live Updates From the New Rules Summit


Despite the rise of the #MeToo movement and gains by women in many aspects of society, women’s progress in many workplaces appears to have stalled.

Dozens of the most powerful and successful leaders across business, politics and culture are gathered at the New Rules Summit, an annual New York Times conference, which kicks off in full this morning in Brooklyn. They are exploring some of the challenges faced by women in the workplace and how to bring about change.

Anita Hill spoke with Jessica Bennett, The Times’s gender editor, about her life and work — and the impact that her 1991 testimony against Clarence Thomas, then a nominee to the Supreme Court, had on both.

Ms. Hill called for a greater recognition of gender-based violence in the political sphere, and stronger leadership on the issue. New rules require leaders to put them in place, she said.

To explain why women make 80 cents for every male dollar, why men are vastly overrepresented in executive positions and why female-led start-ups often struggle to secure funding, Sallie L. Krawcheck had one answer: society.

“We receive these messages that we’re flibbertigibbets when it comes to money,” said Ms. Krawcheck, the chief executive of Ellevest, a digital investment and planning platform for women.

The lessons take root at an early age, Ms. Krawcheck said in a conversation with the Times business reporter Sapna Maheshwari. Girls are usually taught to budget and to be careful with money. The lessons persist as women mature, enter the work force and earn.

The expectations are so different, Ms. Krawcheck said: “It’s like, ‘What financial type are you? Are you a Carrie or a Miranda?’”

Women needed to speak more openly about their financial goals and ambitions, said Stephanie Cohen, the chief strategy officer at Goldman Sachs. “When women pitch their business, they tend to talk about what they have achieved. And men tend to talk about the vision.” — Michael Gold

Here’s a rundown of some of the other speakers you can expect to hear from over the course of the day.

  • Valerie Jarrett and Sally Yates: Ms. Jarrett, who was a senior adviser to President Barack Obama, and Ms. Yates, a former United States deputy attorney general, will talk about the critical role of women in politics today.

  • Adam Grant: The organizational psychologist from the Wharton School will address the gender gap, with girls taught to be likable, perfect and pleasing while boys are encouraged to be strong, confident and brave. What psychological barriers does this messaging create, and how can women overcome them and realize their full potential?

The conference kicked off on Wednesday night with a panel with Fatima Goss Graves and Mira Sorvino, who spoke about the world after #MeToo; a panel with Padma Lakshmi, best known as the author, host and executive producer of “Top Chef,” who is also a passionate voice for women and a women’s health advocate; and a conversation with Marin Alsop, the first woman to lead a major orchestra in the United States.

“He still has not met with these women,” Ms. Lakshmi said of Mr. Easterbrook, around three weeks after the demonstration in Chicago. — Talya Minsberg

“I’m the first woman to do a lot of things, and I’m really proud, but I also think it’s pathetic,” said Marin Alsop, the first woman to lead a major American orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

Her point: Such ground should have been broken long before.

“The thing about trying to work as a women 30 to 35 years ago is there were no opportunities,” said Ms. Alsop, who will soon take over the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra.

But she was not deterred in those early days, and instead got her friends together and created her own orchestra.

Ms. Alsop also said she had been emboldened by the recent conversation around gender equality to take on the misogyny in her industry.

“The great thing about the last two years is I feel empowered to speak out even further,” she said. “Now I feel like I have company, and that there’s a safety net.” — Maya Salam



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