Harris Announces Chief Of Staff And Two Senior Staffers, All Women

Topline

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Thursday announced three new members of her senior staff, all of whom are women and two of whom are women of color, noting she and President-elect Joe Biden are committed to building an experienced team that “looks like America.”

Key Facts

Tina Flournoy, who is currently chief of staff to former President Bill Clinton and has worked for multiple Democratic politicians, including as part of the Clinton administration, will become Harris’ chief of staff. 

Ambassador Nancy McEldowney, who has served in the U.S. Foreign Service for more than 30 years and was U.S. Ambassador to Bulgaria, will be Harris’ national security advisor.

Rohini Kosoglu, who has worked with Harris as her chief of staff in the Senate and for her presidential campaign, will be her domestic policy advisor. 

Crucial Quote

“Together with the rest of my team, today’s appointees will work to get this virus under control, open our economy responsibly and make sure it lifts up all Americans, and restore and advance our country’s leadership around the world,” Harris said in the statement. 

Surprising Fact

Biden and Harris announced their senior communications team last week, noting that for the first time in history the roles will be filled entirely by women.

Tangent

Multiple civil rights groups have urged Biden to select more Black and Hispanic people for the remaining Cabinet roles and other high-profile roles in the administration and expressed concern that people of color have primarily been chosen for lower-ranking roles, according to CNN. Biden has chosen four people of color so far: UN Ambassador nominee Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Office of Management and Budget Director nominee Neera Tanden, Secretary of Homeland Security nominee Alejandro Mayorkas and Council of Economic Advisors Chair nominee Cecelia Rouse. If confirmed, Mayorkas would be the first Hispanic person in the role and Tanden would be the first woman of color and the first South Asian person in the role.

Further Reading

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris Announces Members of White House Senior Staff   

Biden faces increasing pressure to diversify his Cabinet (CNN)

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‘There’s bacteria in the vaginas of all women’ – Lazio chief Lotito makes vulgar remarks in bizarre Covid-19 rant

Lazio’s outspoken president Claudio Lotito has delivered a bizarre and vulgar rant on the global coronavirus pandemic, with the 63-year-old eager to point out that “bacteria doesn’t mean infectious”.

Nations across the world continue to put protocols in place that are intended to limit the spread of Covid-19.

Football has become caught up in that process, with regular rounds of testing held since competitive action returned on the back of several months of lockdown.

Lazio are among those to have seen senior players removed from their plans as they take in periods of self-isolation.

Controversy and debate has, however, been sparked in Roma as Ciro Immobile, Lucas Leiva and Thomas Strakosha have been ruled out of two Champions League games through negative tests, but figured in Serie A outings after being cleared as negative.

Lotito has taken aim at the systems in place and the confusion being caused, with the Lazio chief telling La Repubblica : “I told you, it’s like a magic trick, what even is positive?

“Positive means contagious, right? There are bacteria in the vaginas of all women in the world, that doesn’t mean they are pathogens. Only in some cases do they become pathogens and degenerate.”

Lotito also expressed his frustration at the testing process and can’t understand why Immobile is not being allowed to face Juventus on Sunday. He added: “Our director Igli Tare is positive too, but nobody can tell us right now if someone is infectious or not.

“There is this difference in the interpretation of results. Our medical staff evaluated Immobile, his lung capacity checks were better than before. We have the swab, he is negative and so is his family, so why can’t he play against Juventus on Sunday?

“I have asked the FIGC to introduce a single structure that can perform all the tests and have the same parameters for everyone. I suggested the Federlab, which already does them for Serie C. We need a third party that can end this chaos.

“We went to Avellino for our tests because the structures in Rome were already crowded and I didn’t want players to seemingly get preferential treatment, keeping others in line.”

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UN Chief Deplores Persistent Lack Of Women In Peace Efforts

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday deplored the persistent lack of women in the world’s peace efforts, two decades after a Security Council resolution sought to boost such representation.

Guterres said there had been “important changes” since the 2000 adoption of Resolution 1325, which had encouraged all stakeholders to prioritize the role and interests of women and girls in peace talks, peacekeeping, humanitarian relief and post-conflict reconstruction.

“But gender equality is first and foremost a question of power, and wherever we look, power structures are dominated by men,” Guterres told a virtual meeting of the UN Security Council.

Women lead only seven percent of countries, while men make up three-quarters of the membership of Covid-19 task forces, Guterres said.

“Even as we improve the representation of women in UN mediation teams, they remain largely excluded from delegations to peace talks and negotiations,” Guterres said, pointing to diplomatic efforts on Afghanistan, Mali and Yemen.

“Women must be included as a priority from the outset,” including in the growing number of online discussions held during the pandemic, he said.

The UN Women agency in a statement urged action to fill the “alarming gaps” in implementation of the 2000 resolution “at a critical moment when a joint and undistracted effort to contain Covid-19 is needed.”

Female soldiers in Senegal demonstrate a peacekeeping operation during a February 2020 visit by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau amid global efforts to increase the role of women in peacemaking Female soldiers in Senegal demonstrate a peacekeeping operation during a February 2020 visit by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau amid global efforts to increase the role of women in peacemaking Photo: AFP / Seyllou

At the initiative of Russia, the Security Council was set Thursday to consider a resolution that would encourage greater representation of women in the corridors of power.

But diplomats said about 10 members of the 15-nation body including the United States and European powers were opposed, believing the Russian initiative rolls back previous achievements.

Russia’s ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzia said the draft was “balanced” and “allows the further promotion of the women, peace and security agenda.”

The draft, obtained by AFP, lists recommendations in a dozen paragraphs for UN member states to improve the status of women.

But its critics say it adds nothing of value and lacks references to the role of civil society.

One diplomat speaking on condition of anonymity said an entire paragraph on the accountability of states in the area of human rights was simply deleted during negotiations.

If adopted, the text will “not only be the weakest resolution ever adopted by the Security Council on women, peace and security, it will erode the normative framework on issues that are core to… (that) agenda,” he continued, branding it regressive.

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New Finance Chief Makes Nasdaq One Of Few S&P 500 Companies With Women In The CEO And CFO Role

Nasdaq this week appointed Controller and Chief Accounting Officer Ann Dennison as its new CFO, effective March 1, 2021. When she succeeds Michael Ptasznik, who has been with the company since 2016 and plans to retire in February, Nasdaq will become the fifth S&P 500 company to have women helming the CFO and CEO roles. 

Dennison, who has been with the stock exchange for five years, has more than 20 years of experience in financial reporting and analysis. As controller and chief accounting officer, she is responsible for the company’s accounting and financial reporting, in addition to its planning and analysis, tax, procurement and global accounting operations. Prior to joining Nasdaq, Dennison was managing director, head of financial reporting at Goldman Sachs and she also served as an auditor at PwC. She will report to Adena Friedman, Nasdaq’s president and CEO since 2017.

“Ann is a dedicated leader with a deep understanding of our business and our long-term vision,” said Friedman in a statement. “She has made significant contributions to Nasdaq’s financial soundness in her five years with the company and her diligence and expertise will be significant factors in our growth strategy.” 

Earlier this week, Nasdaq released its third-quarter results, which revealed net revenues were $715 million, an increase of 13% from the prior year period, due in part to heightened trading volumes and an uptick in IPOs. When Dennison takes on her new role in five months, she’s likely to find herself contending with an equally volatile market on the heels of the U.S. presidential election and amid a pandemic that’s shown no signs of letting up. 

“Transitioning into the role of CFO at a time when Nasdaq has continued to prove its resilience and innovative thinking is a tremendous opportunity,” Dennison said in a statement. “I want to thank Michael for his leadership and mentorship, which has been invaluable during our years together. I look forward to continuing to work closely with Adena, the Board of Directors and our employees to further fuel our success as a leading technology company, as well as meeting the needs of our diverse set of stakeholders.”

According to a study by S&P Global, businesses with female CFOs and CEOs are more likely to see above average stock price performance, and those with women finance chiefs specifically generated excess profits of $1.8 trillion over the 17-year period assessed for the study. Despite this, executive recruiting firm Crist Kolder Associates’s annual volatility report finds that 13.4% of S&P 500 and Fortune 500 companies have female CFOs, improvement no doubt from 8.7% in 2010, but a reminder of just how far women leaders still have to go.

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I’m a chief human resources officer at an over 70,000-person company where 72% of staff are women. Here’s how we’re making sure they’re supported in their careers.



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  • Maxine Carrington is deputy chief human resources officer at Northwell Health, New York’s largest healthcare system and private employer.
  • She says that while the pandemic is hopefully short-lived, the impact that it’s had on working mothers in the workplace will not be.
  • Employers need to step up and support women where they are, from focusing on their well-being to offering backup care options.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

It’s not easy for women to juggle work and family under the best of circumstances. As the pandemic enters its ninth month of devastation, it threatens to reverse a generation of gains for women in the workforce. A September report from McKinsey found that one in four women are considering downshifting their careers or leaving the workforce entirely.

The research is clear: While COVID-19 itself is hopefully short-lived, its impact on women’s careers may last for years — if not decades. 

As deputy chief human resource officer at Northwell Health, I’m aware of the tough decisions our employees are facing right now. About 72% of our workforce is female, and I’ve seen firsthand how women are now grappling with caregiving responsibilities. This was an issue before COVID-19. Women’s careers have traditionally taken a back seat to their partners’ once they have kids.



a person posing for the camera: Maxine Carrington. Courtesy of Maxine Carrington


© Courtesy of Maxine Carrington
Maxine Carrington. Courtesy of Maxine Carrington

But the pandemic has worsened this trend, as women are spending more and more hours navigating their kids’ Zoom calls instead of their own. A survey conducted this spring found that, on average, women were spending 65 hours a week on domestic responsibilities, compared with 35 hours pre-COVID. That’s the equivalent of a second job.

Companies have historically viewed caregiving responsibilities — whether it’s for children or aging parents — as something employees needed to navigate on their own. But we have a responsibility to help them shoulder the burden and not just because it’s the right thing to do. If we don’t, we may lose talented employees. Here’s what companies can do to better support women:

  • Have backup care available. Most of our employees need to be here in person, attending to patients. This was especially true when the worst of the pandemic hit in March and April. We had existing programs for emergency situations, like inclement weather, that we expanded when schools and daycares were closed. We set up subsidized childcare centers, where employees could drop children off for care — including remote learning — at a substantial discount. All companies should find ways to support parents. This could include letting people work from home and/or allowing parents to have a more flexible schedule so they can take time during the day to focus on their children.   
  • Focus on female employees’ well-being. Northwell prides itself on having holistic offerings that focus on self-care and well-being, like an emotional support hotline and virtual cooking and fitness classes. We want to encourage women to take care of themselves. If they are
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