Why there still aren't a lot of black women executives

Oct 11, 2017

We've been reporting this week on a new study from Lean In and McKinsey on women in the workplace that covers 12 million people in America. The study finds that while 47 percent of entry level employees are women, only one-fifth of the chiefs — chief executive, chief financial and so on — are female.

Hearst’s Joanna Coles says magazines are here to stay

Oct 11, 2017

Today’s installment of Corner Office isn't a CEO, but she's plenty powerful and influential all the same. Joanna Coles is the chief content officer for Hearst Magazines: Esquire, Harper's Bazaar, Good Housekeeping are some of the titles you'll know. Coles is fresh off a run as the editor in chief of Cosmopolitan. Kai Ryssdal went to see her in her office when he was in New York a couple of weeks ago. Below is an edited transcript of their conversation. 

Cook County, Illinois, home to Chicago, passed a penny-per-ounce tax on soda late last year. The driving force was raising revenue in a state with deep budget woes. But legal challenges delayed the tax going into effect, and a strong campaign from the beverage industry has soured public opinion on the measure. It was repealed today, despite strong opposition and spending from outsiders like Michael Bloomberg. It’s the latest win for Big Soda in an international war between that business and public health officials.

(Markets Editon) Fourty-seven percent of entry level employees in America are women, but women make up only one-fifth of chief executives. And black women are especially underrepresented in executive roles. Currently, no black women serve as CEOs at any of the Fortune 500 companies. That doesn't surprise Professor Ella Bell Smith. She joined us today to talk about the various institutional barriers that stand in the way of black women climbing the executive ranks.

Officials in Harris County, Texas  — the greater Houston area — have asked for $17 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to buy more than 100 homes determined to be “hopelessly at risk” for future flooding. This comes a little more than a month after Hurricane Harvey.

What’s a kale salad’s best angle? How do you get a napkin to fall just right so that it looks natural in a photo? Prop stylist Robin Zachary has got you covered. What’s the best way to capture exactly how refreshing your iced coffee is? Just ask food photographer Sarah E. Crowder.

10/11/2017: So, where are we at with NAFTA?

Oct 11, 2017

(U.S. Edition) The fourth round of NAFTA negotiation talks begin today in Arlington, Virginia. President Trump recently reiterated threats to pull out of the deal, just as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was on his way to D.C. to meet with him. This round of talks is set to be the most contentious yet, which has some in Washington wondering if NAFTA could really end. Also on this episode: Most of the time banking is a boring industry, but right now big banks are excited about raking in record profits.  Most analysts are expecting profits of more than $21 billion.

Machines are getting stronger and smarter. They may soon be our competitors and colleagues in the workforce. What would happen if we used them to enhance our own brains? Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood talks with Nick Bostrom, director of the Future of Humanity Institute at the University of Oxford, about what would happen if artificial and human intelligence met.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is vowing to speed the cleanup of toxic Superfund sites, part of a shift away from climate change and toward what he calls the "basics" of clean air and water. The EPA's Superfund program manages the cleanup of some of the most toxic waste sites. Pruitt says the EPA will soon name a top 10 list of sites to focus on.

One potential site for that list is the Tar Creek Superfund site in far northeast Oklahoma, where a team of agency officials recently visited.

"Schrodinger's declaration of independence" in Spain

Oct 11, 2017

Carles Puigdemont, the president of Catalonia — the region of Spain that voted for independence over a week ago — issued a formal declaration of independence yesterday. But, almost in the same breath, he said he was willing to work with Spain's government on an agreement. This morning, Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said he has asked Puigdemont to confirm whether or not he has declared independence.

10/11/2017: Kobe Steel scandal widens in Japan

Oct 11, 2017

(Global edition) From the BBC’s World Service …  First steel, then copper. Now Japanese company Kobe Steel admits it may have fabricated data on iron powder products used to make car gears. The company - and the rest of corporate Japan - is now investigating the issue amid safety fears in the global industrial powerhouse. We look at where the scandal will head next. Also, more bad news from Equifax. The credit reference agency has admitted almost 700,000 customers in the U.K. had their data stolen this summer, close to double its original estimate.

On Thursday, we’ll know how the big banks are doing when earnings reports come out for the third quarter. Most analysts are expecting record profits of more than $21 billion.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

The venture capitalists who just gave $110 million to a sock company said that. And that's today's good news.

Mike Blake/Reuters

Deadly wildfires are ripping across Northern California, scorching more than 115,000 acres across eight counties. At least 13 people have been confirmed dead.

Multiple fires are now burning across the region’s wine country, which includes Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino counties. The blazes have forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate and destroyed 1,500 structures, including mobile home parks, houses and wineries.

36: "The Man in the High Castle" has a lot on his mind

Oct 10, 2017

"Blade Runner." "Total Recall." "Minority Report." These are big-budget movies from big-name directors, but they all sprung from the mind of author Philip K. Dick. He also wrote "The Man in the High Castle," our second Make Me Smart book club selection. Author, journalist and podcaster Erik Davis is our guide on this mind-bending journey — along with all of you, of course. Plus, we get some insight into alternate realities and computer simulations from philosopher Nick Bostrom.

Investors put $110 million into a sock company. No, really.

Oct 10, 2017

Silicon Valley's venture capitalists are known for pouring big bucks into a lot of seemingly out-there ideas (we're looking at you, Juicero). The latest one? A premium sock company. Sarah McBride wrote about the the sock company Stance for Bloomberg.

Trump's NAFTA negotiations see opposition from the business sector

Oct 10, 2017

In the midst of NAFTA negotiations, a schism has grown between President Trump and the business sector. Tom Donohue, the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — the pro-business U.S. Chamber of Commerce — called the Trump administration's negotiating tactics on the trade deal an existential threat to it.

Kobe Steel in Japan has admitted that some of its employees falsified strength data of some of its rolled aluminum. That metal is used in a lot of things worldwide, like cars, planes and trains. Investigations are underway, but what will the consequences be for the company and the wider Japanese manufacturing sector?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Can the Weinstein Company rebrand itself?

Oct 10, 2017

Allegations of sexual misconduct by the film producer Harvey Weinstein continued to pile up Tuesday. The New Yorker published a piece in which three women accused Weinstein of rape. Weinstein denied the allegations through a representative.

(Markets Edition) Stock in Kobe Steel dropped 22 percent after the Japanese firm revealed it falsified data on the strength of the aluminum and copper parts it sold around the world. We'll look at the companies could have been affected and what they're doing to tackle the issue. Afterwards, we'll talk with economist David Kelly, chief global strategist at JP Morgan Funds, about how the world economy is starting to pick up steam. Then, we'll discuss today's election in Liberia to replace Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa's first female elected head of state. 

Where are all the women in economics?

Oct 10, 2017

Today is Ada Lovelace Day, which celebrates the woman who wrote the first line of computer code way back in the 1840s. And while we'll hear a lot today about the under-representation of women in so-called STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and math — the proportion of women faculty in economics is actually worse.

Kobe Steel falsified data about the strength of its metals used in planes and cars

Oct 10, 2017

Parts of  the car you drive or the plane you're flying on may not be as durable as once thought. 

In a new corporate scandal rocking Japan, Tokyo-based Kobe Steel admitted that it's been faking data on some of its metal — specifically copper and aluminum. These metals went into products at about 200 companies, including Toyota, Mazda, Subaru, Boeing and Central Japan Railway.

It’s still lonely at the top for women. McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.Org are out with their annual study of women in the workplace, which looked at data from 222 companies employing more than 12 million people.

The findings confirm a lot of what we already know: women continue to be underrepresented across the corporate landscape. Only one in five C-suite leaders is a woman, and fewer than one in 30 is a woman of color. But that’s not the whole story.

10/10/2017: The costs of military transgender care

Oct 10, 2017

(U.S. Edition) A new corporate scandal is rocking Japan today. Kobe Steel has revealed that its copper and aluminum, which went to the likes of Toyota and Boeing, have not been up to standard. We'll look at whether this could be as big of a problem as the Takata airbag recall scandal that began in 2013. Afterwards, we'll discuss one activist investor's push to get on the board of Procter and Gamble, and then look at the true costs of providing care for transgender members of the military (and how expensive it would be to hire replacements). 

The cost of transgender health care is in the spotlight, both for veterans, and for active duty transgender troops.  The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced shortly after President Donald Trump was elected that it was going to drop plans to cover those surgeries in part because of cost. Then, President Trump directed the Department of Defense to stop providing transition-related care for active duty service members in part citing “tremendous medical costs.”

(Global Edition) From the BBC’s World Service … French unions are urging millions of public sector workers to join a one-day strike in the latest industrial action against President Emmanuel Macron's plans to cut jobs and freeze pay. While some airlines have cancelled flights, we look at why the French economy may be ready for reform. Also, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim warns humans to get ready for the rise of the robot to ensure they’re not left on the scrap heap. Ahead of the World Bank's annual meeting in Washington, we ask him why countries need a "crash course" in automation.

10/10/2017: Re-evaluating the economics of tech

Oct 10, 2017

It’s safe to say that we’re becoming increasingly afraid of tech. Algorithms and ad platforms are feeding us information we can’t trust, companies are storing and sharing our personal data and robots might be coming for our jobs. Tim O’Reilly, founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media, is a futurist who wrote the new book “WTF: What’s the Future and Why It’s Up to Us.” Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood talks to him about how tech could do better.

Rethinking tech funding could help solve the industry's problems

Oct 10, 2017

It's safe to say that there's a growing concern about tech and how it fits into our future. Our data is being sold, ads that we can't trust are being spread on social media and robots may be coming for our jobs.

Tim O'Reilly is a venture capitalist, futurist and author of the new book "WTF: What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us." He says tech needs to do better, and it starts with how we fund it. Below is an edited excerpt of his interview with Marketplace Tech's Molly Wood.

There’s a lot of policy reform underway at the White House this week. President Donald Trump is gearing up to sign an executive order to undermine Obamacare, and people are calling it a “synthetic repeal.” He’s also worked out a deal with Democratic senators on immigration, a deal that shifts policy based on family ties to one that prioritizes skilled workers. And the clock is ticking for Trump and the Republicans to overhaul taxes — there are only 32 legislative days left in 2017.

Google is the latest tech company that’s found evidence of Russian-bought ads on its platforms.

Facebook recently shared 3,000 ads purchased by Russian operatives with Congress after finding that they were part of a disinformation campaign during the 2016 presidential election. Twitter has also faced scrutiny.