bdnews24 desk
Published : 23 March 2019, 02:31 PM
Updated : 23 March 2019, 02:31 PM

Panelists at The New Rules Summit, hosted by The New York Times in September, discussed the barriers facing women as they pursue their careers. Here are some excerpts. They have been edited and condensed.


The tech industry is finally waking up to the fact that diversity breeds innovation. What is the best way to achieve it — and fast?

Stacy Brown-Philpot

Chief executive, TaskRabbit

One of the biggest challenges we have in starting and building a company is you want to grow fast. And often you're afraid to sacrifice growth in order to focus on diversity. And I think it's a mistake.

Belinda Johnson

Chief operating officer, Airbnb

I think there's an opportunity here in Silicon Valley, not just to focus on diversity and inclusion within the company, but in the platforms that we create, in taking more responsibility for designing diversity and inclusion into technologies, products and services.

Aileen Lee

Founder and managing partner, Cowboy Ventures

I think you have to have commitment and be willing to take some risks and do things differently. I'm not interested in working with people who have all-male white firms. Firms are losing deals because they are all male. And we should not let up on that.


Do you have to do it all to have it all?

Tiffany Dufu

Founder and chief executive, the Cru

I think there are people who would agree with me that the debacle we're having to manage right now is a result of not having more women at the highest levels of leadership.


Two champions for women's rights talk about what it takes to fight for what you believe in.

Cecile Richards

Former president, Planned Parenthood Federation of America; author, "Make Trouble"

It's one thing to have our president attack women on Twitter, and in the news, and dismiss them. It's another thing to see so many Republican men, United States senators, fall in line. To me, it's reckoning time right now.

Samantha Bee

Host, "Full Frontal With Samantha Bee"

I feel like in the entertainment industry, we're sniffing out our predators like truffles. I mean, like reverse truffles, because they're the worst. But there are so many industries in which I just do not feel that we have even scratched the surface.


Half of his senior-most leadership team is made up of women, and 50 percent of his company's total employees are female. But Wall Street has a long way to go. The head of the largest American bank on what it takes to transform the culture of an industry.

Jamie Dimon

Chief executive, JPMorgan Chase

We don't understand all the issues of other people without having a diverse work force. You have more ideas, you get more generations, you get better people, happier people. And so there's tons of arguments for it, and I think we know what those are, we've just got to do a better job doing it.


We've all heard the proclamations about "diversity" and "inclusion." But how do you turn theory into reality?

Ellen Kullman

Co-chairwoman, Paradigm for Parity; retired chairwoman and chief executive, DuPont

When I was named a C.E.O., it was at the beginning of the global financial crisis. Believe me, when the tide goes out and you're looking at all the rocks, you see how people and leaders react to such stress. I really felt that our focus had to be on talent development and diversity to really come out strong.

Julie Sweet

Chief executive, North America, Accenture

As I look leader by leader, we ask the question: What is your personal impact? Because at Accenture, all of our leaders understand it is table stakes to meet your metrics. But what we're looking for are the leaders who are personally engaging. Accountability should never just be about numbers.


Despite the pressure on companies to diversify their boardrooms, women hold just 12 percent of board seats worldwide. What can be done to ensure a better balance of power?

Debra L. Lee

Chairwoman and chief executive emeritus, BET Networks

We learned a lot from the #MeToo, Time's Up movement. But one thing it taught us is that we need more women everywhere: in the Senate, the c-suites, making decisions on movies and TV shows, and in the boardroom.

Pat Russo

Chairwoman, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Inc.

I just don't accept that there aren't plenty of women available. You just have to be committed. You have to say: "No, I don't like that slate. I want a slate that's more diverse."

Cyrus Taraporevala

President and chief executive, State Street Global Advisors

I hope there's an understanding about what boards' main purposes are: to represent shareholders and make sure that management is focusing on all the right strategies to create long-term shareholder value.


America Ferrera

Actress and activist

I was terrified to ask to direct an episode of the show that I was starring in and producing. But really what helped me get through that fear was looking around and seeing other women who had taken that leap. If I can't get past the internal struggle of "Can I do this," "Do I deserve this," how could I possibly expect that young women with less access are going to take that leap?


Amid the rapid changes that #MeToo has provoked, there are new challenges to gender dynamics at work — some promising and some alarming. What can men do to play a full role in this moment of opportunity?

Wade Davis

Former N.F.L. player and corporate inclusion consultant

Most people in the tech industry would label themselves as "liberals" or "progressives," right? The tech industry is relatively new. It's pretty young. But you had this entire industry that's absent of women, absent of folks of color, in positions of power. So what does that say about how you're actually showing up in the world every day?

Michael Ian Black

Actor, comedian and author

When you talk about boys and men, you're talking about an entire structural system that has been erected over centuries to promote boys and men, their supposed interests, over the interests of girls and women. And so the #MeToo movement, I think, is a manifestation of women going, "No, no more."

The Candidates

It's been a record-breaking year for women running for office, with more female candidates than ever. A snapshot of what is making 2018 a historic year in politics.

Pearl Kim

Candidate, Pennsylvania's Fifth Congressional District

In Pennsylvania, there has never been a woman of color elected to Congress. And just a funny story as I'm campaigning: I had this older man say, "Oh, you're the Asian girl that's running." I was like, "Sir, Asian Girl won't be on the ballot; please remember Pearl Kim."

Rashida Tlaib

Candidate, Michigan's 13th Congressional District

Women tend to wait till we're needed — does that make any sense? And I always tell people, yeah Trump's in office but this opportunity when Congressman [John] Conyers retired came. Do I stay outside of the ring, or do I jump in and fight from within? And it was this urgency and the sense of what I jokingly call the bat signal. Women have to just feel this sense of urgency.


What does women's leadership look like from the highest political office in the nation?

Jacinda Ardern

Prime minister of New Zealand

I don't want to be defined by my gender. But I do not mind, personally, being defined as a mother because it is who I am and I feel privileged to have that job. My hope is that over time, it won't be extraordinary for women in leadership everywhere to be making choices, whether it's to have children or not have children, but to make choices that suit them.

Julia Gillard

Former prime minister of Australia

I think there was the miracle of President Obama becoming the first African-American president that made us think, well, the next miracle of having the first female president is going to happen, too. And I think we now know that it's not going to happen unless it's really fought for. I'm so pleased to see that young women aren't walking away in droves; they're feeling energized.


There's no doubt that a movement has been sparked and the momentum is accelerating. But is it going in the right direction? How can we work together to drive cultural transformation?

Katie Couric

Journalist and author

One of the things that I think has gotten short shrift in these discussions is implicit bias. It's a real thing, and I think that we have to start thinking more about how we're culturally conditioned to see the world in a certain way. I think we always kind of need to check ourselves.

Saru Jayaraman

Co-founder and president, Restaurant Opportunities Centers United

We are talking about what it means to live off a $2 and $3 wage in 43 states, including New York, when you live off tips. You must tolerate whatever a customer does to you, however they touch you or treat you or talk to you. The customer has the power because the customer's always right to grab you, to harass you, to even assault you, and you've got to put up with it.

Tina Tchen

Partner, Buckley Sandler; co-founder, Time's Up legal defense fund

Too much of our sexual harassment law and training — and we've all been through the same training for the last 30 years — is about legal limits, liability compliance training, instead of training about the culture. The companies who are doing it right are thinking about the values that they want to have in the workplace.

Amber Tamblyn

Author, activist and actress

In watching Brett Kavanaugh be able to vividly emotionally express himself both with anger and in tears, I was reminded of the way Anita Hill needed to behave and the way in which Dr. [Christine Blasey] Ford needed to behave, almost holding that feeling in, and holding those emotions in. And to me, that's just the paradigm of the inequality. It's a larger look at how things are so off balance.


For all the obstacles women face in the workplace, women of color must navigate substantially more. How do we combat it?

Brittany Packnett

Activist, educator and writer

Intersectional oppression is the stereotype that Asian women must be docile at work, at home, and at play. It's the archetype that Latinas must be spicy, and the oppression that renders indigenous women invisible. It is the angry-black-woman trope, lobbed at everyone from Serena Williams to Michelle Obama for exhibiting audacity.


Lessons from three innovative, industry-disrupting founders who are paving the way for future generations of entrepreneurs.

Dee Poku-Spalding

Founder, WIE Network/the Other Festival

I dipped a toe in this fund-raising pool a few years ago and what I experienced was horrifying, to be honest. You talked about the amount of money that women raise, but if we can dig deeper into those numbers, the average for black women is $42,000. The good news is that there are a lot of new funds that have focused on supporting women and supporting women of color. So I'm feeling a little bit more optimistic about the options available to me.

Sophia Amoruso

Founder and chief executive, Girlboss

I've raised money, and when I went to a few of the venture capitalists — mostly guys — who have invested in some of the other women's groups they told me that it was too competitive and that they couldn't really talk to us because Girlboss was also speaking to women. It's the most insulting thing that you can invest only in one company for women.

Emily Weiss

Founder and chief executive, Glossier

Convincing venture capitalists was very hard. When a beauty company like ours hits their desk, a response that we often got was: "Oh, I'm not sure how to evaluate this. I'm going to ask my wife." I often thought, well, if I were in your shoes and you pitched me a fintech company, I wouldn't say, "Oh, I'm gonna ask my husband."

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher