Business school: Facebook, succeeding a founder, gender pay gap
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How to Lead
Andrew Hill's challenge
The FT's management editor sets a weekly test of your business, strategy and management skills.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, his chief operating officer, have finally broken cover in the past couple of weeks, taking responsibility for mistakes on their watch over data privacy. They have plenty to apologise for. As I've written this week, I think they have at least been wilfully blind to some of the problems that have emerged, from the scandal that exposed up to 87m users' data, to the inadvertent facilitation of Russian meddling in elections.
Mr Zuckerberg appears before US congressional committees this week. Such hearings have become a kind of rite of passage for CEOs facing a crisis, so my management challenge is simple. In no more than three sentences, what should he say in his opening remarks to lawmakers? If you prefer, I'll also take your suggestions for three questions he should be made to answer. Send your concise thoughts to email@example.com, as usual.
In further reading this week, Forbes has published its "Midas List" of top venture capitalists, but more interesting was the accompanying feature by Alex Konrad and Biz Carson about the dearth of female venture capitalists, and the 36 women who have formed a group called "All Raise" to break up the Silicon Valley "boys' club". As they point out, "at 74 per cent of US venture funds, there are no women decision makers; at 53 per cent of the largest funds, there are no female investors at all".
Every week a business school professor or academic recommends useful FT articles.
Brussels sharpens focus on ‘sustainable’ investment The European Commission intends to put forward a legislative proposal this summer for institutional investors and asset managers to consider sustainability when they make investments. The article is a useful reminder about the balance between enforced legislation and self-regulation.
Historically, sustainability factors in investments have largely been driven by reputational considerations and the need to be seen doing the right thing. Today, far from being a nice-to-have, sustainability is part of business decision making, driving organisational success and long-term investment returns. While legislation is important, investors will inevitably recognise this and seek out companies most actively focusing on sustainable practices and strategies.
Jonathan Moules's business school news
News does not stop for the spring break on business school campuses. One of the ongoing pressing issues of our time is gender inequality, which became front page news in the UK last week with the government requiring all enterprises with 250 or more staff to report their median gender pay gap.
This provided a lot of intense data analysis. The human impact was highlighted in a fascinating collection of MBA graduates stories, compiled by my colleague Patricia Nilsson. If data gathering exercises, like those of the UK government, achieve anything it should be to change the experiences of such individuals in the future.
A separate, but connected, issue is sexual harassment in the workplace. We are interested in hearing reader experiences in this area too. If you would like to share your story for future FT coverage, please contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Edited by Wai Kwen Chan — firstname.lastname@example.org
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