The World’s Most Powerful Women: October 10

Updated: Oct 10, 2016 8:20 AM UTC

Less than three months ago, American women across political party lines had a reason to celebrate—a woman had reached the near-pinnacle of success by becoming a major party's presidential nominee for the very first time. Shortly thereafter, there was another reason for bipartisan applause—a Republican candidate had taken the unprecedented step of promising paid maternity leave, marking a radical shift in the party's relationship with working moms. Donald Trump's plan had followed Hillary Clinton's introduction of her own paid family leave policy, and it seemed the challenges and economic contributions of working women had finally garnered the attention they long deserved.

If women were feeling any kind of high during this election cycle, they came down from it with head-spinning speed starting Friday afternoon when The Washington Post revealed a tape from 2005 of Donald Trump making lewd and sexually aggressive remarks about women, reducing them to body parts and gatekeepers of sex. In an attempt to deflect the onslaught of criticism, Trump held a press conference last night to reintroduce America to women who accused former President Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct and to claim Hillary Clinton had attacked her husband's alleged victims.

The debate that followed deteriorated things even further as the two nominees talked about women in terms of sex and their relationship to powerful men—Trump and Bill Clinton—turning the campaign into a contest of which candidate treats women the least-worst.

clairezillman

EUROPE/MIDDLE EAST/AFRICA

A precarious perch

This story suggests that the rise of women to positions of power in British politics—PM Theresa May, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, and even Diane James' brief stint as UKIP leader—represents the glass cliff theory coming to life in politics, rather than business, ahead of and after Brexit. The vote was a textbook glass cliff moment, says one observer, because “all the men who were responsible for the mess stabbed each other soundly in the back” and then ran away.

New York Times

Watering it down

Theresa May's government has softened its plans to make companies publicly reveal how many foreign workers they employ after Home Secretary Amber Rudd's announcement that firms would have to "be clear" about their non-British workforce sparked international outcry. Education Secretary Justine Greening said yesterday that there will "absolutely no naming and shaming."

Financial Times

Still a winner

On Saturday, Shirin Gerami, wearing a hijab, swam 2.4 miles, cycled 112 miles, and ran a full marathon in 13 hours and 11 minutes in the Ironman World Championship. While she finished 1863rd overall, she still made history, becoming Iran's first-ever official female triathlete to enter the competition.

Sports Illustrated

THE AMERICAS

Battle of the sexes

Time's Charlotte Alter has a good analysis of this weekend's Trump news, writing that his alpha male attitude—not Clinton's playing of the "woman card"—is what's made this election a referendum on gender.

Time

Getting cozy with Wall Street

Clinton had her own negative news to deal with this weekend following the leak of some parts of the speeches she delivered to Wall Street. In her remarks to big banks, she came off as more pro-business than she has been on the campaign trail, and Trump criticized her for it Sunday night.

Fortune

Purposeful tweaks

Montana State University has managed to reach a near critical mass of female faculty members in its STEM departments, where male professors once outnumbered women four to one. Here's how it managed such a dramatic change.

Chronicle of Higher Education

Going there

Eight years after her ouster from Citigroup, Sallie Krawcheck admitted last week that she was fired "because I was a woman." The founder of Ellevest had clashed with then-CEO Vikram Pandit over customer losses, and she said her ultimate dismissal—which she learned about from a TV broadcast—was due to representing someone "different" from the boys' club worldview that dominates finance.

Fortune

ASIA-PACIFIC

Stop the stunts

Pregnancy vests—like the ones male Japanese governors donned to encourage men to do more care taking and housework—are pretty useless since they don't emulate the organ displacement, insomnia, exhaustion, depression, and anxiety that many expectant women feel. Slate's Elissa Strauss writes that if men really want to become better fathers they should ditch the vests and just give fathering a try. 

Slate

That's a lot of land

Gina Rinehart, Australia's richest woman, is going in on a $227 million bid for a historic cattle company with a Chinese partner. The offer could test the Australian government's tolerance for Chinese investment. Two previous Chinese bids for the company were rejected because the target, S Kidman & Co, owns more than 1% of the country's land—an area bigger than Ireland—and Chinese ownership of it raised national security concerns.

Financial Times

IN BRIEF

Melania Trump made an interesting wardrobe choice for the second presidential debate

Fortune

In letters of recommendation, male scientists are called ‘brilliant’ while women are ‘productive’

Fortune

Pregnant women in America die more often than in Iran

Bloomberg

Inside the intense training centers where young girls compete to be K-pop stars

Broadly

What happened when an all-woman city council took over an Oregon town in 1920

The Atlantic

Nigerian writer featured in a Beyonce song doesn't adhere to the singer's brand of feminism

Quartz

PARTING WORDS

"I hope people will accept his apology, as I have, and focus on the important issues facing our nation and the world."

--Melania Trump, reacting to the lewd remarks her husband Donald Trump made about women in a leaked audio recording.