The World’s Most Powerful Women: November 11

Nov 11, 2016

Hillary Clinton losing the White House wasn’t the only disappointment for certain American voters this week. Women also didn't make any gains in Congress.

After the election Tuesday, the number of women in both chambers remained stuck at 104. That means women make up 19% of Congress overall, a figure that puts the U.S. at about 97th out of 193 countries worldwide in terms of women’s parliamentary representation; in the same territory as Kenya and Kyrgyzstan, according to figures compiled by the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

The woeful underrepresentation of women in politics generally is attributable to several factors. The Pew Research Center chalks it up to pushback from voters who are not ready to elect women to leadership roles and women's lack of connections and party support. A New York Times story last month, meanwhile, blamed it not on women's failure to get elected—their odds of winning are nearly equal to men's—but on their unwillingness to run in the first place. The story cited the so-called ambition gap as a culprit in keeping women out of the political pipeline. Research says women are less likely to be pushed by parents, teachers or party leaders to run, and they are also less likely to run without being encouraged.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown—who became the first openly LGBT governor elected to office Tuesday—says she got into politics after a state senator prodded her to do so. “I honestly hadn’t considered anything like that until someone called and asked,” she told the Times. “That’s what it took, and that’s what it takes for women: calling and encouragement.”



Talking to Trump

President-elect Donald Trump has asked U.K. PM Theresa May to meet with him in the U.S. "as soon as possible." The two talked by phone yesterday. May congratulated Trump and noted the countries' close ties while expressing Britain's desire to bolster bilateral trade and investment with the U.S. in the wake of the Brexit vote.


Just a reminder

German Chancellor Angela Merkel appeared so shaken by Trump's victory that she issued a lecture of sorts on democratic values. Future cooperation between Germany and the U.S. will be based on the nations' shared values, she said, such as "democracy, freedom, as well as respect for the rule of law and the dignity of each and every person regardless of their origin, skin color, creed, gender, sexual orientation or political views."

Financial Times

The more things change...

Gender discrimination cases have fallen and women are more likely than ever to be a family's main breadwinner. But despite that progress one thing has remained: women's share of the caregiving. A new U.K. study says British women are still responsible for childcare 74% of the time—the same proportion as in 2000.



Leaning in even more

Facebook COO and Hillary Clinton supporter Sheryl Sandberg chimed in on the election results yesterday, calling attention to a “peaceful transition of power” and the meeting between President Barack Obama and Trump. She also characterized the race as a great achievement for women, despite Clinton's loss. "The only answer I’ve ever known to facing any challenge is to work harder. Today we pledge as Americans to keep working for a better future for everyone," she said. "Today we recommit ourselves to leaning in.”


Now what?

What does a Donald Trump presidency mean for women? Fortune's Valentina Zarya writes about how his administration could alter abortion access, Planned Parenthood's funding, maternity leave, child- and eldercare tax credits, and the fight against sexual harassment.



The day after Trump won the presidency, the fear many Americans felt was obvious to PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi. She told a conference yesterday that she found herself answering a lot of questions from her family and her workforce. “Our employees are all crying and the question that they are asking, especially those that are not white: ‘Are we safe?’ Women are asking, ‘Are we safe?’ LGBT people are asking, ‘Are we safe?’ I never thought I’d have had to answer those questions.”


Funny meeting you here

A suburban mom, daughters in tow, took a hike near Chappaqua, New York yesterday to escape the stress of the election. She ended up running into Hillary and Bill Clinton in the woods; they were doing exactly the same thing. 

Vanity Fair


Secret stash

Narendra Modi’s decision to scrap some currency notes overnight has unintended victims: Indian housewives. It's commonplace for women to syphon cash from the allowances they receive from their husbands to run the household. Modi's order meant these women had to come clean about their secret stashes—80% of Indian women don't have access to a bank account—or risk the notes becoming worthless. 



"I was sexually harassed and I'm fighting back"


Hillary Clinton is a woman dogged by men’s misdeeds

New York Times

A Steve Jobs life-hack helped this 32-year-old CEO raise $40 million


Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s campaign manager, says she was offered a White House job

Wall Street Journal


"Now find your team, and get to work."

--The 'Parks and Recreation' character Leslie Knope played by Amy Poehler, in a letter to America on the election of Donald Trump.

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