The World’s Most Powerful Women: December 1

Dec 01, 2016

One of the many lingering questions about the outcome of the U.S. election is why so many white women voted for Donald Trump, considering his track record of misogynist remarks.

Stanford University sociologist Marianne Cooper took a stab at answering that unknown yesterday at Fortune's Most Powerful Women Next Gen Summit, and I found her explanation especially intriguing. She blames, in part, the lack of “gender-political consciousness” among white, married women.

As members of just one protected class, white women have a harder time seeing their personal inequality and recognizing its illegitimacy. Meanwhile, black, Latina, and LGBT women have “enhanced” gender-political awareness because they're more accustomed to other forms of discrimination such as racism, xenophobia, and homophobia.

As a result, white women tend to assume an upbeat "girls-can-do-anything" attitude instead of talking about the realities of sexism. That makes it harder for them to identify misogyny when they encounter it. "In order to see something as unjust," Cooper says, "you have to be able to name it first.”



Multitasking x 3

Sarah Cook, global marketing director at Oxford University Press, writes about what it was like to complete her executive MBA at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School while working full-time and being pregnant with—and giving birth to—triplets.

Financial Times

Driving the economy

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the richest man in Saudi Arabia, has called on the kingdom to end its ban on women drivers, saying it’s hurting the country’s economy. The ban is an infringement on a woman’s rights, he said, “particularly as it continues to exist after she had won her right to an education and a salaried employment.”

New York Post


A $100 million gift

Sheryl Sandberg is transferring $100 million of her Facebook stock holdings to a fund for charitable causes. The money is reportedly earmarked for grief support groups, anti-poverty charities, and organizations focused on empowering women. The Facebook COO also recently renamed her foundation the Sheryl Sandberg & Dave Goldberg Family Fund after her late husband, who died last year.


Quieting critics

Katie Telford, chief of staff to Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, told the Fortune MPW Next Gen audience that when her boss initially announced that his cabinet would be 50% female, people said it was an attack on meritocracy. "Then we announced who [the appointees] were and they have not said that since,” she said.


Festive failures

On the Fortune MPW Next Gen stage, Obi Felten, a top exec at Alphabet's research arm X, talked about how her team celebrates failures instead of fearing them. It's instituted an annual ritual similar to Día de los Muertos, the Mexican holiday when families honor their deceased relatives. The point is to bring a feeling of closure for workers on projects that didn’t take off and to celebrate “letting go.”


Dream catcher

Fortune's Clifton Leaf has an inside look at Arianna Huffington's new venture Thrive Global, which promotes—and sells—wellness in the workplace. The project will train companies on how to measure employee health, serve as a media platform for conversations about wellness, and sell gadgets that aid sleep and restfulness, such as an actual bed for smartphones. 



Taking on Twitter trolls

Every time her Bangalore-based pharmaceutical company would deliver its earnings report, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, managing director and co-founder of Biocon Ltd., would encounter Twitter trolls. They'd call her India's worst business leader, tell her to give up her stake in the firm, and say that she was the reason women shouldn’t run companies. This year she finally silenced them with a nearly 80% rally in her stock.


Dropout to judge

Susan Kiefel was just named the first female chief justice of Australia's High Court. The achievement is especially impressive since Kiefel dropped out of school at age 15, in a bid for financial independence. PM Malcolm Turnbull, in announcing the appointment, described Kiefel's story as "an inspiration."


Hugo loves Hao

Here's a Q&A with author Hao Jingfang about her book Folding Beijing, a sci-fi novelette that seems rooted in present-day China. The book won Hao a Hugo Award in August. (She beat out Stephen King.) She's the first Chinese woman to win the honor that's conferred by the World Science Fiction Society.

New York Times


Lesbian motorcyclists delivering donor breast milk are the absolute best


‘Making a Murderer’ filmmakers say the criminal justice system is really the one on trial


Sallie Krawcheck: 'It's harder to be an entrepreneur than to run Merrill Lynch'


Hillary Clinton’s new makeup-free look is one last middle finger to the patriarchy


What Stephanie McMahon thinks every brand can learn from the WWE


More law degrees for women, but fewer good jobs

New York Times

Yet another European country is on the verge of approving a burqa ban


Here's how 23andMe's CEO says her company empowers people



"My life wasn't so nice. I worked in a factory until I was 65, then that was that."

--Italy's Emma Morano, thought to be the world's oldest person, on Tuesday, her 117th birthday

All products and services featured are based solely on editorial selection. FORTUNE may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.

Quotes delayed at least 15 minutes. Market data provided by Interactive Data. ETF and Mutual Fund data provided by Morningstar, Inc. Dow Jones Terms & Conditions: S&P Index data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Terms & Conditions. Powered and implemented by Interactive Data Managed Solutions