By Claire Zillman
August 4, 2017

A report on FTSE 100 CEO pay published yesterday is fueling Britain’s already-blazing gender pay gap fire.

At the time of the report by High Pay Centre and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, there were six female chief executives in the index—Whitbread’s Alison Brittain, Kingfisher’s Veronique Laury, Imperial Brand’s Alison Cooper, Severn Trent’s Liv Garfield, Royal Mail’s Moya Greene, and EasyJet’s Carolyn McCall—but they earned just 4% of the total pay. The 94 male CEOs earned an average salary of £4.7 million last year while women CEOs were paid £2.6 million on average. Of the women, Cooper took home the largest pay check worth £5.5 million.

All told, men on the list—on average—earned 77% more than their female counterparts.

The disparity comes amid other high-profile equal pay battles at the Financial Times and the BBC, and it clearly illustrates—says report co-author Peter Cheese—a pay disparity at the top.

“Quite rightly this issue of fairness is increasingly being called out and this needs to be addressed at all levels of businesses,” Cheese, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, told the Guardian.

The gulf also underscores the blatant gender imbalance in the absolute number of female versus male CEOs at U.K.’s largest public companies. The report makes a point of mentioning that there are actually more CEOs named David in the FTSE 100—eight—than there are female chief executives.

@clairezillman


EUROPE/MIDDLE EAST/AFRICA

Making the cut
The last three French presidents have tried and failed to roll back the nation’s strict protections for workers—a move that central bankers and executives are pushing for. President Emmanuel Macron is giving it another go, appointing Labor Minister Muriel Penicaud to take on the task. She may be up it: As an HR director at Danone in the 1990s, Penicaud made $1.4 million from stock options while cutting 900 jobs. That executive record, however, is not sitting well with France’s powerful unions.
Bloomberg
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Feminine hygiene fairy
Meet Gabby Edlin, a self-described “social change creative” and founder of Bloody Good Period, a charity that collects donations of sanitary products for refugee women at two asylum-seeker drop-offs in north London. Edlin started the non-profit after realizing sanitary products weren’t given out to local refugees the way food and clothing were. “Sanitary products are as essential as food,” Edlin told BuzzFeed. “You can’t just bleed everywhere. It’s not something extra to help—women need them.”
Buzzfeed
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Force of nature
This photo essay shows the Cameroonian practice of breast ironing or flattening. The goal of the painful procedures—conducted by mothers on their young daughters—is to delay the visible traits of girls’ maturity to prevent men from making sexual advances or raping them. If girls are able to avoid pregnancy they can go to school and get jobs. Nearly a quarter of women in the African nation of 23 million have endured some form of breast ironing, yet there is no evidence that it stops breasts from developing.
Newsweek

THE AMERICAS

Sheri steps aside
Sheri McCoy, CEO of beauty brand Avon, is stepping down from the direct seller in March under pressure from activist investors. Fortune‘s Phil Wahba explains how McCoy failed to fix the company. Her successor hasn’t been named. When McCoy started the job in 2012, she took over for a female CEO. That transition was the second-most recent instance of a new female CEO replacing an outgoing female CEO. Bloomberg reports that since 2009, 19 female CEOs of Standard & Poor’s 500 companies have stepped down. In only three of those cases was she replaced by another woman, pointing to a step backwards for C-Suite diversity.
Fortune
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Bachelet’s abortion battle
Chilean President Michelle Bachelet’s years-long crusade to roll back the conservative nation’s strict abortion law notched a big win as the Senate passed a measure allowing the procedure in instances of rape, if the mother’s life is at risk, or if the fetus presents a deadly birth defect. The legislation had met earlier opposition over how it dealt with the rape of young women. As the bill stands now, a young girl raped by her father must get judicial authorization for the abortion. If she is aged 14-19, a family member has to be informed of her wish to have an abortion. The bill now goes to the Constitutional Court for approval. 
AFP News
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Keeping tradition alive
In an effort to lower its maternal mortality—the highest in South America and among the highest in the Western Hemisphere—Bolivia’s government is training 500 midwives to improve their medical skills. The effort taps into indigenous groups’ reliance on traditional midwives—called “aunts”—and their distrust of hospitals and cesarean births. The outreach has the support of Evo Morales, Bolivia’s first-ever indigenous president. 
Associated Press

ASIA-PACIFIC

A nod to Noda
Japanese PM Shinzo Abe has reshuffled his cabinet to shore up sinking public approval ratings and fend off potential unrest within his party. Abe picked two women as top advisors—Seiko Noda as minister of internal affairs and communications and Yoko Kamikawa as justice minister—down from the previous three. Noda, who challenged Abe’s leadership of the Liberal Democrats in the last election, is considered a possible future female premier, and her appointment may be Abe’s attempt to woo women voters, who are less enthused by his government than men.
Reuters
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Solo YOLO
Quartz has the story of how single South Koreans—exhausted by a social scene of en masse activities—are embracing “solo YOLO” lifestyles by eating, drinking, and traveling alone. In more extreme examples of this trend, some women are throwing “single weddings” for themselves—complete with wedding dresses and photo shoots—in part so that they can recoup some of the cash they’ve spent attending weddings in the past.
Quartz
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Looking for Liu
U.S. lawyer Jared Genser has filed a formal complaint to the United Nations over Chinese authorities’ “enforced disappearance” of Liu Xia, the wife of late Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo, who hasn’t been seen since her husband’s sea burial. Genser says he hopes the filing will prompt the UN to ask Beijing for a response to the claims, which could force authorities to “reappear” Liu Xia, who’s never been charged with a crime.
Guardian

IN BRIEF

See the evolution of the female action hero
Time
This is what it’s like for girls growing up in Gaza
Refinery 29
More women move into Maine’s rough and risky world of lobstering
NPR
A Saudi women’s rights activist was freed from detention without a male guardian
The Cut

PARTING WORDS

"I don’t depend on one area of my life to make me happy."
- —Pop star Selena Gomez, who appears on the September cover of 'InStyle.'

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