The World’s Most Powerful Women: April 7

April 7, 2016, 6:53 AM UTC

Good morning, WMPW readers! Spain may say “adios” to the siesta, which could help working mothers. A woman has opened a shop on London’s Savile Row for the first time, and girls in Bangladesh turn to surfing as an escape. Want to send me a tip? Get in touch: or @laurascohn. Have a great day!


Good night, siesta?

In a move that could have a major impact on working mothers in Spain, acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has proposed that the country do away with its traditional afternoon siesta and end the work day at 6 pm. While major multinational companies keep traditional daytime working hours, many Spaniards split their day between a morning session, which usually ends at 2 pm, and a late-afternoon session, which runs from around 4:30 pm to 8 pm. The proposal, which has sparked controversy because it would alter a long-standing tradition, could be good news for working mothers. If enacted, they would most likely not have to go back to the office at night. It would also bring Spain in line with workplace norms in the rest of Europe and could even boost the nation's flagging productivity.



Trailblazing tailor
For the first time, a woman has opened a shop on Savile Row, the famous street in London's Mayfair neighborhood that's known for its traditional bespoke tailoring. Kathryn Sargent, whose clients include members of the British royal family and soccer star David Beckham, says she has felt "very welcomed" to the chic street.


Aiming high
Claudia Kessler's "Austronautin" project aims to put Germany's first female astronaut on the International Space Station by 2020. The CEO of HE Space, a recruitment firm that focuses on the space sector, has so far had 50 women apply for the post and expects to hear from dozens more. Would you apply?


Beating the law
French luxury apparel maker Kering may get three more women on its board. Kering, parent company of Gucci, Bottega Veneta, and Stella McCartney, submitted the names of three women to its shareholders, who will consider the nominations later this month. If approved, the company's board would consist of seven women and four men, giving it a gender ratio above what French law requires.


President by another name
Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto leader of Myanmar, is upping the ante. Suu Kyi, who was barred from becoming president because of a constitutional article forbidding those with foreign children from assuming the post, has received a new position called "state counselor." The role, which Suu Kyi herself proposed, gives her the power of a prime minister. Parliament approved the title over the objections of its military representatives, who hold a quarter of the seats.


Surfing for peace
A group of young girls in Bangladesh are using surfing to distract them from their poor living conditions.
Los Angeles Times


Inclusive beauty
Personal care company SheaMoisture, which makes shampoo, conditioner, and body wash, is trying to "ethnically empower" the beauty industry with a new campaign, "Break the Walls." The campaign is about how women with curly hair feel left out when browsing the beauty section of stores because products for their hair type are in a separate "ethnic" section.
Fast Company


Accessible interior design
Leura Fine was frustrated that hiring an interior designer was so expensive. So just over two years ago, she founded Laurel & Wolf, which links consumers with interior designers through an online platform. The company—valued at more than $100 million—has raised $25.5 million in funding. 


Bold in Bolivia
According to the United Nations, Bolivia has the best inclusion of women in politics in South America. A full 53% of Bolivia's parliament is made up of women. That figure puts the country at No. 2 in the world behind Rwanda's 64%.


These are the fastest-growing women-owned businesses

Ivanka Trump-branded scarves, made in China, are recalled for "burn risk"

Just 1% of men in the U.K. have adopted shared parental leave
Management Today

Meet the first female orthodox rabbi 
New York Magazine

Janet Jackson delays music tour to plan a family 





Being a woman in tech has allowed me to carve a second career, work from home, and still be a mum to my teenage boys. Becoming a woman in tech means having my cake and eating it.
— Nathalie Christmann-Cooper, founder of SheCodes web design