The World’s Most Powerful Women: April 11

April 11, 2016, 6:59 AM UTC

Good morning, WMPW readers! A former Argentinian president may be in trouble, a sheikha in the tiny state of Qatar is investing big in the fashion biz, and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is pushing for diversity at the United States’ top court. Got a tip on a powerful woman? Send it my way, at: or @laurascohn. Have a great Monday!


Cornering Kirchner

The former president of Argentina may be in trouble. Cristina Kirchner, who led the South American country from 2007 through late last year, may be added to a money laundering investigation that has riveted the nation for the past three years. Her close associate, Argentine construction baron Lazaro Baez, was arrested last week and charged in the case. Kirchner is now on prosecutors' target list even though she's said her administration was not corrupt. Kirchner is the second female South American leader to come under fire recently. Brazil's Dilma Rousseff, recently named by Fortune readers as the world's most disappointing leader because of her alleged mismanagement of government funds, is facing possible impeachment proceedings.

New York Times


A sheikha shaking things up
The sovereign investment vehicle of the tiny Persian Gulf state of Qatar, Mayhoola For Investments, is pouring millions into the fashion business. Mayhoola is believed to have close ties to Sheikha Moza, the former emir's second wife. In 2012 Mayhoola bought Italian fashion house Valentino. Then, it nabbed a share of British accessories maker Anya Hindmarch, and now it's a contender to acquire Balmain, the French fashion brand.
Financial Times


First comes school, then comes marriage
In Malawi, a female chief is ending marriages between children and telling the kids to go back to school. While the southeastern African country has a law forbidding marriage under the age of 18, it is flouted in certain areas. The chief, Theresa Kachindamoto, says, "We have now set our own laws to govern everybody within my area when it comes to marriages and will leave no sacred cow."


A gaping gap
We hear—and write—quite a bit about gender pay gaps here at WMPW. But most of these studies focus on executives. It seems working-class women have the same problem, though. In the U.K., the gender pay gap for young women in vocational fields is bigger than the one for those with academic degrees. Women in vocational industries make 15% less than their male counterparts, while the gender pay gap between young men and women with academic qualifications is closer to 10%.


Grateful for the good
Hyeonseo Lee, a defector from North Korea, lambasted China for returning refugees to her homeland because they could go to prison. Lee, who escaped from North Korea in the late 1990s and hid in China for nearly a dozen years, said "there are many evils" in China, but added there are also "many good people."
Wall Street Journal


Beauty, Gangnam style
South Korean skin care products, known as K-Beauty, have become the new thing in the U.S. thanks to their quirky bottles (think pandas and hard-boiled eggs) and natural ingredients. Businesses such as "Soko Glam," founded by a Korean American couple, are moving to the forefront of the industry.
Wall Street Journal



Wanted: diversity among the Supremes
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor said it's crucial to have diversity at the highest U.S. court. "I for one, do think there is a disadvantage from having (five) Catholics, three Jews, everyone from an Ivy League school," she said. She also noted: "A different perspective can permit you to more fully understand the arguments that are before you and help you articulate your position in a way that everyone will understand." Well put.


Hunting terrorists online
This story digs into how Alex Kassirer, a security analyst at threat intelligence firm Flashpoint, monitors the online activity of jihadists, who she says are "increasingly engaging in hacking and cybercrime."
New York Times


Reality bites
PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi says that trying to balance her career with her family "hurt like hell." She says she felt that sting recently when she found a note that her daughter wrote years ago, when she was still a young girl. It read: "Dear mom, I love you. Please come home." While the chief says she has no regrets about her career path, she did allow that if she could turn back time, she'd tell her younger self to be "careful of your choices."


Keiko Fujimori, daughter of a former Peruvian president, wins the first round of the nation's presidential election

Did Laura Bush mean to hint she supports Hillary Clinton?

How the company behind "female viagra" lost its way
New York Times

For the first time, the top three Screen Actors Guild officers are women

Kerry Washington divulges what she and Anita Hill share

Daisy Ridley, who played Rey in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," wins MTV award for "breakthrough performance"



I've heard that, and I'm really flattered. I love those gals. They're really terrific. My response is: If I'd never been born, they'd still be doing what they're doing.
—Carol Burnett, on how she feels about actresses such as Tina Fey and Amy Poehler calling her a role model.