The World’s Most Powerful Women: April 12

April 12, 2016, 5:48 AM UTC

Good morning, WMPW readers! A woman provided the crucial tip in the search for the mastermind behind the Paris attacks, Nigeria’s finance minster is looking to borrow money, and Microsoft and Facebook announced they have no gender pay gap. Got some news on a powerful woman? Get in touch, at or @laurascohn. Have a great Tuesday!


Modern-day heroine

The Washington Post has unearthed the story of how a Muslim woman provided the crucial tip in the search for Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the mastermind behind the November attacks on Paris, which left 130 people dead. The religious affiliation of the woman is significant because following the terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels, Muslims living in Europe have been viewed with suspicion by the public. "It's important the world knows that I am Muslim myself," the woman said. "It's important to me that people know what Abaaoud and the others did is not what Islam is teaching." The woman, who spoke with the newspaper, asked that her identity be kept secret because of fears for her safety. Security officials are still looking for operatives of the Islamic State in Europe.

Washington Post


A crash that hurts
Nigerian Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun is launching a borrowing campaign to help her nation pay for infrastructure projects in a bid to revive the sagging economy, which has been hurt by a drop in oil prices. Adeosun, who took office in November, says she may tap bond markets in China and Japan to raise money and help close an $11 billion budget deficit. Nigeria is Africa's top exporter of oil.
Financial Times


A deal on deadline
Angolan businesswoman Isabel dos Santos—Africa's richest woman, according to Forbeshas made an agreement with Spain's Caixabank under which the bank will snap up her stake of Portuguese lender Banco BPI. The agreement, reached hours before a European Central Bank deadline for BPI to cut its Angolan exposure, finishes off months of talks that involved the government of Portugal.
Financial Times


Park your ego
Entrepreneur Nancy Cruickshank says women who start businesses need to "park their egos" because the endeavor is "bloody hard." Cruickshank, who launched in the 1990s and is now founder of health and beauty business, also says that starting a new firm "always takes longer than you think."
Management Today


Working hard in Korea
More married Korean women are choosing to enter the workforce these days. According to Statistics Korea, last year, just 34% of women who were married did not work. That figure is down from 54% of those who stayed home in 2005. The reason? More Koreans are deciding to get married later in life and don't want to interrupt their career path.
Asia News Network


Family feud
The sister of Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has accused him of "abusing his power." Lee Wei Ling used Facebook to criticize her brother's commemorations of the death of their father, Lee Kuan Yew, who served as prime minister from 1959 to 1990.
South China Morning Post


Equal pay on a key day
Just in time for U.S. "Equal Pay Day," Microsoft and Facebook said men and women at the companies earn roughly the same. "Today, for every $1 earned by men, our female employees in the U.S. earn 99.8 cents at the same job title and level," Kathleen Hogan, executive vice president of human resources for Microsoft, said in a post on the company's website.


Back to work
Tech companies such as IBM, Google parent Alphabet, and PayPal are instituting programs to encourage women to go back to work. "The war for talent is so extreme that we're seeing CEOs sitting around, saying, 'Who have we not gone after? Maybe we need to find women who are at home with kids?'" says Valerie Frederickson, CEO of human-resource executive search firm Frederickson Pribula Li.
Wall Street Journal


Creative in Cuba
Havana-born artist Tania Bruguera is working to change Cuba's cultural landscape. Bruguera, who raised more than $100,000 in an online fundraising campaign, is set to open the Institute of Art Activism, a "safe haven for freedom of expression." The Russian punk group Pussy Riot has already signed up. "I do believe in the power of art to change society but I know this cannot be done alone, and it takes a long time," she said.


Move over, Nike
Beyonce isn't the only one launching an activewear brand. A number of new players are joining the market in the U.S., and many of them have been founded at least in part by women. Think Yogasmoga, Carbon 38, Kit and Ace, and Bandier, to name a few.
Business of Fashion


Brazil's Dilma Rousseff suffers setback as committee votes to recommend impeachment

New York's gender pay gap costs women $20 billion a year

British spies helped fight leaks of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter book

Jane Fonda on becoming a feminist

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says UN withdrawal won't hurt security
Financial Times


I didn't plan on it.
—American children's author Beverly Cleary, on how she feels about turning 100.