Skip to Content

The World’s Most Powerful Women: April 29

Good morning, WMPW readers! A group of businesswomen is breaking barriers in Bordeaux, Middle Eastern fashion designers are making names for themselves, and human-rights lawyer Amal Clooney takes on Trump. Got some news about an exceptional woman? Get in touch, at: laura.cohn@gmail.com or @laurascohn. Have a good weekend!

THE BIG STORY

Breaking barriers in Bordeaux

The wine industry in France’s world-famous Bordeaux region has traditionally been an old boy’s club. But a group of businesswomen is out to change that. They say it isn’t easy. Stephanie de Bouard-Rivoal, managing director at Chateau Angelus in Saint-Emilion, is one example. She’s an eighth generation winemaker who spent six years in banking in London to “gain respect.” She says she follows each aspect of the business to the end. “This is what a woman can contribute,” she says. “Men get tired of the details.”Bloomberg

EUROPE/MIDDLE EAST/AFRICA


Designs on Europe
A cluster of female Middle Eastern designers is taking the fashion world by storm. Here are some names to look out for: Israeli architect Elinor Avni and jeweler Tammar Edelman make Noritamy’s modern accessories—now sold in Paris and London. Iranian sisters Shiva and Shirin Vaqar produce the clothing label Vaqar.
Business of Fashion
.


Flex is best
The U.K. government says a flexible work environment is the best way to attack the gender pay gap. But it can be tough to put into practice. The Guardian makes a convincing case that in order for it to work, employers need to embrace it. Fully.
Guardian

.

ASIA-PACIFIC



Befriending Iran
South Korean President Park Geun-hye is set to make a historic visit to Iran this weekend. Park, the country’s first female president, hopes to instill a closer relationship with Iran, an ally of North Korea.
Wall Street Journal

.



Tensions in Taiwan
Tsai Ing-wen, who will become Taiwan’s first female president in May, is already confronting the nation’s tensions with China. She says she wants to keep the “status quo” across the Taiwan Strait and will do whatever it takes “to sustain the peace and stability.” Her comments follow a dust-up involving 45 Taiwanese who were deported to China.
The Straits Times

.



Swimming back
For Hong Kong swimmer Yvette Kong, the road to qualify for the Olympics has been choppy. After not qualifying for the London games—by just 0.1 second—Kong became depressed and quit the sport. But having received treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, she says she’s ready for Rio.
South China Morning Post

THE AMERICAS


Amal Clooney takes on Trump
Top human rights lawyer Amal Clooney slammed U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in a rare interview with the BBC. She dismissed Trump’s statement earlier this week that he did well with women in recent primaries. Clooney said Trump’s high unfavorables with women will prevent him from getting much of the female vote. She and actor husband George Clooney hosted a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton in April. 
Fortune

.



Praised for enforcement
Jennifer Shasky Calvery, who’s stepping down as director of the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, has been hailed by experts for expanding prosecution of big and small banks alike. After she leaves Treasury, Calvery is expected to go into financial compliance at HSBC.
Wall Street Journal

.



Leaving rates alone
U.S. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen wisely left interest rates alone this week, and they’ll likely stay put for the rest of the year. The economy is doing alright. Plus, Yellen, who needs to appear apolitical, will likely do nothing on rates in June before the U.K.’s Brexit referendum. Nor is she likely to make a move in November ahead of the U.S. election.
Fortune

IN BRIEF

Trump wasn’t always sexist, says female exec who used to work for him
Guardian

Etsy takes gender diversity reporting to the next level
Fortune


Female Chinese writer gets Hugo Awards nomination for sci-fi novelette
South China Morning Post


Melania Trump says “GQ” profile is inaccurate
Fortune


U.S. military still has a problem with sexual assault
Voice of America

 

PARTING WORDS

I would say there have been different stages of my feminist awakening. The more layers you peel back and the more things you’re made aware of, you’re like, ‘Oh my God.’
— actress Emma Watson