The World’s Most Powerful Women: May 5

May 5, 2016, 6:11 AM UTC

Good morning, WMPW readers! More women in Europe are getting board positions, an Indian entrepreneur is making cheeky chutney, and comedian Samantha Bee is nailing her new gig. Want to pass on some news about an exceptional woman? Get in touch, at: or @laurascohn. Have a great Thursday!


Lonely at the top

Here's the good news: the movement in Europe to impose quotas for female board members at large companies appears to be working. As we reported last week, the percentage of women on European boards has nearly doubled over the past five years. But there's also bad news: once women ascend to the board room, it's not so easy. In fact, women who've made it in Britain say it can be a mixed bag. The Guardian reports that while some in such a position say they haven't felt discriminated against, others tell stories of inappropriate comments about their looks, inflexible meeting schedules, and outings to sporting events that exclude women.Guardian


Uber hires Neelie Kroes
Uber has hired former European commissioner Neelie Kroes to help it deal with its political and regulatory hurdles. Kroes, a former competition and telecoms regulator, is a member of Uber's new public policy board.


Making math fun
Eugenia Cheng, an English mathematician and pianist, is on a mission to make math easy to understand. Her attempts seem to be adding up. Cheng, who has appeared on "Late Night With Stephen Colbert" in a very funny segment, has created online math tutorials that more than a million people have viewed.
New York Times


Sustaining sustainable fashion
Marie-Claire Daveu, chief sustainability officer at the luxury fashion brand owner Kering, says while the company has made progress in certain areas, in others, "we have an issue to tackle." Kering—owner of Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, and Stella McCartney—has managed to make 99% of its collections PVC-free. But it's fallen short of its goal to reduce its water use by 25%, only cutting it by 19%.
Business of Fashion


Cheeky chutney
Meet Swati Biwal, the Indian entrepreneur behind Cheeky Food, which produces pickles and chutney with funny names like "Smelly Garlic." Biwal, a trained mathematician and computer engineer, now sells her products in the swanky department store Selfridges in London.
Evening Standard


Hanging out a shingle
In Australia, women who have young kids are nearly three times more likely to be self-employed than other women. But it's not because they possess an entrepreneurial zeal. The small business owners say they started their own firms because of a tough work environment at a traditional company and the high cost of childcare.
Sydney Morning Herald


Elizabeth Warren goes after Trump
Senator Elizabeth Warren assailed Donald Trump on her Facebook page, saying, "Trump has built his campaign on racism, sexism, and xenophobia." She added, "I'm going to fight my heart out," to ensure he never gets to the White House. I wonder how she really feels.


Don't say "no" to dinner
Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to President Obama, shared a valuable lesson last night: you never know when you'll meet an important contact. Speaking at the Fortune Most Powerful Women "Evening With..." dinner in Washington, D.C., Jarrett said years ago, when she worked for Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, she was trying to hire Michelle Robinson, then Obama's fiancee. Agreeing to have dinner with the couple was key. "Wow, am I glad I said yes!" Jarrett said.


Samantha Bee nails it
Comedian Samantha Bee, host of the new late-night TV show "Full Frontal," has become a "sharp-eyed avenger whose caustic streak is wholly justified by her targets," The New Yorker opines. Well put. Since her hilarious tenure on "The Daily Show," she's been one of my personal favorites.
The New Yorker



Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff says she is "innocent victim" in impeachment fight

Retired soccer star Abby Wambach is joining ESPN

The Directors Guild of America's list of 80 best-directed films only includes one by a woman

South Africa's top public utility pledges to boost women in management to nearly 50%
ESI Africa

New Jersey's Chris Christie vetoes equal pay bill
New Jersey Law Journal


When she died, there was a gaping hole, not just for us but also for a huge amount of people across the world. If I can try and fill a very small part of that, then job done. I will have to, in a good way, spend the rest of my life trying to fill that void as much as possible. And so will William.
—Prince Harry, on his mother, Lady Diana