Skip to Content

The World’s Most Powerful Women: May 9

Good morning, WMPW readers! The woman who heads Sweden’s film institute is pressing for more female directors, a group of former WNBA players is flocking to Russia, and India’s top companies are hurting for female CEOs. Want to get in touch about a powerful woman? You can reach me at: or @laurascohn. Have a great Monday!


The Jennifer Lawrence effectThanks to actress Jennifer Lawrence, we all know that women in the movie business don’t make as much money as men. But sometimes it’s hard to realize just how bad things are until you see them in black and white. A new report that looks back over 10 years of British filmmaking finds a grim reality: an “unjustified” and “unconscious” bias against women. There are signs of hope, however. Three female directors are in the running for the top prize at the Cannes film festival. Meanwhile, Anna Serner, who heads Sweden’s film institute, is shaking things up by pushing to put more women filmmakers behind the camera. And it’s working: Movie execs in Ireland, Canada, and Australia are following her lead. Hollywood, are you listening?


Brow biz boom
Don’t raise your eyebrows, but brow grooming is becoming a serious business. Vanita Parti, founder of Blinkbrowbar in London, expects a surge in sales of her specialized eyebrow products this year.
Financial Times

From Russia with love
It may be freezing cold in Russia, but the basketball teams pay well and coddle their players with perks like personal drivers. No wonder a group of former WNBA players, including Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner, have flocked there.


Let’s talk about sex
Scanning the global news reports each day, I see little, if anything, about the sexual frustration of women in the Middle East. Mona Eltahawy, an Egyptian Muslim who wrote “Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution,” is trying to change that.
New York Times


India’s glass ceiling
While I’ve written about a number of the successful female entrepreneurs in India, it’s not so easy for women to reach the upper ranks of the country’s biggest companies. In fact, just 17 of the 500 largest listed firms in India are headed by women.
The Economic Times


Bao bun boom
Ever tried a bao bun? The delicious Chinese bread roll served at Taiwan-born chef Erchen Chang’s London restaurant Bao has become so hot that people queue for hours to get a bite. Chang, whose partners include Shing Tat Chung and his sister Wai Ting, started selling her buns as street food.
Financial Times


Bankrolling the next president
Everyone knows the next U.S. president may be a woman. But behind the scenes, women are playing another key role in this year’s presidential campaign: political fundraising.
New York Times


Bye, bye, Alicia
I will miss Alicia Florrick, the character played by Julianna Margulies on the compelling TV show “The Good Wife,” which ended over the weekend. If you aren’t addicted yet, check it out. It depicts a woman who in public sticks by her cheating and corrupt politician husband (played by Chris Noth of “Sex and the City” fame), while trying to revive her legal career and be a mom.
Washington Post


Taking on Trump
Senator Elizabeth Warren and Donald Trump are at it again. In another Twitter fight, the presumed Republican nominee called Warren’s Native American heritage “phony.” Warren, for her part, said Trump was a “bully” who uses “offensive lines” on “anyone who calls him out.”


“Saturday Night Live” ribs Hillary Clinton with President Barbie bit
Entertainment Weekly

Sarah Palin wants to push out House Speaker Paul Ryan

Is Angelina Jolie running for office?

Angela Merkel is the 9th highest paid global leader
Gazette Review

How the Indian women’s frisbee team plans to crowd fund its way to London
Live Mint

Pregnant women and new mothers in Hong Kong face serious discrimination
South China Morning Post


You have to make double the effort a man makes.
— Lixy Enriquez, an assistant referee for men's soccer in Mexico