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The World’s Most Powerful Women: May 16

Good morning, WMPW readers! A woman was appointed secretary general of FIFA, the ex-lover of France’s president is expected to play a key role in his re-election bid, and Sheryl Sandberg made a moving speech about resilience. Want to get in touch? You can find me on Twitter at: @laurascohn. Have a great Monday!

THE BIG STORY

A female first at FIFA

There are few domains in the world more male-dominated than men’s soccer. So the appointment of a woman to head FIFA, soccer’s global governing body, came as somewhat of a surprise to me. Fatma Samoura, a veteran UN diplomat from Senegal, was appointed as secretary general of the organization to rebuild its reputation after last year’s ethics investigation. Samoura said she hopes to grow the game worldwide and work on FIFA’s reforms. There has been talk at FIFA about forming a separate women’s division. Perhaps Samoura, the first woman to hold a top executive position at the organization, will get going on that too.New York Times

EUROPE/MIDDLE EAST/AFRICA



A loyal lover
It’s not often that an ex-lover helps a world leader gain another term. But Segolene Royal, France’s energy and environment minister and the former partner of President Francois Hollande, is so politically popular, she’s expected to play a crucial role in his re-election bid.
Financial Times

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Reverse pay gap
As I was digging through some wonky global data on the gender pay gap over the weekend, I noticed the United Arab Emirates has a “reverse pay gap,” in which women earn more than men. But before we get too excited, here’s the reason: female workers in the UAE are small in number and more highly educated than men.
Economist

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How green are your emeralds?
When it comes to ethically-produced stones, diamonds tend to grab all the headlines. Instead, Caroline Scheufele, the creative director and co-president of luxury jeweler Chopard, is focusing on high mining standards for emeralds. The actress Julianne Moore approves so much she wore Chopard’s emerald earrings on the red carpet at the Cannes film festival.
Financial Times

ASIA-PACIFIC



Missing Kiwis
Last week, I wrote about how things were looking up for female execs in Australia, but it appears to be a different story in New Zealand. A review of the top 50 firms in the country found that none of them have female CEOs, a fact Theresa Gattung—who in 1999 became the first woman to run a big public company in New Zealand—said left her “gobsmacked.”
RNZ

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Sharing stress
If you’re an entrepreneur and your partner or spouse is one as well, it’s a recipe for disaster, right? An Indian daily newspaper interviewed couples in such a situation and found it actually works quite well because you can empathize with each other and perhaps even share vendors.
Live Mint

THE AMERICAS



Sandberg opens up
Just over a year after losing her husband, Facebook COO and “Lean In” author Sheryl Sandberg made an incredibly moving speech about resilience in a commencement address at the University of California at Berkeley. “I learned that in the face of the void—or in the face of any challenge—you can choose joy and meaning,” she said in remarks well worth a read.
Fortune

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Kirchner indicted
It’s been a rough couple of days for current and former female politicians in South America. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was suspended late last week, and now former Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has been indicted on charges of manipulating her country’s central bank.
New York Times

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Trump’s women problem
A lot of ink has been spilled on Donald Trump and his interaction with women. But the “New York Times” took another crack at it, interviewing dozens of women who knew Trump professionally. The results show a history of undesired come-ons, disturbing workplace behavior, and constant comments on appearance by the presidential candidate.
New York Times

IN BRIEF


Mitsubishi, Japan’s largest bank, names two women as executive officers for the first time
Wall Street Journal


Hillary Clinton will put her husband in charge of the economy if she wins
New York Times


Goldman Sachs trails national averages for female leadership
Fortune


Will Megyn Kelly of Fox News be the next Barbara Walters?
New York Times


Rockefeller Foundation’s Judith Rodin wants 100 female CEOs by 2025
Fast Company


Female general becomes first woman to head top U.S. combat command
Air Force Times

PARTING WORDS

There was a long time when there were jobs that seemed out of the question for women. Now I think everything is in play. It’s a good feeling.
— Emily Maitlis, BBC News anchor, reflecting on opportunities for women on TV