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The World’s Most Powerful Women: May 17

Good morning, WMPW readers! A new study shows there aren’t many female execs in the top ranks of U.K. companies, Carrie Fisher speaks bluntly at Cannes about being a woman in Hollywood, and Oracle co-CEO Safra Catz is a top earner. Got some news about a remarkable woman? You can find me on Twitter at: @laurascohn. Have a great Tuesday!

THE BIG STORY

Gender diversity pays There aren’t many female execs in the top ranks of the U.K.’s biggest companies. But the few that are there tend to help each other out. That’s my takeaway from new research that shows women account for just 16% of the executive committees at FTSE 350 companies. Digging into the details, it turns out female CEOs tend to have double the number of women on their executive committees than the average male chief. In addition, female CEOs have more women in the top financial positions seen as a grooming ground for future top execs. And here’s my favorite stat: the 169 FTSE 350 companies that have at least one woman on their executive committees are doing better financially than those with no female representation at all. Proof that diversity pays—literally. Financial Times

EUROPE/MIDDLE EAST/AFRICA



Carrie Fisher’s blunt talk at Cannes
This year’s Cannes film festival has been good to women: three female directors have films competing, and footwear on the red carpet is optional. Even so, Carrie Fisher, who attended for the premier of a film about her life called “Bright Lights,” conceded it’s still tough to be a woman in Hollywood, since you’re judged by your looks more than your male co-stars are.
New York Times

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Lovable lollies
Sometimes, a children’s playgroup becomes a fertile ground for a startup. After Meriel Kehoe and Lucy Woodhouse met and determined they wanted to create healthy treats for their kids, they founded Claudi & Fin, a frozen yogurt lolly brand now sold in the U.K.’s top supermarkets.
Management Today

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Waiting in the wings
Being someone’s back-up isn’t always such a bad thing. That’s how Ermonela Jaho, an Albanian soprano who was just honored at the International Opera Awards, began her unlikely path to fame.
The Times

 

ASIA-PACIFIC


A baby step in Japan
A bit of good news has emerged from Japan, which is not always the friendliest place for working women. The country’s Coast Guard, which had been losing female employees, said women can delay job transfers for several years if they need to take care of small children or undergo fertility treatments.
Japan Today

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Flying high
Deborah Lawrie, the first female commercial airline pilot in Australia who famously won a sex discrimination case against Ansett Airlines, is pushing for a permanent women’s museum in Melbourne.
The Age

THE AMERICAS



Lonely at the top
A new list of the top-paid execs has only a few women. The new Bloomberg Pay Index shows that just 17 of its 200 highly-paid executives are women, and the highest-paid is Oracle co-CEO Safra Catz, who took in $57 million.
Fortune

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FLOTUS fashion fads
I’ve seen snippets about the impact of Michelle Obama’s clothing choices on the fashion biz and always wondered if there was a real economic effect. Turns out, when FLOTUS wears an item—say a cardigan from J. Crew—it can sell out within hours. Impressive.
NPR

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Not as rushed as we think
Surveys show that working Americans, particularly working mothers, feel they don’t have enough time to get it all done. But get this: Laura Vanderkam, a mother of four who writes about time management, analyzed her personal schedule and found out she has… more time than she thought.
New York Times

IN BRIEF

Why the NYT’s story about Trump and women won’t hurt him
Fortune

World Rugby names South African entrepreneur Wendy Luhabe to exec committee
Eyewitness News

Female South Korean novelist Han Kang wins Man Booker International prize
Guardian

Hearsay Social founder Clara Shih’s Twitter advice for CEOs
Fortune


Johns Hopkins Hospital appoints first female president
CBS Baltimore


Is there a gender “investment gap?”
City A.M.

PARTING WORDS

I say no to everyone who tries to tell me who I am and who I am going to be.
— actress Yasmine Al-Massri, who plays twin FBI agents on Quantico, the U.S. TV show