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The World’s Most Powerful Women: May 24

Good morning, WMPW readers! Adele may be about to sign a $130 million record deal, a South Korean designer who dressed Lady Gaga is trying to build her brand internationally, and Angelina Jolie Pitt has a teaching gig at LSE. Want to pass on some news about a powerful woman? Find me on Twitter at @laurascohn. Enjoy your Tuesday!


The funding gap

One issue that gets a lot of buzz among female entrepreneurs is how hard it is to get funding. Recent research shows that in the U.K., male entrepreneurs were 59% more likely to get startup money than women. Another study revealed that even though a record number of new businesses were started in the U.K. last year, there was a drop in the number of women who launched their own firms. But things may be looking up. The number of female angel investors in the U.K. is rising, albeit slowly. Anna Sofat, for instance, runs the successful wealth management and investment firm Addidi, which caters to women. “Since 2009, I think we’ve probably near single-handedly doubled the number of business women angels in the country,” she says. That’s from a small base, but I’ll take it.Management Today


Parity in Paris
HEC Paris, which has a teaching staff that’s about 50% female, was named No. 1 by The Financial Times for diversity in the executive education for the first time, and it came in second place in the newspaper’s customized program rankings.
Financial Times


Adele, $130m woman?
Adele is about to sign a massive $130 million record contract–the biggest ever for a British artist and the largest for any female singer. The Sony Music deal smashes Robbie Williams’ record of $125 million with EMI and Whitney Houston’s $100 million deal with Arista Records.

Another Le Pen
Is the niece of French far-right leader Marine Le Pen starting to blur the National Front’s message ahead of next year’s presidential election? That’s the concern of party elders, who worry that Marion Marechal-Le Pen’s challenges to the traditional party line will confuse voters.


Dressing Lady Gaga
Fashion designer Gayeon Lee has already dressed Lady Gaga. Now the South Korean designer, who launched her eponymous brand in 2014, is trying to build her business on the global stage.


Men online
Despite what I thought, it’s not women who are driving the burgeoning online shopping market in China. Men are the ones snapping up personal-care products and sports, dining and travel services.
South China Morning Post


Designing shoes
With the #heelgate story still fresh in my mind, this piece about a female entrepreneur who started a shoe design company caught my eye. The brand, “Shoes of Prey,” was founded by Australian lawyer-turned entrepreneur Jodie Fox, her now ex-husband, and another business partner. It lets women customize their shoes online.


Professor Pitt
The London School of Economics has hired Angelina Jolie Pitt as a visiting professor for its new course on women, peace and security. I bet the class, which she’s launching with former British Foreign Secretary William Hague, will have a long waiting list.


A gift that’s hard to give
Burt’s Bees co-founder Roxanne Quimby has been trying to give away a national park in Maine for over 10 years. It still hasn’t happened.
Washington Post


Martha’s advice
Lifestyle empire founder Martha Stewart, who recently became a grandmother, said reinforcement is key to instilling confidence in young women. “Even if your daughter or granddaughter maybe isn’t so pretty, or isn’t so smart, tell her she is,” said Stewart, at the Fortune Most Powerful Women “Evening With…” dinner in New York last night. “You keep reinforcing that and you know what? She’ll grow up to (be) beautiful and brilliant and do just what she wants to do.”


Real revenues
What happens when a lingerie brand stops airbrushing its models? If you’re American Eagle’s Aerie, which promoted its campaign with the hashtag #aeriereal, sales spike. “We want to help empower young women to be confident in themselves and their bodies,” says Aerie exec Jennifer Foyle.



Ellen DeGeneres Show to host “Ghostbusters” cast and Hillary Clinton on same day, irking Sony
New York Times

Clinton email probe starts to wind down

ANZ Bank names banker Michelle Jablko to CFO post

Shooter Kim Rhode qualifies for sixth Olympics
Sports Illustrated

Why some female scientists try hard to look frumpy

How Isabella Barrett became a multimillionaire by age nine
New York Times


I think it is more difficult to raise a family than to raise a political profile.
—Smriti Irani, India's Human Resource Development minister