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The World’s Most Powerful Women: May 26

Good morning, WMPW readers! Taiwan’s new female president was attacked by a Chinese official for being single, detained Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko was sent home, and Hillary Clinton’s email headache just got worse. Want to share some news about a remarkable woman? You can find me on Twitter at @laurascohn. Have a good Thursday!





A personal attack on Taiwan’s Tsai Taiwan’s first female president, Tsai Ing-wen, has had a rough first week. First, she irked Chinese officials by omitting the word “consensus” when referring to the cross-straight relationship with China. Now she’s under attack for being single. A piece in the International Herald Leader, which China’s state newswire Xinhua owns, says since Tsai “doesn’t bear the burdens of emotional love, family constraints, or child rearing,” she “is extreme in achieving short-term goals.” It also says she is “emotional” and “deceptive” in politics. True, she comes from the Democratic Progressive Party, which is more pro-independence than Kuomintang, the party that lost to her. But still, this is a low blow. Quartz


Saving Savchenko
Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko, who was detained in Russia for two years, was sent home following a prisoner swap worthy of a Hollywood film plot. The release of Savchenko, who became a national hero and was elected to parliament while doing time in a Russian jail, may mark an easing of tension between Moscow and Kiev.


More for Monica
Earlier this year, Monica Mondardini, one of Italy’s few women CEOs, played a crucial role in partnership talks between two of the country’s largest newspapers. Now Mondardini, who heads Gruppo Editoriale L’Espresso and CIR Group, is setting her sights on expanding her company’s health care and car-parts businesses.


Beyond Lady Macbeth
Would you watch a Shakespeare play with actresses playing every role? Josie Rourke, the artistic director of the award-winning Donmar Warehouse, is betting people will. She’s building a new theater in London for a series of such shows.


Where the gap narrows
A new survey shows that while India has a gender pay gap, it narrows when men and women are working at the same level. Men in India earn an average of nearly 19% more than women, but just 3.5% more if they work at the same level at the same firm.
Live Mint


A setback Down Under
Sadly, women haven’t made much progress in corporate Australia over the last five years. A study shows the percentage of female CEOs and COOs in the country’s top 100 companies has not changed, and the proportion of female CFOs fell to 6% from 8%. That’s a blow to the path to the top.
Sydney Morning Herald


Hillary’s email headache
The inspector general of the State Department said Hillary Clinton did not get permission to use her private email server when she was secretary of state, and also did not comply with Federal Records Act rules to hand over work emails when she stepped down. While Clinton’s campaign dismissed the criticisms, the report could add to the perception among some voters that she is not transparent.


Biased toward bias
Speaking of Clinton, when she failed to get the Democratic nomination eight years ago, political pundits assumed gender bias played a role. But a new book “Women on the Run: Gender, Media, and Political Campaigns in a Polarized Era,” argues there is less gender bias in U.S. politics than commonly assumed.
Washington Post


A crowdfunding edge
Crowdfunding is working for female entrepreneurs. Studies show that women support women in this type of fundraising, and they’re better than men at telling a story that attracts investors.
Fast Company


Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Anne Applebaum to anchor Washington Post’s Global Opinions section
Washington Post

Actress Melissa Gilbert won’t run for Congress

Sophie Newton of marketing agency Brainlabs gives every female employee an 8.6% raise

Chanel hires Lily-Rose Depp, daughter of Johnny, for perfume campaign
Business of Fashion

A growing number of workers sue over family care—and win


Spies do get pregnant, so they went with it.
—actress Olivia Colman, on the reaction to her pregnancy by the producers of AMC's The Night Manager