The World’s Most Powerful Women: May 31

May 31, 2016, 4:48 AM UTC

Good morning, WMPW readers! A woman in Berlin is trying to erase lingering neo-Nazism, it’s tough to be a working woman in Japan, and Donald Trump just insulted mothers again. Got some news on a powerful woman in business? You can find me on Twitter at @laurascohn. Have a great Tuesday!




A pseudonym for your CV—Part 2

Last week, I was surprised when I read a piece about a woman who changed her name from Kayo Anosike to Kayla Benjamin to avoid name bias and land a job. It worked for her, so I asked you all to email me if you'd had similar experiences. Turns out, Anosike is not alone. Consider Erin McKelvey, who changed her first name on her resume in 1995 to the more masculine "Mack"—a nickname for her last name—after getting zero bites from resumes sent out under her legal name. As Mack, her response rate shot up to 70% and she still goes by the moniker professionally. (She's now a partner of Chameleon Collective and CEO of SalientMG.) Some execs, such as Michelle Seitz, head of William Blair Investment Management, are tackling discrimination—conscious or otherwise—against feminine or ethnic-sounding names by requiring that women and minorities make up half of all candidates interviewed for positions at their firms. It draws out the hiring process, but Seitz says it's crucial to make the workforce "a bit more balanced" than it's been historically. If women are going as far as changing their names to get hired, it might not be such a bad idea.

Financial Times


Plastic pounds
Bank of England chief cashier Victoria Cleland says the public has been wowed by the U.K.'s new polymer five-pound notes, which will feature Winston Churchill instead of Quaker prison reformer Elizabeth Fry, who's on the paper note. Cleland said people have called the notes "really cool," adding, "You don't often get 'cool' and the Bank of England in the same sentence." True that.
The Times


Eradicating hate
Berliner Irmela Mensah-Schramm is trying to erase lingering neo-Nazism in her city quite literally. The retired teacher has taken it upon herself to tear down neo-Nazi posters, scrape neo-Nazi stickers off city walls, and remove Nazi-related graffiti in cities throughout Germany.
New York Times


Protesting fracking
Tina Louise Rothery is just one of many British women campaigning against fracking. Mothers and grandmothers, including one group known as the "Nanas," are trying to prevent companies from drilling for gas in the U.K.—and are finding success.


Tough going in Japan
More proof that it's not easy being a working woman in Japan: Despite Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's goal of getting women into 30% of senior jobs by 2020 (from a level of 8%), women say they're hampered by limited daycare centers, aging parents who need their help, and a lack of support from their husbands.
Asia Times


A beloved baker
On a more upbeat note, Nadiya Hussain has been living a dream since she won The Great British Bake Off. The Bangladesh-born Hussain has not only become a columnist at The Times and baked a cake for the Queen, but also has become a motivational speaker and written a cook book for children.
The Times


Shrinking in South Korea
In other news, the gender pay gap in South Korea is narrowing. A study examining gender disparities at big companies also showed that the large local Web portal Naver, and Hansae, which makes clothes for Nike, were consistently the country's most female-friendly firms.
Korea Bizwire


Trump: pregnancy is "an inconvenience"
U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump told NBC News in 2004 that pregnancy, while "a wonderful thing for the woman," was "certainly an inconvenience for business." Harsh.


Tireless fashion
At 77, designer Carolina Herrera shows little sign of slowing down. Herrera, famous for dressing first ladies, including Michelle Obama, has over a million followers on Instagram, and is the subject of an exhibit at the SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion and Film in Atlanta.
New York Times


Scrutinizing pay
Having more women on the boards of large companies led to higher paychecks for CEOs, an analysis found. The report highlights the fact that it will take more than gender diversity on corporate boards to change the way top executives are paid.
New York Times


Why more women don't fly first class

Rihanna's Puma sneakers sell out online in 35 minutes

Men would support a female James Bond

Study shows women are more assertive on Facebook than men
Wall Street Journal

Actress Constance Wu pushes entertainment biz to be more diverse
New York Times


I have been called Erin Brockovich a few times.
— Shreya Ukil, who recently won a sexual discrimination case against information technology company Wipro