Skip to Content

The World’s Most Powerful Women: June 2

Good morning, WMPW readers! A new list of the U.S.’s richest self-made women has just been released, African female philanthropists are making names for themselves, and Oprah Winfrey has a new role. Got some news on a powerful woman? You can find me on Twitter at @laurascohn. Have a good Thursday!

 

 

 

THE BIG STORY

The richest self-made women in America As a self-professed data geek, I like analyzing lists. Forbes has just published its list of the 60 richest self-made women in America. And while it’s chock full of women you know well—including Oprah Winfrey, Meg Whitman, Marissa Mayer, Sheryl Sandberg, Madonna, and Beyonce—it also has a few inspiring women you may not know so well. Take Adi Tatarko, the founder of Houzz, a home design website. Or Sophia Amoruso, who started Nasty Gal, an e-commerce retailer. Then there’s Toni Ko, owner of NYX Cosmetics. Missing from this year’s list is Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of the embattled blood-testing company Theranos. The report also includes a breakdown of the youngest women who made the cut, and new women on the listing. Together, the women are worth a combined $53 billion. Not bad. Forbes

EUROPE/MIDDLE EAST/AFRICA



Tough times for Merkel
Angela Merkel has just suffered a setback. Support for the German chancellor’s ruling conservative block and coalition partners sank below 50% for the first time as the anti-immigration party gains support ahead of next year’s parliamentary elections.
Financial Times

.



The new face of philanthropy
A number of African female philanthropists are making names for themselves in an arena traditionally dominated by white men. Two top names include Nigerian businesswoman Folorunsho Alakija, who gives business grants to widows and orphans, and Ethiopian supermodel Liya Kebede, a health advocate for mothers.
Fortune

.



Another headscarf hubbub
Companies are allowed to ban workers from wearing headscarves if they prohibit other religious symbols in the workplace, the European Court of Justice said in a non-binding opinion. The ruling, by the court’s advocate general Juliane Kokott, came as a result of a Belgian court’s desire for clarification on whether it was legal for a receptionist to be dismissed for donning a headscarf at work.
BBC

ASIA-PACIFIC



Back in the public eye
Thailand’s former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra is back in the limelight. Shinawatra, deposed by a military coup two years ago, has been rallying supporters after holding a contest on Facebook, in which she asked her five million followers which tourist sites she should visit.
BBC

.



Speaking up on harassment
Kate Jenkins, Australia’s new sex discrimination commissioner, has penned a piece in which she urges women to speak up and report incidents of sexual harassment. Recent surveys have shown few women who experience harassment—be it at a university or in a workplace—report such episodes.
Australian Financial Review

THE AMERICAS



Bye, bye Barbara
Retiring California Senator Barbara Boxer says attitudes toward female politicians have changed “enormously” in her more than three decades in politics. “I do think we’ve seen the glass ceiling shattered,” she says, adding that it will nonetheless be “hard” to convince voters to elect a female president.
Los Angeles Times

.



Randi Zuckerberg’s new role
Tech entrepreneur and former Facebook exec Randi Zuckerberg is joining HSN, the former Home Shopping Network, as the only female host of the American Dreams series. In her new role, Zuckerberg, the sister of the Facebook founder, will seek out entrepreneurs to appear on the show.
Fortune

.



Oprah’s Kitchen
Oprah Winfrey may soon get a new title: food product maven. The media mogul has filed documents to initiate a food product line called Oprah’s Kitchen that would include a range of products such as dairy items, baked goods, energy drinks, bacon and caviar.
Fortune

IN BRIEF

Donald Trump’s campaign staff is 75% men
Fortune

Sheryl Sandberg says Peter Thiel will stay on Facebook’s board
Wall Street Journal

Why JetBlue can kick you off a plane for wearing booty shorts
Fortune

The gender pay gap is getting wider in Ireland
Independent


Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris, plans refugee camp in her city
Guardian


Female Marine pushes for equal pull-up standard
Vice


The gender gap in VC funding is worse than the pay gap
Bloomberg

PARTING WORDS

The model agencies were wondering ‘who is this arrogant woman who claims that if Gisele wants to be in Vogue, she can’t be in Elle?’ That was me.
—Daniela Falcao, the former editor in chief of Brazilian Vogue who's now editorial director of Edicoes Globo Conde Nast