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The World’s Most Powerful Women: June 9

Hillary Clinton made U.S. history this week when she claimed the Democratic presidential nomination.

The moment made me wonder what took so long. After all, other countries around the globe—including some democracies that are only of recent vintage—have had female leaders for decades. In all, the Pew Research Center says the world has 18 female leaders.

So what gives? One theory, laid out in a Los Angeles Times story, says that women have an easier time winning office in nations with newly democratic regimes because their political elites are less entrenched. India, which has been a democracy for just over six decades, has the best record for electing, and keeping, women in power.

The U.S., by contrast, “has had two centuries to develop old-boy networks, the results of which are walls that are less easy to scale,” Dan Schnur, director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at the University of Southern California told the Times. “New democracies have had less time to build such walls.”

Better late than never.

Have a terrific Thursday!

EUROPE/MIDDLE EAST/AFRICA

Lady business

Just 30% of the startup founders in Europe are women. Would that number be higher if more women enrolled in female-only business courses? A Financial Times piece argues it would.
Financial Times

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A bloody ad
A new ad for feminine hygiene products (stay with me) made by the U.K. company Bodyform strays from the typical images of women laughing and cavorting, and instead depicts them doing intense sports such as boxing. The tagline, which I find oddly inspiring, is: “No blood should hold us back.”
Elle

ASIA-PACIFIC


A pop star gets popular
There’s been a new twist to the story I mentioned yesterday about Hong Kong pop star Denise Ho, who had her role in a marketing campaign cancelled by Lancome after a state-run newspaper said she was “a Hong Kong and Tibet independence advocate.” The move, which Ho called “self-censorship,” has led to a groundswell of support for the singer, plus protests that forced the cosmetics giant to close its main stores in Hong Kong. 
Guardian

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Depressing news from Down Under
I keep seeing stories about how women haven’t made much progress in corporate Australia over the last five years. In the latest setback, it appears the country will not hit its goal of having 30% of women on corporate boards by 2018.
Sydney Morning Herald

THE AMERICAS



Hillary opens up
In an interview with the New York Times, Hillary Clinton said the U.S. political system is “the most challenging” in the world, adding that female leaders around the globe all tend to fall under the microscope. “Women candidates all face the same scrutiny, and questions about ourselves, so there are similarities,” she said.
New York Times
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Whitman thinks inside the (Drop)box
Meg Whitman, CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise and No. 7 on Fortune’s Most Powerful Women list, is joining forces with the Silicon Valley startup Dropbox to grow her business. HP Enterprise is supplying the hardware for a change in the startup’s tech plan.
Wall Street Journal
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Serena speaks
Serena Williams spoke frankly on the gender pay gap in sports, telling Glamour there’s “a lot” of work to do. “I really hope that I can be helpful in that journey because I do believe that women deserve the same pay,” she said.
NY Magazine

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Reppin’ for millennials?
Twenty-five-year-old Erin Schrode of California is running for Congress. If she wins, she would be the youngest legislator in the U.S. House of Representatives.
New York Times

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IN BRIEF


Maria Sharapova suspended for two years
Time


The female CEOs employees love the most
Fortune


Why female athletes can’t let Zika keep them from Rio
Fortune


Sumner Redstone hearing is dominated by male lawyers
Boston Globe


Analysis of “NYT” wedding announcements shows more cum laude female grads than men
New York Times


Introducing Sahara Lin, the braces-wearing model ruling Instagram
Vogue


Women named to refugee team for Rio Olympics
New York Times

PARTING WORDS

If you’re looking to succeed, keep your eyes and heart open to opportunities.
— entrepreneur Noor Sweid