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The World’s Most Powerful Women: June 20

The weekend papers were filled with stories about the death of Jo Cox, the young British member of parliament who was gunned down last week in northern England. Cox, a mother of two who was seen as a trailblazer, backed Britain remaining in the EU, which comes to a vote this week.

A man, Thomas Mair, was charged with the crime over the weekend and said in court, “My name is death to traitors, freedom for Britain.”

The comment served as a reminder of the ugly issue of threats—online and otherwise—that female members of parliament have been trying to grapple with. The Independent reports Cox herself was on the receiving end of online abuse when a Twitter user responded to her candidacy by saying she was “on the gravy train.” Cox responded, “You’re my first twitter troll, thank you.” Separately, Jess Phillips, a fellow female Labour MP, said she was considering quitting Twitter after receiving 600 rape threats in one night.

Claire Annesley, a University of Sussex professor of politics, issued a warning on the issue, telling the Guardian, it is “really naive” to think “the kind of behavior and vitriol that exists on Twitter” toward female politicians “exists in a bubble and doesn’t infiltrate culture more generally, and that it won’t influence behavior.” Sadly, the death of Jo Cox shows Annesley is right.

EUROPE/MIDDLE EAST/AFRICA

Cameron on Cox
Cox’s death was invoked by British Prime Minister David Cameron, who tweeted a link to an article she wrote shortly before her death. The highly-praised article, in favor of Britain staying in the EU, received more than 400 retweets on Twitter, and 12,000 shares on Facebook.
Huffington Post

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A female first in Rome?
Rome may be about to get its first female leader. Early results from Sunday’s mayoral election show lawyer Virginia Raggi, of the populist Five Star Movement party, is leading in the polls.
BBC

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Harry Potter hassle
African-born actress Noma Dumezweni, who plays Hermione in London’s widely-anticipated Harry Potter play, says the unkind reaction on Twitter to her taking the role drives her “crazy” because it shows “ignorance.” Emma Watson played the part in the Harry Potter films.
The Sunday Times

THE AMERICAS



Ladies at Google
It can be helpful in business (and in life) to have a sense of humor. Female and male employees at Google have reacted to Alphabet exec Ruth Porat being called “the lady CFO” during the company’s annual shareholders meeting by changing their job titles to start with the word “Lady.”
Fortune

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Going after Trump
Hillary Clinton is expected to go after Donald Trump’s record on business in a key speech this week. In an appearance in Columbus, Ohio tomorrow, she will depict Trump as “self-interested and deceptive,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
Wall Street Journal

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Driving innovation at GE
Here’s an interview worth a read. Beth Comstock, vice chairwoman of GE, talks about why tension is “actually good,” how she drives innovation, and her hiring strategy.
New York Times

ASIA-PACIFIC



Investing in robots
Female investors in Japan have taken a liking to the first robot-themed managed equity fund. The new Nikko Asset Management Global Robotics Equity Fund has become a magnet for the so-called “Mrs. Watanabe,” what local market mavens call the average conservative female investor.
Financial Times

IN BRIEF


How Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer slipped up
Wall Street Journal


What Barbara Bush and Cecile Richards say about being daughters of politicians
New York Times


Meet designer Louise Trotter, who made British brand Joseph a force in fashion
Financial Times


Study shows working long hours is worse for women’s health than for men’s
Fortune


Poo poo-ing paternity leave
Fortune


Why podcasting needs more women
Fortune


Chelsea Clinton gives birth to second child, Aidan
Fortune


Monsanto Philippines appoints first Filipino woman CEO
Manila Standard Today

 

PARTING WORDS

Something close to a chilling culture war is breaking out in Britain, a divide deeper than I have ever known, as I listen to the anger aroused by this referendum campaign.
—Polly Toynbee, a columnist for the Guardian, referring to this week's Brexit vote