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The World’s Most Powerful Women: June 21

With the Brexit vote just two days away, another top woman from the Conservative Party has changed her position to backing those who want Britain to stay in the EU.

Baroness Sayeeda Hussain Warsi, the party’s former co-chair, told the Times of London she was switching sides to protest the “hate and xenophobia” of those campaigning to leave the EU. The move follows that of Sarah Wollaston, one of Britain’s top Conservative MPs, who made waves last week when she altered her position.

Warsi said she was moved to change her view after seeing a poster depicting migrants lining up on the border of Slovenia with the slogan: “Breaking Point. The EU has failed us all.” “This kind of nudge-nudge, wink-wink xenophobic racist campaign may be politically savvy or useful in the short term but it causes long-term damage to communities,” she told the BBC. The poster has been withdrawn.

Criticism of the tactics of the “Vote Leave” campaign has picked up since the heartbreaking murder of British MP Jo Cox. It is tragic that it took the death of someone like Cox to force the political classes to grapple with the coarsening of the political discourse. But given that Cox herself was gearing up to alert the public about a rise in attacks against Muslim women, perhaps it will serve as her legacy.

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Italy’s wake-up call
Italy’s political system, which still struggles to take women seriously, just got a serious wake-up call. Women have become mayor in two major cities: Virginia Raggi of Rome and Chiara Appendino of Turin.


No more Mad Men
The riveting TV drama Mad Men, which depicted a time when men ruled the ad world and women were struggling to find their role, may not have been so historic after all. Tamara Ingram, the first female chief executive at J Walter Thompson, says the ad world needs more women in its leadership ranks.
Financial Times


Restricted in Afghanistan
Check out this series of stories on what it’s like to be a woman in Afghanistan by female journalists in the country. Sparghai Basir Aryan, for one, writes about how she could never wear a dress or bare her legs at the University of Kabul, for fear of death.
Huffington Post


Hillary’s edge
Talk about an advantage. Hillary Clinton has $42.5 million in her campaign cash reserve, Federal Election Commission filings show. Donald Trump has just $1.3 million, which the New York Times says is about what a House of Representatives candidate would have.


Ivanka’s influence
In other Trump news, the Republican presidential candidate fired his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, and it may be because of his daughter, Ivanka Trump. Dana Bash, senior correspondent for CNN, said Trump’s daughter gave him an ultimatum, making him choose between her and his campaign head.


Sotomayor’s strong stand
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor criticized the high court’s ruling that it is not necessary for courts to get rid of criminal evidence even if a police officer unlawfully stopped a defendant to get it. In a 12-page opinion, she warned unlawful stops of minorities would be aggravated by the decision.
Washington Post


Serena Inc.
The Wall Street Journal Magazine has a piece on how Serena Williams became a powerful female icon. It has an inside look at the tennis star and the price of fame, noting that Williams says if she could, she would do “ordinary things” such as go to a grocery store or go to the mall.
Wall Street Journal


Catching up in Asia
Here’s one big reason why women have a hard time breaking through the upper ranks of Asian companies: Unlike American and European business schools, those in Asia are just starting to have programs to develop women in the workforce.
Financial Times


Inertia as an enemy
This piece takes the issue of the lack of women in managerial positions in Asia one step further. Sadly, it argues that the reason companies don’t hire female execs comes down to inertia. Perhaps once more women get through the new business school programs I mentioned above, that will change.
Japan Times


How Hope Hicks rose from a NY PR job to become Donald Trump’s chief gatekeeper

Meg Whitman, Frank Quattrone fought over HP’s purchase of Aruba Networks
Wall Street Journal

Meet Nadia Hussain, Pakistan’s first supermodel

J.P. Morgan makes Lori Beer CIO of its corporate and investment bank

G7 pay gap: Angela Merkel makes less than Barack Obama
Miami Herald

Lauren Weisberger, of “The Devil Wears Prada” fame, pens new novel on tennis
Times of London

London’s Tate Modern extension expands collection of art by women



I’m the mongrel product of this European continent and I’m an internationalist.
— J.K. Rowling, arguing why Britain should vote to stay in the EU