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The World’s Most Powerful Women: June 24

There’s big breaking news this morning. Britain’s historic decision to leave the EU came as a shock to financial markets, injected a dose of uncertainty into the nation, and led Prime Minister David Cameron to resign. The move will have an impact on Fortune 500 companies who do business there.

Since the decision came to light early Friday, Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said her country “sees its future in the EU.” While the U.K. decided to cut ties with the bloc, Scotland cast an “unequivocal” vote to stay, she said. As WMPW noted earlier this week, Sturgeon has said another independence referendum for Scotland is “definitely” on the table if the U.K. voted to leave.

While the story is still developing, it’s worth noting that during the campaign, a number of women became rising stars as a result of their efforts to convince British voters to stay in the EU or leave.

Take Ruth Davidson, the fiery Scottish Conservative leader who backed Remain and took on former London Mayor Boris Johnson at the BBC’s referendum debate at Wembley. Her passion in saying people “deserve the truth” about the issue was compared to the famous heated courtroom scene in “A Few Good Men” with Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson.

Other women who raised their profiles include energy minister and former banker Andrea Leadsom and Labour MP Gisela Stuart, who both fought for Brexit. Then there’s Carolyn McCall, chief executive of EasyJet and one of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women, who was hailed by Cameron in the Financial Times as a “heroine” for supporting Remain.

EUROPE/MIDDLE EAST/AFRICA

A candid concession
Unilever has conceded its ads contain sexist stereotypes. The company, which is the world’s No. 2 advertiser and houses over 400 brands including Dove soap, promised to change its ways. Good plan.
BBC

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An insipid invite
Our sister newsletter, the Broadsheet, already mentioned the “Wednesday Party” incident at the Cannes Lions ad event, but I’m highlighting it again here because it was so appalling. An invitation to the party said the event was for “attractive females and models only,” a notation that sparked a protest on Twitter. Co-host VaynerMedia CEO Gary Vaynerchuk responded by acknowledging his responsibility as the company’s head, and said the email came from a third-party promoter.
Fortune

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Blue pyramids
I found this inspiring. Psychologist Dahlia Soliman, founder of the Egyptian Autistic Society, is trying to raise awareness of autism in her country by lighting up Egypt’s quintessential symbols, such as the pyramids of Giza, in blue.
New York Times

THE AMERICAS



Hillary gets the nod
Hillary Clinton received the endorsement of several dozen business execs, some of whom have GOP ties. The Wall Street Journal reports the list includes James Cicconi, a top AT&T exec who worked for Presidents George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan.
Wall Street Journal
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Where diversity programs fall short
Corporate diversity programs don’t work, and can even make things worse. That’s the conclusion of the Harvard Business Review, which found a couple of hours of diversity training does not change people’s behavior and can wind up making managers feeling angry and defensive.
Fortune

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When the pay gap widens
The gender pay gap gets noticeably bigger when people hit 32, the age at which women tend to face more childcare demands, according to a new study. The good news is, the report also showed the pay gap narrowed once workers reach the age of 40.
Fortune

ASIA-PACIFIC



A tip for Japan Inc.
It’s widely known that in Japan, companies have a hard time recruiting women. For the situation to improve, this piece says more firms need to offer telecommuting and flexible work arrangements for women, who are viewed in the country as the main family caretaker.
Japan Today

IN BRIEF


Dior set to appoint first female creative director
Business of Fashion

Ivanka Trump is being sued by an Italian luxury footwear maker
CNBC


Taylor Swift calls for reform of online copyright laws
BBC


U.S. gymnastics team coach Martha Karolyi to retire after Rio
Wall Street Journal

PARTING WORDS

She may have been small but in politics as in life she packed a punch beyond measure.
— British MP Holly Lynch, on her colleague Jo Cox, who backed Britain staying in the EU and was murdered in the run-up to the Brexit vote