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The World’s Most Powerful Women: July 12

The whirlwind of a race for U.K. prime minister reached a sudden calm Monday when energy minister Andrea Leadsom abruptly dropped out of the running, leaving Home Secretary Theresa May as the last candidate standing. David Cameron announced Monday that he would step down and May will take over as PM tomorrow.

Political pundits had been gearing up for a nine-week leadership battle between May, the frontrunner, and Leadsom. As of last week, the two were supposed to face off in a contest ending with a vote by the roughly 150,000 members of the Conservative party. But Leadsom bowed out yesterday morning after facing intense criticism for suggesting to The Times that she was more qualified to be prime minster than May because she has children. As she made her exit, Leadsom said certainty was in the “best interests of the country,” and graciously endorsed May.

Now the attention shifts to May, who’s held her current position for six years, and what she’ll do as prime minister. Fortune‘s Geoffrey Smith wrote about her stance on business, noting that she wants shareholders to have more power over executive pay. And, in a nod to Germany, she wants to put labor representatives on company boards.

Cameron on Monday described May as “strong,” “competent,” and “more than able to provide the leadership the country is going to need in the years ahead.” Given the political, economic and existential chaos that is Brexit, I hope Cameron is right.

Laura Cohn

@laurascohn

EUROPE/MIDDLE EAST/AFRICA

More women at the topIt looks like Jayne-Anne Gadhia, chief executive of Virgin Money, has won her bid to get more women into the upper ranks of British companies. Based on Gadhia’s recommendations, more than 70 financial firms—including Lloyds, Barclays, Morgan Stanley and Fidelity—are expected to tie the bonuses of their heads to the naming of women to top positions.Guardian

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Another British fashion label
Another British celebrity is launching a fashion label. Following in the footsteps of Victoria Beckham and Karlie Kloss, TV host and model Alexa Chung will become creative director of Alexachung, whose lines are set to be in stores this spring.
Business of Fashion

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Finding beauty
Daniele Henkel, who fled to Canada from Algeria when it was on the brink of civil war in 1990, has become a multi-millionaire by starting a health and beauty business. Her signature product, a glove that exfoliates the skin, has been sold to millions.
BBC

THE AMERICAS



Taylor at the top
After topping Billboard’s list of the highest-paid musicians earlier this year, Taylor Swift is at the top of another ranking. According to the new Forbes Celebrity 100 list, Swift raked in $170 million over the past year, more than any other celebrity. Adele, who took in $80.5 million, made the No. 9 slot.
Fortune

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A bow from Bernie
Good things come to those who wait. The long-awaited endorsement of Hillary Clinton by Bernie Sanders is slated to happen today. Sanders is expected to endorse Clinton at a campaign event in New Hampshire—an ironic choice since he beat her by a wide margin in the state’s primary.
Fortune

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Inspiring confidence in girls
African-American model Willow Smith, the Chanel ambassador and daughter of the actor Will Smith and actress Jada Pinkett Smith, says she is on a mission to inspire young girls to be confident. To those who don’t feel beautiful, she says, “if you’re confident and you love yourself then everything you see, your perception, will start to change.”
Telegraph

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Ready for Rio
It’s official: the U.S. women’s gymnastics team in Rio is made up of champions and newbies alike. The top five include Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman, Laurie Hernandez and Madison Kocian. Biles, who’s been all-around world champion three times, fell off the balance beam during the trials, but she still managed to come in first place.
People

ASIA-PACIFIC



Toughness at Corning
While South Korea has a female president, Park Geun-hye, women still have a tough time getting into the upper ranks of companies. Lee Haeng-hee, president of Corning Korea, says she has thrived in the male-dominated materials business by becoming resilient and having male mentors.
Korea Herald

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More reps in Japan
Having written about the paucity of women in Japanese politics, I was heartened to read that female pols had a good showing in the election over the weekend. The Japan Times reports voters elected 28 women, a record, to the country’s Upper House. The previous high, from 2007, was 26 women.
Japan Times

IN BRIEF


In 2008, Donald Trump said Hillary Clinton would “make a good president”
Wall Street Journal


Kim Kardashian makes $45 million from video game
Fortune


Male doctors get paid $20,000 more than female doctors
Fortune


Boston tech firm names former Dell exec Monique Bonner chief marketing officer
Boston Business Journal


Britain’s first gay female minister to come out in office launches Labour Party leadership bid
Fortune


Why women have risen to the top of Israeli finance
Globes


Meet Fadumo Dayib, the woman running for president of Somalia
NPR


Maria Sharapova’s doping appeal postponed, ruling out Rio
Time

PARTING WORDS

It’s true that our region is conservative by nature, but Arab women are no different than their counterparts around the globe in that we want to feel empowered and look beautiful.
— Saudi princess Deena Aljuhani Abdulaziz, editor-in-chief of Vogue Arabia, due to launch this fall