The World’s Most Powerful Women: July 15

July 15, 2016, 6:35 AM UTC

I was disheartened earlier this week, when British Prime Minister Theresa May took office and, in making several top appointments to her cabinet, named just one woman. After all, leading up to May’s arrival at Downing Street, she was widely expected to give a large number of key jobs to women.

But she followed up her initial appointment of Amber Rudd as home secretary by naming six more women yesterday. In her first full day in office, May appointed Justine Greening as education secretary; Liz Truss, to be justice secretary; and Andrea Leadsom, who ran against her for party leader, as environment secretary. May also named Karen Bradley, as culture secretary; Priti Patel as secretary of international development; and Baroness Natalie Evans as leader of the House of Lords.

The Financial Times reports May, who co-founded the Women2Win group to elect more conservative women to parliament, has been better at appointing women than other female leaders before her. In fact, Margaret Thatcher had zero women in her first cabinet, though she later appointed Baroness Janet Young for one term.

UN data show that women make up just 17% of the world’s government ministers. The BBC says females are 32% of May’s group, which beats the global figure. It also surpasses representation at FTSE 100 firms, where 26% of the directors are women. But 32% doesn’t come close to Hillary Clinton’s pledge to have a gender-parity cabinet if she wins the White House. In fact, despite initial expectations of a big increase, May only has one more woman among her top advisors than David Cameron did. Many of them, such as Rudd and Greening, have higher jobs than women in the last cabinet. At least there’s that to point to.

Laura Cohn


Our thoughts are with the people of Nice today.


Going after Google
Margrethe Vestager is girding Google again. The European competition commissioner has brought a third antitrust charge against the company, this time accusing it of blocking its competitors with its advertising products.


Hashtag against abuse
Ukrainian activist Anastasiya Melnychenko writes that she created the Twitter hashtag #IAmNotScaredToSpeak to get women from the Ukraine and Russia to share their stories of abuse and sexual harassment. She writes, "a woman shouldn't feel fear or shame for the things that happen to her." Well put.


Inspired by design
Meet Linda Loppa, the Belgian former head of the fashion department at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp and teacher of the so-called Antwerp Six fashion designers, who went on to become wildly successful. Loppa, who just turned 60 and is currently a director at a top Florence-based fashion institute, says young designers still ask her if they can call her with ideas. She always says yes.


Bidding for Yahoo
We may know the winner of the bidding war for Yahoo's core internet business soon. The New York Times reports Yahoo, led by CEO Marissa Mayer, will receive final bids on Monday.
New York Times


Females at Facebook
In its effort to make its workforce more diverse, Facebook hasn't come that far. The social network said that while 33% of its employees are women, black employees make up just 3% of its senior leaders in the U.S., marking small increases from last year.


RBG backpedals
I was wondering if it would come to this. Outspoken Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says she regrets her recent criticism of Donald Trump because it was "ill-advised." Ginsburg, who quipped to the New York Times that she would move to New Zealand if Trump took office, said in a statement: "In the future I will be more circumspect."


Lessons from a legend
Shellye Archambeau, CEO of MetricStream, reflected on lessons she learned from Bill Campbell, the Silicon Valley football coach-turned executive coach who died in April. Speaking at Fortune's Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen this week, Archambeau said, "Bill was focused on diversity, especially gender diversity, before it was cool and even in the news."



India's young guns
A list of Indian business tycoons who are 35 or younger by Bloomberg includes a couple of women. Isha Ambani and her twin brother Akash, the 25-year-old children of the country's richest man, are learning the ropes at the $42 billion conglomerate Reliance Industries. And 34-year-old Roshni Nadar Malhotra is CEO of HCL, the $7 billion tech company that has branched out into healthcare.


Davos for Women
Japan, which regular WMPW readers know is not the easiest place to be a working woman, is expected to host a big business and economic forum for women in an effort to bring attention to the issue. The confab, called the "Global Summit of Women" and nicknamed "Davos for Women," has been held for more than 25 years and is slated to take place in Tokyo in mid-May.
Japan Times


Jenna Lowenstein, head of Hillary Clinton's digital team, talks about the candidate's social media strategy

Google launches female emoji characters with an array of jobs
Washington Post

Marcie Frost named CEO of Calpers, largest U.S. public pension fund
Wall Street Journal

Judge Glenda Hatchett to represent family of shooting victim Philando Castile
Wall Street Journal

Two-fifths of U.K. female lawyers say they've suffered from sexual harassment

First African-American woman to head the U.S. Library of Congress

Top EU lawyer says a French woman should have been permitted to wear headscarf at work

Tyra Banks' new reality show will help startups get funding


For me, coming from Russia where women have to be strong and women have always been portrayed in such a strong, powerful way, especially on the communist posters, I have a completely different view on feminism. I never felt that I was weaker than a man.
—Lotta Volkova, the stylist of Vetements and Balenciaga