The World’s Most Powerful Women: July 28


A fascinating Fast Company story, “Bleeding on the Job: A Menstruation Investigation,” published this week lays out—in sometimes squeamish, “I’ve been there” detail—the argument that menstruating at work costs women productivity. It presents the economic case for employers to supply women with sanitary items and for period-talk to be considered less taboo in the workplace.

And it has me positively torn on the issue.

Part of me says, Bring on the free tampons. Those things are expensive! Certainly, these supplies should be available at no cost to low-income women—New York City now provides them to public schools and homeless shelters—and they should be tax-free for women who can afford them. Nancy Kramer, a marketing CEO who started an organization called Free the Tampons, takes the argument even further, stating that companies should supply them too. According to her estimates, the benefit would cost (presumably, U.S.-based) companies $4.67 per woman, per year. That’s a small price to pay to reduce women’s time-of-the-month hassle.

At the same time, I’m surprised that for some working women, periods are still this big of an issue. We operate in business and political spheres built by and for men—right down to the office thermostat. And working women have managed to scale corporate hierarchies and blast through all kinds of barriers with little accommodation for even the most disruptive of female traits—the ability to give birth. Asking employers and male coworkers to now be more sensitive to our most mundane attribute feels a little like we’re speeding backward in time.

Are you of the mindset that menstruating at work is no big deal? Or will you be first in line to adopt one of article’s more far-fetched ideas: charts that track women’s hormonal state, on display for the whole office to see?

I’m interested in your feedback. Email me at

Fortune writer Claire Zillman


(filling in for Laura this week)


Apple's pop music guru
Ghana native Bozoma Saint John, who once used music has a teenage survival method, is now head of global marketing for Apple’s streaming music service, Apple Music, and iTunes.Fortune


So long, power suit
The New York Times style columnist argues that Theresa May's statement shoes and standout dresses are blurring politics' traditional fashion divide, in which first ladies wear dresses and women who govern don pants and jackets. "[May] has refused to admit that caring about fashion is irreconcilable with caring about, say, nuclear policy." Hillary Clinton could do the same.
New York Times

Stop the hate
As one of her first tasks as the U.K.'s new home secretary, Amber Rudd is launching a campaign against hate crime that also scrutinizes how police deal with such incidents. The effort is in response to an increase in complaints following the Brexit vote.
Financial Times


Backed by Barack
On night three of the Democratic Convention, U.S. President Barack Obama effectively passed the torch to Hillary Clinton, while getting in digs at her opponent, Donald Trump. “Our power doesn’t come from some self-declared savior promising that he alone can restore order. We don’t look to be ruled,” he said. Clinton speaks tonight.
Washington Post

Front page face palm
When Clinton made history by securing the Democratic nomination for president earlier this week, some newspapers marked the moment by putting a photo of her husband on the front page.

A people person
Eileen Naughton, who was the VP of sales and operations for Google in the U.K. and Ireland, will be the search giant’s new VP of people operations. She'll oversee all of HR, recruiting, and benefits globally for the 64,000-employee company that prides itself on being at the forefront of workplace culture.

Mo' money for Marissa
Turns out Marissa Mayer's payday from the Yahoo-Verizon deal is even more than initially thought. Fortune's Stephen Gandel crunched the numbers and determined that she's likely to pocket $122.6 million when the acquisition closes, more than double the $55 million figure Yahoo cited in April.


The UN's cement ceiling
Three women—New Zealand's Helen Clark, Costa Rica's Christiana Figueres, and Bulgaria's Irina Bokova—are in the running to become the UN's new secretary-general. But who's leading the race to fill the role that's always gone to men? Two guys.

"VIP privilege"
The Indian government has dispatched a team of elite commandos to protect Nita Ambani, the socialite wife of India's richest man, Mukesh Ambani. People in the country, which has a shortage of police officers, are totally outraged.
Washington Post

Indonesia's cabinet shake-up
Indonesia President Joko Widodo appointed former World Bank managing director Sri Mulyani Indrawati to lead his finance minister in a move that pleased market reform advocates. One analyst said Indrawati's new role is "a game changer" since "it restores a certain amount of investor confidence and means having a steady hand on the tiller."


Race—not gender—influences whether medical researchers get funding

A sexual harassment lawsuit calls the world's largest hedge fund a "cauldron of fear and intimidation"

Chair of the U.K.'s 30% Club on why every successful woman needs a supportive husband

The insane, early morning routines of female news anchors
Bon Appétit

Meet the woman who helps BuzzFeed break news in multiple languages


I was wise enough to know my clock was already ticking in Hollywood.
—Actress Ellen Pompeo on why she stayed put at TV show Grey's Anatomy.

Subscribe to Well Adjusted, our newsletter full of simple strategies to work smarter and live better, from the Fortune Well team. Sign up today.