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The World’s Most Powerful Women: August 2

As I mentioned yesterday, Tokyo just elected its first female governor: Yuriko Koike. Her win is a really big deal. As Bloomberg notes, Koike is known for “breaking the glass ceiling several times over,” having served as Japan’s first female defense minister. She also served as environment minister, national security adviser, and once worked as a TV Tokyo news anchor.

But what really caught my attention is the fact that Koike has promised to improve conditions for working women in Japan. “I received so much support from women this election,” Koike said, according to the Japan Times. “The support made me think deeply that I have a responsibility to work on the issues of waiting lines for day care centers, elderly care and work-life balance.”

The irony is, Koike did not have the support of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. As Barron’s has pointed out, Abe is fond of saying he favors “a society in which all women shine,” yet he’s decreased his goal of having 30% of leadership positions held by women to a mere 7%. Looking at gender equality around the world, the World Economic Forum puts Japan in 101st place out of 145 countries. Here’s to hoping Koike can change that. It certainly won’t be easy.

EUROPE/MIDDLE EAST/AFRICA

Remaking a crystal empire
How businesswoman Nadja Swarovski turned her family’s crystal empire from an old-line chandelier business into a company that works with top-notch designers Karl Lagerfeld, Alexander McQueen, and the late architect Zaha Hadid. Swarovski, the only woman on the company’s executive board, says while her family life growing up “was so much about the company,” she wound up working at Sotheby’s and in PR before returning to the family business in the mid-1990s.
Telegraph

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Fascinated by female CEOs
Lucy Kellaway, a Financial Times columnist, points out that readers of her newspaper are as fascinated by female CEOs as the rest of us. When Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer said in an interview with the FT that her performance at Yahoo fell victim to “gender-charged reporting,” a couple of hundred readers posted comments, with some calling Mayer “incompetent.” Kellaway also notes that some 4,200 stories were written (in English) about Mayer last year—four times the coverage received by AOL’s Tim Armstrong. If you’re hungry for more on Mayer, check out this NPR piece, which addresses her treatment of the company.
Financial Times

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Coding in Senegal
A campaign to teach coding to girls called #RewritingTheCode appears to be paying off in Africa. Four young women from Senegal have launched Sigeste, an app that helps consumers see which sections of land are really for sale so they avoid buying plots that have already been sold from scam artists.
New York Times

THE AMERICAS



Elizabeth Holmes disappoints
Anyone hoping for insight from Elizabeth Holmes during her appearance at a medical conference yesterday was sorely disappointed. The CEO of embattled blood-testing company Theranos was expected to address the regulatory concerns plaguing her company, but instead talked about a new technology called the “miniLab,” which is designed to perform blood diagnostics remotely but has not been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration.
Fortune

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Making baby food from a 401(k)
I was always advised never to touch my 401(k). Yummy Spoonfuls founder Agatha Achindu threw away that rule, and then some, when she quit her six-figure job at a Fortune 500 firm to focus on her baby-food biz. Now working with Camila Alves, a model-designer and wife of Matthew McConaughey, Achindu sells her brand to Whole Foods and Target.
Fortune

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Hillary bumps Trump
The DNC gave Hillary Clinton a 4-point bump over Donald Trump. According to a new poll, while 46% of registered voters say they will back Clinton in November, just 39% say they are for Trump. Interestingly, Clinton improved her standing with female voters after the convention.
Fortune

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Muslim women tweet Trump
Speaking of Trump, the brouhaha over his comments that Ghazala Khan, the mother of a Muslim American soldier who was killed in Iraq, stood silently by her husband as he spoke at the DNC because she was not allowed to speak, has not died down. In fact, it’s spawned a Twitter campaign by the Council on American-Islamic Relations called #CanYouHearUsNow, which urges Muslim women to “tweet about who they are and how they speak out.” You can find some of the tweets in this Fortune piece.
The Hill

ASIA-PACIFIC



Beyond Bollywood
YouTube is filling a gap created by Bollywood films. Ashish Patil, who heads Indian film production and distribution company Y-Films, has made Ladies Room, a series about everyday life, on the channel. It has proven so popular, its first episode had 1.5 million views.
New York Times

IN BRIEF


Twitter exec Natalie Kerris leaves the company
Recode


Jeb Bush adviser Sally Bradshaw leaves GOP, says she’ll vote for Hillary Clinton if race is tight in Florida
CNN


Intel Capital names Christine Herron and Trina Van Pelt co-heads of its diversity fund
Intel Capital


Study shows male academics cite themselves more than women do
Washington Post


Amy Winehouse Foundation establishes home for women recovering from drug addiction
Guardian


Why nude photos of Melania Trump don’t matter
Fortune

 

PARTING WORDS

Harry is done now.
—Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling