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The World’s Most Powerful Women: August 5

I was hoping to write something about the Rio Olympics today, but all the talk about sexism in the workplace this week has left me thinking about what women can do to try to combat it.

Brenda Trenowden, who heads the 30% Club that advocates for women holding more positions on FTSE 100 boards, offers some insight. In a candid interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, Trenowden reflects on how she dealt with working on a London trading floor in what she said was an “openly sexist culture” in the 1990s. “The thing I learned was to be resilient, and as long as you continue to deliver, that’s the best defense you can have,” she said.

Resilience is one approach. But its necessity highlights the big challenge facing women in the world of business—and in politics for that matter. As Fortune‘s Jennifer Reingold notes in this piece on the recent departure of Roger Ailes of Fox News amid allegations of sexual harassment, we need to “root out deep-seated discrimination against women at its core.” At the same time, she writes, we must “have open discussions about how to address the lack of diversity in business.”

The female co-founder of global consulting firm R3 Worldwide added to the conversation in a piece dismissing the recent comments by Kevin Roberts–now the ex-boss of Saatchi & Saatchi–that the debate over gender diversity in the ad industry is over. Goh Shu Fen, also the president of the Institute of Advertising Singapore, wrote that women need to “build bridges” to each other that offer “mentorship, sponsorship and guidance” to “help the ascent.” I realize there is no quick fix. But that’s an approach I can get behind.

@laurascohn

EUROPE/MIDDLE EAST/AFRICA

A setback for Theresa May
In a setback for British Prime Minister Theresa May, the female chair of a publicly-funded investigation into child abuse has resigned after media reports said she was making more than 500,000 pounds a year and spent over two months of her first year at the post either on vacation or working overseas. The departure of Justice Lowell Goddard, whom May appointed last year, marked the third time the chair of the inquiry left since it was set up two years ago.
New York Times

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Ms. Brexit
As banks navigate the uncertain waters of the aftermath of Brexit, Santander UK Chairwoman Shriti Vadera has become their best friend. Vadera, a former investment banker and business minister who’s been called a “force of nature,” chairs the new lobby that will push the U.K. to retain as much access to Europe’s single market as possible.
Fortune

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Roma street food
A group of Roma women, who call themselves the Gipsy Queens, is trying to start a catering business selling Balkan food as a way to pay their way out of their camp. The women, whose dishes include barbecued meatballs, hope to buy a food truck if they can bring in enough money.
New York Times

THE AMERICAS



A record in Rio?
The opening ceremony of the Rio Olympics is tonight, but there may have already been a record. Reuters reports the International Olympic Committee hopes there will be a historic number of female athletes competing this year, with the percentage of women beating out the 44% figure from the last gathering. It’s about time, considering women weren’t even allowed to compete in the ancient Olympics.
Reuters

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Mayer on motherhood
Marissa Mayer graces the cover of the new issue of Bloomberg Businessweek. Interestingly, the Yahoo CEO says she plans to stick around despite the Verizon deal, and also talks about the negative coverage of her parenting choices, saying, “In my view, there’s just entirely too much judgment over motherhood.” She adds, “One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever gotten is there are always a lot of good choices, and then there’s the one you pick, commit to, and make great.” Sound advice in my book.
BloombergBusinessweek

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Retooling for teens
How do you get a teenager to read a paper magazine in 2016? If you’re Elaine Welteroth, the editor of Teen Vogue, you shift from putting out a “cool girl’s guide to fashion” to creating a publication that features interviews with well-known women such as Gloria Steinem and Loretta Lynch.
Business of Fashion

ASIA-PACIFIC


A first for India
Nita Ambani, whom Forbes calls the first lady of Indian business, was officially elected as the first Indian woman on the International Olympic Committee. Ambani, who founded the Reliance Foundation, said her position “is a recognition of the growing importance of India in the world stage and a recognition for Indian women.”
Times of India

IN BRIEF

 


Poll shows Hillary Clinton has a 9-point lead over Donald Trump
Wall Street Journal


Recalling another female first: Sandra Day O’Connor’s ascent to the Supreme Court
New York Times


Why President Obama’s new essay about feminism is spot on
Fortune


Women on Wall Street say the film “Equity” is on the mark
New York Magazine


Actress Lily Tomlin to get lifetime achievement award from the Screen Actors Guild
Time


Melania Trump hits back against critics, says she has always been a legal immigrant
Time


Director Ava DuVernay will become the first African-American woman to oversee a $100 million film
Time


Three steps to follow to determine your personal brand
Fortune

PARTING WORDS

I was never the last to be picked when teams were selected.
— Brazilian soccer star Marta, who's been World Player of the Year five times, and is playing in the Rio Olympics