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The World’s Most Powerful Women: August 15

The first week of the Olympics sparked a debate about whether U.S. news organizations, such as NBC News and the Chicago Tribune, were being sexist in their coverage of female athletes by crediting the women’s accomplishments to their coaches and husbands. Sadly, the U.S. isn’t alone. In some cases, news organizations from elsewhere in the world have been even worse.

Take the headline that the Korea Times had on a story about Kim Yeon-Koung, a top player on the country’s Olympic volleyball team: “Boyfriend a tall order for 192cm South Korean volleyball star.” The Los Angeles Times reports such comments about female athletes are so prevalent in South Korean media that fans there have created a Google Docs spreadsheet to keep track.

In Europe, German sports commentator Carsten Sostmeier of public broadcaster ARD kicked off an interview with equestrian Julia Krajewski by saying: “Let’s see what the blondie has to say.” Sostmeier also called Krajewski a “scaredy-cat” after her horse refused to jump, prompting equestrian team head Dennis Peiler to say he was “way out of line.” Sostmeier later apologized, but it’s hard to imagine a male athlete ever being identified by the color of his hair.

Researchers at Cambridge University Press, who found a massive gender divide in a new study about the media coverage of athletes, are keeping an eye on Rio to see if the trend in lopsided commentary continues. We’re only halfway through the Games, but I think they may already have an answer.


Be sure to check out Fortune‘s new weekly show, Broad Strokes, featuring Kristen Bellstrom, of our sister publication, the Broadsheet, as well as Valentina Zarya. The latest episode discusses sexism at the Olympics and the ongoing sexual harassment controversy at Fox News.

Also, tune into Fortune’s new podcast, Fortune Unfiltered with Aaron Task, which features entrepreneurship expert Carol Roth today.


Banning the burkini
The mayor of Cannes has banned the full-body bathing suit favored by religious Muslim women known as the burkini, leading French Muslims to say the policy is discriminatory. Mayor David Lisnard of Cannes said the move was a security measure. France also has a law that prevents girls who attend state schools from wearing hijabs.
New York Times


Klishina’s comeback
Darya Klishina, Russia’s only track and field competitor in Rio, has won a last-minute appeal to compete at the Games after being suspended over the weekend. Klishina, a long jumper and the only athlete from Russia to not be banned for doping, was initially suspended by the International Association of Athletics Federations, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport has granted Klishina an appeal.


Rebuilding Rome
As I mentioned when she was elected back in June, Virginia Raggi’s victory as the first female mayor of Rome was a major wake-up call to Italy’s political system, which still struggles to take women seriously. Turns out, women are making progress in company boardrooms, too.
New York Magazine


Hillary’s returns
Hillary Clinton released her tax returns, leveling pressure on Donald Trump to do the same. Clinton’s returns showed she and her husband Bill claimed $10.8 million in income last year, and paid federal taxes of $3.6 million.


A shot putter’s aim
American shot putter Michelle Carter won a gold medal in Rio–marking the first time a woman from the U.S. has done so since 1960–but her life’s mission is far from over. Carter, a certified professional makeup artist who operates a sports-confidence camp called “You Throw Girl,” wants to promote the idea that there is more than one ideal body type.
New Yorker


The $4-billion woman
Meet Kirsten Green, the founder of the all-women VC firm Forerunner Ventures. Green’s company, which invests in e-commerce, was the only one to invest in both Dollar Shave Club and, which were recently sold for a total of over $4 billion.


Significant Selfie
Did you catch the selfie between gymnasts Lee Eun-Ju of South Korea and Hong Un-Jong of North Korea last week? It was shot in Rio, quickly went viral, and was called a “great gesture” by IOC president Thomas Back. Lee, for her part, was surprised by the reaction, telling a South Korean radio broadcaster, “I didn’t expect such a huge reaction so I’m still awed by that.”


Scrutinizing sport
In a piece entitled, “My Gymnastics Feminism,” former gymnast Chloe Angyal, who competed at the national level in Australia, points out that while the sport demands “impossible perfection” from girls, it also creates “that rare breed of female athletes who earn more from endorsements than the boys and men.”
New York Times


Olympic champion Simone Biles says she should not be compared to male Olympians

How “badass” female HBO execs made a film on abortion

Ghanaian web series, “An African City,” takes a page from “Sex and the City”
New York Times

U.S. women’s rowing team wins third straight Olympic gold medal

U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo loses her composure after Rio defeat
Washington Post

PM Theresa May is Britain’s most popular politician

Four things every woman must do to perfect her online presence

Six movies that reveal the “real” Hillary Clinton



Jamaica has so many talented sprinters. To be the second champion, I’m really happy.
—Elaine Thompson, who won Olympic gold in the 100-meter sprint to become the world's fastest woman, after beating a fellow Jamaican champion