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The World’s Most Powerful Women: August 23

Women who take maternity leave in the U.K. have faced an increasing amount of discrimination lately.

Citizens Advice reports that over the past two years, it has seen a 58% jump in the number of consultation requests on the issue. And get this: Over the past year, the British charity says there’s been a 100% rise in the number of visits to the pregnancy discrimination advice pages on its website. Women tell the organization that when they return to work after having a child, they often face reduced hours, a changed role, or even termination.

The issue has been in the news lately. The Guardian recently reported that female employees of sporting goods retailer Sports Direct were forced to accept contracts that cut them off from getting a bonus when they came back from maternity leave. And in the U.S., a jury just awarded an employee of Chipotle $550,000 in compensation and damages in a pregnancy discrimination suit.

Penalizing a woman for being pregnant or taking time off to have and care for a child or other family member is not just bad PR. It’s bad business.

@laurascohn

EUROPE/MIDDLE EAST/AFRICA

Grasping Gallop
Former ad exec Cindy Gallop, known for her sharp tweets about everything from that sexist party invite at Cannes Lions to the recent resignation of Saatchi & Saatchi’s Kevin Roberts, has made a career out of being direct. This piece says Gallop, founder of IfWeRanTheWorld and MakeLoveNotPorn, has found success because she “doesn’t care what you think.”
Ad Age

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Hailing Hayali
Meet Dunja Hayali, one of the most popular TV anchors in Germany. The award-winning Hayali, whose parents are from Iraq, has spoken out against racism and the online abuse of women, which she has dealt with personally.
Die Welt

THE AMERICAS



Kobe’s VC
Venture capital’s relationship with women has just become a little more complicated. Retired NBA superstar Kobe Bryant launched a $100 million VC fund yesterday called Bryant Stibel, which is a partnership with Dun & Bradstreet vice chairman Jeff Stibel. Bryant was accused of rape in an incident back in 2003, and his emergence as an official VC is a problem for the industry, which already struggles with its image as a sexist boys club.
Fortune

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Hillary’s pressing email headache
Another batch of Hillary Clinton’s emails could be made public ahead of the election. Yesterday, it emerged that the FBI collected nearly 15,000 previously unreleased emails in its probe of her. Meantime, new emails of Clinton aide Huma Abedin released by a conservative watchdog group revealed what this piece calls the “sometimes awkward ties” between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department.
New York Times

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Reaping Rio’s rewards
The Rio Olympics produced a number of female star athletes, but will it produce endorsement deals? While gymnast Simone Biles is already featured on boxes of Kellogg’s Special K Red Berries, Fortune‘s Ashley Lee has come up with a list of potential sponsors for the other champs.
Fortune

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Coke’s changing the world
Back in 2010, Coca-Cola, one of the companies on Fortune‘s Change the World list, set the ambitious goal of turning five million mostly impoverished women into entrepreneurs within 10 years. By the end of 2015, the company had reached about 1.2 women across 60 countries through its 5by20 initiative, Fortune’s Valentina Zarya reports.
Fortune

ASIA-PACIFIC



Tokyo’s torch
The Rio Olympics may still be fresh in your mind, but Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike is already working on the 2020 Games. In the run-up to hosting the event four years from now, Koike promised it won’t produce unused “white elephant” venues that taxpayers will have to fund. It may be a tall order.
Japan Times

IN BRIEF


IOC gives Fair Play Award to runners Abbey D’Agostino of the U.S., Nikki Hamblin of New Zealand
Boston Globe


Why you’re seeing so much anti-Trump snark on BuzzFeed
Fortune


Hillary Clinton just made a big pitch to millennial women voters
Fortune


Raising women’s workforce participation to match men’s would add $28 trillion to global GDP
South China Morning Post


What business can do to attract more women to tech
Business Review Europe


Check out these work-life balance tips from top leaders including Anna Wintour, Oprah Winfrey
Inc.

 

PARTING WORDS

Our biggest takeaway from these two weeks of incredible sport should be about female sporting achievement and how it connects to our own lives. If we want to move forward as a society we’ve got to stop obsessing over women’s bodies.
—author Anna Kessel, on the Rio Olympics