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The World’s Most Powerful Women: August 24

Working women in Britain have taken a one-two punch this week. A day after a report by Citizens Advice showed that British women who take maternity leave face an increasing amount of discrimination, another study revealed that there’s been little progress on the gender pay gap.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies found that the pay gap between men and women with high qualifications has stayed the same for 20 years. Women who’ve earned degrees make 20% less than men with the same qualifications. In addition, the study showed that the gap between the sexes gets bigger once women have children. To narrow the discrepancy, the U.K. government has introduced new rules, such as one that forces companies with at least 250 employees to publish pay differences between the sexes.

But together, this week’s reports highlight the challenge that PM Theresa May faces following her pledge to oversee a Britain that works “for every one of us.” May, who mentioned the gender pay gap in her very first statement as prime minister, can’t get on this one fast enough.



The burkini ban bump
There’s something to report from the “any publicity is good publicity” department. It turns out that the banning of the burkini in France has been good news for those who make the full-body swimsuits. Aheda Zanetti, who has the trademark on the “burkini” name, says the ban’s brouhaha has sparked sales of the suit from women who aren’t Muslim but who want to completely shield their bodies from the sun.


Tackling trolls
Sometimes it seems like the online abuse of women will never stop. Michelle Marie, a black British woman running the @Ireland Twitter account, has been attacked on the social network for her race and appearance. She posted a statement on Twitter saying she experienced “racism, sexism, fat-phobia and homophobia to a degree I have never known,” but later tweeted that the hate spewers “may try to bring me down, but I will simply rise again, stronger than ever.” Bravo.


More drama at Fox News
There’s a new development in the sexual harassment drama at Fox News. Andrea Tantaros, a former anchor at the network, has charged in a lawsuit that she was punished for speaking up about sexual harassment by ex-CEO Roger Ailes. Her suit says the network is “steeped in intimidation, indecency and misogyny.” The network declined to comment.
New York Times


Melania’s suit
Melania Trump is taking legal action against the Daily Mail for what her lawyer Charles Harder says are “false and defamatory statements about her supposedly having been an ‘escort’ in the 1990s.” Harder, who represented Hulk Hogan in his winning lawsuit against Gawker, said the site’s claims are “100% false, highly damaging to her reputation, and personally hurtful.”


Jennifer Lawrence’s two-peat
For the second year in a row, Jennifer Lawrence leads the Forbes annual ranking of Hollywood’s highest-paid actresses, with $46 million in earnings. Lawrence is followed by Melissa McCarthy ($33 million), Scarlett Johansson ($25 million) and Jennifer Aniston ($21 million).


Is a burkini just a burkini?
The mayor of Cannes should read this piece. In Australia, the full-body bathing suit known as the burkini is seen as a way to include Muslim women into secular society. That’s a sharp contrast to the view in Cannes and other French towns, which have banned the burkini because there, it’s considered a sign that Muslims have yet to integrate.


Taking home glory
The two athletes from India who won medals at the Rio Olympics were women, yet the country ranks very low worldwide when it comes to female workforce participation. This piece argues that the wins by wrestler Sakshi Malik and badminton player PV Sindhu at the Games contain the key message that India “must unlock its female potential” for the country to “truly soar.”
Financial Times


These 6 tech firms are recruiting moms who left the workplace

Sarah Jessica Parker’s role in making EpiPen a $1 billion business

Why the pay gap in Australia has grown to 20%

Even Rihanna couldn’t save Samsung’s Milk Music

Actress Taraji P. Henson gets her own MAC makeup collection

Why American women dominated the Olympics
New York Times


Maybe we need to shelter ourselves so we see the beautiful.
— Cosmopolitan editor Joanna Coles