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The World’s Most Powerful Women: September 27

September 27, 2016

Contributing Editor Laura Cohn is filling in for Claire Zillman through Wednesday.

Early reviews are in for last night’s widely-anticipated debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in New York, and Fortune‘s Tory Newmyer writes in this piece that Clinton prevailed. Newmyer argues that Clinton “presented as composed and commanding, ticking through her policy prescriptions while landing a series of devastating blows on Donald Trump’s record and readiness,” adding that Trump “tried repeatedly to ruffle her with interruptions while riffing his way through his own answers, but struggled on both counts.” The debate, highlights of which you can watch here, also led a number of Republican strategists to say that Clinton came out on top.

I was curious to see whether the two would spar over the comments Trump has made in the past about women. On that front, the New York Times reports that Clinton really “found her voice” during the debate when she came to the defense of other women. The Washington Post, for its part, notes that Clinton said, “this is a man who has called women pigs, slobs and dogs,” adding that Trump “loves beauty contests.” Trump shot back, “I was going to say something extremely tough to Hillary, to her family, and I said, ‘I just can’t do it.'” Time will tell if he shows similar restraint in the two debates to come.

lauracohn

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EUROPE/MIDDLE EAST/AFRICA

Merkel doesn’t mince
Speaking about government quotas requiring that at least 30% of board seats at big companies go to women, Angela Merkel took a jab at German industry. In an interview with the business magazine Wirtschaftswoche, the German chancellor said, “It is pathetic that in more than 65 years of the Federal Republic of Germany, it was not possible for the Dax-30 companies to get a few more women on supervisory boards on a voluntary basis,” adding, “But at some point there had been so many hollow promises that it was clear—this isn’t working.”Guardian

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Getting rid of guardians
The push to free Saudi women from their male guardians has reached a fever pitch. Hundreds of activists have sent telegrams to King Salman, asking him to get rid of the system that gives men the authority to decide whether their female relatives can do ordinary things such as work, travel outside the kingdom, and study abroad.
Wall Street Journal
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Work is work
New research shows that women work an average of four years longer than men—largely because they spend more time caring for children and other family members and doing housework. The report, by the nonprofit ActionAid, based its findings on UN data that examined the working conditions in 217 developed and developing countries.
Refinery29

THE AMERICAS


The end at Lands’ End
Lands’ End CEO Federica Marchionni just became the second chief executive to leave the apparel maker in two years. Marchionni, a former exec at Ferrari and Dolce & Gabbana, had tried since February 2015 to make the company more fashionable, but her efforts did not take.
Fortune
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All the president’s women
Looking beyond last night’s debate, Ozy has a piece that speculates about who might wind up in Hillary Clinton’s potentially gender-neutral cabinet if she wins the White House. A number of female power brokers could be in the running for top slots, including Sen. Susan Collins of Maine for defense secretary, and, as others have speculated, Sheryl Sandberg for treasury secretary.
Ozy
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Soothsayer Sheila
Former FDIC chief Sheila Bair, who called the U.S. mortgage crisis as early as 2006, has a new worry. Bair, now the first female president of Washington College in Chestertown, Md., is concerned that the nation’s $1.4 trillion student debt burden could cripple the economy.
Bloomberg

ASIA-PACIFIC

Reading with Rihanna
In what the Huffington Post calls “one of the world’s most random partnerships,”Julia Gillard, former Prime Minister of Australia, and Rihanna are joining forces to promote education for children. Gillard, now board chair of the Global Partnership for Education, used Twitter to welcome the pop star as an ambassador of the organization. Rihanna tweeted back, “Proud to stand for education with you!”
Huffington Post Australia

IN BRIEF

Staples names Shira Goodman CEO
Wall Street Journal

Following CEO Heather Bresch’s testimony last week, Mylan clarifies EpiPen profits
Wall Street Journal

Latest poll shows hopes fading for a female UN secretary general
Guardian

Megyn Kelly, Samantha Bee make Advertising Age’s media mavens list
Advertising Age

Why the gender pay gap is likely to be around until 2069
LondonlovesBusiness.com

Put your hand on the table, and other tips female execs in Japan were given on how to shine in a male world
Japan Times

NY’s Advertising Week focuses on diversity issues
Advertising Age

PARTING WORDS

“We will cross the finish line. No one can stop us. Equality. Now.”
--actress Emma Watson, speaking at the end of her new short film about overcoming hurdles in the push for gender equality