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The World’s Most Powerful Women: September 28

September 28, 2016

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

Angela Merkel can’t seem to stay out of the headlines this week. As I mentioned on Monday, the German Chancellor is facing a key leadership test over her attempt to press other EU countries to follow her lead and welcome more immigrants in order to alleviate Europe’s refugee crisis. But now, she’s got Deutsche Bank to worry about.

As Fortune‘s Geoffrey Smith writes in this smart piece, Deutsche’s shares have taken a beating in recent days, ever since a weekend magazine report said Merkel’s government wouldn’t bail it out—even if the bank needed to raise money to settle the Department of Justice’s claims related to its sales of mortgage-backed securities. Smith goes on to make the point that speculation has already started on whether, if push comes to shove, Berlin would let Germany’s biggest bank fail.

The thing is, the political price of bailing out Deutsche is simply too high. As Bloomberg puts it, government action would be “electorally toxic,” particularly since Merkel is already grappling with a pushback on immigration and a decline in the polls. With federal elections less than a year away, the best solution for Merkel may be to put off any decision until after the votes take place. In the meantime, look for Germany’s leader to keep leading the news.

lauracohn

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EUROPE/MIDDLE EAST/AFRICA

Few female CEOs
Just 4% of the CEOs at the 350 largest companies in Europe are female. A new analysis by S&P Global Market Intelligence shows that as of mid-August, there were just 14 female CEOs in Europe, a jump from six in 2009 but still a small portion of the overall total.Financial Times

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Where women lose
Sometimes it’s hard to grasp disparities until you see them in black and white. A new study shows that women make up less than a third of the top earners in eight industrialized countries. The study, by the London School of Economics, looked at top income groups in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Spain and the U.K.
Guardian
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Where women win
This piqued my curiosity: Now that London Fashion Week has wrapped up, the BBC interviewed modeling agent Elizabeth Rose, who said that male models make as much as 75% less than women. Rose, who works for Premier, which has helped build the career of supermodel Naomi Campbell, links the discrepancy to advertisers’ contention that women spend more money on their products than men.
BBC

 

THE AMERICAS

Meg’s mission
It’s been five years since Meg Whitman became CEO of HP. In an interview with Fortune, Whitman reflects on her time at the helm of the business, and says she has no regrets. “Things are always more challenging than you think they’ll be, but we provided some leadership stability,” she said. Check it out.
Fortune
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Debating the debate
The reviews of Monday night’s presidential debate continue to pour in, and Fortune‘s Valentina Zarya writes that there is no facial expression that Hillary Clinton can make that will please male pundits. And while many observers, including those at Fortune, said Clinton prevailed, Brit Hume of Fox News said she was more “composed” than Donald Trump, but did not appear “attractive.” Hmm.
Mediaite
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Leaning in and pushing back
The Wall Street Journal released a package of stories on women in the workplace this week, including a piece by Sheryl Sandberg on the pushback women face when they lean in, and a gem of a piece on why having more women in the upper ranks of a company has a positive impact on other women at the firm. It’s worth a read.
Wall Street Journal

ASIA-PACIFIC

The magic of tidying up email
Marie Kondo, who won much-deserved fame for her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, has some sound advice for those of us trying to take back control of our email. In an interview with Fortune, she offers a number of suggestions, including embracing the delete button and not creating too many folders.
Fortune

IN BRIEF

Serena Williams writes Facebook post against police killings
Guardian

New Clinton video features Miss Universe winner criticized as “fat” by Trump
Washington Post

Sheryl Sandberg says Facebook “definitely” doesn’t control the media
Fortune

Nicole Ritchie on why you should let your daughter see you fail
Fortune

Check out Working Mother’s 2016 list of the 100 best companies
Working Mother

Bank of the West CEO Nandita Bakhshi named the No. 1 woman to watch in banking
American Banker

How young women make a living shipping luxury goods from Harrods back to China
Financial Times

PARTING WORDS

“Making this film is one move on a chessboard, and it takes many moves to win. The important thing is to keep the conversation going until diversity and inclusion is the norm.”
--Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o, on her new movie, Queen of Katwe.