The World’s Most Powerful Women: October 17

October 17, 2016, 7:13 AM UTC

Fortune‘s 18th annual Most Powerful Women Summit starts this afternoon in Laguna Niguel, California. Tonight Fortune‘s Pattie Sellers will interview Angela Ahrendts, the SVP of retail and online stores for Apple, to help kick off the three-day confab. It will end on Wednesday with just as big a bang as Time editor-in-chief Nancy Gibbs interviews Trump Organization EVP Ivanka Trump. The conversations in-between will feature big names like Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative co-founder Priscilla Chan, Brandeis University professor Anita Hill, talk show host Chelsea Handler, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, and many more.

If you can’t be there in person, you can watch the livestream and read stories about the panels at I hope you’ll follow along for what will be an extraordinary celebration of women in business.



"You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do"Icelandic MP Unnur Bra Konradsdottir was breast-feeding her 6-week-old daughter in parliament last week when she was unexpectedly called to respond to a bill. Konradsdottir walked up to the lectern with her baby still at her breast, in full view of her fellow lawmakers and television cameras, and an amazing thing happened: no one seemed to care.
Washington Post


A masterclass in fighting corruption
During her seven-year term, South Africa’s public protector Thuli Madonsela investigated alleged wrongdoing in public administration and government that often started with citizen complaints. Her efforts—probes into renovations at the president’s private compound and alleged corruption by the police chief—earned her distain from the country’s politicians but adoration from citizens. The media went as far as to depict her as a Jedi knight.


Feeling the sting
Sallie Krawcheck writes about the backlash that can often meet female business execs who earn outside accolades, such as landing on Fortune's own MPW list. "In the business world, that means women are expected to keep a low profile outside their organization," writes the Ellevest co-founder and former CEO of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and Smith Barney. "Break that rule and judgement can be harsh. Case in point: Carly Fiorina. A second: Lehman’s Erin Callan. A third: Marissa Mayer."

Yes, there is a doctor in the house
Last week Dr. Tamika Cross, a young black OBGYN, posted that a Delta flight attendant had rejected her offer to help a sick passenger and questioned whether she was really a doctor. Just 2% of physicians are black women, and their underrepresentation is concerning since they are more likely to care for minority, underserved, and disadvantaged communities.

Taking aim at diversity
This story examines how three activist firms—Arjuna, Pax, and Trillium—have prompted some tech giants to take action on the gender pay gap. Their next target is financial institutions.


Finding a voice
The growing number of professional women in China are starting to find their dissenting voices in a culture that still sees single, career-minded women as having personality flaws or psychological issues. Gender-related discussions are flourishing on social media, and offline, feminist groups have sprung up to foster female bonding and the sharing of career advice. But the state has cracked down on more radical outspokenness, like a protest planned by women’s rights activists over sexual harassment on public transportation.
New York Times

Family feud
Australia's richest woman Gina Rinehart, who last week bid for cattle company S. Kidman & Co, has started a new legal action against her children's trust fund to prevent it from receiving millions of dollars in royalties from a joint venture associated with Rio Tinto.
Sydney Morning Herald


Michelle Obama was right about the history of workplace sexual harassment

Ruth Bader Ginsburg walks back criticism of Colin Kaepernick

In a pioneering moment for the WNBA, players unite to protest injustices
New York Times

#WomenWhoVoteTrump explain why exactly they're voting for Donald Trump

In a hacked speech, Hillary Clinton embraced covert interventions
New York Times


"We wonder why in corporate America women are absent at these levels...You have to value care-giving."
--Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario on the company's approach to child care.