The World’s Most Powerful Women: January 10

January 10, 2017, 7:58 AM UTC

Actor Ryan Gosling was responsible for one of the more touching moments of Sunday’s Golden Globe awards when he used his acceptance speech to give a heartfelt tribute to his partner, actress Eva Mendes, for the work she did at home while he filmed the La La Land role that earned him the best actor honor.

“While I was singing and dancing and playing piano and having one of the best experiences I ever had on a film, my lady was raising our daughter, pregnant with our second, and trying to help her brother fight his battle with cancer. If she hadn’t have taken all that on so that I could have this experience, there would surely be someone else up here other than me today.”

His remarks were noteworthy because they acknowledge the unpaid, under-appreciated work—caring for children, ill relatives, or aging parents—that many women take on in addition to their professional jobs.

Globally, women spend an average of 4.5 hours daily on unpaid work—on child care, grocery shopping, and doing the laundry. That’s more than double the time men spend, according to OECD data. Unpaid work can be incredibly rewarding, but the time it consumes can be detrimental to women’s livelihoods. When women shrink their unpaid workload from five hours a day to three, their labor force participation increases 20%, according to the OECD.

Melinda Gates considers the unpaid work gap a “root inequality” and said last year that the Gates Foundation would work to close it. Technology and contraception can help alleviate women’s burden, but the evolution of cultural norms is just as important.

“We need to call work what it is—work—whether you do it at home or whether you do it out in the labor force,” she told The New York Times in February.

At least one Hollywood star was listening.



What would Mary do?During a service at the Sistine Chapel on Sunday, Pope Francis encouraged women to breastfeed their babies during a long baptismal ceremony. "You mothers, go ahead and breastfeed, without fear. Just like the Virgin Mary nursed Jesus," he said, continuing his string of remarks in favor of public nursing. Washington Post


Is Zuma's ex next?
The women’s arm of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress has backed Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the ex-wife of South African President Jacob Zuma, to be the party’s next leader. Given the ANC's national dominance, the winner is likely to go on to be South Africa’s next president when elections are held in 2019. Dlamini-Zuma is a medical doctor and an anti-apartheid activist.

Her latest trick
Sabine Choucair spent years clowning at Lebanon's refugee camps in an effort to boost the morale of the Syrian kids stuck there. Now she's trying another form of art therapy with a project called the Caravan, which lets Syrians create their own street theater.



Barra's not budging
Mary Barra, the CEO of General Motors, says GM's small-car production will stay in Mexico, since manufacturing and plant investments are not easily changed. Her statement comes despite President-elect Donald Trump's threat that the company could face a "big border tax" for importing some Chevrolet Cruze compact cars from a plant in Mexico. "This is a long-lead business with highly capital-intensive investments—decisions that were made two, three and four years ago," Barra said.

Board shake-up
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer will leave the board of the investment company that will remain after Yahoo sells its core Internet business to Verizon, according to a regulatory filing the company submitted yesterday. The remaining company with stakes in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and Yahoo Japan will be known as Altaba.

Cutting ties
Ivanka Trump will step down from management and operations of the Trump Organization and from her eponymous fashion brand and resign from all officer and director positions she currently holds within each of them. The announcement, which indicates an effort to comply with ethics rules, came as her husband Jared Kushner accepted a position as a senior advisor to her father, the president-elect.
Vanity Fair

Now hiring: moms
Seven more tech companies are joining the effort to recruit caregivers—namely, mothers—who left the workforce. Verisk Analytics, AppNexus, Medallia, Volta, Intacct, Quantcast, and Cloudera are the latest firms to offer so-called returnships through non-profit Path Forward, which works with companies to create temporary positions for mid-career professionals who want to get back to the workplace after taking time off to care for a child, parent, or other loved one. 



Can't make it
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, who is passing through the U.S. this week on her way to Central America, met with Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Texas Governor Greg Abbott. One notable absence on Tsai's schedule is President-elect Trump. He's not taking a meeting with the Taiwanese leader. Beijing expressed discontent last month when he broke the U.S.'s decades-long "One China" protocol by speaking with Tsai by phone.

A travel budget with benefits?
Australian health minister Sussan Levy has agreed to “stand aside without ministerial pay” during a government investigation of her use of travel expenses on a work trip on which she bought an investment property. She says the purchase of the $585,000 apartment was “neither planned nor anticipated” during a 2015 trip to the Gold Coast, which cost taxpayers $2,300.
Financial Times

The 'muesli queen'
The BBC has the story of how Carolyn Creswell turned the muesli company she bought for $735 in 1992 into a $60 million business whose product is stocked at 3,000 outlets across Australia. "I wasn't afraid of hard work," says Creswell. "[But] the first few years were really hard. If I could have given it away, I would have."


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New York Times


"[Queen Elizabeth II] has been at the center of the world for 63 years. I think the world could do with a few more women at the center of it, if you ask me."
--'The Crown' actress Claire Foy in her Golden Globe acceptance speech.