The World’s Most Powerful Women: January 12

January 12, 2017, 8:45 AM UTC

As the debate over sexism in the workplace inches forward, it’s become clear that women should not be waging this battle on their own. Without men’s help, women’s fight for gender parity and equal treatment is a lonely, difficult one that comes with the risk of retaliation and social stigma.

Last year, I highlighted the work of Valerie Aurora, a feminist activist who is teaching men in Silicon Valley how to stop their peers’ biased behavior. It turns out there’s a group of guys in London who are promoting similar training. ‘Manbassadors’ is a male-led group at the London Business School whose aim is to support the cause of female executives after graduation. It puts on events—from casual gatherings to guest speakers and seminars—to engage MBA students on subjects related to gender equality, such as how to recognize and avoid implicit bias in performance reviews.

The group asks participants to vow to “proactively engage” in conversations about gender differences on campus. “The idea was to ask students not just to be added to a mailing list or show their support, but rather pledge to be an active participant in gender discussions,” Harish Patel, who joined after watching his sister struggle professionally after having a baby, told the FT. So far, some 350 students have signed up.



A dangerous downgradeA bill that would decriminalize domestic violence survived its first reading in Russia's legislature with only one of 369 lawmakers voting against it. The bill's ultra-conservative sponsor says parents have a right to hit their children, but women's advocates are outraged by the proposed measure since 36,000 women are beaten by their partners in Russia every day.Moscow Times


Next up
At 19, Malala Yousafzai, the female education advocate from Pakistan who survived an assassination attempt in 2012, has already won the Nobel Peace Prize and published an award-winning memoir. She's facing a new challenge as she enters her university years: what to do next.

See you in court
Germany's cabinet approved legislation yesterday meant to help ensure that men and women receive equal pay for doing equivalent work. Under the draft law, workers in companies with 200 employees or more will be legally entitled to know what criteria their pay is evaluated under. Manuela Schwesig, the minister for women and families, said the measure means employees can sue if a company can't demonstrate their pay is fair.
Associated Press


Everything Ivanka
Ivanka Trump's informal advisor, Goldman Sachs partner Dina Powell, is reportedly getting an official gig in the White House. Politico reports that the role is expected to focus on "entrepreneurship, economic growth, and the empowerment of women." Trump also named Abigail Klem as her successor at her eponymous fashion brand as she steps down in an effort to comply with ethics laws. All the while, Trump's latest career move is the subject of debate: Is she prepping for even more power by severing her business ties or taking a back seat to the men in her life?

Rousing Russia
Canadian PM Justin Trudeau's cabinet reshuffle on Monday catapulted several women into high-profile posts. Chrystia Freeland was named Canada's top diplomat—a move that is considered an affront to Russia since Freeland, a former journalist, is blacklisted there. Meanwhile, Karina Gould, the new minister of democratic institutions, is the youngest female cabinet member ever. She's 29.

Reassurance from Rex
During his confirmation hearing yesterday, secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson, former Exxon CEO, hinted that he would support the department's women's programs. Questions about his commitment to such issues came after the Trump transition team asked the State Department for information on the staffing and funding of gender equality programs in what some interpreted as a witch hunt. “I have seen firsthand the impact of...empowering women’s participation in economic activities in the lesser developed part of the world,” he said.
Huffington Post



Making peace with the past?
Angelina Jolie's latest film project based on the book First They Killed My Father by Loung Ung is being shot in Cambodia, with only Cambodian actors who speak mainly Khmer. It's a (yet untested) effort to help the nation confront the horrors of its past.

A symbolic statue
Last week Japan said it was temporarily recalling its ambassador to South Korea over a statue near the Japanese consulate that commemorates Korean comfort women, who were forced to work in Japanese wartime military brothels. Tokyo said the statue violates an agreement aimed at resolving the comfort women issue. If the rekindled feud ignites, it could hamper the nations' cooperation against North Korea's growing nuclear threat.



Ethiopia’s 'Spice Girls' are first victims of U.K. tabloid campaign to cut foreign aid

Ashton Kutcher was paid ‘three times more’ than Natalie Portman for 'No Strings Attached'

Women and minorities serving on corporate boards are paid less, study finds

Actress Lola Kirke got death threats for not shaving her armpits

Mexico allows a baby to be registered with maternal surnames for first time

There's soaring childlessness among women in southern Europe


"You took on a role you didn’t ask for. And you made it your own with grace and with grit and with style, and good humor. You made the White House a place that belongs to everybody. And a new generation sets its sights higher because it has you as a role model."
--President Barack Obama, thanking First Lady Michelle in his farewell address.