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The World’s Most Powerful Women: January 16

I am headed to Davos, Switzerland this morning for the World Economic Forum. This is my first time attending the gathering of political leaders and CEOs so I’m somewhat unsure what to expect—except on one front: women will be scarce.

The conference is known for its male-dominated attendance, and this year is no different. Nearly 80% of the 3,000 delegates will be men. That’s woefully low but actually represents quite a bit of progress. In 2002, just 9% of attendees were female. Ninety percent of panels this year will include at least one woman—meaning 10% of panels feature none. That’s somewhat astonishing considering the backlash all-male panels have received recently.

This year’s theme is “Responsive and Responsible Leadership” so I’m eager to see how topics like female leadership and gender equality figure into the conversation.

If you’re also attending, please drop me a line. Among the masses of men, I’ll be easy to find.

@clairezillman

EUROPE/MIDDLE EAST/AFRICA

Hard landingU.K. PM Theresa May is expected to indicate her plans for a “hard Brexit” tomorrow by saying she’s willing to quit the EU’s single market for goods and services in exchange for control of Britain’s borders. The proposal is expected to alarm business executives and the market amid worries that May is favoring social issues over the needs of the economy. Bloomberg

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Treasure trove
For 15 years, Yelena Gagarina has been director of the Kremlin museums, which have housed the treasures of Tsarist Russia since 1806. The museums are situated on President Vladimir Putin’s doorstep, which poses security and logistical challenges for the institution and its leader. He has great interest in the collections; the president hand-picked Gagarina for the job and drops by to tour the exhibits.
Moscow Times

THE AMERICAS

Makes cents
The U.S. Mint is issuing $100 gold coins for its 225th anniversary, and its recently released design depicts an allegorical liberty as an African-American woman. The American symbol of freedom has never appeared on currency before in non-white guise.
Fortune
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Wild West
British Columbia premier Christy Clark receives a taxpayer-funded salary of 195,000 Canadian dollars, plus an annual stipend of 50,000 Canadian dollars from her party. The latter is partly funded by wealthy donors who’ve paid thousands of dollars to meet with Clark at private fund-raisers. And it’s now the subject of an on-going court case challenging earlier legal rulings that said the system poses no conflicts of interest.
New York Times
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Cutting costs
Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson (No. 3 on Fortune‘s Most Powerful Women list) met with President-elect Donald Trump on Friday and said afterward that the company is close to a deal to significantly lower the cost of its F-35 aircraft. Trump has attacked Lockheed for the cost of its jet program, and asked rival Boeing if it could produce a cheaper model. Hewson said she agrees with Trump that the program should ensure the “best capability” at “the lowest possible price.”
Reuters

 

ASIA-PACIFIC

Snagging Samsung
The influence-peddling scandal of South Korean President Park Geun-hye has reportedly snagged the scion of Samsung Group, Jay Y. Lee. After questioning Lee last week, prosecutors are seeking a warrant for his arrest. The company is accused of paying bribes to Park’s shadowy confidant Choi Soon-sil in exchange for government support of the company’s succession planning. A court must still okay the warrant.
Bloomberg
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Even it up
Some Asian societies have long favored sons over daughters. In India, there are still 100 girls for every 111 boys; in China it’s 100 to 115. South Korea used to have the same problem, but it took specific steps to keep families from aborting girls and has brought its population back into balance.
BBC
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Progress in politics?
In Japan, three women are now steps from the job of prime minister—Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, Defense Minister Tomomi Inada, and Democratic Party leader Renho Murata. Their rise to power signals a significant shift in male-dominated Japan, but cultural biases persist: Renho’s bra size was listed on her Wikipedia page, and Koike was criticized during her race for wearing too much makeup.
NPR

 

IN BRIEF

The many faces of Frida Kahlo
Washington Post

These are the stereotypical gender labels faced by female entrepreneurs
Refinery29

Jacob Zuma says South Africa’s ruling ANC is ready for female leader
Guardian

Ivanka Trump hosted a secret dinner at Wendi Murdoch’s house
Fortune

Singer Jennifer Holliday pulls out of Trump inauguration performance
Time

Theresa May to become first PM on the cover of American ‘Vogue’
Guardian

PARTING WORDS

“The woman at the hearing wasn’t me. I wasn’t there, and I don’t know who she is. What we have in common is that we’re both women, and we’re both Asian.”
--Washington Post editor Doris Truong, on how online trolls decided she was taking photos of Rex Tillerson’s notes at a hearing, even though she wasn't there.