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The World’s Most Powerful Women: May 16

If you’re looking for inspiration this Tuesday morning, let me direct you to this story CNBC published yesterday about Julie Deane, founder of the Cambridge Satchel Company, who started her bag brand with one goal in mind: to send her bullied daughter to private school.

Ten years ago, Deane took what little discretionary money she had, $775, and put it toward her own business, a satchel company inspired by her frustration with the dearth of high-quality backpacks on the market. Her prototype consisted of old cereal boxes wrapped in brown paper.

Rather than hiring business consultants and strategists—she had no budget for a staff—she enlisted her mom for help. Her rationale is refreshingly matter-of-fact: “[Y]ou have got to get somebody who will work really hard, put up with your slightly easily irritated temperament, not expect to be paid. It narrows until you are left with your mother.”

Deane’s big break came in 2010 when she sent samples of her neon-colored satchels to fashion bloggers who ended up wearing them to New York Fashion Week. She was promptly inundated with 16,000 orders, which eventually led her to launch her own manufacturing operation. The company now has five retail locations in the U.K. and Deane says it was worth $65 million in 2014.

Reflecting on her success at the Vanity Fair Founders Fair recently, Deane said she’s glad she didn’t realize how much of a long shot her business was at its inception. “Luckily I didn’t know that, because it just seemed like my daughter needs moving—that’s the school, that’s how much it costs,” she said, “and so that’s what needs to happen.”



Dynamic duoNew French President Emmanuel Macron visited German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin yesterday, a day after his inauguration, and the two pledged to cooperate to strengthen the European Union. “Germany will only do well in the long term if Europe does well and Europe will only do well if there is a strong France,” Merkel said.Financial Times


Daughter on the defense
Brigitte Macron’s youngest daughter has accused political opponents of launching misogynistic attacks against her mother out of jealousy. Tiphaine Auzière, a lawyer who’s standing as a parliamentary candidate for Emmanuel Macron’s La Republique En Marche party, told a French TV station that the attacks against France’s new first lady wouldn’t be directed at a male politician or at a man accompanying a female politician. “So I think there’s a lot of jealousy, and that this is very inappropriate,” she said.

Hiding behind handles
Ever since Emily Owen, 22, announced she would stand as a Labour Party MP candidate in the U.K.’s upcoming election, she’s been inundated with sexual harassment on social media. Owen came forward with the abuse on Twitter: “Let’s discuss politics, not my breasts,” she said. She blames the anonymity of social media, in part, for the harassment. “[F]unnily enough nobody ever says anything like that…when I go around knocking on doors.”


A growing gag rule
President Donald Trump’s executive order blocking U.S. aid to groups abroad that counsel about abortion took effect yesterday and will restrict nearly $9 billion in foreign health assistance, including money for programs related to AIDS, malaria, and child health. Previous versions of the rule limited about $600 million in family planning funding. Women’s rights and family planning groups that oppose the ban say the result could be catastrophic, resulting in the closure of critical healthcare centers around the world.
Washington Post

A controversial crown
Surely the Miss USA pageant could offer Americans a brief respite from the current politically charged environment, right? Wrong. The winner, Miss District of Columbia Kara McCullough, a chemist for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, set Twitter afire when she said she transposes “feminism” to “equalism,” suggesting that the former is anti-men. She also said healthcare is a privilege, not a right. Conservative media championed her win, while more liberal commentators took issue with her remarks.
New York Magazine

Out of the woods
Hillary Clinton officially took her next steps following her election loss on Monday by launching a Political Action Committee, “Onward Together,” that will be dedicated to advancing liberal causes and politicians. “This year hasn’t been what I envisioned, but I know what I’m still fighting for: a kinder, big-hearted, inclusive America. Onward!” Clinton said.


From Nepal to NYC
Raised in Nepal by Korean missionary parents, artist Maia Ruth Lee talks to New York Magazine about her multidisciplinary work and her role as director of Wide Rainbow, a nonprofit after-school arts program that introduces local girls to visual arts.
New York Magazine

A model MP
Australia’s first female Muslim MP Anne Aly walked the runway in designer Thomas Puttick’s Sydney Fashion Week show on Monday that was aimed at celebrating diversity and raising money for an anti-domestic violence campaign. “He had women of all shapes and sizes and I really wanted to support a young Aussie designer doing great things,” Aly said.



How Iranian women became the queens of online shopping

Ina Garten has eaten this same breakfast ‘every single day for 10 years’

The men who take ‘women’s’ jobs

Gretchen Carlson says reporting sexual harassment to HR can backfire

How Melissa McCarthy came to play Sean Spicer on ‘Saturday Night Live’
Washington Post



“I don’t think I would be able to sleep at night if I closed my mouth on social issues and said, ‘I’m not going to speak about it because it doesn’t affect me.'”
—Ibtihaj Muhammad, the only Muslim-American woman to ever medal at the Olympics, who was recently detained at the Charlotte airport.