The World’s Most Powerful Women: June 15

June 15, 2017, 7:12 AM UTC

By now, you’ve no doubt heard the sexist “joke” that TPG Capital co-founder and Uber board member David Bonderman told Tuesday during an all-staff meeting about an investigation into Uber’s cultural issues, including claims of sexism and sexual harassment.

But to recap, fellow board member and media mogul Arianna Huffington was pointing out that adding a female board member increases the odds of bringing on an additional woman. Bonderman laughed off the evidence. “Actually, what it shows is that it’s much more likely to be more talking,” he said, according to an audio recording obtained by Yahoo.

There is—of course—a stereotype that women, when in the same room, do nothing but gab, gab, gab. But, as Huffington Post‘s Emily Peck points out, there’s research that shows it’s actually men who can’t shut up.

A 2012 study by professors at Princeton and Brigham Young found that among 94 groups of five people—with varied gender make-ups—men talked far more than women at meetings.

“The study shows that men will dominate the conversation if there are more men than women in the group, and they dominate by a lot,” one of the study’s authors, Tali Mendelberg, said in an interview. “When you have just two women in the group, those women are much more silent than men are.”

So not only did Bonderman show poor taste and even worse timing—factually, his statement was wrong. And his joke served as further proof since he interrupted Huffington to make it.



On Wednesdays, we wear whiteWomen in Iran are wearing white headscarves and white clothing every Wednesday to protest a law that forces women to wear a head covering. BBC


Risking it all
Washington Post correspondent Souad Mekhennet talked to Fresh Air's Terry Gross about her new memoir I Was Told to Come Alone. In it, Mekhennet writes about how she's risked kidnapping and imprisonment to report on extremist groups, such as ISIS and the Taliban.



Speaking from experience
Following the shooting in Virginia on Wednesday that injured Rep. Steve Scalise (R–La.), former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D–Ariz.) tweeted her support of her former colleague and later released a statement saying the shooting "is an attack on all who serve and on all who participate in our democracy." Giffords was herself the victim of an assassination attempt in 2011.

Kudos to Kirsten
On CNN Tuesday night, a former Trump campaign aide Jason Miller said Sen. Kamala Harris (D–Cali.) had acted "hysterical" in her questioning of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Political analyst Kirsten Powers pressed Miller on why he'd used the word in reference to Harris and not in regards to a male senator, who questioned Sessions just as aggressively. Another commentator said that hysterical was a gender-neutral term, to which Powers shot back: "And yet, it's just women that usually are called hysterical."

Eyes on 2025
Accenture (which sponsors this newsletter) pledged yesterday to reach full gender parity in its worldwide workforce by 2025. The professional services giant is already well on its way; as of this year, the company is 40% female globally.


Cutting ties with Taiwan
On Monday evening, Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela announced that he was establishing diplomatic ties with China and breaking with Taiwan, saying he was “convinced this is the correct path for our country” given China's size. Panama is the second country—after the small African islands of Sao Tome and Principe—to split with Taiwan since the election of President Tsai Ing-wen, but she remained resolute in the wake of the news, insisting that Taipei will never bow down to threats and intimidation from Beijing and is determined to uphold its sovereignty.
Washington Post

Passed over
When the United Nations selected its new secretary general last year, former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark was considered a strong contender, especially with the groundswell of support for a female leader. But Antonio Guterres of Portugal got the job instead. “I won the public vote, I won the social media scene, I won the staff votes—all of that, but it didn’t matter at all,” says Clark, concluding that the security council "wasn’t looking for someone like independent-minded leader, who looks at the evidence and makes decisions accordingly."
The Guardian


Avon CEO Sheri McCoy is expected to step down, report says

Harvard's first female president is leaving
The Cut

‘I felt like one of my father’s songbirds, let out of its cage’: driving as a woman in Saudi Arabia

Irish abortion rates are down and it could be because more women are buying illegal pills online


"I understand the powerful and necessary role poetry can play in sustaining a rich inner life and fostering a mindful, empathic, and resourceful culture."
—Tracy Smith, who on Wednesday became the new U.S. poet laureate

This post has been updated to clarify Accenture's gender diversity goal.