Skip to Content

The World’s Most Powerful Women: June 29

Valentina Zarya here, filling in for Claire this week.

Yesterday, an Associated Press investigation into a factory in southeastern China used by Ivanka Trump’s brand revealed “overtime that stretches past midnight, steep production quotas, and crude verbal abuse.” The Ganzhou Huajian International Shoe City workers who spoke to the AP—all on the condition of anonymity—also said beatings were not unheard of.

Abigail Klem, president of the Ivanka Trump brand, said “the integrity of our supply chain is a top priority and we take all allegations very seriously.” The company says its products have not been made in the factory since March, but China Labor Watch, a New York group that has been investigating Ivanka Trump’s Chinese suppliers for more than a year, said it had an April production schedule indicating that nearly 1,000 pairs of Ivanka Trump shoes were due in May. The first daughter herself declined to comment on the story (she has stepped back from day-to-day management of her brand, but she has retained her ownership interest).

In related news, three men who were investigating conditions at Huajian Group-owned factories (including ones that produce Ivanka Trump-branded shoes) in Ganzhou were detained last month and accused of illegally using secret recording devices to steal commercial secrets. They were released on bail yesterday.



Brexit is a definiteU.K. Prime Minister Theresa May said Wednesday she won’t accept an “unlimited” transitional phase as Britain leaves the EU. “We are going to leave the European Union. That’s what people wanted and that’s what we will deliver,” she said in response to a question from Tory lawmaker William Wragg, who asked her to confirm “that any transitional arrangements will be for a strictly time-limited period.” Bloomberg


A big day for gay rights
A vote to grant full marital rights to gay couples is taking place in Germany’s Bundestag Friday. It was put on the parliamentary agenda on Wednesday by the Social Democrats (SPD), Chancellor Angela Merkel’s junior coalition partners. The SPD said last weekend that an agreement on same-sex unions is a central condition to any future coalition. Merkel said in an interview earlier this week that lawmakers in her Christian Democrat party will vote according to their conscience. The bill is widely expected to pass.

What happened to resumes?
A Czech nuclear power station its choosing its summer interns based on…bikini photos? CEZ’ Temelín station posted photos of 10 high school (!) graduates posing in bikinis and hard hats on its Facebook page last week. The woman with the greatest number of likes was supposed to be crowned “Miss Energy 2017” and score a two-week internship with the company.


AMD’s Apollo 13
Fortune‘s Aaron Pressman has the story of how on a major crisis unfolded at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), the chipmaker led by chief Lisa Su. When a design flaw threatened to blow up AMD’s “Zeppelin” chip project, its testing team went into what Su calls “Apollo 13 mode”—in other words, failure was not an option. Read on to find out what happened: 

GM funds girls in STEM
IBM CEO Mary Barra announced that GM will pledge $850,000 to four nonprofits—, Black Girls Code, Institute of Play and Digital Promise—for programs that encourage young women and minorities to gain skills in STEM. The funding will also support teacher training programs in STEM-related fields.


Most Powerful Postwoman
Christine Holgate has been chosen to head state-owned postal service Australia Post, an organization the Sydney Morning Herald calls one of “Australia’s oldest, most financially and structurally challenged, politically fraught and controversial.” She is charged with remaking the business into a modern logistics company, priming it for privatization—and keeping the majority of its 33,000-person workforce employed.
Sydney Morning Herald

Kochi’s trans women get homes
Kochi Metro, the new metro system for the south Indian city of Kochi, is providing housing for 23 transgender women. The women—all employees of the transit company—have had difficulty finding permanent accommodations in the city due to discrimination and their story has gone viral on India social media. Kochi Metro is the first Indian government agency to allocate jobs specifically for transgender people and had hoped to pave the way for other firms.


Men join corporate boards with less experience than women

Women of the favela: Life in the abandoned buildings of Rio

Twitter has a new VP of inclusion and diversity

Child marriage will cost the world $4tn by 2030, researchers warn

Marissa Mayer defends Travis Kalanick: ‘He’s a phenomenal leader’


“She has a nice smile on her face, so I bet she treats you well.”
—President Donald Trump, singling out Ireland RTE's U.S. Bureau Chief, Caitriona Perry, during an Oval Office phone call with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar.