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The World’s Most Powerful Women: July 20

British broadcaster the BBC released a list of its highest paid stars yesterday as part of its new 10-year funding settlement with the Conservative government. The disclosure revealed a significant gender pay gap among BBC’s top talent with its top-earning male employee making five times more than the highest-earning woman. What’s more: only a third of the 96 highest-paid employees overall are women, and the top seven are all men.

No. 1 on the list is Chris Evans, the presenter who took over as host of Top Gear for one season after Jeremy Clarkson defected to Amazon two years ago. He made between £2.2 million and £2.25 million in 2016-2017. The highest-paid woman, meanwhile, was Claudia Winkleman, who earned between £450,000 and £500,000.

The gap is so blatant that experts say the broadcaster is at risk of being sued for gender discrimination. Prime Minister Theresa May even weighed in on the matter: “We’ve seen the way the BBC is paying women less for doing the same job,” she said. “What’s important is that the BBC looks at the question of paying men and women the same for doing the same job.”

News of a company’s gender pay gap is—unfortunately—not unique, but there’s an extra layer to the BBC’s. The bulk of the broadcaster’s funding comes from a mandatory and flat-rate license fee that every household with a TV in the U.K. must pay. That means public money is funding the yawning divide.




Memorializing MaryamAs Iran’s media covered the death of Maryam Mirzakhani, a celebrated Iranian mathematician who died on Saturday at age 40, a notable trend emerged. Media outlets published photos of Mirzakhani without a hijab, the head covering that the country has required women to wear in public since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. This Atlantic piece explores the reasons behind the exception. Atlantic


Learning from Liu
On a trip to Nigeria this week, Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai condemned China’s treatment of her fellow peace prize-winner Liu Xiaobo following his recent death. Liu was jailed in 2009 for “inciting subversion of state power” after he helped write a petition calling for sweeping political reforms in China. “I condemn any government who denies people’s freedom,” Yousafzai said. “I’m hoping that people will learn from what he did and join together and fight for freedom, fight for people’s rights and fight for equality.”

Pardon his French?
The Twitter account of Francoise Nyssen, the French culture minister, was hijacked by the 13-year-old son of her community manager, and the boy promptly posted a series of offensive tweets. The posts were later deleted. Some observers found humor in the mishap, while others questioned the security of the account. 


A major assist
Think Progress has a look inside Planned Parenthood’s first partnership with a professional sports team. In June, the all-female ownership group of the WNBA’s Seattle Storm announced a partnership with the reproductive health care provider, whose existence has become a political lighting rod.
Think Progress

Paperwork probe
A group of more than 20 Democratic lawmakers asked the FBI to review Ivanka Trump’s security clearance paperwork following revelations by her husband—also a top White House advisor—and her brother, Donald Trump Jr., about meetings with foreign officials. The main security clearance form asks if “you or any member of your immediate family” has had “any contact” with a “foreign government, its establishment … or its representatives,” and the members of Congress want to know if Ivanka Trump’s disclosures include all of her family’s foreign contacts. 

Monica on masculinity
In a new essay for Vanity Fair, Monica Lewinsky writes that recent admissions by three famous men—Prince Harry, Brad Pitt, and Jay-Z—about their struggles with mental health, personal failures, and a strained marriage, respectively, are “a refreshing and bracing antidote” to “Washington’s new power elite and our coarsening culture” that project an “outmoded caricature of manhood, 24/7.”
Vanity Fair


A core business
Apple’s business in China has grown so much over the past decade that it’s created a new role: vice president and managing director of the greater China region that will be filled by engineering leader Isabel Ge Mahe. She’s led Apple’s wireless software engineering team for nine years, overseeing projects like the company’s Apple Pay, HomeKit and CarPlay products. Plus, she’s worked on new iOS features developed specifically with China in mind.

Gender fender bender
An Audi commercial released in China that compares women to used cars has—surprise!—not gone over well. The spot shows a bride being poked and prodded by her groom’s mother, calling to mind a car inspection. It then urges viewers to visit a website selling “Audi-approved” secondhand automobiles. The ad prompted outrage on China’s social media platforms with one user saying it “assumes romantic relationships for Chinese men and women are just like this: dominated by the mother-in-law, controlled by the male and with a passive female. … Would Audi air such a discriminatory commercial in Europe or the U.S.?”
Washington Post


How a China blogger highlighted the generational tensions over marriage

At cybersecurity camps, teen girls learn about protecting nation, breaking barriers
Wall Street Journal

French moms aren’t superior parents—they just have it easier

Hillary Clinton is less popular than President Trump, poll finds


“I’m looking forward to presenting BBC Woman’s Hour today. We’ll be discussing #genderpaygap. As we’ve done since 1946. Going well, isn’t it?”
—Jane Garvey, a BBC radio presenter, after the publication of the broadcaster's top salaries revealed a stark disparity between men and women.