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The World’s Most Powerful Women: July 28

In the latest chapter of the BBC’s equal pay fight, the co-chair of a government campaign to increase the number of women in senior business roles said female BBC journalists allowed the broadcaster’s pay gap to develop.

In an interview with The Evening Standard, Philip Hampton questioned how the BBC’s gender pay gap materialized. He said he suspects the network’s “high-powered, sometimes formidable women” “let it happen because they weren’t doing much about it.”

Hampton, the non-executive chairman of drug maker GlaxoSmithKline and former chairman of Royal Bank of Scotland and J Sainsbury, continued:

“I’ve had lots of women reporting to me or coming in to talk to me about their careers—either for general guidance or employees of companies where I’ve been working. There isn’t a list long enough for all men who’ve asked. Lots of men have trooped into my office saying they are underpaid, but no woman has ever done that.”

In his remarks, Hampton did encourage the BBC to address its problem, saying its “bias is very clear towards men.” Nevertheless, Hampton was immediately tarred as out-of-touch, prompting him to issue a non-apology apology. “I’m not blaming women—not remotely,” he said. “It’s just acknowledging the differences [in behavior between men and women].”

Besides being out-of-touch, Hampton is also wrong.

Women’s reluctance to ask for a raise is often cited as a reason for the persistent gender pay gap, but a study published last year revealed that women ask for more pay just as often as men do—but are 25% less likely to get it.

The study’s co-author Andrew Oswald, a professor of economics and behavioral science at Warwick University, said he expected to find evidence for the common theory that women are less pushy than men. “But the women and the men were equal,” he said, prompting him to conclude that, when it comes to the gender pay gap, discrimination against women was certainly a factor.

@clairezillman

EUROPE/MIDDLE EAST/AFRICA

Better have her moneyAn unlikely summit took place at Elysee Palace on Wednesday when pop star Rihanna met French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte. The meeting occurred after Rihanna tweeted at Macron, asking if he’d commit to #fundeducation. The singer founded the Clara Lionel charity foundation, an education nonprofit, and serves as an ambassador for Global Partnership for Education and Global Citizen, two humanitarian funds her foundation has partnered with. Rihanna didn’t say whether Macron had pledged money to her fund, but said she was “so inspired and impressed” with his leadership.Bloomberg

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By the book
A 65-page book for Muslim women titled, The Muslimah Sex Manual: A Halal Guide to Mind Blowing Sex, independently published this month by an author with the pen name Umm Muladhat, is being celebrated for empowering Muslim women to have fulfilling sex lives. 
Quartz

THE AMERICAS

An open book
Publisher Simon & Schuster has revealed more details about Hillary Clinton’s upcoming book that’s due in September. It will be titled What Happened—I’ve seen the suggestion that WTF Happened?! would be more fittingand the publisher promises Clinton will addresses the “challenges of being a strong woman in the public eye, the criticism over her voice, age, and appearance, and the double standard confronting women in politics.” In the book’s introduction, Clinton writes: “In the past, for reasons I try to explain, I’ve often felt I had to be careful in public, like I was up on a wire without a net. Now I’m letting my guard down.”
Fortune
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Lisa’s leverage
Earlier this week, President Donald Trump singled out Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski as one of two Republicans to vote against a procedural motion on addressing Obamacare, saying she’d let her party and the country down. The administration is also reportedly threatening to retaliate against her state for her vote. But Trump is picking on the wrong person. Not only does Murkowski not stand for re-election for another six years, she has solid political standing; she won her 2010 election as a write-in candidate, a rather remarkable feat. With that firm footing, she’s confronted the president in person, telling him earlier this month, “I didn’t come here to represent the Republican Party. I am representing my constituents and the state of Alaska.” 
Atlantic
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Out of contention
Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman has shut down reports that she is considering Uber’s chief executive role, tweeting that she is “fully committed to HPE.” “We have a lot of work still to do at HPE and I am not going anywhere,” she said.
Fortune
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Making a game of it
First Lady Melania Trump announced her first solo foreign trip yesterday. She’ll head to Toronto, Canada for this year’s Invictus Games—at which injured servicemen and women compete in para-Olympic style activities—in September. The trip will take place eight months into her husband’s presidency, earlier than the first solo foreign trips of her predecessors. Michelle Obama waited 15 months before going to Mexico, while Laura Bush traveled alone at 16 months.
CNN

ASIA-PACIFIC

Renho resigns
Just 10 months after becoming leader of Japan’s main opposition—the Democratic Party—Renho Murata is stepping down. Half-Taiwanese, half-Japanese, Renho was the first person of mixed ethnic heritage to lead a big Japanese political party and was the Democrats’ first female head. Her exit comes after the DP’s dismal performance in the Tokyo city assembly elections this month and her departure is expected to take the heat off PM Shinzo Abe. His popularity is tanking amid a cronyism scandal, but Renho’s resignation is considered disruptive enough to keep the DP from effectively taking advantage of his weakness.
Financial Times
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Doctor in the House?
Mai Khanh Tran, a pediatrician, wound up in the U.S. by herself at age 9 after being airlifted from Vietnam in 1975 as part of an evacuation for orphans and disabled children. Less than a decade later, she entered Harvard, putting herself through school by working as a janitor. She later worked on Wall Street and attended medical school before settling in California. She talked to Elle about why she’s planning to challenge 12-term incumbent Rep. Ed Royce (R–Cali.) for his seat in Congress in the 2018 mid-term election.
Elle
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A problem in Pakistan
In a seriously disturbing story, 14 members of a Pakistani village council were arrested for ordering the rape of a 16-year-old girl as retribution for a rape committed by her brother. Village councils are made up of local elders and are the traditional way of resolving disputes in Pakistan’s rural areas, where there’s often little access to—or trust of—courts and attorneys. But such councils are actually illegal, the Telegraph reports, and have come under fire for their controversial decisions, especially regarding women.
Telegraph

IN BRIEF

Supermodel Natalia Vodianova says Moscow’s Red Square inspired her dreams for a better life
CNBC

Freed from ISIS, Yazidi women return in ‘severe shock’
New York Times

No more period dramas
1843

Why Rashida Jones changed her mind about porn
New York Times

PARTING WORDS

“When I was bleeding to death in my helicopter…and an American came to save my life, it didn’t matter to me if they were gay, if they were straight, if they were transgendered, it only mattered that they wore the uniform of the United States military, and I will always remember that.”
—Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D–Illinois), a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel who lost both her legs in combat, responding to Trump's ban on transgender troops.