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The Week in Women: Here’s who crushed it on International Women’s Day

Gayle King (Photo by Riccardo Savi/Getty Images for Concordia Summit)

Even though every day is International Women’s Day in our universe — and likely yours too — we still look forward to the empowering acts this annual event inspires, from the lofty initiatives (Apple pushing female developers’ apps to the top of the App Store) to the just-plain-strange campaigns (Ariana Grande getting her own Starbucks drink).

Our 10th Annual Summit this April will see the spirit of International Women’s Day celebrated live on stage in New York City, and we’re as fired up as we’ve ever been. It’s a fire kindled each day by the stories we hear from women and organizations around the world, changing the game wherever they play it.

And below, read about 7 women, one airline — and one regional transit authority — who are inspiring us this week.

GAYLE KING
The journalist displayed unflappable composure as accused sexual abuser R. Kelly screamed in her face and had to be held back by his handlers during an interview on CBS This Morning. King’s interview with two of Kelly’s alleged victims aired this morning.

TANYA S. CHUTKAN
This federal judge just ordered the Trump administration to reinstate an Obama-era rule that demands companies report their gender and racial pay inequities. The government had claimed that asking companies to file the data was “unnecessarily burdensome,” but Chutkan called their bluff and ruled the administration had no evidence to prove it.

OPRAH WINFREY
Our 2019 Summit headliner has empowered sexual assault victims (and opened herself up to a barrage of attacks from Michael Jackson fans) by using her platform to amplify Leaving Neverland, the new documentary about the singer’s alleged sexual abuses. Winfrey hosted a conversation on HBO with the film’s creator, as well as with Wade Robson and James Safechuck, the two alleged victims the documentary follows.

VIRGIN ATLANTIC’S FEMALE FLIGHT ATTENDANTS
The airline has announced that female crew members will no longer have to wear makeup just to do their jobs. On some airlines, flight attendants still have to wear high heels until the seatbelt sign has been switched off.

MAUREEN BECK
Despite having only one hand, National Geographic’s 2019 Adventurer of the Year is climbing the same mountains as Free Solo’s Alex Honnold. (Vertigo sufferers, don’t click this link.) When she’s off the mountain, Beck is working to transform the way gyms across the country cater to disabled athletes.

LIBBY LEIST
As the executive producer of TODAY, Libby Leist is known to almost everyone at NBC. She’s less famous outside the building, however, and that needs to change: Leist is responsible for the show’s (outwardly) seamless post-Matt Lauer transition to a program anchored entirely by women while maintaining its position as the biggest morning show in the country.

CAROLE CADWALLADR
The fearless journalist called out a British television channel for “macho bollocks” because of the swagger with which they announced a new program — even though the program focuses on the same issue (potential funding links between Russia and the Brexit campaign) she’s been calling attention to for years.

NIKI NAKAYAMA
A leader in the traditionally male Japanese food space, Nakayama runs Los Angeles’s most in-demand Japanese restaurant n/naka, alongside her wife and co-chef, Carole Iida-Nakayama. (Their online booking platform opens for reservations at 10 a.m. — by 10:01, seats are gone.) As of this week, Nakayama can add a glowing New Yorker profile to her list of achievements.

And last, but not least…

NEW YORK CITY’S PORT AUTHORITY
We’re more used to railing against this organization than praising it, but the authority just upgraded its breastfeeding services at Newark, JFK and LaGuardia airports, which now have 28 private suites large enough to fit “a mother with a stroller, her child, and a traveling companion.”

Check out some friends of Women in the World telling you how women can (and will) save the world!


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