What happens when influential women like Meg Whitman, Ellen Kullman - and a guy: Warren Buffett - get together? They share smart ideas and - forge unexpected new relationships.
FORTUNE -- Big topics -- the global economy, presidential politics, boardroom drama -- got plenty of airtime at Fortune's annual Most Powerful Women Summit in early October. Meg Whitman (No. 9), the new CEO of Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), outlined plans for calming the waters at the tech giant. Warren Buffett -- the lone male interviewee -- discussed the European crisis and the "Buffett Rule" to increase taxes paid by the rich. ("It's a boyhood dream," he quipped. "I wanted to have a tax named after me.") But the spirit of the summit -- women offering advice and making connections -- emerged in smaller, spontaneous moments: IBM (IBM) senior VP Ginni Rometty (No. 7) confided that "growth and comfort do not co-exist." Lululemon (LULU) CEO Christine Day and Google (GOOG) VP Marissa Mayer (No. 38) bonded while chatting about their companies' approaches to innovation. And when Gloria Steinem walked on stage for her first-ever appearance at a Fortune event, some 400 accomplished women greeted her with an appreciative standing ovation.
Photographs by Robyn Twomey
This article is from the November 7, 2011 issue of Fortune.
It's strange to fathom Chelsea Handler, Gloria Steinem, and Warren Buffett collaborating to reform America's tax code. But at the recent Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit, the edgy late-night talk-show host, the feminist icon, and the famed investor united around the "Buffett Rule," his proposal to lift taxes on the super-rich and equalize tax rates across classes. "I couldn't be more pleased," says Buffett, clearly pumped about his new supporters. MOREPatricia Sellers - Oct 19, 2011 11:16 AM ET
It was a riot having Chelsea Handler at last week's Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit. Handler, whose business is media (two talk/reality programs on E!, a primetime sitcom coming soon to NBC (CMCSA), a growing stack of best-selling books), conducted a sharp and funny interview with another well-known media entrepreneur: Arianna Huffington, the queen of content at AOL (AOL). Handler also met Gloria Steinem at the Summit and invited the MOREPatricia Sellers - Oct 14, 2011 1:05 PM ET
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