Meet the perfect conjuncture of femininity and feminism, Christine Lagarde.
As of yesterday she is the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, the first woman to head the institution since its founding in 1944. Today she leaves her post as France's Finance Minister as rumors swirl about who could possibly replace the remarkable Madame Lagarde.
As I've mentioned before, I have been a Christine Lagarde groupie ever since she arrived back in France from the United States where her last job was president of the Chicago-based law firm, Baker & McKenzie.
I think women of every age can learn a great deal from her. She is confident, brilliant, straight-talking and glamorous. She dares to wear pink! She loves Chanel, her Birken bag, her jewelry and her scarves. She wears skirts, high boots, and dresses. She sees absolutely no conflict between her femininity and her principles as a feminist.
When asked last night on French television if she thought being a woman brought more to the table, she didn't hesitate for a moment. "Absolutely," she said.
In an October interview with Christiane Amanpour on ABC's This Week she said: "I think we inject less libido. . . And less testosterone into the equation. . . It helps in the sense that we don't necessarily project our egos into cutting a deal."
Edwin Truman, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, who has met Madame Lagarde on several occasions says her style is "both politically forceful, but personally charming and likable."
As you are no doubt aware, she replaces Dominque Strauss-Kahn who is awaiting his trial in New York City for allegedly attempting to rape a chamber maid.
A few Christine Lagarde facts and figures:
Education: Attended the private Holton-Arms prep school near Washington, D.C. and has law and political science degrees from prestigious French universities.
Forbes: In 2010 the 43rd most powerful woman in the world. (That's about to change.)
Mother: Two sons in their 20s.
Marital situation: Divorced.
Romantic situation: With a handsome man since 2006.
TV appearances: Daily Show with Jon Stewart. (She gave him a beret.)
Firsts: The first female Finance Minister in the G8.
Exercise: Yoga every morning, swimming. (She was a champion swimmer in her teens.)
Miscellaneous: No alcohol, no red meat.
And: She Tweets!
Oh, Yes: Her English is as proficient as her French.