American business magazine Forbes released its annual list of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women this week from 29 different countries around the globe. Forbes has been putting out this list since 2004, selecting women in positions of power from the fields of politics, business, science and philanthropy. The U.S. holds the maximum number of spots, 51 out of 100 of whom seven are in the top ten.
Topping the list once again is Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel who has been on the list 11 times, and is now for the 7th time at the top. She is followed by U.S. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at 2nd place, Janet Yellen Chair Federal Reserve and philanthropist Melinda Gates at 3rd and 4th respectively.
“They are the smartest and toughest female business leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, scientists, philanthropists, and chief executive officers making their mark in the world today,” says Forbes of the women that they have listed. “They’re women who are building billion-dollar brands, calling the shots in the financial markets, and crisscrossing the globe to broker international agreements and provide aid.”
The list of 100 includes 12 leaders, 32 CEOs and 11 billionaires. Forbes says it ranks the women by ‘money, media, momentum, spheres of influence and impact’. In all, these movers and shakers of the world control $1 trillion in revenue and are believed to be impacting 73.6 billion people in toto.
The Top 10 includes Americans Sheryl Sandberg, COO Facebook, Susan Wojcicki, CEO Youtube and Meg Whitman CEO of Hewlett-Packard. All of the Top 10 women listed are multimillionaires.
This time around there is no Taylor Swift or Lady Gaga as the Celebrity category has been scrapped to make room for a spurt of women leaders around the world. Since 2005, the number of female presidents or heads of state has more than doubled, according to the Pew Research Center. In the last year alone, Taiwan, Myanmar, Nepal, Croatia, Mauritius, and Lithuania have elected or reelected female leaders to office. Also there Hillary Clinton, who is already ahead in the primaries and is presumptive presidential nominee.
President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan, President Park Geun-hye of South Korea, President Bidhya Devi Bhandari of Nepal, and others like them, thus replace the celebrities. President Tsai Ingwen is placed 17th between Abigail Johnson, the CEO of Fidelity at 16th and Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet in 18th place.
Only six women from the UK made it to the list. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was ranked 29th. The sources of Her Majesty’s wealth are listed as investments and real estate. Her estimated net worth stands at $425 million (£292,291,081) as of last September. First leader SNP LEADER Nicola Sturgeon from the UK is placed 50th.
The average age of those listed was 57. The Queen at 90 is the oldest woman on the list followed by Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf from Liberia while the youngest on the list is Marissa Mayer aged 41 yrs, CEO Yahoo.
Two Singaporeans on the list are Temasek Holdings chief executive Madam Ho Ching, who has been on the list each time, this time ranking at 30, and GGV Capital managing partner Jenny Lee at rank 100.
China this time sees a record 9 women make the top 100. The list includes Margaret Chan Director General of WHO at 38th position and senior executive of e-commerce giant Alibaba Lucy Penguin at 35.
Left out of the list this time is Brazilian President Dilma Rouseff who faces impeachment charges for illegal fiscal manipulation while in state. She had ranked 7th last year.
African women who made the list are Mauritius’ President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim at rank 97, Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf at rank 83 and Folorunsho Alakija vice chair of a Nigerian oil exploration company, Famfa oil at rank 80.
Four Indians made it to the list. State Bank of India (SBI) head Arundhati Bhattacharya is at the 25th place, making the Indian public sector banker India’s most powerful woman. Another Indian woman banker, Chanda Kochar of ICICI, is the country’s No.2 powerful woman with 40th rank globally, while entrepreneurs Kiran Mazumdar Shaw of Biocon and Shobhana Bhartia of Hindustan Times Media group rank 77th and 93rd powerful women in the world.
In the media category Oprah Winfrey held first place ranking at number 21. Arianna Huffington was number 70. Great Van Susteren was the only news person in the top 100. She’s been on the list every year for the last 6 years.