Forbes celebrates the 10th anniversary of its list of the 100 most powerful women of the world. At number one for the past four years is Angela Merkel, German Chancellor. Following behind in the number two spot is Janet Yellen, U.S. Federal Reserve Chair. The number three position goes to Melinda Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The president of Brazil, Dilma Rouseff, drops two places from last year into spot number four. Finishing off the top five on the list is the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde.
There are eight categories that the women on the list represent. Those categories are: business, finance, entertainment, politics, technology, media as well as billionaires and philanthropy. This year finance is its own category, unlike previous years when it fell under business. In order to determine rank in each category, along with ranking on the overall list of 100, Forbes looked at several different factors. Those factors include media, money, impact and how much influence each candidate held.
There are many celebrity women on the Forbes 100 most powerful women list, all of whom have reason to celebrate. Beyoncé, Oprah Winfrey, Shakira and Angelina Jolie, just to name a few. All who have not just a big bank roll, but who also have a profound influence in the entertainment industry. Beyoncé gained plenty of attention for her role as an icon for women’s empowerment. Angelina Jolie is Hollywood’s highest paid actress, which helped her gain a spot on the list, as well as her philanthropy work with the United Nations. Oprah Winfrey has made the list since 2004, when Forbes introduced its first list. She is one of eight women who have that honor. Other famous names on the list include First Lady Michelle Obama and former Secretary of State, Hilary Rodham Clinton. Among the technology industries, names included Sheryl Sandberg the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Facebook, Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, Susan Wojcicki, CEO of Google/YouTube and Virginia Rometty, CEO of IBM.
Featured on the list include nine heads of state who run countries with a combined Gross Domestic Product of $11 trillion dollars. There is also 28 CEOs with annual revenues combined to be $1.7 trillion dollars. Thirteen billionaires valuing over $81 billion dollars and 18 entrepreneurs who founded their own companies or organizations made their way onto the list.
The list of the 100 most powerful women was published after a Forbes Women’s Summit that was held in New York City on May 15, 2014. The summit was attended by about 300 prominent women who displayed their success of leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship. Many of the women featured on the list came as no surprise. They all have shown that with determination and perseverance, it is possible to rise to the very top. It is no longer a man’s world, and it never again will be. Forbes President and Publisher of ForbesWoman, Moira Forbes, said “as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Forbes 100 most powerful women, these women will make a lasting impact in all aspects of our lives.”
By Melissa Monk