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The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women in 2018

Forbes has released its list of 100 most powerful women in the World. Topping the list is German President, Angela Merkel and closely followed at number 2 by the British Prime Minister, Theresa May. The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, is retaining the top spot on the list for the 8th year in a row.

Christine Lagarde, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), takes third place on the list, rising from eight last year as a stabilizing force advocating for reducing global trade conflicts.

On the list is Melinda Gates at Number 6, Oprah Winfrey is at number 20, Ivanka Trump is at number 24  while Serena Williams is at number 79 and the Ethiopian President, Sahle-Work Zewde, is at number 97 and is the only African woman that made the list.

The 100 most powerful women in the world for 2018 come from 21 different categories or endeavors with the highest number of them  coming from Politics (20 women). According to Forbes “Women now represent close to 20% of presidential, government minister and parliamentary seats worldwide. Clearly, there is still a way to go to reach representation, but this ratio is better than the 5% of CEO seats that are held by women”.

The other categories or endeavors are Media and Entertainment (15 women), Finance and Investments (14 women), Technology (14 women), Diversified (10 women), Services (4 women), Manufacturing (3 women), Healthcare (3 women), Philanthropy and NGO (3 women), Automotive Industry (2 women), Energy (2 women), Economy (1 woman), Enterprise Technology (1 woman),     Education (1 woman), Metal and Mining (1 woman),  Fashion and Retail (1 woman), Aerospace (1 woman), Logistics (1 woman), Sports (1 woman), Gambling and Casinos (1 woman) and Food and Beverages Category (1 woman).

Serena Williams at number 79 is the only sports woman on the list.

29 countries are represented on the list, including 4 new countries (Netherlands, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Serbia). There are 13 world leaders and one monarch, Queen Elizabeth (No. 26), who is also the oldest woman on the list. 20 percent of the list is comprised of newcomers. There are 13 founders, 26 CEOs (five of which are also founders), five CFOs and three COOs. They wield influence over more than a billion people around the world and control or influence nearly $2 trillion in revenues.

Four metrics are used by Forbes each year to rank the women: money (either net worth, company revenues, assets, or GDP); media presence; spheres of influence; and impact, analyzed both within the context of each woman’s field (media, technology, business, philanthropy/NGOs, politics, and finance) and outside of it. This year, with the help of social insight platform Captiv8, Forbes included social media power in the media presence and influence score.

Of the 29 countries represented on the list, the United States has the highest number of most powerful women in the world in 2018 with a total of 47 women on the list. The US is closely followed by the United Kingdom with 10 women, China has 5 women, Hong Kong 4 women, India 4 women, France 3 women, Germany 2 women, Singapore 2 women, Saudi Arabia 2 women. On the other hand the following countries have one woman each on the list: Spain, Bangladesh, New Zealand, Australia, Taiwan, Netherlands, Vietnam, Croatia, Russia, Lithuania, Turkey, Italy, Estonia, Indonesia, UAE, Chile, South Korea, Serbia, Ethiopia, Switzerland and Norway.

Saudi Arabia, the country where women do not have much space and much role surprisingly has two women on the 2018 list of most powerful women in the world. They are Lubna S. Olayan at no 58 on the list and from the diversified category and Rania Nashar at number 95 from Finance and Investments category.

On a continental basis, North America has the highest number of 47 women but ironically, only one country from this region, the United States, contributed the figure. This could mean that wealth and opportunities distribution in the North American Continent is grossly uneven with the US dominating the other countries.

The European continent, however, seems to have a broader spread of wealth and opportunities for women across the countries as 13 countries from the continent have women making the list of 100 most powerful women in the world for 2018. Asia and the Middle East also showed a better distribution as 11 countries from the continent has women on the list. Africa and South America have one woman each while the Australian and New Zealand Continent have two women, one from Australia and one from New Zealand.

The List of the 100 Most Powerful Women in the World in 2018

Rank Name Age Country Category
#1 Angela Merkel 64 Germany Politics
#2 Theresa May 62 United Kingdom Politics
#3 Christine Lagarde 62 France Economy
#4 Mary Barra 56 United States Automotive
#5 Abigail Johnson 57 United States Finance and Investments
#6 Melinda Gates 54 United States Philanthropy/NGO
#7 Susan Wojcicki 50 United States Technology
#8 Ana Patricia Botín 58 Spain Finance and Investments
#9 Marillyn Hewson 64 United States Manufacturing
#10 Ginni Rometty 61 United States Enterprise Technology
#11 Sheryl Sandberg 49 United States Technology
#12 Gail Boudreaux 58 United States Healthcare
#13 Angela Ahrendts 58 United States Technology
#14 Safra Catz 57 United States Technology
#15 Isabelle Kocher 52 France Energy
#16 Adena Friedman 49 United States Finance and Investments
#17 Ho Ching 65 Singapore Diversified
#18 Emma Walmsley 49 United Kingdom Healthcare
#19 U.S. Supreme Court Justices United States Politics
#20 Oprah Winfrey 64 United States Media & Entertainment
#21 Ruth Porat 61 United States Technology
#22 Laurene Powell Jobs 55 United States Education
#23 Queen Elizabeth II 92 United Kingdom Politics
#24 Ivanka Trump 37 United States Politics
#25 Phebe Novakovic 60 United States Diversified
#26 Sheikh Hasina Wajed 71 Bangladesh Politics
#27 Stacey Cunningham 44 United States Finance and Investments
#28 Amy Hood 46 United States Technology
#29 Jacinda Ardern 38 New Zealand Politics
#30 Gina Rinehart 64 Australia Metals & Mining
#31 Shari Redstone 64 United States Media & Entertainment
#32 Carrie Lam Hong Kong Politics
#33 Mary Callahan Erdoes 51 United States Finance and Investments
#34 Rosalind Brewer 55 United States Diversified
#35 Erna Solberg 57 Norway Politics
#36 Bonnie Hammer 68 United States Media & Entertainment
#37 Lisa Davis 55 United States Diversified
#38 Marianne Lake 49 United Kingdom Finance and Investments
#39 Mingzhu Dong 64 China Manufacturing
#40 Tsai Ing-wen 62 Taiwan Politics
#41 Donna Langley 50 United Kingdom Media & Entertainment
#42 Anne Finucane United States Finance and Investments
#43 Gillian Tans Netherlands Service
#44 Thi Phuong Thao Nguyen 48 Vietnam Diversified
#45 Nicola Sturgeon 48 United Kingdom Politics
#46 Jean Liu 40 China Technology
#47 Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic 50 Croatia Politics
#48 Anna Wintour 69 United States Media & Entertainment
#49 Elvira Nabiullina 55 Russia Finance and Investments
#50 Beyoncé Knowles 37 United States Media & Entertainment
#51 Roshni Nadar Malhotra 37 India Technology
#52 Dana Walden 54 United States Media & Entertainment
#53 Priscilla Chan 33 United States Philanthropy/NGO
#54 Tricia Griffith 54 United States Service
#55 Jennifer Morgan 47 United States Diversified
#56 Feng Ying Wang China Automotive
#57 Maggie Wei Wu 50 China Fashion & Retail
#58 Lubna S. Olayan 63 Saudi Arabia Diversified
#59 Gwynne Shotwell 55 United States Aerospace
#60 Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw 65 India Healthcare
#61 Melanie Kreis 47 Germany Logistics
#62 Zhou Qunfei 48 Hong Kong Technology
#63 Dalia Grybauskaite 62 Lithuania Politics
#64 Güler Sabanci 63 Turkey Diversified
#65 Peng Liyuan 56 China Politics
#66 Katharine Viner 46 United Kingdom Media & Entertainment
#67 Federica Mogherini 45 Italy Politics
#68 Taylor Swift 29 United States Media & Entertainment
#69 Belinda Johnson 51 United States Technology
#70 Zanny Minton Beddoes United Kingdom Media & Entertainment
#71 Kathleen Kennedy United States Media & Entertainment
#72 Lynn Good United States Energy
#73 Solina Chau 56 Hong Kong Technology
#74 Shonda Rhimes 48 United States Media & Entertainment
#75 Judy Faulkner 75 United States Technology
#76 Kersti Kaljulaid 48 Estonia Politics
#77 Arianna Huffington 68 United States Media & Entertainment
#78 Sri Mulyani Indrawati 56 Indonesia Politics
#79 Serena Williams 37 United States Sports
#80 Meg Whitman 62 United States Technology
#81 Denise Coates 51 United Kingdom Gambling & Casinos
#82 Raja Easa Al Gurg United Arab Emirates Diversified
#83 Eliza Manningham-Buller 70 United Kingdom Philanthropy/NGO
#84 Wai Ying Lam Hong Kong Manufacturing
#85 Michelle Bachelet 67 Chile Politics
#86 Lee Boo-jin 48 South Korea Service
#87 Jenny Lee 46 Singapore Finance and Investments
#88 Shobhana Bhartia 61 India Media & Entertainment
#89 Kirsten Green 47 United States Finance and Investments
#90 Geisha Williams United States Service
#91 Ana Brnabic 43 Serbia Politics
#92 Anne Wojcicki 45 United States Technology
#93 Aileen Lee 48 United States Finance and Investments
#94 Priyanka Chopra 36 India Media & Entertainment
#95 Rania Nashar Saudi Arabia Finance and Investments
#96 Dominique Senequier 65 France Finance and Investments
#97 Sahle-Work Zewde Ethiopia Politics
#98 Theresia Gouw 46 United States Finance and Investments
#99 Margarita Louis-Dreyfus 56 Switzerland Food and Beverage
#100 Beth Brooke-Marciniak 59 United States Diversified

Table from Forbes

– Report by Agwu, C. J.

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