The Worlds most Powerful Women

Who runs the world? The 2017 World’s 100 Most Powerful Women identifies a new generation of icons, game-changers and gate crashers who are boldly scaling new heights and transforming the world.

The German Chancellor has held the top spot on the Forbes Most Powerful Women List for seven consecutive years, and 12 years in total. Another prominent political leader, UK Prime Minister Theresa May, ranked second. It is her first time appearing on Forbes’ annual list.

Here is the list of 10 most powerful women:

  1. Angela Merkel- Once again, Merkel tops the list. As the de facto leader of the struggling European coalition, Merkel this year won a hard-fought election that saw the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party creep into the Bundestag.

2. Theresa May-  Few leaders have been thrust into power with as big a burden as the one May now shoulders. Only a slim majority (3%) of Britons voted to leave the European Union in a referendum vote last year that led then Prime Minister David Cameron to resign. Now May has to guide her country through this bumpy transition

3. Melinda Gates-  Gates continues her run as the most powerful woman in philanthropy as co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Her laser focus on health is having a real impact as she showed in the foundation’s first “Goalkeepers” report which presented hard metrics behind the giving.

4. Sheryl Sandberg ($1.61 B)

  • Facebook’s chief operating officer since 2008, Sandberg has helped dramatically boost revenues at the social network.
  • She founded Lean In, a nonprofit named after her bestselling book, to support women’s empowerment.
  • Her second book, Option B, which focuses on grief and resilience, was released in April 2017.
  • She spent 6 years as a vice president at Google, where she developed its lucrative online advertising programs.
  • Facebook’s chief operating officer since 2008, Sandberg has helped dramatically boost revenues at the social network.
  • She founded Lean In, a nonprofit named after her bestselling book, to support women’s empowerment.
  • Her second book, Option B, which focuses on grief and resilience, was released in April 2017.
  • She spent 6 years as a vice president at Google, where she developed its lucrative online advertising programs.

5. Marry Barra- Barra is focused on improving GM’s profitability while positioning the automaker for the future. The company’s revenue rose 9.2% in 2016, and she is consolidating that strength by pulling GM out of weaker international markets, among other measures. She also managed to successfully fend off hedge-fund manager David Einhorn’s proposal to create a second class of GM stock.

6.   Susan Wojcicki-  She has been CEO of YouTube since February 2014. She advocated for Google’s $1.65 billion acquisition of YouTube in 2006; the video site is now worth an estimated $90 billion. Google’s 16th employee, hired in 1999, she started as the search firm’s first marketing manager and later headed all marketing and commerce.

6. Chanda Kochhar-  Last May, Chanda Kochhar, CEO of ICICI Bank, became the first Indian woman to receive the prestigious Woodrow Wilson Award for Global Citizenship, joining the ranks of Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice. Her ambitious community outreach program, ICICI Digital Village, brought vocational training to over 11,000 villagers in 17 states in India and provided financial tools to aspiring entrepreneurs. The program expects to reach 500 more villages by year’s end.

7. Shobhana Bhartiya-  Media baroness Shobhana Bhartia serves as chairperson and editorial director for India’s largest listed media company, HT Media, publisher of the English- and Hindi-language dailies Hindustan Times and HT Mumbai, and the business paper Mint. The group also operates four FM radio stations and multiple websites, including job portal Shine and cinema portal Desimartini. In 2013, Bhartia launched the business weekly MintAsia in Singapore and then bought Webitude, a social and digital media outfit.

8. Roshini Nadar Malhotra- She became CEO of HCL Corporation in 2009, at 27 years old. She added executive director to her title a year later. She’s responsible for all strategic decisions for the $7.5 billion enterprise, which operates in technology, healthcare and infosystems. Founded by her father, Shiv Nadar, in 1976, HCL was on the forefront of the personal-computing industry and became a central player in India’s rise as an IT hub.

9. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw ($2.3 )
  • India’s richest self-made woman, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, founded biopharma firm Biocon in 1978.
  • Biocon makes a range of generics to treat, among much else, autoimmune diseases, diabetes and cancer.
  • The company is Asia’s largest insulin producer with a factory in Malaysia’s Johor region.

10. Priyanka Chopra-  Chopra is arguably the most successful Bollywood actor to cross over to Hollywood. She began her acting career in 2003, and has since appeared in more than 40 Bollywood films, making her U.S. big-screen debut in 2017’s Baywatch. As the star of ABC’s Quantico, she’s one of TV’s highest-earning actresses and the first Indian actor to lead a drama series on American television. As a producer, Chopra founded Mumbai-based Purple Pebble Pictures, which strives to promote regional filmmakers and up-and-coming Indian talent.  

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