The World’s Most Powerful Women List Highlights the Female Leaders, Entrepreneurs, Investors, Philanthropists and CEOs Who Are Wielding Their Influence to Drive Change
NEW YORK– Forbes recently announced the 16th annual ranking of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. The women on Forbes’ 2019 ranking represent women in six categories: business, technology, finance, media & entertainment, politics & policy, and philanthropy. They’re women who are building billion-dollar brands, calling the shots in the financial markets, and using their enormous platforms to broker agreements, provide aid and drive change.
For the ninth consecutive year, German Chancellor Angela Merkel takes the No. 1 spot, also marking her 14th total appearance on the list. Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank rose one spot to No. 2. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, returns to the list in the No. 3 spot this year as the highest-ranking and most powerful female elected official in American political history. Rounding out the top five is newcomer Ursula Von Der Leyen, President of the European Commission (No. 4) and Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors (No. 5).
“This year’s list of World’s Most Powerful Women is a collection of innovators and instigators who are leading on the world stage to redefine traditional power structures and forge lasting impact in every industry and sphere of influence,” said Moira Forbes, Executive Vice President, Forbes and President, ForbesWomen. “As we come to the close of the current decade, our 2019 listees remind us of the huge strides that have been made by women, and the great opportunity they have to define the decade ahead.”
“We are seeing more women at the heads of the world’s most influential institutions—the European Commission, the European Central Bank, the U.S. House of Representatives—and more women taking power in c-suites and board rooms across America,” said Maggie McGrath, Editor, ForbesWomen. “Systemic change takes time, but the women on this year’s Power list are wielding their influence across the world to help make that change.”
The 100 women on the 2019 list are builders, disruptors, and innovators in every sector from business to creative worlds, taking a modern, forward-looking view on power. Members of the 2019 Most Powerful Women list represent women in six categories: business (31 honorees), technology (17), finance (12), media & entertainment (14), politics & policy (22), and philanthropy (4). In total, the Power Women control or influence more than $2.3 trillion in revenue and oversee nearly 6.5 million employees.
The 2019 list spans more than seven generations of influential women, with environmental activist Greta Thunberg becoming the youngest honoree in the list’s history at age 16. With individuals from 32 countries/territories represented, North America maintained the most women on the list at 50, followed by Asia Pacific with 21, Europe (inclusive of Russia and Turkey) with 18, the United Kingdom with 5, the Middle East with 3, Latin America with 2, and one in Africa.
Twenty-three women made their debut on the 2019 World’s Most Powerful Women list, with notable newcomers including Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of IMF; Greta Thunberg, environmental activist, Jessica Tan, Co-CEO, COO, CIO of Ping An Group in China, Julie Sweet, CEO of Accenture; Judith Mckenna, President and CEO of Walmart International; Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Minister for the Government of India; Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios; Rihanna, entrepreneur and singer/songwriter; and Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General for the United Nations.
Notably, Theresa May, Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom was not included on the 2019 list after maintaining the second spot in 2018 due to her resignation from the position this year. Queen Elizabeth, fell 15 spots to No. 38 and Ivanka Trump, First Daughter and Advisor to the President, fell 18 spots to No. 42.
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