8/24/2011 12:05 PM ET|
The world's most powerful women
Forbes presents its annual ranking of the 100 women doing the most to make their marks in politics, media, entertainment, business and philanthropy.
Europe is in a debt crisis, the Middle East is shaking, and there's market panic at home. It is against this backdrop that we present the world's 100 most powerful women.
The women on this annual list were chosen not just for being on top, but for being smack in the middle of Richter-registering events -- and more.
Their power derives from money and might, yes, but also (thanks to old and new media) from reach and influence.
This year's No. 1 in the ranking, German Chancellor Angela Merkel -- recognized as the leader of the European Union -- is key to curing what ails the eurozone.
As the Arab Spring turns into the autocrats' summer, second-ranked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton provides encouragement to dissidents, while Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg (No. 5) and Twitter's Katie Jacobs Stanton (No. 56) empower the rebels storming the barricades with a steady stream of news -- and ways to report on the action in 140 characters or less.
Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., (No. 22) is battling it out in the 2012 presidential race, while Sarah Palin (No. 34) remains a force in politics despite her decision to sit out a White House run next year.
The women on the list include many newsmakers, yes, but some are custodians of the news. Jill Abramson, the new executive editor of the New York Times, makes her debut on list at No. 12. BBC News, run by Helen Boaden (No. 51), reaches some 34 million viewers weekly. Probably better known, though, are the televised journalists: ABC News' Christiane Amanpour (No. 44) and Diane Sawyer (No. 47), Ann Curry of NBC's Today (No. 66) and Greta Van Susteren (No. 75) of Fox News.
Other famous faces make the list this year because they have exploited their celebrity status to build global businesses or champion humanitarian causes. Lady Gaga (No. 11) raised more than $200 million to fight HIV/AIDS, while Angelina Jolie (No. 29) continues her work as a U.N. ambassador.
The United Nations placed two women on this year's list: Josette Sheeran (No. 30) of the World Food Programme, the world's largest humanitarian agency, and Helen Clark (No. 50) of the U.N. Development Programme. Other nonprofit leaders include CARE USA's Helene Gayle (No. 36) and Judith Rodin (No. 71), the president of the 98-year-old Rockefeller Foundation.
Of the women on the list, 10% have bank accounts in the 10 figures, including self-made multimillionaires Oprah Winfrey (No. 14) and J.K. Rowling (No. 61). These billionaires do more than just eat bonbons: Wal-Mart Stores (WMT, news)heiress Alice Walton (No. 85) is opening her pre-eminent collection of American art to the public with the Crystal Bridge Museum on 11/11/11, while Georgina Rinehart (No. 19), the richest woman in Australia, is using her wealth to campaign against environmental reforms and taxes.
There's nothing static about the list. Nearly half of the women are first-timers or are back after dropping off. Some changed jobs since the previous year. Most were promoted, but some changed tracks altogether or are newly elected to office -- all evidence that women are moving up the pipeline.
Christine Lagarde (No. 9), formerly France's finance minister, for example, is now managing director of the International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C., and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (No. 87) switched from a job at the World Bank to finance minister of Nigeria. Dilma Rousseff (No. 3) and Yingluck Sinawatra (No. 59) were elected president of Brazil and prime minister of Thailand, respectively. They join a club of eight heads of state on the list.
Our members come from politics, business, technology, media, entertainment and nonprofits and were ranked by three metrics: dollars, media (traditional and social) and power base.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
When Lady Gaga and other actresses are voted most powerful women in the world it really
shows what ails the world.
Let's get this right, Lady Gaga is on the list, but Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Justice Sonia Sotomayor don't make it? They have 2 out of 9 votes that can determine what is legal for all of the United States' citizens. Beyonnce is on the list, but Barbara Boxer, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, Patty Murray, or no other female member of the U.S. Senate makes the list? Yeah, Forbes real good! I think your list is designed solely to help sell your elitist magazine. How did you manage to miss these women?????
Most powerful Women is this a joke?
All women are powerful and mine is my mother, She work for me raised me educated me and show me how to be a man.
These so call powerful people are nothing but a joke their own life is in shambles and this what these morons out of touch media push down our throat...
No man your mothers, aunts etc are more powerful do not be deceived by these media hoar's...
As a woman, I am offended and insulted by the inclusion of Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, and Lady Gaga! At the risk of sounding like my mother, WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO?
I'd like to bring attention of Forbes with reference to Sonia Gandhi. SHE IS NOT PRESIDENT OF INDIA. She is only president of a political party ( CONGRESS) which is know for it's corrupt practices and double speak on all matters as well as looting peoples money and stashing away in SWISS BANKS. I REITERATE, SHE IS NOT PRESIDENT OF INDIA.
PATRIOTIC INDIAN FROM BOMBAY
This is such garbage. The most powerful people in the world are the ones that we'll never forget no matter how much time passes because they carried the same common quality...moral courage. It has nothing to do with a job title, or money, or appearances. The list of the following people did not have money, or worldly power, they just had moral courage.
Rosa Parks, Ghandi, Moses, Mother Mary, Jesus, Mary Magdelin, Martin Luther King, our fore fathers (did you know that the average age of the men whom signed the constitition 28 yrs old, and many of them were farmers with pitchforks?). These people are still talked about today, because they knew who they were, why they're here, and decided to act from a higher purpose then getting ahead for themselves, this had a profound affect on the whole human race... that's power!!!!
Give me a break,... Queen Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign
states known as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Kitts and Nevis. As Head of the Commonwealth, she is the figurehead of the 54-member Commonwealth of Nations; as the British monarch, she is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England. The writer of this article doesn't include her, but puts "Lady Gaga" at the top of the list.
Either the writer has been drinking too much "Kickapoo Joy Juice", or this article was written by an immature kindergarden kid.
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