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Sunday, 12 June 2016





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Merkel takes: Most Powerful Woman crown

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has taken the crown in Forbes’ annual list of the world’s most powerful women for the sixth consecutive year.

The list honors the smartest and toughest female business leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, scientists, philanthropists and CEOs around the world. Using four key metrics to determine the list, Forbes calculates money (net worth, company revenues, or GDP); media presence; spheres of influence; and impact, an analysis within the context of each woman’s field (media, technology, business, philanthropy, politics, and finance) and outside of it. Forbes describes the power list as “the smartest and toughest female business leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, scientists, philanthropists and CEOs making their mark in the world today.”


Angela Merkel’s sixth straight placing at number one comes after she was awarded with the honor of Time’s Person of the Year in 2015, the first woman to do so in over 29 years. It is the eleventh time the German Chancellor has been given the number-one spot by the U.S. magazine.

Hillary Clinton, the US presidential candidate, and Janet Yellen, chair of the Federal Reserve, were second and third. Two more Americans take fourth and fifth spot - Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and General Motors chief executive officer Mary Barra.

Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, is at number six and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg is at number 7. Former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark, who is seeking to become United Nations secretary-general, was ranked No. 22. U.S. talk show host Oprah Winfrey is 21st on the list, compared to 12 in 2015, while Anna Wintour, well-known for her role as editor in chief for Vogue magazine, is 28th.

China is represented by a record nine women, including Lucy Peng, a senior executive at e-commerce giant Alibaba and Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organisation, are the highest-ranked. Also on the list are Pollyanna Chu, chief executive of Hong Kong financial services firm Kingston Securities, and China’s first lady, Peng Liyuan.

The highest ranking Asian on the list is South Korean President Park Geun-hye at number 12. Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina Wajed is at number 36.


There are 32 chief executives on the list, 12 world leaders and 11 billionaires, including nine who have built billion-dollar companies from scratch. Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer is the youngest at 41 and Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II is the oldest at 90. Besides Queen Elizabeth, other British women Nemat Shafik, deputy governor of the Bank of England and newcomer Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister.

There was further contention with this year’s placing, with Forbes opting to dump Taylor Swift, as the organisation steered away from using celebrities. The publication stressed its deliberate aim to recognise women who are “calling the shots in the financial markets, and crisscrossing the globe to broker international agreements and provide aid.”

The magazine added: “Their accomplishments are formidable on their own, and even more so given how hard it can be to establish inroads into industries and job titles traditionally dominated by men.”

According to Forbes, statistics on women in positions of power remain fairly bleak with the latest survey by Catalyst, a nonprofit that tracks gender parity in the workplace finding “women occupy a measly 4% of corner offices at S&P 500 companies. And they hold only 25% of executive or senior-level jobs in those same firms.”


Forbes quotes the Pew Research Center’s findings that the number of women who are world leaders, presidents or heads of state have more than doubled from 2015. This is a positive trend on the progress that has been made in a short period of time.


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