German Chancellor Angela Merkel tops the list of CEOWORLD magazine’s most powerful women in the world for 2020, primarily because of her control over the largest economy in Europe, and one of the main political players in the European Union. Angela Merkel has been widely described as the de facto leader of the EU throughout her tenure as Chancellor. Nancy Pelosi was named as the second most powerful woman in the world, followed by Melinda Gates (3rd), Susan Wojcicki (4th), Sheryl Sandberg (5th), and Nirmala Sitharaman, comes in at number six.
The world has moved beyond the gender equality debate as women are making their presence felt across all walks f life, with or without positions. Although far from the idealistic perfection in terms of gender justice, the world now is definitely more accommodative of the feminist voice. Women are coming out of the shadow of men and one can see it happening across the world as they are independently marching along with men shoulder-to-shoulder, if not ahead. They are at the helm of decision making bodies and leading from the front to make the world a better place.
Greta Thunberg took 7th place and Queen Elizabeth II 8th. The top ten was rounded out by Ursula von der Leyen and Ivanka Trump. Ivanka Trump is followed by Sanna Marin, (ranked 11th); Ruth Bader Ginsburg (ranked 12th); Christine Lagarde (ranked 13th); Oprah Winfrey (ranked 14th); and Kristalina Georgieva (ranked 15th).
Be it boardrooms of billion-dollar organizations or representing people in parliaments, women are redefining the powerfulness. The wage gap between both genders and racial groups is an unfortunate reality, but things are definitely shifting, albeit slowly, broadly in favor of women. It is not just about presence anymore, now it is more about the power of impact, influence, and of course independence.
Most Powerful Women In The World For 2020
|Queen Elizabeth II
|Ursula von der Leyen
|Ruth Bader Ginsburg
|Ana Patricia Botín
|Francoise Bettencourt Meyers
|Laurene Powell Jobs
|Mary Callahan Erdoes
|Aung San Suu Kyi
|Trinidad and Tobago
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
|Bidhya Devi Bhandari
|Roshni Nadar Malhotra
|Hooi Ling Tan
Leading Germany as Chancellor since 2005 and that too with the highest approval rating makes her the most powerful woman in the world. Not once or twice, but she is leading the $4 trillion economy for the fourth term. Although she has already announced that she won’t seek another term as chancellor in 2012, her acceptance of domestic and global stage is at an all-time high. Known for her balanced approach, the 65-year-old Lady of Hamburg is considered as the most acceptable voice of Europe. Be it the financial crisis, Brexit, managing refuge deluge, or the current COID-19 pandemic, she has proven it time and again that none could match her caliber. She has set such a high benchmark, that country is now finding it hard to find anyone who could fit in her high-heels.
The 1940 born 52nd Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives is among the top influencers of the contemporary world. The position of the speaker makes her the most powerful voice of the world’s oldest democracy. The Democrat started her political journey in 1987 and currently represents California 12th Congressional District. Known for her anti-war and pro-active environmental stands, she is very vocal about immigration, LGBT rights, and Marijuana laws. She was amongst the top presidential nominees, but now she is supporting Joe Biden. Currently, the 80-year-old Democrat is heading the house for the third term, earlier she held the position from 2007 to 2011.
When it comes to wealth and philanthropy, the 1964 born Dallas girl is at the top of the most powerful women in the world. The co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is currently the co-chair of the organization with husband Bill Gates. The trust endowment of over $40 billion makes the foundation the largest private charitable body of the world.
The global acceptance makes her a powerful voice and she is effectively utilizing this power to solve challenges of education, poverty, contraception, sanitation in underdeveloped economies. She is redefining the way women could make a real-life impact on the lives of people who need it most.
If control over information is the parameter to judge powerfulness, then the 1968 born Polish American CEO of YouTube will definitely be amongst the most powerful women. The Harvard grad and professor of physics at Stanford University is heading the YouTube since 2014 and made it the world’s largest online video platform with over 2 billion monthly users. She is in Google since the beginning and started her journey as the first marketing manager of the company. She is the lady behind the plan to acquire YouTube for $1.65 billion, with a current market value of over $90 billion. Before Google, she worked with Intel and Bain & Company. She is on the board of Salesforce.
Imagine the power of the person who is heading the operations of the world’s largest social media platform, Facebook, with over 2 billion users. The 1969 born Harvard grad is the COO of Facebook since 2008, with the achievement of effective monetization of the social media giant from the loss of $56 million to $22 billion profit in 2018. The writer of the bestseller Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead started her journey from McKinsey and reached Google to manage online sales of the advertising and publishing products. She joined Facebook 2008 as COO and became the eighth member of the board of directors of the company. She successfully managed the Cambridge Analytica scandal and currently handling the data privacy challenges.
Beyond the ranking, the position of the finance minister of the world’s largest democracy in terms of impact and influence makes the person the most powerful. 1959 born Nirmala Sitharaman is managing the world’s fifth-largest economy with an agenda of inclusive development for 1.2 billion Indians. Before the finance ministry, she was heading the defense ministry. Being in charge of managing the economy of gigantic size and scale, especially in troubling times, makes her the most powerful woman in the world. Coming from a humble background and rising through ranks to serve people makes her a perfect role model.
In terms of impact and newsworthiness, 18-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg is currently one of the most vocal female faces on global stages. Going by the presence, she is asking the right questions at the right place and time, inspiring millions to join the movement to keep earth safe for coming generations. The 2019 Time Person of the Year is currently the first voice on climate change issues. She rose to prominence when she started holding school strikes outside the Swedish parliament to force policymakers to rethink the development agenda. In September 2109, she was invited to attend the United Nations’ Climate Action Summit. To add more value to her climate change campaign, she sailed on a zero-emission yacht from Sweden and reached New York City in two weeks. There she delivered the famous “How Dare You” speech, forcing policymakers to rethink and recalibrate the development model.
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