Forbes releases list of most powerful women in the world.
American Bazaar Staff
WASHINGTON, DC: German Chancellor Angela Merkel may have the distinction of topping the annual Forbes list of the most powerful women on the planet for the third consecutive time – overall she has been ranked top of the list seven times – and made it to the list eight times in the past ten years since the rankings started in 2004, but two women with their roots entrenched in India have the distinction of beating Merkel’s honor in one respect: both Sonia Gandhi, the Congress President and PepsiCo chief Indra Nooyi are among the 15 women who featured on the list every time.
Sonia Gandhi, the widow of the former prime minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi, though Italian born has always been recognized in the list for her achievements in India, while India-born Nooyi is known for her exploits at the company in the US.
Gandhi and Nooyi share that unique distinction with 13 other famous women: Oprah Winfrey (No. 13), Hillary Clinton (No. 5), Christine Lagarde (No. 7), Helen Clark (No. 21), Nancy Pelosi (No. 22), Anne Sweeney (No. 24), Amy Pascal (No. 36), Queen Elizabeth II (No. 40), Abigail Johnson (No. 60), Ho Ching (No. 64), Diane Sawyer (No. 73), J.K. Rowling (No. 93) and Greta Van Susteren (No. 97). All these women have more ups than downs to keep them continuously in the list.
Some other usual suspects of women of Indian-origin find their name featured on the list, including Cisco Systems Chief Technology and Strategy Officer, the US-based India-born Padmasree Warrior, at 57th spot, Indian private bank ICICI’s Managing Director and CEO Chanda Kochhar, at 65th, and Biocon Founder Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, at 85th rank.
Forbes select the rankings based on the influence of women in politics, business, media, entertainment, technology and non-profits – ranking them by money, media presence and impact, and thus after Merkel, Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff occupies second spot, followed by billionaire and philanthropist Melinda Gates of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with First lady Michelle Obama and likely future White House contender Hillary Clinton rounding off the top five.
In case one is wondering why former First Lady and Senator Clinton, who is now a private citizen, having relinquished her Secretary of State position, is still on the list, a gentle reminder that she is now active on the speaking circuit charging reportedly $200,000 for each stint, and has recently inked a book deal worth around $14 million, apart from her being arguably the most popular woman on the planet.
The fascinating list includes nine heads of state, with Merkel at the top, who control a combined GDP of $11.8 trillion; and 24 corporate CEOs who control $893 billion in revenues. Forbes also points out the impressive emergence of women entrepreneurs from Asia, with China heading the way, with Zhang Xin (No. 50) , Sun Yafang (No. 77) and Solina Chau (No. 80) showing a new way going forward.
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