Forbes Magazine came out recently with its list of the world’s 100 most powerful women.
|1. Angela Merkel||Germany||Politics|
|2. Theresa May||UK||Politics|
|3. Christine Largarde (IMF)||France||Economy|
|4. Marry Barra (GM)||US||Automotive|
|5. Abigail Johnson||US||Finance and Investments|
|6. Melinda Gates||US||Philanthropy/NGO|
|7. Susan Wojcicki||US||Technology|
|8. Ana Patricia Potin||Spain||Finance and Investments|
|9. Marilyn Hewson||US||Manufacturing|
|10. Ginni Rometty||US||Enterprise Technology|
|11. Sheryl Sandberg||US||Technology|
|12. Gail Bordeaux||US||Healthcare|
|13. Angela Ahrendts||US||Technology|
|14. Safra Catz||US||Technology|
|15. Isabelle Kocher||France||Energy|
|16. Adena Friedman||US||Finance and Investments|
|17. Hoh Ching||Singapore||Diversified|
|18. Emma Walmsley||UK||Healthcare|
|19. US Supreme Court Justices||US||Politics|
|20. Oprah Winfrey||US||Media and Entertainment|
|21. Ruth Porat||US||Technology|
|22. Laurene Powell Jobs||US||Education|
|23. Queen Elizabeth||UK||Politics|
|24. Ivanka Trump||US||Politics|
|25. Phebe Novakovic||US||Diversified|
Other notable women on the list include at 40. President Tsai Ing-Wen (Taiwan), 45. Nicola Sturgeon (Scotland/UK), 50. Beyonce Knowles (US), 66. Katherine Viner, Guardian Editor (UK), 67. Frederica Mogherini (EU/Italy), 68. Taylor Swift (US), 74. Shonda Rhimes (US), 77. Arianna Huffington (US), 79. Serena Williams (US), 88. Shobhana Bhartia of the Hindustan Times (India) and at 97. Ethiopia’s President Sahle-Work Zewde
US had 47 women on the list, UK 10, China/Hong Kong 9, India 4, France 3 and Saudi Arabia 2. In terms of category 20 are from politics, 15 each from media and technology plus 14 from finance and investments.
All very subjective of course but perfect for discussion over some black Blue Mountain coffee
- Having Angela Merkel at number 1 is questionable given the German Chancellor has had one of her worst years in office. With setback after setback locally, the continued rise of the far right and criticism from even her own colleagues, Merkel’s credibility has fallen so sharply that she announced her intentions to leave office in 2021. Today she stepped down as leader of her Christian Democrats Union party.
- Given the tumultuous 2018 she has had, how can Forbes have UK Prime Minister Theresa May at number 2? Or even on the list? May’s influence in British politics has long evaporated and has managed to stay PM thanks especially to Arlene Foster, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party in Northern Island, whose 10 seats in parliament has kept May’s minority government afloat.
- The women in UK politics today who are far more powerful than May are many and include Foster, Yvette Cooper and Meg Hillier. As chairs of powerful parliament select committees both Hillier and Cooper have led the charge in holding the May government to account. It was Cooper’s public probing of Amber Rudd (over Windrush) that eventually led to the latter’s resignation as Home Secretary.
- I cannot see how Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon made the list.
- I would have included in the 100, Ayalet Shaked (Jewish Home Party) and currently the Justice Minister in Israel. Has the power to bring down the Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu coalition government. And nearly came close to doing so recently.
- IMF’s Christina Legarde at number 3 is also questionable given it is the US Treasury that dictates how the lending body really operates.
- How Nikki Haley is not on the list is a surprise, given her forceful impact at the United Nations and how she completely wrong footed Donald Trump over her upcoming resignation from the US Cabinet.
- Also surprised that Ethiopia’s President Sahle-Work Zewde made the list given the presidency is mostly a ceremonial position.
- Given Forbes had the US Supreme Court justices in at 19, there should also have been room on the list for the judges based at the International Criminal Court. E.g. Joyce Aluoch Olga Venecia Herrera Carbuccia and Sanji Mmasenono Monageng
- Democrat Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is worth consideration. Since coming to prominence in June 2018, she has blown through US politics like a human tornado. She has in the short space become a champion for young progressives and not afraid to call out her own more established colleagues. She has become the popular target of attacks from Conservative media and politicians and that’s because they know she’s got something – Power. Just 29.
- The idea of Ivanka in the top 30 is a bit rich. I would imagine Melania Trump (not on the list) is more powerful than her step daughter. The recent ousting of a top senior adviser to John Bolton was proof of Melania’s power in the West Wing.
- I would say the most powerful woman in 2018 was not even on the Forbes list – Margrethe Vestager (Denmark), the EU Commissioner for Competition. She has successfully taken on the likes of Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, Qualcomm over some of their more devious business practices. In 2018, Vestager fined Qualcomm €997m over abusing its market dominance and in July 2018, she fined Alphabet (Google) €4.3 billion for entrenching its dominance with illegal activity.