Have you ever imagined a world where women were in charge? Well, if you hang around long enough, you may see it.
Forbes announced its 10th anniversary of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women for 2014. This is Forbe’s annual homage to the extraordinary icons and leaders, groundbreakers and ceiling crashers who command the world stage. Here’s are the top ten most powerful women from that list.
Here’s why they were chosen:
No. 1. Angela Merkel, age 59 – Chancellor, Germany
She has been named the world’s most poerful woman for the fourth consecutive year and nine times in total. The first political star from the former East Germany since reunification, Chancellor Merkel is also the backbone and an original architect of the 28-member European Union with a GDP of $15.8T.
No. 2. Janet Yellen, age 67 – Chair, Federal Reserve, United States.
Yellen is the first woman to head the most influential central bank in the world, given the size of the Fed’s balance sheet ($4T) relative to the U.S. GDP ($16.7T).
No. 3. Melinda Gates, age 49 – Philanthropist, United States
Melinda Gates has cemented her dominance in philanthropy and global development to the tune of $3.4B in giving 2012 (most recent data available) and more than $26B in grant commitments since she founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with her husband in 1998.
No. 4. Dilma Rousseff, age 66 – President, Brazil
One of the world’s most powerful heads of state, Rousseff is more than halfway through her term as president of Brazil, the world’s seventh-largest national economy with a GDP of nearly $2.4T.
No. 5. Christine Lagarde, age 58 – Managing Director, International Monetary Fund, France
The first woman to run the 188-country financial organization has spent much of her first three years in crisis mode, most recently dealing with escalating tensions in Ukraine and approving a $17 billion loan for the country in April.
No. 6. Hillary Clinton, age 66 – Former Secretary of State, United States
Her upcoming memoir, “Hard Choices,” which chronicles her time as Secretary of State, reportedly earned her a high-seven-figure advance.
No. 7. Mary Barra, age 52 – CEO, General Motors, United States
A 33-year company veteran, Barra took the reins of GM when she became CEO in January.
No. 8. Michelle Obama, age 50 – First Lady, United States
The Harvard grad and former corporate attorney actively uses her platform as first lady to fight childhood obesity and promote healthier eating and lifestyles.
No. 9. Sheryl Sandberg, age 44 – COO, Facebook, United States
With a net worth just shy of a billion, Sandberg is COO of the social media giant, which has a $160B market value.
No. 10. Virginia Rometty, age 56- CEO, IBM, United States
When IBM saw revenue declines, its CEO passed on an annual bonus, that type of leadership has helped Rometty’s rise up the ranks of the technology company, where she first began working at 24 in 1981 as a systems engineer.
Who do you think should be in the top ten?