Each year, more and more women rise to the top to become an inspiration for the rest of us. It is the women who are the strength of any nation. Today's woman is adept at multi-tasking, managing her house, her family and her work along with creating an impact. From film-makers to political leaders, bold writers to self-made entrepreneurs, women are making their presence felt through their hard work. So, this week You! takes a look at the world's most powerful women of 2012. Read on to find out more about these successful women who have made it big in their respective fields and have made us believe in the power of the fairer sex ...
For the past nine years Forbes has been ranking the 100 most powerful women in the world. These are the women who adhere to the traditional classifications of power (political and economic might) and those who have risen to the top of the social and cultural landscape. The list covers women in fields as diverse as politics, business, media, entertainment and non-profits, their rankings determined by calculating wealth, media presence and overall impact.
This year the list features eight heads of state - including our number 1, German Chancellor Angela Merkel (plus one monarch who just celebrated her Diamond Jubilee), 25 CEOs who control $984 billion in revenues and 11 billionaires personally worth nearly $80 billion. This time around Forbes has featured some dozen entrepreneurs and 10 celebrities who do more than just look good: they are philanthropic do-gooders and entrepreneurial go-getters. The women come from a total of 28 countries, with an average age of 55. Sixteen women enter the list for the first time, including singer Jennifer Lopez, former US Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, Meg Whitman of HP and Marissa Mayer of Yahoo. Lady Gaga, the pop singer, ranks on the 14th and at 26 years old is the youngest. The oldest, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, who is 86, ranks only at number 26.
Tech is a new category to the Power Women list this year as the latest link in the power chain. Six tech women made the top 25 this year, including Rometty (No. 15) and Google's Susan Wojcicki (No. 25). There are 15 tech women in total, including also Cher Wang of HTC (No. 56) and SingTel Group CEO Chua Sock Koong (No. 74).
According to Forbes magazine's annual survey German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are the world's most powerful women. Following the two stateswomen in the 2012 rankings was Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff. For Chancellor Merkel, the top spot comes for the second year in a row and reflects her role in trying to resolve the European Union's financial crisis. As said by Forbes, she "is the 'Iron Lady' of the European Union and the lead player in the euro zone economic drama that continues to threaten global markets."
Others in the top tier include influential philanthropist Melinda Gates at number 4; the first female executive editor of The New York Times, Jill Abramson, at number 5; Indian President Sonia Gandhi is on the 6th position; US First Lady Michelle Obama is ranked at number 7; on the 8th spot is Christine Lagarde. Another major US political figure, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, comes on the 9th position on the list. She is also the first female head of that department. And Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg stands 10th in the Forbes list.
Unfortunately, the list didn't include any name from Pakistan but with all the hard work our women are putting into different fields we hope to see some familiar names in the list in the coming years.
- To find the whole list of 100 most powerful women you can log on to: www.forbes.com/power-women
— Compiled by M. Shirazi
Angela Merkel, Hillary Clinton, Dilma Rousseff, Christine Lagarde, Melinda Gates, Jill Abramson, Sonia Gandhi, Janet Napolitano, Jennifer Lopez, Sheryl Sandberg, Michelle Obama