Forbes names Angela Merkel world’s most powerful woman for the ninth year

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German chancellor Angela Merkel has topped Forbes’ annual ranking of the world’s most powerful women for  the ninth year running in a wide-ranging list intended to celebrate the 100 most influential females of 2019.

Forbes’ 2019 edition of its World’s Most Powerful Women, released Thursday, December 12, 2019 marked a return for the German leader, who has made 14 appearances in the list’s 16-year history.

The publication praised Merkel for her “steely reserve, from standing up to Donald Trump to allowing more than a million Syrian refugees into Germany”.

Merkel was joined in the top spots by fellow prominent female political leaders.

Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde moved up one place this year to second position after taking over a president of the European Central Bank. Speaker of the U.S. House of Representative, Nancy Pelosi, took third place and Ursula Von Der Leyen, president of the European Commission, fourth. The top five was rounded out by General Motors CEO Mary Barra.

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This year’s top 100 females list featured women from six categories — business (31), technology (17), finance (12), media & entertainment (14), politics & policy (22) and philanthropy (4). Together, they control or influence more than $2.3 trillion in revenue and oversee nearly 6.5 million employees.

To determine the women’s rank within each category, as well as overall, Forbes applied four metrics: money, media, impact and spheres of influence. The publisher defined power as hard power (currencies and constitutions), dynamic power (audiences, communities and creative influence) and soft power (what leaders do with their influence).

According to CNBC, Forbes’ executive vice president and president of ForbesWomen, Moira Forbes, said the list highlights the impressive strides women have made to upend traditional gender stereotypes over the past decade.

“This year’s list of World’s Most Powerful Women is a collection of innovators and instigators who are leading on the world stage to redefine traditional power structures and forge lasting impact in every industry and sphere of influence,” she said.

“As we come to the close of the current decade, our 2019 listees remind us of the huge strides that have been made by women, and the great opportunity they have to define the decade ahead,” Forbes added.

The 2019 list spans seven generations and 32 countries and territories.

Environmental activist and Time’s 2019 Person of the Year, Greta Thunberg, who ranked in 100th place, became the youngest person in the list’s history at the age of 16. She was ranked in 100th place. Queen Elizabeth (40th) was among the eldest.

Other list debuts were made by Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the IMF (15th); Jessica Tan, co-CEO, CIO and COO of Ping An Group (22nd); Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s finance minister (34th); and singer/songwriter and entrepreneur Rihanna (61).

Overall, North America accounted for the greatest number of honorees at 50. It was followed by Asia Pacific (21), Europe (23), the Middle East (3), Latin America (2), and Africa (1).

Yetunde Adegoke

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