Forbes Releases 2015 Women Power Rankings

Forbes 100Hillary Clinton isn’t the most powerful woman in the world, but she’s oh-so-close. According to Forbes, that title still belongs to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has held the top spot in their rankings since 2011. Hillary is right behind her at No. 2, and would certainly top the list if she became president, but with the U.S. general election a long 17 months away we’d be surprised if either Merkel or Clinton budges at all in next year’s rankings. At this rate, everyone else in 2016 will be fighting for third place.The women rounding out this year’s top 10 are Melinda Gates, Janet Yellen, Mary Barra, Christine Lagarde, Dilma Rousseff, Sheryl Sandberg, Susan Wojcicki, and Michelle Obama.A few other things to note about the 2015 list:

  • It’s full of female “firsts.” As Caroline Howard at Forbes points out, almost half of the women who made the cut are the first women to hold their powerful positions. Examples include Mary Barra as the first female CEO of GM, Janet Yellen as the first female Chair of the Federal Reserve, and Ginni Rometty as the first female head of IBM.
  • Women in tech are doing especially well. If you want to be really powerful, forget politics—leading a technology company may be the way to go. Out of the top 25 women on the list, seven are in tech, including HP’s Meg Whitman, Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer, and Oracle’s Safra Catz.
  • We’re seeing more self-made successful women. Alibaba’s Lucy Peng, Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes, and Diane von Furstenberg are among a growing group of powerful female entrepreneurs who made their own fortunes—they’re the world’s leading honeys who makin’ money, as Beyoncé would say. (By the way, Beyoncé herself came in at No. 18 on the list, behind Oprah but ahead of Anna Wintour.)

Check out the full 2015 list at Forbes.com; if nothing else, there’s enough fodder there to inspire your water-cooler debates for the next month. (Should Nancy Pelosi still be in the top 50? Is Angelina Jolie really more powerful than Taylor Swift? So much to discuss.)