On Tuesday, Forbes published its annual list of the world’s most powerful women, with — surprise, surprise — Angela Merkel, the German chancellor and Europe’s most influential politician, came out on top. Again. It is the fifth consecutive year Merkel has snagged the title. Sorry, Hillary — a second place will have to do for now. The top 10 offers few surprises, and is completed by Melinda Gates, Janet Yellen,Mary Barra, Christine Lagarde, Dilma Rousseff, Sheryl Sandberg, Susan Wojcicki and Michelle Obama. A few notable newcomers are Ana Patricia Botin (No. 18), the newly installed chair of Banco Santander and now world’s most powerful woman in finance, and Taylor Swift (No. 64), the pop superstar who at 25 is the youngest woman ever to be included on the list and has proven herself to be an “impressive businesswoman” according to Forbes. As the magazine points out, however, the list also serves as a reminder that the ranks of the wealthy and powerful too often remain closed to women. Only 10 women currently serve as heads of state, only 4.6 percent of S&P 500 CEOs are women, just 11 percent of billionaires. Those numbers are increasing, however, and the list is one of many “female firsts”: first female Fed chair (Janet Yellen), GM President (Mary Barra), self-made African billionaire (Folorunsho Alakija), et cetera. Enough power, wealth and influence to go round, and a sign of steady progress for women across the globe.
Read the full story at Forbes.