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The World's 100 Most Powerful Women in 2023

Updated: Jun 7

The unanticipated assault by Russia on Ukraine, led by Vladimir Putin, marked a pivotal instance in Europe's history. Europe's response was led effectively by Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission. She acted firmly by introducing three significant economic penalties against Russia within a week of the conflict's outbreak. These included halting business with Russia's central bank, shutting down airspace access for Russian aircraft, and prohibiting the operation of news outlets owned by the Kremlin.


Von der Leyen underscored the cost of preserving freedom, stating, "Our principles dictate that freedom is beyond any monetary value."


Recognized for her decisive actions during the Ukraine conflict and her management of the Covid-19 crisis, von der Leyen holds the leading position in Forbes' 19th annual list of The World's 100 Most Powerful Women in 2023. Although she stands out due to her policy influence over a population of 450 million, her dedication to democratic principles is shared by many on the list. This reflects the primary narrative of 2022 - the pivotal role of women in upholding democratic values.


In the U.S., women faced the most significant rollback of rights in the list's two-decade history when the Supreme Court curtailed abortion rights. This sparked significant female voter participation in the U.S. midterm elections. In Iran, numerous women actively demonstrated against religious laws relegating them to inferior status.


Among the women who have made it onto this year's list, Jina "Mahsa" Amini stands out. Her untimely demise in September led to an exceptional revolution led by women. Other prominent figures on the list include 39 CEOs, 10 state heads, and 11 billionaires with a cumulative worth of $115 billion.


Four key indicators were used to assemble the list: wealth, media presence, impact, and spheres of influence. Political leaders were evaluated based on the gross domestic product and population of their countries; business leaders on their revenue and employee numbers; and all were considered for their media mentions and reach. The outcome is a list of women actively challenging existing norms.


As per Roya Boroumand, an Iranian historian and human rights advocate, "If the initial violation of your rights is overlooked, it paves the way for the second and third violations."


Rank

Name

Age

Location

Category

1.

Ursula Von Der Leyen

64

Belgium

Politics & Policy

2.

Christine Lagarde

66

Germany

Politics & Policy

3.

Kamala Harris

58

United States

Politics & Policy

4.

Mary Barra

58

United States

Business

5.

Abigail Johnson

60

United States

Money

6.

Melinda French Gates

58

United States

Philanthropy

7.

Giorgia Meloni

45

Italy

Politics & Policy

8.

Karen Lynch

58

United States

Business

9.

Julie Sweet

55

United States

Business

10.

Jane Fraser

55

United States

Finance

11.

MacKinzie Scott

52

United States

Impact

12.

Kristalina Georgieva

69

United States

Politics & Policy

13.

Rosalind Brewer

59

United States

Business

14.

Emma Walmsley

53

United Kingdom

Business

15.

Ana Patricia

62

Spain

Finance

16.

Gail Boudreaux

62

United States

Business

17.

Tsai Ing-wen

66

Taiwan

Politics & Policy

18.

Ruth Porat

65

United States

Technology

19.

Safra Catz

60

United States

Technology


20.

Martina Merz

59

Germany

Business

21.

Carol Tome

65

United States

Business

22.

Judith McKenna

56

United States

Business

23.

Susan Wojcicki

54

United States

Technology

24.

Oprah Winfrey

68

United States

Media & Entertainment

25.

Nancy Pelosi

82

United States

Politics & Policy

26.

Laurene Powell Jobs & family

59

United States

Philanthropy

27.

Amanda Blac

55

United Kingdom

Business

28.

Amy Hood

50

United States

Technology

29.

Catherine MacGregor

50

France

Business

30.

Phebe Novakovic

65

United States

Entrepreneurs

31.

Gwyne Shotwell

59

United States

Technology

32.

Shari Redstone

68

United States

Lifestyle

33.

Janet Yellen

76

United States

Politics & Policy

34

Jessica Tan

45

China

Finance

35

Ho Ching

69

Singapore

Finance


36.

Nirmala Sitharaman

63

India

Politics & Policy

37.

Thasunda Brown Duckett

49

United States

Finance

38

Kathy Warden

51

United States

Business

39.

Marianne Lake, Jennifer Piepszak

United States

Finance

40.

Jacinda Ardem

42

New Zealand

Politics & Policy

41.

Dana Walden

58

United States

Media & Entertainment

42.

Sheikh Hasina Wajed

75

Bangladesh

Politics & Policy

43.

Mary Callahan Erdoes

55

United States

Money

44.

Adena Friedman

53

United States

Finance

45.

Gina Rinehart

68

Australia

Business

46.

Lyn Martin

46

United States

Finance

47.

Sri Mulyani Indrawati

60

Indonesia

Politics & Policy

48.

Vicki Hollub

63

United States

Entrepreneurs

49.

Nicke Widyawati

54

Indonesia

Business

50.

Lisa Su

53

United States

Entrepreneurs

51.

Tricia Griffith

58

United States

Business


52.

Shemara Wikramanayake

60

Australia

Business

53.

Roshni Nadar

41

India

Technology

54.

Madhabi Puri Buch

56

India

Politics & Policy

55.

Sinead Gorman

45

United Kingdom

Business

56.

Tokiko Shimizu

57

Japan

Finance

57.

Yuriko Koike

70

Japan

Politics & Policy

58.

Jennifer Salke

58

United States

Media & Entertainment

59.

Jenny Johnson

58

United States

Money

60.

Hana AI Rostamani

United Arab Emirates

Finance

61.

Donna Langley

54

United States

Media & Entertainment

62.

Dong Mingzhu

68

China

Business

63.

Judy Faulkner

79

United States

Entrepreneurs

64.

Robyn Denholm

59

Australia

Business

65.

Suzzane Scott

56

United States

Media & Entertainment

66.

Lynn Good

63

United States

Business

67.

Soma Mondal

59

India

Business

68.

Belen Garijo

62

Germany

Business

69.

Melanie Kreis

51

Germany

Business

70.

Bela Bajaria

51

United States

Media & Entertainment


71.

Paula Santilli

Mexico

Business

72.

Laura Cha

China

Finance

73.

Rihanna

34

United States

Media & Entertainment

74.

Mette Frederiksen

45

Denmark

Politics & Policy

75.

Mary Meeker

63

United States

Venture Capital

76.

Joey Wat

51

China

Business

77.

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

69

India

Business

78

Jenny Lee

50

Singapore

Venture Capital

79.

Taylor Swift

32

United States

Media & Entertainment

80.

Beyonce Knowles

41

United States

Venture Capital

81.

Guler Sabanci

67

Turkey

Business

82.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield

70

United States

Impact

83.

Sanna Marin

37

Finland

Politics & Policy

84.

Solina Chau

60

China

Philanthropy

85.

Lee Boo-jin

52

South Korea

Business


86.

Reese Witherspoon

46

United Staes

Media & Entertainment

87.

Zuzana Caputova

49

Slovakia

Politics & Policy

88.

Dominique Senequier

69

France

Finance

89.

Falguni Nayar

59

India

Business

90.

Julia Gillard

61

Australia

Philanthropy

91.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

68

Nigeria


Politics & Policy

92.

Raja Easa Al Gurg

United Arab Emirates

Business

93.

Shonda Rhimes

52

United States

Entertainment

94.

Xiomara Castro

63

Honduras

Politics & Policy

95.

Samia Suluhu Hassan

62

Tanzania

Politics & Policy

96.

Dolly Parton

76

United States

Lifestyle

97.

Kirsten Green

51

United States

Money

98.

Mia Mottley

57

Barbados

Politics & Policy

99.

Mo Abudu

58

Nigeria

Media & Entertainment

100.

Mahsa Amini

Iran

Politics & Policy


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