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Most Powerful Women: Forbes List Ranks Merkel, Clinton, Gates as Top 3

Image: Most Powerful Women: Forbes List Ranks Merkel, Clinton, Gates as Top 3
L-R: Angela Merkel, Hillary Clinton and Melinda Gates. (Sean Gallup; Justin Sullivan/Getty Images; Patrick Kovarik/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 26 May 2015 02:51 PM

The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women of 2015 has been released by Forbes with German Chancellor Angela Merkel leading the pack for the fifth year in a row.

“She oversees the fourth-largest economy in the world, but also the largest economy in Europe,” Forbes Media executive vice president Moira Forbes told CBS News. “The fate of the eurozone rests on her shoulders. With things like the debt crisis in Greece and a connected economy, what she does in Europe affects us all.”

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is right behind Merkel, taking the No. 2 slot. Clinton, according to Forbes, has placed on the list every year since its inception in 2004.

“She is seen as obviously the very likely Democratic candidate, but also possibly the presumptive president of the free world,” the magazine noted. “When you're seen as having that power in the future, it gives you that power today. She's also banked huge bucks, thanks to her very lucrative speaking engagements. [She] got a lot of controversy around that, but she also still has really favorable poll ratings despite all the issues that she's been having.”

Forbes ranks celebrities, political leaders, businesswomen, and philanthropic pioneers based on money, media coverage, spheres of influence, and their overall impact.

While women are not necessarily the majority of figureheads in government or business, according to Forbes, there is an abundance of powerful women and their number is increasing, even if they are not No. 1, such as Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg or Apple’s Angela Ahrendts.

Nineteen women were new additions to this year's list. Most notably, the new chair of Banco Santander Ana Patricia Botin was declared the most powerful woman in finance at No. 18.

Seven women who were listed in 2004 remain on the 2015 list including Melinda Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Queen Elizabeth II, and, as mentioned previously, Hillary Clinton.

The list includes 24 CEOs, 15 billionaires, and eight heads of states. In total, the women on the list rake in $1 trillion annually, according to CBS News.

Here are the Top 25:

1. Angela Merkel, German chancellor
2. Hillary Clinton, U.S. presidential contender for 2016
3. Melinda Gates, co-chairwoman for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
4. Janet Yellen, chairwoman for the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank
5. Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors
6. Christine Lagarde, managing director for the International Monetary Fund
7. Dilma Rousseff, Brazilian president
8. Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook
9. Susan Wojcicki, CEO of Youtube
10. Michelle Obama, U.S. first lady
11. Geun-hye Park, South Korean president
12. Oprah Winfrey, media mogul
13. Virginia Rometty, CEO of IBM
14. Meg Whitman, CEO of HP
15. Indra Nooyi, CEO of Pepsico
16. Cristina Kirchner, Argentinean president
17. Irene Rosenfeld, CEO of Mondelez
18. Ana Botin, chairman of Banco Santander
19. Abigail Johnson, CEO of Fidelity Investments
20. Marillyn Hewson, chairwoman of Lockheed Martin
21. Beyonce Knowles, entertainer and entrepreneur
22. Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo
23. Helen Clark, administrator or the United Nations Development Programme
24. Safra Catz, co-CEO of Oracle
25. Angela Ahrendts, senior vice president of Apple

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The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women of 2015 has been released by Forbes with German Chancellor Angela Merkel leading the pack for the fifth year in a row.
most powerful women, forbes, list, merkel, clinton
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2015-51-26
Tuesday, 26 May 2015 02:51 PM
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