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Find Out the Africans Who Made the World’s Most Powerful Women List 2023

In the early months of 2023, the ranks of the world’s most powerful women thinned. Between January and April, political leaders Sanna Marin, Jacinda Ardern and Nicola Sturgeon either lost or relinquished their jobs overseeing Finland, New Zealand and Scotland. Susan Wojcicki stepped down as YouTube CEO after nine years at the helm. So did Martina Merz, the chief executive of German conglomerate Thyssenkrupp. Every one of them was replaced by a man.

“You’re not always going to be followed by a woman just because a woman had been in the position,” Hillary Rodham Clinton told Forbes in March. “We still have work to do to [put] women in a position to step into leadership roles.”

When the seasons changed to summer, the story of female power started heating up. In May, Robyn Grew became the first woman to lead the Man Group, a hedge fund with $161 billion in assets and whose name reflects the gender composition of its industry. U.S. Army veteran Debra Crew took the helm of alcohol giant Diageo in June, becoming one of just a handful of female CEOs at the 100 largest companies on the London Stock Exchange. And of course, the triumvirate of Taylor Swift, Beyoncé and Barbie sparked billions of dollars of consumer spending. Their influence on consumers was so powerful that Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell addressed it in a July press conference.

As a result of that influence, that trio, including Barbie, have spots on the 2023 list of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. Swift makes her highest-ever appearance at No. 5, while Beyoncé jumped to No. 36, up from 80 in 2022; Crew debuts at No. 79 and Grew comes in at No. 83. Barbie takes the No. 100 spot, the position allocated every year to a figure that’s not the traditional image of power but one who has, nonetheless, come to define a year.

As ever, the 2023 Power List was determined by four main metrics: money, media, impact and spheres of influence. For political leaders, we weighed gross domestic products and populations; for corporate chiefs, revenues, valuations and employee counts were critical. Media mentions and social reach were analyzed for all. The result: 100 women who are shaping the policies, products and political fights that define our world.

Those fights include reproductive autonomy for women in America; girls’ access to education in Afghanistan and personal rights in Iran; protection against gender-based violence in conflict zones like Ukraine and Gaza; and actionable climate policy that protects the health and well-being of women in lower-income and agriculture-based economies.

“We’re not far enough there anywhere in the world yet,” billionaire philanthropist Melinda French Gates told Forbes. Her prescription for 2024 and beyond is, therefore, a simple one. “It’s when you get women far enough into seats of power in multiple places in the world that things start to change.”

The Full List

Rank Name Age Location Category
1 Ursula von der Leyen 65 Belgium Politics & Policy
2 Christine Lagarde 67 Germany Politics & Policy
3 Kamala Harris 59 USA Politics & Policy
4 Giorgia Meloni 46 Italy Politics & Policy
5 Taylor Swift 33 USA Media & Entertainment
6 Karen Lynch 59 USA Business
7 Jane Fraser 56 USA Finance
8 Abigail Johnson 61 USA Finance
9 Mary Barra 61 USA Business
10 Melinda French Gates            59 USA Philanthropy
11 Julie Sweet 56 USA Business
12 Kristalina Georgieva 70 USA Politics & Policy
13 MacKenzie Scott 53 USA Philanthropy
14 Gail Boudreaux 63 USA Business
15 Emma Walmsley  54 The United Kingdom Business
16 Ruth Porat 66 USA Technology
17 Safra Catz 62 USA Technology
18 Ana Patricia Botín 63 Spain Finance
19 Carol Tomé 66 USA Business
20 Sandy Ran Xu 46 China Business
21 Kathryn McLay 49 USA Business
22 Sarah London 43 USA Business
23 Amy Hood 51 USA Technology
24 Tarciana Paula Gomes Medeiros 45 Brazil Finance
25 Laurene Powell Jobs & family 60 USA Philanthropy
26 Catherine MacGregor 51 France Business
27 Janet Yellen 77 USA Politics & Policy
28 Gwynne Shotwell 60 USA Technology
29 Phebe Novakovic 66 USA Business
30 Tsai Ing-wen 67 Taiwan Politics & Policy
31 Oprah Winfrey 69 USA Media & Entertainment
32 Nirmala Sitharaman 64 India Politics & Policy
33 Ho Ching 70 Singapore Finance
34 Thasunda Brown Duckett 50 USA Finance
35 Marianne Lake, Jennifer Piepszak               USA Finance
36 Beyoncé Knowles 42 USA Media & Entertainment
37 Shari Redstone 69 USA Media & Entertainment
38 Kathy Warden 52 USA Business
39 Dana Walden 59 USA Media & Entertainment
40 Amanda Blanc 56 The United Kingdom Business
41 Susan Li 38 USA Technology
42 Margherita Della Valle 58 USA Business
43 Adena Friedman 54 USA Finance
44 Mary Callahan Erdoes 56 USA Finance
45 Lynn Martin 47 USA Finance
46 Sheikh Hasina Wajed 76 Bangladesh Politics & Policy
47 Sri Mulyani Indrawati 61 Indonesia Politics & Policy
48 Gina Rinehart 69 Australia Business
49 Lisa Su 54 USA Technology
50 Vicki Hollub 64 USA Business
51 Nicke Widyawati 55 Indonesia Business
52 Shemara Wikramanayake 61 Australia Finance
53 Tricia Griffith 59 USA Business
54 Jessica Tan 46 China Business
55 Judy Faulkner 80 USA Technology
56 Tokiko Shimizu 58 Japan Finance
57 Donna Langley 55 USA Media & Entertainment
58 Jennifer Salke 59 USA Media & Entertainment
59 Wang Laichun 56 China Technology
60 Roshni Nadar Malhotra 42 India Technology
61 Jenny Johnson 59 USA Finance
62 Yuriko Koike 71 Japan Politics & Policy
63 Hana Al Rostamani United Arab Emirates Finance
64 Suzanne Scott 57 USA Media & Entertainment
65 Lynn Good 64 USA Business
66 Sinead Gorman 46 The United Kingdom Business
67 Bela Bajaria 52 USA Media & Entertainment
68 Belén Garijo 63 Germany Business
69 Melanie Kreis 52 Germany Business
70 Soma Mondal 60 India Business
71 Paula Santilli Mexico Business
72 Mette Frederiksen 46 Denmark Politics & Policy
73 Joey Wat 52 China Business
74 Rihanna 35 USA Media & Entertainment
75 Linda Thomas-Greenfield 71 USA Politics & Policy
76 Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw 70 India Business
77 Güler Sabanci 68 Turkey Business
78 Trudy Shan Dai 47 China Business
79 Debra Crew 52 The United Kingdom Business
80 Robyn Denholm 60 Austrailia Business
81 Solina Chau 61 Hong Kong Philanthropy
82 Lee Boo-jin 53 South Korea Business
83 Robyn Grew 54 The United Kingdom Finance
84 Zuzana Caputova 50 Slovakia Politics & Policy
85 Mary Meeker 64 USA Finance
86 Makiko Ono 63 Japan Business
87 Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala 69 Nigeria Politics & Policy