Friday, March 8, is International Womens Day, marking another installment of the occasion dedicated to the celebration of progress toward gender equality and identification of the work that still needs to be done.
With more women in positions of power and leading global industries than ever before, we are celebrating by taking a look at some of the most influential women from the worlds ten most influential countries, according to U.S. News and World Report.
Check out our list, and read on for individual profiles below.
The United States of America
The chairwoman and CEO of General Motors, Mary Barra is the first female CEO of a major global automobile manufacturer. She has taken the company into the future with a directive toward technological advancements, particularly driverless cars.
A fashion designer, businesswoman, and now presidential advisor, Ivankas world influence goes well beyond her status as the daughter of the president. She recently decided to end her business career in favor of launching her own journey into public policy.
Following her graduation from Duke University, Melinda began working as an employee at Microsoft, where she quickly met her future husband. She has gone on to make a profound impact on the company, leading project teams in the development of programs such as Expedia, and has played a crucial role in creating and running her familys philanthropic foundation.
The singer, songwriter, actress, record producer and dancer has solidified her place on top of the music industry, winning 23 Grammy Awards on her way to becoming the most nominated woman in the prestigious awards history. She has also developed a commanding presence as a social activist and fashion icon.
Wojcicki played a pivotal role in the founding of Google, becoming the companys first marketing manager in 1999. She proposed the acquisition of YouTube, and ultimately took over as CEO of the company; a position in which she has been referred to as “the most important person in advertising.”
Serena has completely dominated tennis in recent history, holding the rank of number one for a combined 319 weeks and winning a cross-discipline total of 39 grand slam titles across all surfaces. She has also become a fashion icon, a media presence and a global activist known for her charity work.
The first woman on Facebooks Board of Directors and current company COO, Sandberg previously held a vice president position at Google and the Chief of Staff for the United States Secretary of the Treasury. She has accrued a net worth of over $1.5 billion and is largely credited with making Facebook profitable.
The world-famous media executive, television personality and philanthropist built her presence from an underprivileged upbringing to being revered as the “Queen of all Media.” She was the first African-American billionaire in North America, and popularized a television format that gave rise to the open discussion of controversial and sensitive societal issues.
As the first ever female Speaker of the House of Representative and the highest-ranking elected woman in United States political history, Nancy Pelosi is an embodiment of female influence on a national scale. Regardless of her controversial policies, the 78-year-old public servant has dedicated her life to encouraging reform, representing her constituents and paving the way for future generations of female leaders.
One of the wealthiest women on the planet, Johnson has now been CEO and president of Fidelity Investments for over two years. She is the first and only woman to serve on the board of the Financial Services Forum.
Now a Russian economist and head of the Central Bank of Russia, Nabiullina served as Putins economic advisor during part of his rise to political prominence. She was the first female Russian participant in the G8 summit before Russias suspension from the group in 2014.
Former governor of Saint Petersburg and current chairwoman of the Federation Council, Matviyenko has been a figure at the height of Russian politics for decades. Her focus on development of housing and infrastructure have led to explosions of industry and tourism in her districts.
A three-time world champion pole vaulter, two-time Olympic gold medalist and current world record holder, Isinbayeva became the first woman to clear the five-meter barrier and is one of the greatest gymnasts of all time. She is now serving an eight-year term as a member of the International Olympic Committees Athletes Commission.
Zakharova, the current Director of Information and Press for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, has made a name for herself through participation in political talk shows and social commentary on sensitive topics. She has a Russian equivalent of a doctorate degree.
Known as one of the toughest businesswomen in China, Dong got her start as a salesperson for Gree Electric Appliances – a position in which she recovered massive debts in little over a month. She has since risen to the roles of chairman and president and is recognized for her business acumen across the world.
The popular recording artist entered the political limelight upon marrying Xi Jinping, the current leader of China. She has added prominence to the position of first lady of China, making public appearances and appearing on talk shows to discuss national matters. She also served as a member of the Chinese Liberation Army at age 18.
After working at Goldman Sachs Asia for 12 years and rising to the position of managing director, she left to become the COO of rideshare startup Didi Chuxing, Chinas largest mobile transportation platform. She oversaw the merger between DiDi and the companys largest domestic competitor and has earned recognition as one of the most powerful women in the world in her current capacity.
Feng Ying Wang
Wang has been credited with globalizing Chinas automotive industry through General Wall Motor, the company of which she is CEO. She has negotiated hardships due to international tariffs on her country and has begun executing on her vision of entering the Indian market by 2020.
Maggie Wei Wu
CFO of the family of internet-based businesses known as Alibaba Group, Wu is responsible for instituting the financial systems and organization that led to the companys IPO. She was voted Best CFO in FinanceAsias “best-managed companies” poll in 2010.
A former employee of the Bank of England, May entered the public sphere when she earned election to Parliament in 1997. She was appointed Home Secretary and Minister for Woman and Equalities when a coalition government was formed in 2010, and was later elected to be Britains second female prime minister after Margaret Thatcher, the position that she currently holds.
Queen Elizabeth II
Serving on the throne for 66 years, the Queen is now the longest reigning monarch in British history. The 92-year-old has overseen progressive reform in her tenure, pushing for preservation of wildlife, condoning breaches of protocol by the younger royals and even issuing her first tweet in 2014. She still greets world leaders and plays an active role in British politics from her position in Buckingham Palace.
As the CFO of JP Morgan Chase Bank, Lake has pushed for her company to play a role in technological innovation. In six years at her current post, she has emerged as the public voice of the company while also managing her responsibilities as a single mother.
After a 17-year stint with LOreal in which she held several different general management positions, Walmsley joined GlaxoSmithKline in May 2010 as president of Consumer Healthcare Europe. She rose to head the companys global consumer healthcare division before becoming CEO in 2015. She has been credited with focusing sales in emerging markets and developing as well as promoting new drugs.
The chairman of Universal Pictures has taken a revolutionary approach to media production in the modern age, revamping her Focus Features division to concentrate on original storylines by commanding directors. Langley has demonstrated a phenomenal ability to operate on a budget, overseeing smash hits such as “Get Out” with less than $10 million in operating room.
It is hard to understate the impact that Angela Merkel has had on modern politics. She has served as the chancellor of Germany for over a decade, which has led her to be referred to as the de-facto leader of the European Union and by some as the leader of the free world. The 64-year-old has spent her entire career in the public sector and has topped many lists as the most powerful woman on the planet.
Kreis served as the CFO of DHL Express before becoming a member of the executive board of Deutsche Post in 2014 and assuming the title of CFO in 2016. Boston Consulting Group named her their “woman of the year” in 2016.
After taking over as CEO of the U.S. subsidiary of German conglomerate Siemens AG in 2017, she began overseeing the largest single order in company history; a project with the goal of increasing Egypts power generation by 50 percent. She also completed a merger with a Spanish competitor, creating one of the worlds largest wind-turbine manufacturers.
Bagel-Trah started her career as an independent consultant for projects in microbiology and pharmaceutical fields. She has now been a chairwoman of Henkel for almost two decades and became the first woman to hold such a position for a top-30 German blue-chip company.
A lawyer with background serving in the French government, Lagarde became managing director and chair of the International Monetary Fund in 2011. The self-described liberal capitalist has pushed for greater financial support to struggling EU countries and European financial unification.
With a background in engineering, Kocher burst into international prominence when she was appointed CEO of ENGIE in 2016. She has promoted an agenda of innovation and expansion, pushing for her company to become a frontrunner for global energy advancement. She is the only female CEO of one of Frances 40 most significant countries.
After beginning her career as Insurance Commissioner for the French Ministry of Finance, she joined the private insurance group GAN in 1980. From there, she developed the subsidiary GAN Participations, which would ultimately develop into Ardian, the company of which she is currRead More