Forbes has named Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman, US Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, Biocon Founder Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and HCL Enterprise CEO Roshni Nadar Malhotra among the 100 most influential women in the world, a list that German Chancellor Angela Merkel has topped for the 10th year in a row.
The women from 30 countries on the 17th annual Forbes Power List were born over four generations.
“There are 10 heads of state, 38 CEOs and five entertainers among them. But where they differ in age, nationality and job description, they are united in the ways they have been using their platforms to address the unique challenges of 2020,” Forbes said.
Sitharaman is ranked 41st on the list, Nadar Malhotra is ranked 68th and Mazumdar-Shaw, described as “India’s richest self-made woman,” is ranked 68th and Renuka Jagtiani, chairwoman of Landmark Group, is ranked 98th.
For the tenth year in a row, Merkel ranks No. 1. “Merkel remains Europe’s de facto leader, leading the largest economy in the region after steering Germany through the financial crisis and returning to growth. Her leadership is characterised by her steep reserve, from standing up to Donald Trump to allowing more than a million Syrian refugees into Germany,” Forbes said, adding: “the big issue that the public is concerned with.”
Harris, who is the first woman to be elected vice president, the first Black American and first Asian American — “an unprecedented trifecta of firsts for California Senator Harris” is ranked third on the list.
For their efficient answers to COVID-19, some of the Power Women of this year earned global plaudits”
By enforcing strict lockdown and quarantine procedures, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (No. 32) defeated the first and second waves of the virus in her country.
In January, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen (No. 37) launched a robust contact-tracing scheme, resulting in the loss of only seven lives among 23 million people to the virus to date, Forbes said.
This year’s list includes 17 newcomers, showing that women “lead all aspects of a society transformed by a global pandemic.”
Recently, Roshni Nadar Malhotra of HCL Technologies, followed by Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw of Biocon and Leena Gandhi Tewari of USV, has topped the list of wealthiest women in India.
Co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Melinda Gates (5), US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (7), Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg (22), Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina (39), Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom (46), renowned artists Rihana (69) and Beyonce (72) are also on the list.