Forbes names the world’s most powerful women of 2019

By Karen Gilchrist

BERLIN, GERMANY – JANUARY 12: German Chancellor and leader of the German Christian Democrats (CDU) Angela Merkel arrives at a meeting of the CDU leadership following all night talks with the German Social Democrats (SPD) and the Bavarian Social Union (CSU) on January 12, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. The three parties were holding preliminary talks over the creation of a possible German government coalition and announced the talks succeeded. The parties will likely soon hold coalition negotiations. (Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been named the world’s most powerful woman for the ninth year running in a wide-ranging list intended to celebrate the 100 most influential females of this year.

Forbes’ 2019 edition of its World’s Most Powerful Women, released Thursday, marked a return for the German leader, who has made 14 appearances in the list’s 16-year history.

Merkel was joined in the top spots by fellow prominent female political leaders.

Christine Lagarde moved up one place this year to second position after taking over a president of the European Central Bank. Speaker of the U.S. House of Representative, Nancy Pelosi, took third place and Ursula Von Der Leyen, president of the European Commission, fourth. The top five was rounded out by General Motors CEO Mary Barra.

BEIIJNG, CHINA – NOVEMBER 6: International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde attends a news briefing after the Third Round Table Dialogue on November 6, 2018 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Thomas Peter – Pool/Getty Images)

This year’s top 100 females list featured women from six categories — business (31), technology (17), finance (12), media & entertainment (14), politics & policy (22) and philanthropy (4). Together, they control or influence more than $2.3 trillion in revenue and oversee nearly 6.5 million employees.

To determine the women’s rank within each category, as well as overall, Forbes applied four metrics: money, media, impact and spheres of influence. The publisher defined power as hard power (currencies and constitutions), dynamic power (audiences, communities and creative influence) and soft power (what leaders do with their influence).

Forbes’ executive vice president and president of ForbesWomen, Moira Forbes, said the list highlights the impressive strides women have made to upend traditional gender stereotypes over the past decade.

“This year’s list of World’s Most Powerful Women is a collection of innovators and instigators who are leading on the world stage to redefine traditional power structures and forge lasting impact in every industry and sphere of influence,” she said.

“As we come to the close of the current decade, our 2019 listees remind us of the huge strides that have been made by women, and the great opportunity they have to define the decade ahead,” Forbes added.

TOPSHOT – Swedish youth climate activist Greta Thunberg (C) delivers a speech during the closing day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting, on January 25, 2019 in Davos, eastern Switzerland. – Swedish 16-year-old Greta Thunberg has inspired a wave of climate protests by schoolchildren around the world after delivering a fiery speech at the UN climate summit in Katowice, Poland last month. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP) (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)

The 2019 list spans seven generations and 32 countries and territories.

Environmental activist and Time’s 2019 Person of the Year, Greta Thunberg, who ranked in 100th place, became the youngest person in the list’s history at the age of 16. She was ranked in 100th place. Queen Elizabeth (40th) was among the eldest.

Other list debuts were made by Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the IMF (15th); Jessica Tan, co-CEO, CIO and COO of Ping An Group (22nd); Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s finance minister (34th); and singer/songwriter and entrepreneur Rihanna (61).

Overall, North America accounted for the greatest number of honorees at 50. It was followed by Asia Pacific (21), Europe (23), the Middle East (3), Latin America (2), and Africa (1).

This article first appeared on CNBC https://www.cnbc.com/2019/12/13/forbes-100-most-powerful-women-of-2019.html and is republished with its permission.

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