Forbes has published its annual The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women, a list of women, “from CEOs and heads of state to early adopter entrepreneurs, celebrity role models, billionaire activists and philanthropists who are healing the world.” Women in the “Politics” category dominate the top spots: German Chancellor Angela Merkel in first, with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in second, and President of Brazil Dilma Rousseff in third, the same as in 2011.
While there are countless different ways to determine a person’s power, it seems that the women on this list – celebrities and entertainers, politicians, financial gurus, media moguls, and more – are a well-rounded bunch. Each individual’s media presence, amount of money they earn (or control), and overall influence all factor into their respective ranking.
Moira Forbes, president and publisher of ForbesWoman, notes, "these power women exert influence in very different ways and to very different ends, and all with very different impacts on the global community."
Pop culture icon, and LGBT equality activist, Lady Gaga landed at #14, and is the youngest to make list at age 26. Ranked #26, and one of only two Brits on the list, Queen Elizabeth II is the eldest at 86 years old. First Lady Michelle Obama landed at #7, moving up a spot from #8 on the 2011 list.
The list may seem a bit heavy with politicians, but there are actually 10 women categorized as “Celebrity,” spread out in ranks. Out TV host and CoverGirl Ellen DeGeneres is #47 overall, and Sofia Vergara, a fellow CoverGirl, landed at #75.
Other celebrities are Oprah Winfrey (#11), Beyonce Knowles (#32), Jennifer Lopez (#38), Shakira (#40), Angelina Jolie (#66), author JK Rowling (#78), and Gisele Bundchen (#83).
The possible categories for the women on Forbes’ list are “Business,” “Humanitarian,” “Technology,” “Media,” or “Billionaire,” as well as “Politics” and “Celebrity.” The Top 100 Most Powerful Women for 2012 represent 28 different countries, and have an average age of 55, according to Forbes.