Sitharaman, 3 other Indians named among Forbes' 'most powerful women'
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made it to Forbes' list of the world's most powerful women in 2021 for the third straight year. Sitharaman is ranked 37 this year, up from rank 41 last year. In 2019, she was ranked 34. Sitharaman is notably two ranks ahead of her American counterpart Janet Yellen, who took the 39th spot this year.
Why does it matter?
- US business magazine Forbes releases a list of 100 most powerful women every year.
- This year's list is the 18th annual list of the world's most powerful women.
- It included 40 CEOs, the most since 2015. Together, they "oversee a record $3.3 trillion in revenue," Forbes said.
- The list also included 19 world leaders and an immunologist.
3 other Indians included on Forbes' list
Apart from Sitharaman, three other Indian women also got featured on the Forbes list. They include the HCL Corporation CEO Roshni Nadar Malhotra, Biocon Executive Chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, and Nykaa founder Falguni Nayar. While Malhotra ranked 52, Mazumdar-Shaw and Nayar were placed 72nd and 88th rank, respectively. This is Nayar's first appearance on the list after Nykaa's stellar debut in the stock market.
Who featured at the top?
Amazon boss Jeff Bezos' former wife Mackenzie Scott tops this year's ranking, replacing outgoing German chancellor Angela Merkel. Notably, Scott has pledged $8.6 billion of her fortune to charity. United States Vice President Kamala Harris took the second spot, followed by European Central Bank head Christine Lagarde, General Motors CEO Mary Barra, and philanthropist Melinda French Gates.
Other key figures on Forbes' list
The list also featured notable faces like Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen (100) and Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed (43). Britain's Queen Elizabeth II is ranked 70th. The top 10 also include Fidelity Investments CEO Abigail Johnson (six), Santander Executive Chairperson Ana Patricia Botín (seven), European Commission's President Ursula von der Leyen (eight), Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (nine), and Accenture CEO Julie Sweet (10).
Women taking on executive-level roles: Forbes
Forbes said the state of female power in 2021 "looks a bit different than it did just one or two years ago." While women have gained ground in executive-level positions, "there are two fewer female heads of states than a year ago," it added.