Who's the HBIC on Forbes' 100 Most Powerful Women List?

For its annual list of the world's 100 most powerful women, Forbes ranks its leaders by "money, media momentum, spheres of influence and impact." So who made the cut?

For the most part, the 2014 list is essentially the same as the 2013 list—and 2012, 2011, 2010, etc. Beyoncé, Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama are all list regulars. Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, comes in at number one, just as she has 10 out of the last 11 years. In 2012, Merkel was ranked number two on the Forbes Most Powerful People (not women) list, the highest a female has ever been ranked. The most recent Forbes Most Powerful People list only featured eight women.

The youngest woman to make the list is 28-year-old Lady Gaga, who ranked at #67. The oldest is Queen Elizabeth II who, at 88, ranked at #35.


The résumés and accomplishments of the women on the Forbes list are all impressive (13 billionaires, 9 heads of state, 28 corporate CEOs), but nearly half the list are "female firsts"—the first female Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, GM's first female CEO Mary Barra, the first female self-made African billionaire Folorunsho Alakija. While we should celebrate how far we've come, the list also serves as a reminder of how unbalanced things remain. When will we have the last "first female" of something? Probably not in our lifetime. Cue sad trombone.