This week Forbes released its 2010 list of the world’s 100 most powerful women. The best of the best in the top 10 witnessed a shift away from the business world towards entertainment and politics. In contrast to the 2009 list, which was populated by corporate titles such as CEO, 2010 was the year of lady’s- First Lady Michelle Obama and Lady Gaga that is. The singer and wife of the President were joined by singer/ fashion designer Beyoncé Knowles, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, media mogul Oprah Winfrey and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. 2009 champion, German chancellor Angela Merkel, remained in the top 5 with a #4 ranking. The female chief executives of Kraft Foods and Pepsi made appearances as well, reminding the world that women can not only play with the boys in the business world, they can win.
This refreshingly diverse list is the result of a decision by Forbes to rethink their assessment strategy. They now divide the candidates into four categories; politics, business, media and lifestyle (which encompasses fashion, entertainment and sports) and compare women within the group and then the group leaders against one another. Here’s the complete list of the top 10 and a link to the full list at Forbes.com.
1. Michelle Obama, first lady
2. Irene Rosenfeld, chief executive, Kraft Foods
3. Oprah Winfrey, media mogul
4. Angela Merkel, German chancellor
5. Hillary Clinton, U.S. secretary of state
6. Indra Nooyi, chief executive, Pepsi
7. Lady Gaga, singer
8. Gail Kelly, chief executive, Westpac
9. Beyonce Knowles, singer and fashion designer
10. Ellen DeGeneres, talk show host
Renee Leck is a resident blogger for Embarkability. She enjoys yoga, cooking, and curling up on the couch with a cup of coffee and a good book.