Since 2004, Forbes has published an annual list of the year’s 100 most powerful women.
This year’s list features representation from 30 countries, with 10 heads of state, 38 CEOs and five entertainers among them. Seventeen are newcomers.
The most powerful woman of 2020 should come as no surprise. That’s because she’s claimed the title every year except one since 2006 (Michelle Obama won in 2010). Her name is Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany.
In second place is European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde. Third place goes to United States House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
These are the 10 most powerful women of 2020:
- 1. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
2. Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank
3. Kamala Harris, Vice President-elect of the United States
4. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission
5. Melinda Gates, Co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
6. Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors
7. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
8. Ana Patricia Botín, Executive Chairman of Banco Santander
9. Abigail Johnson, President-CEO of Fidelity Investments
10. Gail Koziara Boudreaux, CEO of Anthem
Only four countries were represented in the top 10 (six women are from the United States). That’s been pretty much the trend since 2004. What propelled many leaders this year is the effectiveness of their response to the coronavirus pandemic. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (No. 32), for example, and Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (No. 37).
Personally, I’d like to see less corporate executives on the list. I can highly recommend checking out the list of past top 10s.
With Angela Merkel not seeking re-election in 2021, the door is open for a new most powerful woman.