Tuesday 20 February 2018

Forbes list: Americans dominate but Merkel takes top spot as world's most powerful woman

German Chancellor Angela Merkel
German Chancellor Angela Merkel
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has topped the Forbes list of the world's most powerful women for a tenth time.

Merkel, Germany's leader since 2005, was previously declared to be the second most powerful person in the world by the US publication, one place behind Vladimir Putin and ahead of US President Barack Obama.

In this year's Forbes list of the world's 100 most powerful women, Angela Merkel ranks ahead of US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.

Despite missing out on the top spot, American women dominate the upper reaches of the list - including seven of the top 10 places.

In business, US women are especially predominant, including the chief executives of some of the world's biggest companies, including General Motors, Facebook and YouTube.

Across the entire 100-strong list, there are 11 heads of state and two first ladies - including Michelle Obama - as well as business leaders and philanthropists.

Top-ranked Merkel leads the €3 trillion GDP Germany economy, the biggest in Europe and the world's fifth largest.

The German leader's political dominance at home, and Germany's role as the European Union's funder of last resort, pushed her to a prominent and at times dominant role during the European debt crisis.

Last year she won plaudits for what was seen as her swift and humanitarian response to the arrival in Europe of more than a million war refugees from Syria by throwing open German borders. However, the Chancellor has been forced to backtrack on those early promises over the last year.

Any new upswing in refugee numbers, and the potential fallout from a UK vote to quit the EU, could yet undermine her position at home.

US presidential hopeful, and former first lady, Hillary Clinton ranked at No 2 on this year's Forbes list. Victory in the presidential elections next November would see her ascend to the top ranking.

However, a loss could see the former Senator and Secretary of State fall off the ranking altogether.

The top 10

Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, Hillary Clinton, US Presidential candidate, Janet Yellen, Chair, US Federal Reserve, Melinda Gates, Co-chair, Gates Foundation, Mary Barra, Ceo, General Motors, Christine Lagarde, IMF managing director, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook chief operating officer, Susan Wojcicki, Ceo of YouTube, Meg Whitman, HP's ceo, Ana Botin, Banco Santander chairwoman

Irish Independent

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