Who’s the world’s most powerful woman? Angela, of course

German leader tops Forbes list of most influential women, followed by Yellen, Gates

Forbes magazine has ranked Germany's Angela Merkel the most powerful woman in the world for the fourth year in a row in the annual list dominated by politicians, businesswomen and media figures.

The head of the US Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, was placed second, followed in third by Melinda Gates, co-chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The list named women involved in policymaking, entertainment, technology and nonprofit organisations, among other fields.

They were ranked according to influence, the amount of money they control or earn, and media presence.


Forbes said the 100 women have a combined social media footprint of more than 812 million followers.

Dilma Rouseff, Brazil's president, dropped two spots to number four while Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, moves up two places to fifth.

US First Lady Michelle Obama slipped to eighth from fourth, eclipsed by Hillary Clinton, the presidential hopeful and former US Secretary of State, who fell one place to sixth.

There were three business executives, all Americans, in the top ten.

Mary Barra, the new General Motors boss, took the seventh slot, alongside Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook, who came in at number nine, and Virginia Rometty, chief executive of IBM, who was ranked 10th.

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times