Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women in the World 2013

Forbes' annual snapshot of the 100 top politicians and CEOs, activist billionaires and celebrities, next gen entrepreneurs and philanthropists who matter most.

1. Angela Merkel, chancellor, Germany. The eighth time in 10 years Merkel makes No. 1 in the Forbes list. She is called “the backbone” of the beleaguered 27-member European Union.
2. Dilma Rousseff, president, Brazil. Heads the world’s 7th largest economy, advocates entrepreneurship to grow economy.
3. Melinda Gates , co-chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Works to eradicate polio by 2018 and bring modern contraceptives to 120 million women by 2020. Quote: “…we think an essential role of philanthropy is to make bets on promising solutions that governments and businesses can't afford to make.”
4. Michelle Obama, US First Lady. With 67% approval rating (more than Barack Obama’s 47%), she advocates fighting childhood obesity and promoting healthier eating and lifestyles.
5. Hillary Clinton, Former US secretary of state. Ended career on a very high note; touted to become the Democratic presidential candidate in 2016.
6. Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook. Sparked discussions on feminism in the workplace with her bestselling book "Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead." In 2012, Facebook had the highest mobile revenues after ads were included in mobile news feeds.
7. Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund. The first woman to run the 188-country financial organization stepped in at a time of the EU economic crisis. Rumored to run for president of France.
8. Janet Napolitano, secretary, US Homeland Security. The first female head of the third largest department in the US government oversees a budget of $48 billion, a staff of 240,000 and 22 agencies.
9. Sonia Gandhi, president, Indian National Congress party. The longest-serving chief of India's ruling political party.
10. Indra Nooyi, CEO, PepsiCo. Boosted revenues to $13 billion with higher sales of snacks like Doritos and Cheetos.
Newcomers: Among the 15 newcomers on this year’s list are South Korean President Park Guen-hye (No. 11); Lockheed Martin LMT -0.47% CEO Marillyn Hewson (No. 34); CEO Tory Burch (No. 69);  Spanx founder Sara Blakely (No. 90) and Baidu BIDU -3.98% CFO Jennifer Li (No. 98).

Old friends: At this 10th edition, attention must be paid to the 15 who appeared on the inaugural list in 2004 and are still here today:  Oprah Winfrey (No. 13), of course. Ditto for Hillary Clinton (No. 5). But there’s also  Christine Lagarde (No. 7),  Sonia Gandhi (No. 9), Indra Nooyi (No. 10), Helen Clark (No. 21), Nancy Pelosi (No. 22), Anne Sweeney (No. 24), Amy Pascal (No. 36), Queen Elizabeth II (No. 40), Abigail Johnson (No. 60),  Ho Ching (No. 64), Diane Sawyer (No. 73), J.K. Rowling (No. 93) and Greta Van Susteren (No. 97).
Where are the women in tech? Right here. Tech takes a second turn as a category on the Power Women list. Five tech women made the top 25 this year, including Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg (No. 6), Rometty (No. 12) and HP’s Meg Whitman (No. 15). There are 16 tech women in total, including also Susan Wojcicki, SVP of ads at Google (No. 30) and Sun Yafang, chair of Huawei Technologies (No. 77).

The rising tide of female entrepreneurs: A remarkable number of women are founders or owners of their own enterprises, not a few of whose eponymous companies are synonymous with high fashion. Consider Miuccia Prada (No. 58), Zara founder Rosalia Mera (No. 66), Tory Burch (No. 69) and Diane von Furstenberg (No. 74). Other self-made self-starters include Oprah Winfrey (No. 13),  Arianna Huffington (No. 56), Chinese real estate tycoon Zhang Xin (No. 50), and Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, India’s first biotech entrepreneur (No. 85).

The new celebrity role models: Sure, they’re famous but they deserve special attention for their outside work, be it ambassadors for meaningful causes or as business owners. Oprah founded both Harpo Productions and The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. Joining the efforts of the U.N. are Angelina Jolie (No. 37), Shakira (No. 52), and Gisele Bundchen (No. 95). Beyonce (No. 17) rules the House of Dereon and Sofia Vergara (No. 38) co-owns LatinWE.

Businesswomen are booming in Asia: The whole region makes a strong showing, from China and Singapore to New Zealand and Thailand. Entrepreneurship is on the rise: see Zhang Xin (No. 50) , Sun Yafang (No. 77) and Solina Chau (No. 80). And Asian region women are showing their political might, from newcomer Park Geun-hye, the South Korean president (No. 11) and Burmese dissident and parliamentarian Aung San Suu Kyi (No. 29) to Australian PM Julia Gillard (No. 28) and Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra (No. 31).

Healing, feeding and educating the world: If they’re not topping corporations or state, the women on our list are heads of major nonprofits and NGOs and they wield as large budgets and impact millions, from Melinda Gates (No. 3) and IMF chief Christine Lagarde (No. 7) to Director-General of World Health Organization Margaret Chan (No. 33), World Food Programme Executive Director Ertharin Cousin (No. 49) and Harvard University’s Drew Gilpin Faust (No. 43).
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