Forbes' annual snapshot of the 100 women with the most impact are top politicians and CEOs, activist billionaires and celebrities who matter. In roughly equal measure you’ll find next gen entrepreneurs and media mavens, technologists and leaders in philanthropy — all ranked by dollars, media momentum and impact (see full methodology here).
They’ve selected women that go beyond the traditional taxonomy of the power elite (political and economic might). These change-agents are actually shifting our very idea of clout and authority and, in the process, transforming the world in fresh and exhilarating ways.
This year the list features nine heads of state who run nations with a combined GDP of $11.8 trillion — including the No. 1 Power Woman, German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The 24 corporate CEOs control $893 billion in annual revenues, and 16 of the women here founded their own companies, including two of the three new billionaires to the list, Tory Burch and Spanx’s Sara Blakely. Speaking of, this year’s class has 14 billionaires valued in excess of $82 billion.