Article: 5 Indians in the Forbes Most Powerful Women List


5 Indians in the Forbes Most Powerful Women List

A total of five Indian women, namely, Chanda Kochhar (No. 32), Roshni Nadar Malhotra (No. 57), Kiran Mazumdar Shaw (No.71), Shobhana Bhartia (No. 92) and Priyanka Chopra (No.97) are part of the list.
5 Indians in the Forbes Most Powerful Women List

Strap: With multiple changes and new entrants, this year’s edition of the Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women, includes 5 Indians well. 

Earlier this month, Forbes released The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women List, an annual feature since the last 14 years. With Hillary Clinton not being able to shatter the ‘highest glass ceiling’ last year, a major shake-up from the last year’s list was expected. The metrics of money, media presence, spheres of influence and impact are used to rank the individuals within the context of their own field. Women from business, finance, media, politics, philanthropists/NGOs and technology or who are billionaires are picked to compile the list. Together, these 100 women are approximated to govern or directly influence more than 3 billion people. Let’s take a quick look at the biggest changes and surprises and also see how many Indians made it to the list:

  • First thing first, German Chancellor Angela Merkel tops the list, for the seventh consecutive time, and her 12th time in total. Last year’s number two, Hillary Clinton has understandably fallen to No. 65 this year. She has been a part of the in all the editions so far. This year, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May has occupied the second position. A total of 21 spots were occupied political leaders on the list. Michelle Obama has dropped out of the list altogether. 
  • Others who feature in the top 10 are from diverse fields: Melinda Gates, Sheryl Sandberg, Mary Barra, Susan Wojcicki, Abigail Johnson, Christine Lagarde, Anna Patricia Botin, and Ginni Rometty. As reflected in the top 10 names, almost half the women on the entire list are American. U.K. has eight, and Europe has 13. 
  • Nearly a fourth of the individuals this year – 23 – are first-timers. Most notably, Ivanka Trump, debuts at No. 19, owing to her position of considerable influence in the Trump administration. Other famous names include Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to UN, at No.43 and Priyanka Chopra at No.97.
  • Oprah Winfrey, at No.21, continues to be the most powerful woman in the media and entertainment section. Others who made it in this field include, Anna Wintour, Beyonce Knowles, Arianna Huffington and Shobhana Bhartia. • 15 women from the Technology category, 11 from the Finance and Investments, 7 from Philanthropy/NGO were a part of the list. While 28-years-old Taylor Swift (No. 85) was the youngest name on the list, Queen Elizabeth II, aged 91, at No.26 was the oldest one. Marissa Mayer, former Yahoo CEO, did not make it to the list this year. 

India’s presence on the list:

  • A total of five Indian women, namely, Chanda Kochhar (No. 32), Roshni Nadar Malhotra (No. 57), Kiran Mazumdar Shaw (No.71), Shobhana Bhartia (No. 92) and Priyanka Chopra (No.97) were a part of the list. 
  • ICICI Bank’s CEO Chanda Kochhar moves up eight ranks this year from her 40th rank in 2016. She first debuted on the list in 2009. She also became the first Indian woman to receive the prestigious Woodrow Wilson Award for Global Citizenship, joining the ranks of Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice. 
  • CEO of HCL Corporation, Roshni Nadar Malhotra, responsible for over $7 billion enterprise, took over in the 2009, when she was just 27 years old. 
  • Biocon’s MD Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, a regular feature on several Forbes lists, improved six positions, from her 77th position last year. 
  • Chairperson and Editorial Director for HT Media, Shobhana Bhartia, also a recurring name, heads the largest listed media company in the country. 
  • With international stardom, and working as a global UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and UN Foundation Girl Up Champion, Priyanka Chopra has made an entry at No. 97 on the list. 

Moira Forbes, Executive VP of Forbes Media and President of Forbes Woman, has been quoted saying (, “This impressive, multigenerational community of female leaders is making an indelible and lasting impact on the world we live in... Our list reflects the diverse and dynamic paths to power for women today – whether leading multibillion-dollar companies, governing countries, transforming an industry, or setting the agenda on critical issues of our time, collectively these women are making a lasting impact on our global footprint.”

You can view the complete list here

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