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16th Forbes powerful women list 2019: Nirmala Sitharaman ranked 34th & Germany’s Merkel topped the list

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On December 13, 2019 the 16th annual ranking of ‘The Forbes 2019 list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women’ list was released. Union Finance Minister of India Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman (60 years) ranked 34th in the list. The list was topped by German Chancellor Angela Dorothea Merkel, 65-year old, for the 9th consecutive year.Forbes most-powerful women listMerkel was followed by European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Madeleine Odette Lagarde and Speaker of the US (United States) House of Representatives Nancy Patricia Pelosi in the second and third rank respectively.

Report on Indians:

i.Nirmala Sitharaman: Nirmala Sitharaman is the first female finance minister of India. Sitharaman has also served as the country’s second female defence minister after former Prime Minister(PM) Indira Gandhi. However, she held the defence minister portfolio full time. Indira Gandhi briefly took the additional charge of the ministry.

ii.Other Indians in the list: Other Indians in the list were HCL (Hindustan Computers Limited) Corporation Chief Executive Officer(CEO) and Executive Director(ED) Roshni Nadar Malhotra ranked at 54th place and Biocon Founder Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, 66 years ranked 65 on the list.

  • Roshni Nadar: Roshni is also the chairperson of the $8.9 billion worth HCL company’s CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Committee and is a trustee of the Shiv Nadar Foundation, which is focused on education and has established some of India’s top colleges and schools.
  • Mazumdar: Mazumdar-Shaw, is India’s richest self-made woman and founder of India’s largest biopharmaceutical firm Biocon in 1978.Biocon became the 1st company to gain approval from the USFDA (US Food and Drug Administration) for two different biosimilars of drugs used in certain cancer treatments.

General Report:

i.Category: The ranking was based on 6 categories. They were, business, technology, finance, media & entertainment, politics & policy, and philanthropy.

ii.Bangladesh PM: Bangladesh Prime Minister (PM) Sheik Hasina Wazed ranked 29th in the list.

iii.Others on the list: Other women on the list includes Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Melinda Gates (6th rank), IBM (International Business Machines)  Corporation CEO Ginni Rometty (9th rank), Facebook COO(Chief Operating Officer) Sheryl Sandberg (18th rank), singers Rihanna (61st), Beyonce (66th) and Taylor Swift (71st),New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern (38th rank), Queen Elizabeth II(40th)  and American tennis player Serena Williams (81st)

  • The year 2019 saw 23 newcomers on the list. Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg (100th) is the youngest honoree on the list.


Rank Name Country 
34Nirmala SitharamanIndia
1Angela MerkelGermany
2Christine LagardeFrance.
3Nancy PelosiUnited States(US)
4Ursula von der LeyenBelgium
5Mary BarraUnited States

About Forbes:
Fact- Forbes is an American business magazine. Published bi-weekly, it features original articles on finance, industry, investing, and marketing topics.
First issue- September 15, 1917.
Editor-in-chief- Steve Forbes.
Headquarters- New Jersey, U.S.