New Delhi: For the third year in a row, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has made it to the Forbes’ annual list of powerful women — The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.
Sitharaman, who was ranked 37th this year, was 41st on the list in 2020 and 34th in 2019. She is the first full-time finance minister of India. Sitharaman is two ranks ahead of her US counterpart, Janet Yellen, who is on the 39th spot this year.
Besides Sitharaman, other Indians to feature on the list are the HCL Corporation CEO Roshni Nadar Malhotra (52), Biocon Executive Chairperson Kiran Mazundar-Shaw (72), and Nykaa founder Falguni Nayar (88).
Falguni Nayar recently became India’s seventh woman billionaire and the wealthiest self-made billionaire following her company’s stellar debut in the stock market.
On the other hand, top 5 mentions on this list are Mackenzie Scott (1), US Vice-President Kamala Harris (2), European Central Bank Head Christine Lagarde (3), General Motors CEO Mary Barra (4), and Melinda French Gates (5).
According to Forbes, other notable mention on the list is the Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed. She featured on the list for the first time in 2021 and earned the 43rd spot. Her profile says that she plans to focus on food security and access to education and healthcare during what she believes will be her penultimate term as the PM of Bangladesh.
Queen Elizabeth is on the 70th spot of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women list. The British monarch started scaling back her public appearances in 2021 due to health issues.
Facebook’s whistleblower Frances Haugen has also found her very first mention in this list. Her Forbes profile says she never wanted to be a whistleblower but wants to use her platform to start a non-profit organisation focused on social media reform.
Jeff Bezos’ former wife Mackenzie Scott has earned the topmost spot on this list. Mackenzie Scott is a philanthropist, an author and ex-wife of Amazon, and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos. Scott and Bezos divorced in mid-2019 and she got 25 per cent of his Amazon stake.
Shortly after the couple announced their divorce, Mackenzie signed the Giving Pledge and pledged to donate at least half of her wealth during her lifetime. “Scott employs a ‘no strings attached’ style of giving, wherein the non-profits to which she donates have full control over how to best deploy the new funds, her profile read.
On the other hand, Melinda French Gates, former-wife of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, is on the fifth spot on this list. She is the co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and became a billionaire after Gates transferred $2.4 billion worth of stock in her name in May 2021.
Forbes said, “Like so much in 2021, the state of female power around the world looks a bit different than it did just one or two years ago. Women have gained ground in the c-suite among the women on Forbes’ 18th annual list of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women are 40 CEOs, the most since 2015, who oversee a record $3.3 trillion in revenue. But what they gained in the boardroom, they lost elsewhere. For instance, there are two fewer female heads of states than a year ago.”
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