Today Forbes Magazine released its list of the 100 Most Powerful Women. Of all the lists Forbes releases every year, this one is by far my favorite. It is a fascinating study of what female empowerment really is in this modern day and age.
For two consecutive years Condoleezza Rice was named the Most Powerful Woman in the World by Forbes. The first was in 2004 when she was President George W. Bush‘s National Security Advisor during two wars. When in 2005 Rice was elevated to Secretary of State her office made her up to then the highest ranking woman in American history. Thusly, in that year Rice headed the Most Powerful Women list again.
Then in 2006 came a new name, previously not on the list’s radar, Angela Merkel. Newly elected as German Chancellor (head of government there), Merkel would go on to top the list for the next three years.
Slowyly Rice would descend on the list until now where she is nowhere to be found. Strangely enough, Michelle Obama outranked Merkel last year in a top ten list rounded out by entertainers like Oprah Winfrey, Lady Gaga, Beyonce Knowles and Ellen Degeneres.
This year everything is back to the norm. Which really begets the question, “Why have this list if it is repeatedly an established one?” After a while it feels repetitive and overall not too interesting.
What I do find of cynical interest is the observation made when reviewing the names of the top ten this year; Hillary Clinton, Melinda Gates, Sonia Gandhi and Michelle Obama were all originally entrants in power broker cirles due to their spouses. It’ll be quite refreshing when the top ten is devoid of entertainers and influence through marriage types. It would really be more empowering to people’s perception of women and influence.