Here Is The Most powerful Women In The World

From first ladies of the United States to prominent businesswomen and political figures, these women hold a large amount of power.

From the boardroom to the floor of the House of Representatives, women today are making their presence known.

In 2020, the wage gap may still exist between men and women and even more so between different racial groups but with movements like #MeToo and Time’s Up maintaining momentum and more women involved in politics than ever before, women are also more powerful than ever.

Here are some of the most powerful women in the world in 2020.

Ivanka Trump is an American businesswoman, author, and former real estate developer known for being the daughter of 45th president of the United States, Donald Trump. As senior advisor to her father, Ivanka Trump holds a great deal of power and influence in American politics.

Trump has been criticized for her access to political figures and appearances at political events since her father’s election in 2016, despite having no political experience.

In March 2017, Ivanka Trump announced she would become an unpaid employee of the White House.

“I have heard the concerns some have with my advising the President in my personal capacity while voluntarily complying with all ethics rules, and I will instead serve as an unpaid employee in the White House Office, subject to all of the same rules as other federal employees,” Trump said in a statement . “Throughout this process, I have been working closely and in good faith with the White House counsel and my personal counsel to address the unprecedented nature of my role.”

Nancy Pelosi entered politics in 1987 after winning a special election in California’s eighth congressional district, which includes San Francisco. In 2002, Pelosi was chosen to be the Democratic leader of the House of Representatives.

In 2006, after Democrats took control of both the House and the Senate, Pelosi became speaker of the House. She was a critic of President George W. Bush’s stance on the war in Iraq and a proponent of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

In 2010, the Democrats lost the House and Pelosi became minority leader once again. In January 2019, the Democrats regained control of the House and Pelosi was reinstated as speaker. Pelosi became a vocal critic of President Trump and led the impeachment trial against him.

On February 4, during President Trump’s State of the Union address following his acquittal of both impeachment charges, Nancy Pelosi ripped up the president’s speech. Earlier in the night, President Trump reportedly snubbed Pelosi by not shaking her hand.

Though Greta Thunberg is only 17 years old, the young Swedish activist has started a worldwide movement for climate change and is undoubtedly one of the most powerful female forces in the world today. Named Time’s Person of the Year in 2019, Thunberg started out by holding school strikes for climate change outside of the Swedish parliament as a way to call attention to climate change.

Thunberg made national headlines in September 2019 when, after being invited to speak at the United Nations’ Climate Action Summit, she traveled from Sweden to New York City on a zero-emissions yacht. Accompanied by her father and a supporting crew, the journey took two weeks to complete.

While at the UN Climate Action Summit, Thunberg delivered her now-famous “How Dare You” speech in front of leaders, lawmakers, and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing,” she said. “We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”

Since then, Thunberg has attended many climate protests and delivered a number of speeches in her blunt speaking style.

Oprah Winfrey is best known for her award-winning talk show, “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” which was on the air from 1986 to 2011. By the end of the show’s first year on television, it had grossed $125 million, $30 million of which went to Winfrey.

Oprah’s show was well-respected in a television landscape where many talk shows focused on tabloid topics and over-the-top-drama. Winfrey’s personable interviewing style continued to attract viewers, as did her two most famous segments, “Oprah’s Book Club” and “Oprah’s Favorite Things.”

Oprah was the first black female billionaire and became a generous philanthropist. Winfrey has advocated for girls’ education across the world and Oprah’s Angel Network has raised more than $50 million for charitable programs.

Oprah has also acted in famous Hollywood films such as “The Color Purple,” “The Butler,” and “Beloved.”

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, commonly referred to as AOC, shook up the American political sphere with her election to Congress in 2018 when she defeated 10-term New York Democrat incumbent Joe Crowley, “the fourth most powerful Democrat in the House,” according to Biography.

She is the youngest woman to ever be elected to Congress and is an active member of the Democratic Socialists of America and a Bernie Sanders supporter. She is also a proponent and co-author of the “Green New Deal,” a congressional resolution that aims to provide a resolution to climate change.

During her term as a congresswoman, Ocasio-Cortez has spoken out on hot-button issues like abortion and border control, as well as cybersecurity and climate change.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the second woman to be nominated to the US Supreme Court. Throughout her career, Ginsburg has been an advocate for women’s rights and has worked with the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project.

In 1980, President Carter appointed her to the US Court of Appeals. In 1993, President Bill Clinton appointed her to the Supreme Court.

Ginsburg attended Harvard Law School after giving birth to her daughter, Jane. There were just eight other female law students in her class of more than 500. Ginsburg eventually became the first female member of the prestigious Harvard Law Review.

When her husband, Martin, who was also a law student at Harvard, accepted a position at a New York law firm, Ginsburg transferred to Columbia Law School. She graduated the top of her class.

Ginsburg went on to rise in the ranks of the law all the way to the Supreme Court and ruled on many landmark cases, including Bush v. Gore and King v. Burwell, which upheld a component of the Affordable Care Act.

Anna Wintour may be recognizable for her signature bob hairstyle and sunglasses, but she is also one of the most influential and powerful women in the fashion industry.

In her early career, Wintour moved between the fashion departments of several big-name magazines as their fashion editor. In 1976, Wintour moved to New York and took over as fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar and later took a position at New York magazine.

Wintour has been criticized as being aloof and cold. One of Wintour’s former assistants wrote a fictionalized account of her days at Vogue it would eventually be made into the movie “The Devil Wears Prada,” starring Meryl Steep as the overbearing editor in chief and Anne Hathaway as her overworked assistant.

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DeGeneres is one of the most well known American comedians and has been an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and representation throughout her lengthy career. She started out in stand-up comedy before landing a spot on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson. She would become the first and only female comic to be invited by Johnny Carson to sit on his famed “couch” during her first visit.

DeGeneres went on to get her own television sit-com called “Ellen.” The comedian made history in April 1997 when her character became the first lead in sitcom history to come out as gay on air. When DeGeneres’ character in the TV show came out, so did real-life Ellen, captured on the cover of Time magazine with the words “Yep, I’m gay” in bold red font.

DeGeneres faced backlash from ABC executives and the public. After coming out, she appeared on a groundbreaking episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” where she fielded questions from audience members, some of them more hostile than others regarding her sexuality.

In 2003, DeGeneres became a huge success with viewers through her own talk-show, “Ellen.” Since then, “Ellen” has won a record 11 Daytime Emmys for a daytime talk show.

As the longest-reigning monarch in British history, Queen Elizabeth II has held a place of power on the world stage for over 65 years. Queen Elizabeth II was crowned on June 2, 1953, inWestminster Abbey, when she was just 27. For the first time, the coronation was broadcast globally.

Queen Elizabeth has four children Charles, Anne, Andrew, and Edward. Charles was made the Queen’s official successor in 1969 after he was granted the title of the Prince of Wales. Queen Elizabeth II is currently 93 years old, and though the monarchy does not typically interfere with political matters, the Queen meets regularly with her prime ministers.

Christine Lagarde is a French lawyer and politician. She was the first woman to serve as France’s finance minister, from 2007 to 2011. She later became the managing director of the International Monetary Fund from 2011 to 2019, and now serves as president of the European Central Bank.

Lagarde, despite being an influential financial player in France, has been involved in a few controversies throughout her career. She is a critic of France’s shortened 35-hour workweek, and also advocated for debt relief during Greece’s ongoing financial crisis.

In December 2016, Lagarde was found guilty of negligence after being involved in a dispute concerning Bernard Tapie, who claimed that the state-owned Crdit Lyonnais had defrauded him. The lender had reportedly sold his stock in Adidas in 1993.

In 2008, Lagarde ordered the case to arbitration and Tapie was awarded a whopping 403 million (then valued at $524 million) which caused an uproar.

Now one of the most recognizable female leaders in the world, Merkel entered politics after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Merkel joined the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) political party and was soon after appointed to serve in the cabinet of Helmut Kohl, the chancellor of Germany from 1982 to 1998, as minister for women and youth.

She later served as minister for the environment and nuclear safety and secretary-general of the CDU. In 2005, Merkel was narrowly elected German chancellor by just three seats. She became Germany’s first female chancellor and the first former citizen of the German Democratic Republic to lead Germany after it was reunited. Merkel was also instrumental in the formation of the European Union.

In 2018, Merkel stepped down aschair of the CDU. Merkel is currently serving her fourth term as chancellor but has announced she will not seek reelection as chancellor in 2021.

Melania Trump is the first lady of the United States and has spoken out against cyberbullying and the opioid epidemic through her platform, “Be Best.”

“As a mother and as the first lady, it concerns me that in today’s fast-paced and ever-connected world, children can be less prepared to express or manage their emotions and oftentimes turn to forms of destructive or addictive behavior such as bullying, drug addiction or even suicide,” she said. “I feel strongly that as adults we can and should be best at educating our children about the importance of a healthy and balanced life.”

She has not avoided controversy, however. She came under fire in July 2016 when she was accused of plagiarizing a Michelle Obama speech. A Trump staff member took responsibility for mistakenly including excerpts from Obama’s speech in Trump’s address at the Republican National Convention.

The wife of Microsoft cofounder and billionaire Bill Gates, Melinda Gates is a powerhouse in her own right. She started working as a product manager at Microsoft in 1987, where she met her would-be husband. One of the products she worked on during her time at the company included Expedia, a budget-friendly travel resource.

In 1994, Bill and Melinda Gates started the William H. Gates Foundation with the goal of placing computers and Microsoft products in libraries across the country. In 1999, the foundation was blended with the Gates Library Foundation and the Gates Learning Foundation to form the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The charitable foundation seeks to improve education and help solve global poverty and health issues. In 2012, Melinda donated a whopping $560 million towards efforts to increase access to contraception for women in developing countries.

In 2015, President Barack Obama presented both Bill and Melinda Gates with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for their philanthropic work.

Sandberg is the chief operating officer of Facebook and author of the best-selling book “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.” Before becoming Facebook’s COO in March 2008, Sandberg served as Google’s vice president of global online sales and operations.

As Facebook’s COO, she turned the company around. Facebook, which previously suffered a $56 million loss, improved and made $22.1 billion in profits in 2018 under Sandberg’s leadership. Sandberg also increased Facebook’s ad revenue by 38% after touting the social media service as an advertising platform for small businesses.

Sandberg became the first female member of the company’s board of directors in 2012. In 2014, Sandberg ended up on Forbes’ billionaire list due to her high stake in Facebook. Her current net worth is $1.7 billion.

Kylie Cosmetics has since expanded rapidly and includes a wide range of cosmetics products. In 2018, Forbes reported that Kylie Cosmetics was valued at $800 million, and in 2019 it was valued at $900 million. Kylie Jenner has also launched a subset of her cosmetics company, Kylie Skin.

Jenner previously owned 100% of her cosmetics brand. However, in November 2019 it was announced that fragrance and cosmetics giant Coty Inc. had purchased a 51% stake in the company for a whopping $600 million.

Much of Kylie Jenner’s influence and power comes from her social media presence as well. As of February2020, Jenner has 163 million followers.

As CEO of the Dallas Mavericks, Cynthia Marshall is the first black woman to serve as the business leader of an NBA team. Prior to joining the Mavericks in 2018, Marshall worked with AT&T for 36 years as a proponent of inclusion and diversity.

Marshall was named one of Adweek’s 30 Most Powerful Women in Sports and is an advocate for women’s rights through her “HASU,” Help A Sister Up, philosophy.

Ursula von der Leyen is a German politician best known as the first woman to serve as Germany’s minister of defense as well as the first woman to be elected president of the European Commission.

During her time as minister of defense, von der Leyen called for increased military spending in order to improve the state of Germany’s defense system, in which many tanks and other military objects were not deployable.

Betsy DeVos currently serves as the secretary of theUS Department of Education. She was appointed in 2017 following the election of President Donald Trump.

A longtime supporter of the Republican party, DeVos campaigned for President Gerald Ford while she was attending college. She went on to chair both the Kent County Republican Party, from 1984 to 1988, and the Michigan Republican Party, from 1996 to 2000 and 2003 to 2005.

In 2004, President George W. Bush appointed her to the board of trustees of theKennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

DeVos is an advocate for “school choice” and the option for people to use state or federally funded vouchers to send their children to private or charter schools. In the past, she has donated significant amounts of money to Christian schools.

Many opposed her nomination to become the secretary of the US Department of Education, saying she lacked experience with the public school system and that the “school choice” model took resources away from public schools. In February 2017, she was narrowly confirmed by the Senate, 5051. Vice President Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote.

DeVos has cut a number of civil rights protections , especially in regards to the ways schools handle sexual assault cases.

Elizabeth Warren is a Democrat from Massachusetts who was elected to the US Senate in 2012. In 2019, Warren announced she would be running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.

Warren is a first-generation college graduate, earning her law degree from Rutgers University. In 2008, Warren led the Congressional Oversight Panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, and in 2012 she defeated incumbent Republican Scott Brown to win her Senate seat.

During the 2016 election, she campaigned for Hillary Clinton, saying, “On one side is a man who inherited a fortune from his father and kept it going by cheating people and skipping out on debts. On the other side is one of the smartest, toughest, most tenacious people on the planet a woman who fights for children, for women, for health care, for human rights, a woman who fights for all of us, and who is strong enough to win those fights.”

In 2019, Warren became one of the most prominent Democrats to announce their bid for the presidential race. Since then, Warren has outlined her policies and announced a $20.5 trillion plan to fund “Medicare for all,” a healthcare initiative first proposed by Senator Bernie Sanders.

Radhika Jones succeeded Graydon Carter, Vanity Fair’s editor of 25 years, in 2017.

She made Vanity Fair all her own by steering away from glamorous, stylized covers and towards celebrities in a subdued style Idris Elba in a T-shirt and a leather jacket, Kendrick Lamar in a hoodie, and Michelle Williams in a “conservative sweater,” for example.

In an interview with WWD, Jones recounted receiving praise from Donatella Versace about Michelle Williams’ cover.

“I had lunch with Donatella Versace, which was great. And she was like, ‘I love that Michelle Williams cover. That is what a woman looks like in the modern world,'” she said.

Kate McKinnon is one of only a few LGBTQ+ actors to be cast on hit comedy sketch show “Saturday Night Live,” and the first gay woman to be cast since Danitra Vance in the 1980s.

McKinnon won Emmy Award for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series for her work on “SNL.” She has been praised for her impersonations of Ellen DeGeneres, Elizabeth Warren, Jeff Sessions, and Hillary Clinton, whom she appeared alongside in the 41st season premiere.

Rihanna first found success in the early 2000s through pop hits like “Unfaithful,” “Umbrella,” “Disturbia,” “Take a Bow,” and more. However, more recently, the musician has found mega success through multiple business ventures, including her makeup line Fenty Beauty, lingerie company Savage X Fenty, and high-fashion clothing line Fenty, which is owned by fashion conglomerate LVMH.

Throughout her career, Rihanna has also been an advocate for women’s rights and spoken out against domestic violence, of which she was a victim of during her high-profile relationship with fellow artist Chris Brown.

“This happened to me,” she said in an interview with Diane Sawyer. “It can happen to anyone.”

Mary Barra has served as GM’s CEO since 2014. According to Forbes, Barra has invested billions over the years in electric vehicles, self-driving cars, and ride-share service Maven. In 2018, Barra earned $21.9 million, the highest compensation of any leader of a Detroit Big Three automaker.

GM has ranked extraordinarily for its gender equality practices it is one of only two global businesses that has no gender pay gap, according to Forbes. Barra is the first female CEO of GM, and the first woman to lead a major automaker.

As the company’s first female CEO, Rometty was instrumental in converting IBM from a tech company to a data company. Rometty ranked in ninth place on Forbes’ Power Women 2019 the World’s Top 50 Women in Tech 2018 , and America’s Top 50 Women in Tech 2018 .


In 2018, Marillyn Hewson was No. 1 on Fortune’s list of the world’s most powerful women . Hewson has led aerospace and defense company Lockheed Martin as its CEO since 2013.

According to a previous Business Insider profile on Hewson , Fortune credited the CEO with having placed Lockheed Martin in “the sweet spot to cater to the modern military’s needs” and with “leading the charge to develop hypersonic weapons.”

Forbes reports that under Hewson’s watch, Lockheed Martin’s stock has surged more than 300% and the company is on the brink of developing an innovative, supersonic aircraft that breaks the sound barrier without a sonic boom.

Formerly Google’s senior vice president in charge ofmarketing, Susan Wojcicki has served as video-sharing website YouTube’s CEO since 2014.

In 2000, Wojcicki enabled Google to make revenue off its famous search engine by introducing AdWords, clickable text-only advertisements that appear on Google search pages. She later launched AdSense which revolutionized how businesses and other ad purchasers used Google across the web.

Wojcicki now leads YouTube, which reportedly has more than one billion monthly users.

Shonda Rhimes is an award-winning television writer and producer. She is the creator of “Grey’s Anatomy,” the longest-running medical drama on television. Premiering in 2005, the show is currently in its 16th season and won Rhimes a Golden Globe for best television series.

Rhimes is also the creator of “Scandal,” which aired for seven seasons, and “How to Get Away With Murder.”

Rhimes is a supporter and co-creator of the Times Up movement, which seeks to promote gender equality at studios and talent agencies and to pressure lawmakers into introducing legislation that would penalize companies that tolerate persistent sexual or gender-based harassment.

“It’s very hard for us to speak righteously about the rest of anything if we haven’t cleaned our own house,” Rhimes told the New York Times. “If this group of women can’t fight for a model for other women who don’t have as much power and privilege, then who can?”

Sonia Sotomayor was appointed to the United States Supreme Court by President Barack Obama on May 26, 2009. She is the first Latina woman to serve on the United States Supreme Court.

Sotomayor has been involved in multiple landmark cases, including King v. Burwell, which upheld a component of the Affordable Care Act, and Obergefell v. Hodges, which made same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states. She supported upholding the under-fire aspect of Obamacare and also voted to make same-sex marriage legal nationwide.

Safra Catz became the sole CEO of Oracle in September 2019, when her co-CEO Mark Hurd stepped down. One month later, Hurd passed away. Catz had served as co-CEO since 2014 when Oracle founder Larry Ellison stepped down.

Catz is known for her aggressive acquisition moves during her time at Oracle, she has closed more than 100 deals. Her net worth is currently $1.1 billion, according to Forbes.

Ilhan Omar is the first Somali American to serve in Congress. A former refugee, Omar along with Rashida Tlaib are the first two Muslim-American women to serve in Congress after being elected in January 2019. The election of Omar, who wears a hijab, to the House of Representatives resulted in Congress changing its rules regarding headwear.

Ilhan Omar is a member of what people refer to as the “Squad” four freshmen congresswomen: Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.

Despite coming under fire for reportedly anti-Semitic remarks and other comments that critics said made light of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Omar stands for what many see as diversity in the American political system.

As the chief financial officer of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, Porat cut spending on divisions that didn’t provide significant revenue for the company.

According to Forbes, Porat was one of just a few top female executives who participated in the Google Walkout for Real Change, which protested incidents and mishandling of sexual harassment and misconduct.

Porat has also spoken out on the subject of sexual harassment in the workplace, saying, “If you can get cars to self-drive, why can’t we solve this?”

Katrin Jakobsdottir has served as the prime minister of Iceland since 2017. Before becoming prime minister, Jakobsdottir served as chairperson of the Left-Green Movement after being elected in 2013. She is Iceland’s second female prime minister after Jhanna Sigurardttir and does not support Iceland joining the European Union.

Jakobsdottir is an environmentalist and aims to make the countrycarbon neutral by 2040.

Serena Williams has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles and four Olympic gold medals for tennis, making her one of the most accomplished female tennis players of all time. Williams and her sister, Venus, have competed against each other numerous times over their individual careers.

Serena Williams, a proud advocate for women, has won the most Grand Slam singles titles of any man or woman in the Open Arena.

Audrey Gelman is known as the founder and CEO of women’s coworking space, The Wing, as well as a political staffer. Gelman worked on the campaigns of Hillary Clinton in 2008, and Scott Stringer’s successful bid for New York City Comptroller in 2013.

The Wing has received criticism for being both gender-biased against men in its membership practices and for being financially out of reach for many women. Despite criticisms, The Wing is expanding rapidly. As of February 2019, the company had raised $117.5 million.

In 2019, Gelman was featured on the cover of Inc. magazine as the first visibly pregnant woman on the cover of a business magazine.


During Michelle Obama’s time as first lady, she focused on the issues of poverty, healthy living, and education.

Obama attended Princeton University, where she graduated cum laude in 1985 with an undergraduate degree in sociology. She later attended Harvard Law School. After graduating, she met her future husband, Barack Obama, while practicing as a lawyer at the Chicago firm Sidley Austin. Obama was a summer intern at the time.

Michelle Obama was thrust into the national spotlight after her husband was elected as a senator for Illinois, and he later won the Democratic nomination for president. He served two terms as president, from 2008 to 2016.

Michelle Obama gave a number of powerful speeches during her time as first lady and is regarded as an excellent public speaker.In 2016, while campaigning for presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention, she seemingly spoke out against Donald Trump and other critics, saying, “When they go low, we go high.”

Obama currently works with her husband as leaders of the Obama Foundation, a Chicago-based nonprofit organization.

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