The 25 Most Powerful Women in the World 2022

The 25 Most Powerful Women in the World is a list of women who are making a great impact around the world. These women occupy senior positions in some of the world’s biggest companies like Google, Oracle, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) among others.

Being the president or vice president of a country also makes someone quite powerful, a reason why Kamala Harris and Tsai Ing-wen are also featured on this list. Read on to find out who are these 25 women and what they do.

25. Judith McKenna

Occupation: Businesswoman

Country: United Kingdom

Age: 56

Judith is the president and CEO of the international division of Walmart, a position she has held since 2018. Before then she held leadership roles within Walmart’s US division as well as Asda, a British chain of supermarkets. Walmart is a retail giant with over 10,500 stores globally.

Judith oversees all operations of Walmart outside of the United States and leads a team of over 500,000 associates across 23 countries around the globe.

24. Shemara Wikramanayake

Occupation: Businesswoman

Country: Australia

Age: 60

Shemara is a banker who serves as the CEO and managing director of Macquarie Group Ltd, a financial services group with operations around the globe. She’s regarded as one of the most powerful women in the banking industry.

Shamara made history at the beginning of the year after reports emerged that she takes home about $315,000 every week making her the best-paid CEO in Australia. She’s one of the most powerful women in the world right now.

Shamara began her career as a lawyer and then turned into a banker. Shamara is well known for being vocal in the fight against climate change urging governments to increase the production of renewable energy in order to reduce the global effects of climate change.

23. Oprah Winfrey

Occupation: Media Personality, Entrepreneur

Country: United States

Age: 68

She’s one of the richest self-made women in the United States and in the whole world with a net worth of $2.6 billion as of 2022. Oprah is a great inspiration to many women and girls having been born into poverty to become one of the most successful businesswomen and tv personalities.

Oprah Winfrey is best known for hosting her own show, the Oprah Winfrey show. She’s also a philanthropist. In 2004, Winfrey invested some $40 million to establish the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for girls in South Africa to empower girls from poor backgrounds with education and leadership skills.

22. Kristalina Georgieva

Occupation: Policy and Politics

Country: Bulgaria

Age: 68

Kristalina is the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a position she has held since October 2019. Before then, she served as the CEO of the World Bank from 2017 to 2019.

Through her leadership, IMF has been focusing on the rising levels of debt in Africa and fighting climate change among other issues. During the Covid-19 pandemic, IMF has been a great source of financial support to member countries, increasing its lending by 50% to $270 billion.

Also read: The world’s highest-paid people in entertainment in 2022

21. Martina Merz

Occupation: Engineer   

Country: Germany

Age: 59

She’s a German engineer and has been serving as the CEO of ThyssenKrupp since 2019. Merz has been called “the most powerful woman in the German economy”.

ThyssenKrupp is a steel production company based in Germany and is one of the world’s largest producers of steel. It has over 100,000 employees and is one of the largest companies on the planet by revenue.

According to Forbes, Martinez is one of the most powerful women in the world right now.

20. Ruth Porat

Occupation: Financial Officer    

Country: United States

Age: 64

ruth-porat

She’s the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Alphabet, Google’s parent company. Ruth began her career at Morgan Stanley in 1987 and rose through the ranks to become the CFO of the company in 2010.

Ruth has been credited with boosting Google’s share price by reorganizing the company and imposing financial discipline. In 2018 she was named the Best Internet CFO by Institutional Investor magazine.

Last year she was named by Forbes as the 89th richest self-made woman in the U.S with a net worth of $310 million.

Related: The 100 Most Powerful People in the World

19. Safra Catz

Occupation: Technology Executive         

Country: United States

Age: 60

Safra is the CEO of Oracle, a position she has held since 2019. She joined the company in 1999 holding positions such as co-president and chief financial officer before being appointed CEO.

She is credited with spearheading Oracle’s aggressive acquisition strategy helping the technology giant close more than 130 acquisitions.

Safra is one of the world’s richest people. Last year she was ranked by Forbes as the 18th wealthiest self-made woman on the planet with a net worth of about $1.5 billion.

Safra Catz is also one of the most powerful women in the world as of now.

18. Susan Wojcicki

Occupation: Technology Executive         

Country: United States

Age: 53

Susan is the CEO of YouTube which is owned by Google. In 1998 Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page rented Susan’s garage in Menlo Park, California to create Google search engine.

Susan would later be hired by Google as its 16th employee in 1999 as a marketing manager and has been working at the company since then. In 2006 she spearheaded the acquisition of YouTube for $1.65 billion by Google.

Prior to joining Google, she worked in the marketing department at Intel. Susan was featured in the Forbes 2021 list of the wealthiest self-made women in America.

17. Rosalind Brewer

Occupation: Businesswoman    

Country: United States

Age: 59

In March 2021, Rosalind was appointed the CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance, an American holding firm that owns the retail pharmacy chains, Boots and Walgreens.

She’s one of only 2 black American women to head a Fortune 500 company, the other woman being Thasunda Duckett (CEO of TIAA). Before joining Walgreens, Brewer was the president and COO of Starbucks in 2017. She has also served as the CEO of Sam’s Club before.

Rosalind has been called a “Highly Powerful Woman” by Fortune magazine.

16. Gail Boudreaux

Occupation: Businesswoman    

Country: United States

Age: 61

She’s one of the most powerful women in the world right now. Gail is the CEO of Anthem, the 2nd largest provider of health insurance in the United States. She joined Anthem in 2017 and had served as the CEO of UnitedHealthcare, the largest U.S insurer from 2011 to 2014.

2 years after joining Anthem, its stock soared by 20%. During her tenure, the company has completed the acquisitions of HealthSun, America’s 1st Choice as well as Aspire Health.

15. Nancy Pelosi

Occupation: Politician  

Country: United States

Age: 81

Nancy Pelosi is the speaker of the United States House of Representatives. She’s the only woman to serve as speaker of the house in the history of the country. Pelosi was first elected to Congress at the age of 47 and is currently in her 18th term.

Pelosi was first elected speaker in 2007 and served for 2 terms until 2011. She was then reelected in 2019 and is currently in her 4th term as speaker.

In 2019 Pelosi initiated impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump although the president was acquitted by the senate.

The speaker of the house of representatives is second in the presidential line of succession after the vice president.

14. Jane Fraser

Occupation: Banking Executive

Country: United States

Age: 54

jane-fraser

As of March 2021, Jane is the CEO of Citigroup, an international bank and financial services company based in New York, U.S. After her appointment as CEO, she became the first woman to head a major bank in the country.

Fraser joined Citigroup in 2004 and has held several positions at the company including being named President of the corporation and the CEO of Consumer Banking.

In 2015 and 2016, American Banker described her as the “Number 1 Woman to Watch”.

13. Emma Walmsley

Occupation: Business Executive

Country: United Kingdom

Age: 53

Emma is the CEO of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), a British international pharmaceutical company. She is the first woman to head a major pharmaceutical company. GSK is based in London, England.

Before being appointed CEO of GSK, Emma worked as a non-executive director of Diageo. While heading GSK, Walmsley led the $13 billion purchase of Novartis’s 36% stake in GSK Consumer Health.

Emma Walmsley is one of the most powerful women in the world as of now.

12. Carol Tome

Occupation: Business Executive

Country: United States

Age: 65

She’s the CEO of the United Parcel Service (UPS), a position she has held since June 2020. Between 1995 and 2019, Carol worked at The Home Depot serving in the positions of Vice President and Treasurer and later as the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in 2019. She came out of retirement to become the first female CEO of UPS.

UPS has been an essential service during the Covid-19 pandemic helping in the delivery of a Covid vaccine.

Also Read: The Cleanest Countries in the World

11. Karen Lynch

Occupation: Businesswoman

Country: United States

Age: 58

Karen is the CEO of CVS Health, an American healthcare company that owns CVS pharmacy and other brands such as Aetna, a health insurance provider. She has been at the helm of the health services company since February 2021.

She served as the first female president of Aetna from 2015 to 2018 before its acquisition by CVS in a $70 billion deal. Lynch then joined CVS in 2018 as its executive vice president.

Under her leadership, CVS Health runs the biggest number of independently run Covid-19 testing locations across the United States.

10. Julie Sweet

Occupation: Business Executive

Country: United States

Age: 54

Since September 2019, Julie has been sitting at the helm of Accenture, A Fortune Global 500 Ireland-based company that specializes in consulting and IT services. Before taking over as CEO, Julie led the North American division of Accenture and also served as general counsel of the company.

In 2019, the New York Times described Julie as “one of the most powerful women in corporate America”. She was also featured on Fortune’s list of the Most Powerful Women in 2016, 2017, 2018, and in 2019.

9. Tsai Ing-wen

Occupation: Politician

Country: Taiwan

Age: 65

Tsai is the president of Taiwan. She’s the first female president and also the first unmarried president of Taiwan. She assumed office in 2016 and won reelection in 2020 with over 57% of the popular vote.

She holds a Ph.D. in law from the University of London and is the 2nd most powerful female politician after Kamala Harris.

Since taking office, Tsai has strengthened the relations between the U.S and Taiwan creating tensions with mainland China which has always wanted to control the Island.

Tsai Ing-wen is one of the most powerful women in the world right now.

Also Read: The Most Followed Celebrities on Twitter

8. Ursula Von der Leyen

Occupation: Politician

Country: Germany

Age: 63

ursula-von-der-leyen

She has been the president of the European Commission since December 2019. Before taking a role in the EU, Ursula served in the German cabinet under Angela Merkel from 2005 to 2019. She was the defense minister in the last six years of her time in Cabinet.

The European Commission is the executive branch of the EU responsible for legislation. She’s the first woman to serve as the president of the commission.

7. Ana Patricia Botin

Occupation: Banker

Country: Spain

Age: 61

Patricia is the executive chairman of Santander Group, an international financial services corporation based in Spain. She assumed this role in 2014 after the sudden death of her father. Between 2010 and 2014, she served as the CEO of Santander UK. Ana has also served as a director of The Coca-Cola Company.

During her chairmanship tenure, she has championed fintech and put special attention on entrepreneurs promoting businesses owned by women as well as small enterprises.

She spearheaded the launch of Santander X with the aim of supporting university entrepreneurship. Ana also helped create Spain’s first multi-sector blockchain-based platform.

6. Abigail Johnson

Occupation: Businesswoman

Country: United States

Age: 60

Abigail is an American billionaire and the president and CEO of Fidelity Investments. Fidelity is an international financial services corporation and is one of the world’s biggest asset managers with over $4.9 trillion worth of assets under management.

Abigail is one of the world’s richest people with a net worth of $22.9 billion as of 2022 and was the wealthiest individual in Massachusetts in 2020. She owns a 24.5% stake in Fidelity Investments which was founded by her grandfather in 1946.

The billionaire backs cryptocurrencies and in 2018, Fidelity set up a platform that would allow institutional investors to trade ether and bitcoin.

Also Read: Jeff Bezos Net Worth

5. Melinda French Gates

Occupation: Philanthropist

Country: United States

Age: 57

Melinda Gates is the co-founder and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The foundation was launched in 2000 by Bill and Melinda with the aim to promote health care and alleviate poverty across the world. Melinda Gates is regarded as one of the most powerful women in philanthropy.

Bill and Melinda Gates have donated $33.4 billion in the course of their lifetime through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Bill and Melinda gates divorced in May 2021. However, they agreed to remain co-chairs of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Forbes named the couple as the 2nd most generous Americans after Warren Buffet who has donated $46.1 billion over the course of his lifetime.

Melinda is also one of the richest women in the world with her net worth standing at $6.2 billion.

4. Mary Barra

Occupation: Business Executive

Country: United States

Age: 60

Mary Barra has served as the CEO of General Motors since 2014 and is currently one of the most powerful women in the world right now. She’s the first female CEO of General Motors and the first woman to head any major vehicle manufacturer.

Mary Barra was the executive vice president of global product development, purchasing, and supply chain at General Motors before taking over as CEO

As CEO, she has led GM into the manufacture of driverless and electric vehicles competing with rival Tesla.

3. Christine Lagarde

Occupation: Politician and Lawyer

Country: France

Age: 66

christine-lagarde

She has served as the president of the European Central Bank since November 2019 and is the first woman to hold this position. From 2011 to 2019 she served as the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and was the first woman to be appointed to that position.

One of the main areas of focus for Christine is to ensure that the European Central Bank plays a role in the fight against climate change.

2. Kamala Harris

Occupation: Politician

Country: United States

Age: 57

She needs no introduction. In 2020 Kamala Harris became the first woman vice president of the United States. She also made history by becoming the first black American to be vice president.

1. Mackenzie Scott

Occupation: Philanthropist

Country: United States

Age: 51

MacKenzie tops the list of the most powerful women in the world. She’s the former wife to Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder, and is one of the most generous billionaires in America as of 2022. According to Forbes, MacKenzie has donated more than $8 billion over the course of her lifetime. Her giving focuses on gender, racial and economic inequalities.

In 2019 after being married to Jeff Bezos for 25 years the couple agreed to get a divorce. She received 25% of Bezos’s stake at Amazon and is currently the 29th wealthiest individual in the world.

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