THEY are politicians, Business women, philanthropists. These are the most powerful women in the world, according to Forbes.
Irene Rosenfeld (58 years, United States, Business)
Irene Blecker Rosenfeld, born on May 3, 1953 is the Chairman and CEO of Kraft Foods. Rosenfeld has worked for 25 years in the food and beverage industry. In 2004, Rosenfeld was appointed Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Frito-Lay, a division of PepsiCo, where she focused on promoting healthy products.Rosenfeld was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Kraft Foodsin June 2006. She was appointed to the additional post of Chairman in March 2007, following Altria Group’s spin-off of Kraft.
Christine Lagarde (55 years, France, Non-Profit)
Christine Madeleine Odette Lagarde, born on 1 January 1956 is a French lawyer and the managing director of the International Monetary Fund since July 5, 2011. Previously, she held various ministerial posts in the French government: she was Minister of Economic Affairs, Finances and Industry and before that Minister of Agriculture and Fishing and Minister of Trade in the government of Dominique de Villepin. Lagarde was the first woman ever to become minister of Economic Affairs of a G8 economy, and is the first woman to ever head the IMF.
On 28 June 2011, she was named as the next managing director of the International Monetary Fund for a five-year term, starting on 5 July 2011 replacing Dominique Strauss-Kahn. This made her the 11th European running to head the IMF.
Michelle Obama (47 years, United States, Politics)
Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama, born on January 17, 1964 is the wife of the 44th and incumbent President of the United States, Barack Obama, and is the first African-American First Lady of the United States. Subsequently, she worked as part of the staff of Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley, and for the University of Chicago Medical Center. In 2011 Forbes Magazine named Michelle Obama the most powerful woman in the world in Forbes Magazine’s List of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. As the wife of a Senator, and later the First Lady, she has become a fashion icon and role model for women, and an advocate for poverty awareness and healthy eating.
Sonia Gandhi (64 years, India, Politics)
Born on 9 December 1946, she is an Italian-born Indian politician and the President of the Indian National Congress, one of the major political parties of India. She is the widow of former Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi. After his assassination in 1991, Gandhi publicly stayed away from politics amidst constant prodding by the Congress. She finally agreed to join politics in 1997 and in 1998, she was elected as the leader of the Congress, and after reelection in September 2010 for the fourth time, she became the longest serving president in the 125-year history of the Congress party.
Melinda Gates (47 years, United States,Non-Profit)
Born Melinda Ann French, on August 15, 1964, later known as Melinda French Gates, is an American businesswoman and philanthropist. She is the wife of Bill Gates. She is the co-founder and co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and a former unit manager for several Microsoft products such as Publisher, Microsoft Bob, Encarta, and Expedia.
Sheryl Sandberg (42 years, United States, Business)
Born 1969, she is the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook and an internet entrepreneur. Prior to Facebook, Sheryl was Vice President of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google. She also was involved in launching Google’s philanthropic arm Google.org. Prior to Google, Sandberg served as Chief of Staff for the United States Department of the Treasury. In March 2008 Facebook announced hiring Sheryl Sandberg away from Google. She helped steer Facebook from being a company “primarily interested in building a really cool site; assuming profits would follow” to being a company that relies on advertising. By 2010, Facebook became profitable. At Facebook, Sandberg oversees the firm’s business operations including sales, marketing, business development, human resources, public policy and communications.
Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi (55 years,United States, Business)
Born 28 October 1955, she is an Indian-born American business executive. She is the current Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo, the second largest food &beverage business in the world by net revenue. Nooyi joined PepsiCo in 1994 and was named president and CFO in 2001. In 2007 she became the fifth CEO in PepsiCo’s 44-year history.
According to BusinessWeek, since she started as CFO in 2000, the company’s annual revenues have risen 72%, while net profit more than doubled, to $5.6 billion in 2006.Forbes named her the #3 most powerful woman in 2008. Fortune ranked her the #1 most powerful woman in business in 2009 and 2010. On the 7th of October 2010 Forbes magazine ranked her the 6th most powerful woman in the world.
Dilma Vana Rousseff (63 years, Brazil, President)
Born December 14, 1947, she is the 36th and current President of Brazil. She is the first woman to hold the office. Prior to that, in 2005, she was also the first woman to become Chief of Staff of Brazil, appointed by then President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
Rousseff came from being minister of energy to run for President, in April 2010. She was elected in a run-off on 31 October 2010. She is the first female elected President of Brazil, in addition to being the first economist elected for the office.
Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton(63 years old, United States, Politician)
Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton is the 67th United States Secretary of State, serving in the administration of President Barack Obama. She was a United States Senator for New York from 2001 to 2009. As the wife of the 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton, she was the First Lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001. As Secretary of State, Clinton became the first former First Lady to serve in a president’s cabinet. She has been at the forefront of the U.S. response to the 2011 Middle East protests, including advocating for the military intervention in Libya.
Angela Dorothea Merkel (57 years old, Germany , Politician)
She is the current Chancellor of Germany (since 22 November 2005). In the elections of 27 September 2009, her party, the CDU, obtained the largest share of the votes, and formed a coalition government with the CSU and the Free Democratic Party (FDP). Her government was sworn in on 28 October 2009. In 2007, Merkel was also President of the European Council and chaired the G8. Merkel is the first female Chancellor of Germany. In 2007, she became the second woman to chair the G8, after Margaret Thatcher. Forbes considers this lady to be the most powerful woman in the world.