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These Are The World’s Most Powerful Women

Taylor Swift

Forbes have released their annual list of the World’s Most Powerful Women, so if you’re looking for a list of 100 role models, look no further. So who are the top ranking females?

Angela Merkel surprised no one with her place at the top – she’s held the spot for five years running. The German Chancellor has been a permanent fixture in world news this past decade as she has led Europe through an economic crisis that has threatened the break-up of the Union. While we may not be a fan of the auld austerity measures Ireland has had to implement, we can’t deny that Angela totally won our hearts with her enthusiastic cheering at last year’s World Cup.

Hillary Clinton came in second place. The former US Secretary of State is having quite the eventful year. She announced her run for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination a few weeks ago and has been balancing campaigning with a scandal involving her email practice during her time in government. Maybe next year Hillary might nab number one as well as the White House?

Melinda Gates is third on the Forbes list and can count herself as one of the world’s richest women. Together with her husband Bill, Microsoft founder, she’s one of the leading philanthropists in the developing world.

Oprah Winfrey meanwhile leads the entertainment world, ranking 12th. While Oprah no longer presents her influential eponymous show, she’s still business as a media producer and counts Selma among her recent hits. Beyoncé also made the list, ranking 21st, just above Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer.

Everyone’s favourite fearsome fashion editor Anna Wintour was declared the 28th most powerful woman, beating Queen Elizabeth (42), Irish-American Samantha Power (49) and Ellen DeGeneres (50). We’re sure she’s as nonplussed as usual. Further fashion big hitters on the list include Dian von Furstenberg (75), Miuccia Prada (79) and Spanx founder Sara Blakely (91).

Taylor Swift is the youngest newcomer on the list, arriving in 64th place. At only 25-years-old, the country-turned-pop singer has managed to break Billboard chart records and sell out stadiums around the world. She’s also currently coupling with the world’s most famous DJ Calvin Harris, so should those lovebirds decide to collaborate artistically expect her to climb future lists.

Here’s the top 25 women to give you a guide in what Forbes are looking for in future, should you decide to make landing the list a lifetime ambition.

1.    Angela Merkel, German chancellor.

2.    Hillary Clinton, politician.

3.    Melinda Gates, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

4.    Janet Yellen, chair of the Federal Reserve.

5.    Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors.

6.    Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund.

7.    Dilma Rousseff, President of Brazil.

8.    Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook.

9.     Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube.

10.    Michelle Obama, first lady of the United States.

11.    Park Geun-hye, president of South Korea.

12.     Oprah Winfrey, needs no explanation.

13.    Virginia Rometty, CEO at IBM.

14.    Meg Whitman, CEO, Hewlett-Packard.

15.    Indra Nooyi, CEO of Pepsico.

16.    Cristina Kircher, president of Argentina.

17.    Irene Rosenfeld, CEO of Mondelēz International.

18.    Ana Botín, chair of the Santander Group.

19.    Abigail Johnson, CEO of  Fidelity Investments.

20.    Marillyn Hewson, CEO of Lockheed Martin.

21.    Beyoncé Knowles, singer.

22.    Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo.

23.    Helen Clark, UN Development Programme.

24.    Safra Catz, co-CEO Oracle.

25.    Angela Ahrendts, VP at Apple.

For the full list, see forbes.com.

Follow Jeanne Sutton on Twitter @jeannedesutun

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