събота, 6 ноември 2010 г.

The Forbes Power Women List

Diversity On The Forbes Power Women List

 JENNA GOUDREAU
At the tops of the world’s largest institutions, “diversity” seems a foreign word. Only 3% of the 500 biggest public companies in the U.S. have female CEOs. Worldwide, female heads of state can still be counted on two hands. Forbes’ annual list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women pinpoints the “minority” group of globally influential women. The list itself also represents a cross-section of races, ages, ethnicities and sexual preferences.
The top-10 ranking alone reveals three powerhouse black women, whose success plants the seed of possibility for generations of women to follow: Michelle Obama (No. 1), Oprah Winfrey (No. 3) and Beyonce Knowles (No. 9). The GLBT community is also well represented at the top. Openly gay Ellen DeGeneres (No. 10) has brought lesbianism to the mainstream with massive platforms on TV, Twitter and Facebook. Lady Gaga (No. 7), too, is openly bisexual and champions gay rights on the national stage. At just 24, Gaga wields a daily audience of 25 million on Facebook and Twitter and earns $62 million a year, proving that youth is not an obstacle to wealth or influence. Indra Nooyi (No. 6), CEO of $43 billion beverage giant PepsiCo, is an Indian-American. Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel (No. 4) and Australian mega-bank Westpac CEO, Gail Kelly (No. 8), reflect a growing global distribution of power.
Throughout the list, a host of commanding Middle-Eastern women challenge our beliefs about gender and equality in the region. Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi (No. 70) is the first woman to hold a cabinet position in the United Arab Emirates, as Minister of Economy. Queen Rania Al Abdullah (No. 76), monarch of Jordan, has focused this year on bridging gaps between the U.S. and the Middle East. And Maha Al-Ghunaim (No. 94) is the cofounder and chair of Kuwaiti bank Global Investment House, one of the largest banks in the area.
Latin America is also emerging as a region more than willing to elect women to the highest posts of government. Cristina Fernandez (No. 68) serves as the first elected female president in Argentina. In Costa Rica, President Laura Chinchilla (No. 83) has been busy installing business-friendly policies that are expected to boost the country’s GDP by 3.8% in 2011. And Brazilian Dilma Rousseff (No. 95), who has served as Chief of Staff, is expected to clinch the presidency in an Oct. 31 runoff election against rival Jose Serra.
The increasing presence of Asian women on our list reveals their growing dominance in fields as far flung as technology, finance and fashion design. Ho Ching (No. 30) serves as chief of $135 billion sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings in Singapore. Chua Sock Koong (No. 71) is chief of Singapore Telecommunications, and Sun Yafang (No. 90) is chair of Huawei Technologies in China. Moreover, Asian Americans like Avon chief Andrea Jung (No. 57) and fashion designer Vera Wang (No. 91) are shaping brands that have become household names.
A diversity of leaders at the top is not only a social responsibility, “it is a business imperative,” says the second most powerful woman in the world, Kraft chief Irene Rosenfeld. When those in power better reflect the demographics of the people they serve, we’re all better off.

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