Gina Rinehart makes Forbes list of most powerful women but where are the other Australians?

richest australians

Gina Rinehart

Just one woman represents Australia on Forbes‘ annual World’s Most Powerful Women List – mining magnate Gina Rinehart.

It’s a repeat from 2015, with no other Australian politicians or businesswomen able to crack the top 100. Rinehart’s influence has dropped 14 places, from the 37th spot she took in 2015 to 51 in 2016. The falling price of iron ore and Rinehart’s family disputes haven’t helped her clout on the world stage.

So where are the other Australians?

Well we were once a little better represented, especially in 2013. Of course back then it helped that we had a female prime minister with Julia Gillard, and a woman heading up one of our big four banks, Gail Kelly. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop hasn’t made the list.

Forbes uses a number of metrics to come up with its most powerful list including money (covering worth, company revenue or GDP), media presence, spheres of influence and impact — covering their impact within their specific field of work and out of it. Forbes deliberately moved away from covering celebrities on the list, with Taylor Swift being dumped from making the 100 this year.

Twenty new names appear on the list this year, although the top ten hardly shifts from recent years. Once again, German Chancellor Angela Merkel took the top spot (for the sixth time), followed by Hillary Clinton.

The Forbes contributors commended Merkel’s ability to guide the German economy in recent years, but said her latest act may well be her boldest. “By opening Germany’s borders to over 1 million immigrants from Syria and other Muslim countries in the last several years, Merkel has decided to wield her power with the most curious of geopolitical strategies: sheer humanism.”

Meanwhile, 16 women in tech appear on the list, including Sheryl Sandberg, Susan Wojcicki and Meg Whitman in the top 10. While the list is still heavily dominated by Americans, the number of Chinese women appearing has increased.

The top 10 most powerful women in the world, according to Forbes:

  1. Angela Merkel
  2. Hillary Clinton
  3. Janet Yellen
  4. Melinda Gates
  5. Mary Barra
  6. Christine Lagarde
  7. Sheryl Sandberg
  8. Susan Wojcicki
  9. Meg Whitman
  10. Ana Patricia Botin

So which Australian women should have made the list, or could make the list in coming years? Let us know #auspowerwomen

This article was first published by Women’s Agenda


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