Westpac boss the 11th most powerful woman in the world

Westpac chief executive Gail Kelly has been named the 11th most powerful woman in the world by US business magazine Forbes, ahead of heavy hitter such as Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey and Queen Elizabeth II.

Gail Kelly Westpac

Westpac chief executive Gail Kelly has been named the 11th most powerful woman in the world by US business magazine Forbes, ahead of heavy hitter such as Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey and Queen Elizabeth II.

Kelly, who was born in South Africa and started out as a bank teller, assumed the top job as Westpac in February and now manages a company worth more than $40 billion.

Forbes says it measures power by examining a person’s public profile (as measured by press mentions) and their financial power.

German chancellor Angela Merkel tops the list, followed by Sheila Bair, chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in the US and Indra Nooyi, chief executive of Pepsi. The Queen could only mange position 58, while Oprah came in at 36.

Australia had a second entrant on the list: Gina Rinehart, head of mining giant Hancock Prospecting, which she inherited from her father Lang Hancock.

Rinehart ranks very low on the publicity but high on the wealth scale: BRW estimated her fortune at $4.39 billion this year.

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