Headlining the 2020 edition of Forbes’ annual ‘Most Powerful Women’ list are two political powerhouses, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and Stacey Abrams, along with others whose impacts are felt in media, entertainment, advocacy and more.
Forbes ranked Harris number three of 100, coming in behind German Chancellor Angela Merkel (1) and European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde (2). Merkel has come in at the top spot for 10 straight years. However, with Harris’ ascension to her number two role in the White House, a new number one on the Forbes list may be coming soon.
“The women on the 17th annual power list hail from 30 countries and were born across four generations,” Forbes said in a statement. “There are 10 heads of state, 38 CEOs and five entertainers among them.” Forbes continued, “But where they differ in age, nationality, and job description, they are united in the ways they have been using their platforms to address the unique challenges of 2020.”
Stacey Abrams made the vaunted list for the first time this year. However, she too may very well be a regular on this list as she continues to flex her political muscle in both local and national elections.
“In a year marked by mass protests and political unrest around the world, few people deftly used their power quite like Fair Fight founder and voting rights advocate Stacey Abrams (No. 100),” Forbes wrote. “By working to help register some 800,000 people to vote in Georgia, the former state representative helped a Democratic presidential nominee win her state for the first time in 28 years. Her work is not done–she said she gave herself “17 minutes” of celebration before turning her focus to the critical Georgia Senate runoff elections in January.
Singers Rihanna (69 on the list) was lauded by Forbes for her philanthropy including $8 million in COVID-19 relief as well as her business endeavors and more. Native Houstonian Beyoncé (72) was celebrated by Forbes for her iconic music career, business acumen and advocacy.
Media mogul Oprah (20), Rosalind Brewer (48), Ava Duvernay (79) and Melody Hobson (94) also made the list.
The four metrics used by Forbes to create their ranked list are as follows: money (GDP, revenue, assets under management, or net worth), media mentions, impact (employee count, population) and spheres of influence.
Forbes also said it looked at “hard power (currencies and constitutions), dynamic power (audiences, communities and creative influence), and soft power (what are leaders doing with their influence, and particularly how they responded to the challenges presented by Covid in 2020) within the context of each woman’s field: business, media, technology, finance, philanthropy and politics.”