1. The most powerful woman in the world, and the fourth most powerful person in the world, Angela Merkel kicks ass and takes names as the Chancellor of Germany.
“The world’s most powerful woman heads Europe’s most vibrant economy and is widely viewed as the de facto leader of the EU. A recent poll in France showed that the French have more faith in Germany’s leader (46%) than in their own president, Nicolas Sarkozy (33%).” (Forbes)
2. A woman after my own heart; Secretary of State Hillary Clinton went to college in my hometown of Wellesley, Massachusetts.
“Impressive marks for her handling of a difficult year, which included the Arab Spring uprisings, WikiLeaks’ release of sensitive American diplomatic cables, Iran’s alleged murder attempt on the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. and the death of Osama bin Laden.” (Forbes)
Hillary also visited Burma as a diplomat after fifty years of estrangement. Heck yes. This is a woman that should have been President. Maybe some day.
3. Ranked #3 on Forbe’s most powerful women list, President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil is a total badass. She is the first woman to hold that office. Called the “Joan of Arc” of the guerilla movement, she was arrested from 1970-1972 and repeatedly tortured, having been captured participating in a Marxist guerilla group that fought to remove the military dictatorship. After her release she helped found the Democratic Labour Party. She’s also the first economist to be elected as President. Interesting to note: she doesn’t approve of gay marriage but doesn’t seem to be homophobic, is pro-life but sane enough to see it’s appropriate for cases of endangered mothers or rape, and doesn’t want any drugs decriminalized for the foreseeable future.
4. Indra Nooyi is an Indian-born American who is the Chief Executive of PepsiCo and oversees a staff of almost 300,000. After seven years at the company she was named President and CFO, and in 2007 became only the 5th CEO that PepsiCo has had in its 44+ year life. Since she’s worked there, annual revenues have risen by a whopping 72% and she’s brought them billions of dollars of business (Business Week).
5. Sheryl Sandberg should be a household name by now, being the COO of mega-giant Facebook and the person responsible for making it profitable. She got her Bachelor and Master’s degrees from Harvard University, and before joining Facebook in 2008 was a VP at Google, and before that, Chief of Staff for the US Department of the Treasury. Wow.
So there you have it. Happy International Women’s Day!