Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, HCL Corporation Chairperson Roshni Nadar Malhotra, Steel Authority Of India Chairperson Soma Mondal and Biocon Executive Chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw are the four Indians among the 100 named in Forbes’ annual list of ‘The World’s Most Powerful Women’.
Sitharaman has made it to the list for the fifth year in a row, ranking at number 32. This is the 64-year-old BJP leader’s best ranking so far — in 2022, she had ranked at 36, while she was 37 in 2021, 41 in 2020 and 34 in 2019.
In the profile, Forbes highlighted that Sitharman is India’s first full-time female finance minister and her roles at the UK-brd Agricultural Engineers Association and BBC World Service before her political entry.
While Malhotra was ranked 60th, Mondal took the 70th spot and Mazumdar-Shaw the 76th. They had made it to the prestigious list last year also at 53rd, 67th and 72nd spots respectively, Indian Express reported.
Roshni Nadar Malhotra, who took over HCL’s chairperson role from her father in July 2020, holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) degree from Kellogg School of Management and is passionate about wildlife and conservation, as per her official website. She is married to Shikhar Malhotra and they have two sons.
Soma Mondal became the first woman to chair the state-run SAIL when she took over the post in January 2021. According to her Forbes profile, she graduated from college with a degree in electrical engineering and joined the state-run National Aluminium Co. It said that Mondal’s leadership had steered the steelmaker to record financial growth, with the company’s profits surged surging threefold to Rs 120 billion in her first year at the helm.
Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, who also features in the list of India’s Richest at 92, founded the biopharmaceutical firm Biocon, in 1978. The firm has successfully forayed into the lucrative US market, her Forbes profile said.
Politicians topped the list, occupying the first four spots, with Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, at the number one position. She is followed by European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde, US Vice President Kamala Harris and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.
Musician Taylor Swift ranked number 5 on the list, her highest spot so far.
“The triumvirate of Taylor Swift, Beyoncé and Barbie sparked billions of dollars of consumer spending. Their influence on consumers was so powerful that Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell addressed it in a July press conference,” Forbes said in the announcement.
The list comprised six categories — politics and policy, business, finance, media and entertainment, philanthropy and technology. While 18 women were named in the politics and policy category, 37 were selected in business, 19 in finance, 12 in media and entertainment, six in philanthropy and nine in technology.
Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.
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