What does it mean to be powerful? What does it feel like to have a massive influence on the world?
These women can not only answer these questions, but also provide a good example of what global leaders should be like — and what women from all countries in the globe can accomplish.
Here are the 10 most powerful women in the world.
Each year, Angela Merkel tops the list of most powerful women. And not many could compete with the 60-year old German leader when it comes to political experience.
A former research scientist with a doctorate in physical chemistry, Merkel has clinched her third four-year term as German Chancellor thanks to her proactive role in governing her country. This makes her the longest serving elected EU head of state.
She has a fierce stance against Russia on Ukraine, this being only one of the demonstrations of her political will. She also provided military assistance to Kurds in order to counter ISIS.
Merkel is not just influential; she is one of the people who shape the world’s political landscape.
Melinda Gates is the wife of Bill Gates. But beyond that, she is an American philanthropist, a former Microsoft project manager, and is now the co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Gates uses her influence in order to directly aid people she thinks can really make a difference in the world. By giving grants and other forms of support, Melinda Gates helps develop the future of technology, and international development.
In fact, her philanthropic activities have cost her approximately $3.4 billion, $26 million of which is for providing the aforementioned grants.
For her services, Gates was appointed an honorary Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire, back in 2013. She was also honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by former US President Barack Obama in 2016.
Gates provides an example of how influential people can use their power to affect and change the lives of others for the better.
These days, who still doesn’t have Facebook? This globally-used social networking site is currently under the direction of COO Sheryl Sandberg.
Sandberg was a former Google executive, who was brought on board by Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg, back in 2007.
Now she oversees marketing, business development, sales, human resources, and communications. She also happens to be a significant shareholder.
Beyond the website, Sandberg has displayed commitment to serving others. With The Giving Pledge, she promised to give away half of her net worth to charity.
Hilary Clinton is among the most powerful politicians in the United States, and has consistently landed spots on similar lists year after year.
Even with her recent loss during the 2016 presidential elections, she remains a remarkable presence, particularly for the Democratic Party.
Clinton has been through everything: she has served as the First Lady of the United States, as a US Senator, and as US Secretary of State. Throughout her political career she has fought for gender equality and health care reform.
She came close to becoming the president after winning a plurality of the national popular vote. However, she lost the Electoral College to Republican nominee Donald Trump.
With all her political experience, it’s no surprise that Clinton is among the most powerful women.
Having held on to so many different political positions, Clinton has become an inspiration for girls all over the world who aspire to become leaders.
Christine Lagarde has been the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) since 2011.
Before this, she served as the Finance Minister of France. This is a post that she held onto for an entire six-year term.
The 59-year old French lawyer and politician was the first woman to become finance minister of a G8 economy. In fact, she is the first woman to head the IMF.
Dilma Rousseff is a Brazilian economist and politician who served as the 36th President of her country from 2011 to 2016.
Her presidency is historic in that she was the first woman to hold the Brazilian presidency. She also previously served as the Chief of Staff to president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, from 2005 to 2010.
Holding the highest position in the world’s seventh largest economy is no easy task. But Rousseff proved that it could be done if the leader is dedicated enough.
Though her husband has recently finished his term as US President, Michelle Obama remains an influential presence because of her philanthropic work and social awareness campaigns.
This American lawyer and writer became the First Lady of the United States when her husband Barack Obama became president.
She kept this position from 2009 to 2017, during which she gained the favor of the masses. In fact, she has a higher approval rating compared to her husband. She has an approval rating of 66 percent, whereas Barack Obama only has 44 percent.
This well-liked leader has been on the frontlines of the fight against obesity – a perennial problem in the US.
Janet Yellen is an American economist who now serves as the Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Before this, she served as Vice Chair from 2010 to 2014.
She was also the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
Under President Bill Clinton, she was the Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. She was also a business professor at the University of California Berkeley, Haas School of Business.
Holding control over the most influential central bank in the world, Yellen holds a huge responsibility that only a truly capable leader could take care of.
Mary Barra is the first female CEO of a major global automaker, currently serving as the Chief Executive Officer and Chairperson of the General Motors Company.
Her calm and confident persona helped the company bounce back after a 30-million-car recall due to faulty ignition switches.
Everyone has used YouTube, but does everyone now the current CEO of YouTube is a Polish-American woman named Susan Wojcicki?
Wojcicki helped revamp the video-sharing site’s strategy upon being acquired by Google for $1.65 billion.
These 10 women above are powerful, not simply because of the positions they hold, but because of their responsible and intelligent use of the power and influence they wield.
Joe Mosier is a car enthusiast and loves working on his 2011 Mercedes Benz 300 C-Class. Other than that, he loves to cook and spend time with his family. In his free time, he writes about cars on Adsitco’s blog and shares them with his readers.