In a dynamic and constantly changing world, women have not only kept up with men but many have realized that gender should not create inelastic boundaries. Rather, the diversity which gender creates has allowed women to come forward in not only the workforce but in all aspects of life. Women are shattering glass ceilings and thriving in their fields.
Forbes released their 10th annual list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women this May. Through the lens of the world’s most ambitious and influential women, Forbes examines female politicians, CEOS, activists, musicians, and many more. By releasing an annual list, ForbesWoman, similar to Strong Women, Strong Girls, is “ensuring rising generations of women a place at the table,” as it states in their mission.

  • German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, topped Forbes’ list for the 3rd consecutive year. Merkel’s tenacity and will to succeed has allowed her to keep her head held high, despite the crises in Europe. She has been labelled the “backbone of the 27 member European Union” and is currently “carrying the fate of the euro on her shoulders.” Her austerity measures have not only been challenged by the European Union but by other Eastern and Western countries alike. Nonetheless, she has proven herself to come out above the rising tide.
  • Brazilian President, Dilma Rousseff, is ranked second. Rousseff’s emphasis on entrepreneurship has allowed her to greatly educate Brazil. Although she is currently being criticized for overlooking humanitarian efforts, Rousseff has defended herself by showing her country that a pro-developmental stance is necessary in dire economic times.
  • Melinda Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, was ranked third. The Foundation’s current goals are to eradicate polio by 2018, and supply 120 million women with contraceptives by 2020. Gates has played a vital role in not only establishing the Foundation but with upkeep as well.

The list is top heavy with politicians. But Forbes makes sure to include a diverse bunch of women such as Sheryl Sandberg, Indra Nooyi and Beyonce, who are responsible for redefining power and challenging the traditional gender “norms.” Moira Forbes, President and publisher of ForbesWoman, said, “This year’s Power Women exert influence in very different ways, and to very different ends, and all with very different impacts on the global community.”
Strong Women, Strong Girls (SWSG) is responsible for instilling core values in girls, mentors and volunteers. Leadership development is an essential aspect of the program. The tight-knit community that the program has created is not only multi-generational but it is empowering and gives all involved a sense of accomplishment.
Just like the girls and women of SWSG, ForbesWomen are a part of the newest breed of ‘superstars.’ They represent what women can strive to become, and the many possibilities for women everywhere. They represent the fact that women also have an important impact on society. As Moira Forbes said, “Whether leading multi-billion-dollar companies, governing countries, shaping the cultural fabric of our lives, or spearheading humanitarian initiatives, collectively these women are changing the planet in profoundly powerful and dynamic ways.”
Believe in your own power: What are you willing to do to play your part and leave your mark?

Safiya Nanji is currently a SWSG mentor at Tufts University from Toronto, Canada. She aspires to be a broadcast journalist and loves to swim in her spare time. She has loved being a part of Strong Women, Strong Girls and is looking forward to mentoring again next year.