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International Women’s Day 2024: Meet Most Powerful Women In The World



International Women’s Day 2024: Meet Most Powerful Women In The World

International Women’s Day (IWD) celebrated globally on March 8 is an annual celebration of the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women around the world to end the marginalization of women and girls through gender inequality.

International Women’s Day offers women the opportunity to join voices with people around the world and shout the message for equal rights loud and clear so as to give inclusion to women in all walks of life.

However, on this year’s 2024 International Women’s Day tagged “Inspire Inclusion”, let’s go beyond the usual celebrations to honour, as well as recognize the trailblazing women who have paved the way for those who come after them.

Meet 20 Most Powerful Women In The World
Here is the compilation of the most powerful women in the world on the occasion of the 2024 International Women’s Day (IWD)

These women which New Telegraph have carefully listed here have proven beyond reasonable doubt that with hard work and determination anything is possible.

We are super proud to showcase some of the most powerful and inspiring women in the world, highlighting their achievements and the impact they’ve had in their respective fields as we strive to follow in their footsteps.

1.Ursula von der Leyen

Ursula Von Der Leyen who was born on October 8, 1958, is the President of the European Union (EU) and a German politician who studied economics at the University of Gottingen and Munster also studied at the London School of Economics but never graduated instead she went into medicine and graduated from Hanover Medical School (MHH), Germany.

Ursula, a Belgian-born started her career as an assistant physician at the MHH’s gynaecological clinic and was later awarded a doctorate in medicine.

In 1990, Ursula Von Der Leyen joined the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and became involved and in 1996 in the politics of Lower Saxony the federal state her father had governed (1976–90).

She served in various ministerial positions in former German Chancellor Angela Merkel-led government, including Minister of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (2005-2009), Minister of Labor and Social Affairs (2009-2013), and Minister of Defense (2013-2019) and also became the first female Defense Minister in Germany history.

As President of the European Commission, von der Leyen has been tasked with leading the EU’s executive branch, setting the Commission’s policy agenda, and representing the EU internationally.

Her presidency has coincided with significant challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, Brexit negotiations, and efforts to address climate change and digital transformation within the EU.

Von der Leyen’s leadership style and policy priorities have drawn both praise and criticism. She has been actively involved in shaping the EU’s response to various crises and advocating for greater European unity and solidarity.

Throughout her career, von der Leyen has been recognized for her dedication to public service and her commitment to advancing gender equality and social justice. Her leadership continues to shape the direction of European politics and policy-making.

2. Christine Lagarde

Christine Lagarde, a prominent figure in international finance and politics was born on January 1, 1956, in Paris, France and studied law and political science at Paris Nanterre University and the Institut d’études politiques de Paris (Sciences Po).

Lagarde obtained a Master’s Degree from the University of Paris Law School and completed postgraduate studies at the Political Science Institute in Aix-en-Provence.

Lagarde began her career as a lawyer specializing in labour law, antitrust, and mergers and acquisitions. She joined the international law firm Baker & McKenzie in Paris in 1981 and rose through the ranks to become the firm’s first female Chairman in 1999.

In 2005, Lagarde joined politics after she was appointed as the Minister for Foreign Trade in the French government under President Jacques Chirac. She later served as Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries and Minister of Economic Affairs, Finance and Employment under President Nicolas Sarkozy.

In 2011, Lagarde made history when she became the first woman to serve as the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), succeeding Dominique Strauss-Kahn. During her tenure at the IMF, Lagarde navigated the organization through various global economic challenges, including the European debt crisis and the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.

She emphasized the importance of gender equality in economic policies and advocated for greater cooperation among countries to address economic imbalances and promote sustainable growth.

In 2019, She stepped down from her position at the IMF to become the President of the European Central Bank (ECB), succeeding Mario Draghi. As ECB President.

She has in the past years been involved in setting monetary policy for the eurozone and managing the region’s economy, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Throughout her career, Lagarde has been recognized for her leadership and contributions to international finance and economic governance. Lagarde’s leadership continues to have significant impacts on global economic policy and financial stability.

She has received numerous awards and honours for her achievements which span to being named one of Forbes’ “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” multiple times.

3. Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris is an American politician and attorney who was born on October 20, 1964, in Oakland, California. She got her undergraduate degree from Howard University and proceeded to attend law school at the University of California, where she earned her Juris Doctor degree.

Harris began her career as a Deputy District Attorney in Alameda County, California, specializing in prosecuting child sexual assault cases. She made history by becoming the first woman, first African American woman and first Asian American woman to serve as Vice President of the United States.

In 2003, Harris became the District Attorney of San Francisco, making history as the first woman, the first African American woman, and the first Asian American woman to hold the position.

During her tenure, she focused on reforming the criminal justice system, implementing innovative programs aimed at reducing recidivism, and advocating for victims’ rights. She gained national attention for her role in negotiating a landmark settlement with major banks over foreclosure abuses during the housing crisis.

In 2010, Harris was elected as the Attorney General of California, becoming the first woman and the first African American woman to hold that office. As Attorney General, she worked on issues such as criminal justice reform, environmental protection, and consumer rights.

In 2016, Harris was elected to the United States Senate, representing California. During her time in the Senate, she served on several committees, including the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the Judiciary Committee, and the Select Committee on Intelligence. She became known for her tough questioning of witnesses during high-profile hearings.

In 2020, Harris was selected as the running mate for the Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden. The Biden-Harris ticket won the 2020 presidential election, defeating the incumbent President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

On January 20, 2021, Kamala Harris was inaugurated as the 49th Vice President of the United States, making history once again as the highest-ranking female official in U.S. history and the first African American and Asian American Vice President.

Throughout her career, Kamala Harris has been a trailblazer and a champion for equality and justice. She continues to advocate for policies aimed at addressing systemic racism, expanding access to healthcare, and promoting economic opportunity for all Americans.

4. Giorgia Meloni

Giorgia Meloni is an Italian politician who has made a name for herself as one of the most powerful and influential women in history.

Born in Rome, Italy on January 15, 1977, Meloni began her political career at a young age, becoming involved in right-wing student organizations during her university years.

Meloni’s political journey accelerated when she joined the National Alliance, a centre-right political party, in the early 2000s. She quickly rose through the ranks of the party becoming one of its leading figures.

In 2008, Meloni was elected to the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the Italian Parliament, representing the Rome constituency. She served as Minister of Youth in the government of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi from 2008 to 2011.

Meloni has been vocal in her criticism of the European Union, advocating for greater sovereignty for Italy and opposing what she perceives as excessive interference from Brussels in Italian affairs.

She has also been a staunch critic of mass migration to Italy and has called for tighter border controls and stricter immigration policies. She has positioned herself as a defender of Italian identity and culture against what she views as threats from globalization and multiculturalism.

Meloni is the Prime Minister and the first female to serve in that capacity.

5. Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift is an American singer and songwriter who has become one of the most successful and influential artists of her generation.

Swift, born in Reading, Pennsylvania on December 13, 1989, showed an early interest in music and began performing in local talent shows and events as a child.

At 14 years old, Swift moved to Nashville, Tennessee, the heart of the country music industry, to pursue a career in music. She signed with the independent label Big Machine Records and released her self-titled debut album in 2006, which achieved widespread critical acclaim and commercial success.

The album featured hit singles like “Tim McGraw” and “Teardrops on My Guitar,” establishing Swift as a rising star in country music. In 2014, Swift released “1989,” her first full-fledged pop album, which marked her departure from her country roots.

The album was a critical and commercial juggernaut, spawning hit singles such as “Shake It Off,” “Blank Space,” and “Bad Blood.” “1989” won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year, making Swift the first woman to win the award twice.

Throughout her career, Swift has been known for her savvy business acumen and creative control over her music and image. She has often used her platform to advocate for artists’ rights and to speak out on issues such as gender equality.

Swift’s influence extends beyond music, as she has amassed a massive following on social media and is regarded as one of the most powerful celebrities in the world.

With numerous awards, record-breaking album sales, and sold-out stadium tours to her name, Taylor Swift continues to be a dominant force in the music industry.

6. Karen Lynch

Karen Lynch is an American business executive who has made significant contributions to the healthcare industry. Born in 1963, Lynch grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of New Hampshire and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Simmons University.

Lynch’s career in the healthcare sector began in 1986 when she joined Cigna, a global health services company, where she held various leadership positions over the years. She gained extensive experience in areas such as strategy, operations, and customer service.

In 2012, Lynch joined CVS Health, a leading healthcare company in the United States, as Executive Vice President and President of the company’s Aetna business unit. Aetna, a subsidiary of CVS Health, is one of the largest health insurance providers in the country.

In February 2021, Lynch was appointed as the President and CEO of CVS Health, succeeding Larry Merlo. In this role, she became one of the few women to lead a Fortune 500 company. As CEO, Lynch oversees CVS Health’s diverse portfolio of businesses, which includes retail pharmacies, healthcare clinics, pharmacy benefit management services, and health insurance.

She is known for her commitment to advancing healthcare accessibility and affordability, promoting innovation in healthcare delivery and addressing social determinants of health.

Under her leadership, CVS Health has continued to expand its reach and impact in communities across the United States. Beyond her professional achievements, Lynch is actively involved in various philanthropic endeavours and serves on the boards of several organizations.

She is recognized as a trailblazer in the healthcare industry and a champion for improving healthcare outcomes for individuals and communities nationwide.

7. Jane Fraser

Jane Fraser is a Scottish-born American banking executive who has achieved notable success in the financial industry. Her leadership and strategic vision propelled her to become one of the most influential women in the banking industry.

Born on December 27, 1967, in St. Andrews, Scotland, Fraser studied economics at Girton College, University of Cambridge, before earning her Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Harvard Business School.

Fraser began her career in finance in the late 1980s, working for Goldman Sachs in London and New York. She later joined McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm, where she specialized in financial services.

In 2004, Fraser joined Citigroup, one of the largest financial institutions in the world, as the global head of strategy and mergers & acquisitions for the investment banking division. Over the years, she held various leadership roles within Citigroup, including overseeing the company’s private banking operations in Latin America and serving as CEO of the U.S. Consumer and Commercial Banking division.

In 2019, she was appointed President of Citigroup, making her the first woman to hold that position. As President, Fraser played a key role in shaping the company’s strategic direction and driving its growth initiatives.

In September 2020, Fraser once again made history when she was announced as the next CEO of Citigroup and officially assumed the role on February 1, 2021. With her appointment, she became the first woman to lead a major Wall Street bank.

Fraser’s leadership style, strategic acumen, and commitment to excellence have earned her widespread recognition and respect in the financial community.

Without mincing words, Fraser has continued to be a trailblazer and role model for women in finance, inspiring future generations of leaders in the industry.

8. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is a Nigerian economist and international development expert who has held several high-profile positions in the Nigerian government and international organizations.

Born on June 13, 1954, in Ogwashi-Ukwu, Delta State, Okonjo-Iweala studied economics at Harvard University, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree. She later obtained a Ph.D. in Regional Economics and Development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Okonjo-Iweala began her career at the World Bank, where she worked for over two decades, rising to the position of Managing Director. During her tenure at the World Bank, she held various leadership roles and played a key role in shaping the institution’s policies and programs, particularly in Africa.

In addition to her work at the World Bank, Okonjo-Iweala has served twice as Nigeria’s Finance Minister, from 2003 to 2006 and from 2011 to 2015.

As Finance Minister, she implemented significant economic reforms aimed at stabilizing the Nigerian economy, reducing corruption, and promoting fiscal transparency. She was known for her efforts to improve public financial management and reduce government debt.

In 2021, Okonjo-Iweala made history when she was appointed as the Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), becoming the first woman and the first African to hold that position.

Throughout her career, Okonjo-Iweala has been a strong advocate for gender equality, economic development, and poverty alleviation. She has received numerous awards and honours for her contributions to international development, including being named one of Forbes’ “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” multiple times.

Her leadership and expertise have a significant impact on global economic policy and development efforts, particularly in Africa and other emerging economies. Up till date, she is a role model for women and professionals in the fields of economics and international affairs.

9. Abigail Johnson

Abigail Johnson is an American business executive who serves as the Chair and CEO of Fidelity Investments, one of the largest and most well-known financial services companies in the world.

Born on December 19, 1961, in Boston, Massachusetts, Abigail is the granddaughter of Edward C. Johnson II, who founded Fidelity in 1946.

Starting her career in the financial industry, Abigail joined Fidelity in 1988 after earning her Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Harvard Business School. She started as an equity analyst and portfolio manager, gaining valuable experience in investment management.

She rose through the ranks at Fidelity, holding various leadership positions within the company.

In 2014, she succeeded her father, Edward C. “Ned” Johnson III, as CEO, becoming the third generation of her family to lead the company. Under her leadership, Fidelity has continued to expand its range of financial products and services, including mutual funds, retirement accounts, brokerage services, and wealth management solutions.

In addition to her role at Fidelity, Abigail is actively involved in various philanthropic endeavours. She serves as the Chair of the Fidelity Charitable Board of Trustees, overseeing one of the largest donor-advised fund programs in the United States.

However, her leadership and influence extend beyond Fidelity, as she is recognized as one of the most powerful women in finance and business.

She has been named to Forbes’ “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” list multiple times and is respected for her contributions to the financial services industry and her dedication to advancing Fidelity’s mission of helping people achieve their financial goals.

10. Mary Barra

Mary Barra is another American business executive who has made significant contributions to the automotive industry. Born on December 24, 1961, in Waterford, Michigan, Barra earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in electrical engineering from Kettering University, formerly General Motors Institute and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Barra began her career at General Motors (GM) in 1980 as a co-op student at the Pontiac Motor Division. She steadily climbed the ranks within the company, holding various engineering and managerial positions in areas such as manufacturing, engineering, and product development.

In 2014, Barra made history when she became the first woman to serve as the CEO of a major global automaker, taking the helm at General Motors.

When she was named the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company, Berra focused on transforming GM into a more agile, customer-centric, and innovative company.

Under her leadership, GM invested heavily in electric and autonomous vehicle technology, launched new vehicle models, and expanded its presence in emerging markets.

Barra has been recognized for her leadership and strategic vision, earning accolades such as Fortune’s “Most Powerful Women” and Forbes’ “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.” She has been outspoken on issues such as diversity and inclusion in the workplace, sustainability, and corporate responsibility.

During her tenure in the company, she has been marked by significant achievements and challenges, including navigating the company through the COVID-19 pandemic and leading initiatives to accelerate the transition to electric and autonomous vehicles.

She continues to be a prominent figure in the automotive industry and a role model for aspiring female leaders in business over the years.

11. Melinda French Gates

Melinda French Gates is an American philanthropist, businesswoman, and co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the largest private charitable foundations in the world.

Born on August 15, 1964, in Dallas, Texas, Melinda earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science and economics from Duke University and later obtained an MBA from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business.

She began her career at Microsoft Corporation in 1987, where she worked as a product manager. She played a significant role in the development of many of Microsoft’s multimedia products, including Publisher, Encarta, and Expedia.

Over the years, she rose through the ranks at Microsoft and became one of the company’s most influential leaders. In 1994, Melinda met Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, and married in 1994.

In 2000, Melinda and Bill established the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with the mission of addressing global health, poverty alleviation, and educational issues.

The foundation has since become one of the world’s largest private philanthropic organizations focusing on improving healthcare, reducing poverty, and expanding access to education around the world.

As co-chair of the foundation, Melinda has been actively involved in shaping its strategic priorities and overseeing its grant-making activities. She has championed initiatives to combat diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, and polio, as well as efforts to improve maternal and child health, nutrition, and access to contraceptives.

She is widely respected for her philanthropy, leadership, and dedication to making a positive impact in the world.

12. Julie Sweet

Julie Sweet is a prominent business leader known for her role as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Accenture, one of the world’s largest consulting and professional services companies. Born on June 18, 1967, in Maryland, USA,

Sweet who earned her bachelor’s degree in Arts and Government from Claremont McKenna College was born on June 18, 1967, in Maryland, USA

Sweet’s career trajectory has been impressive. After she pursued her Juris Doctor degree from Columbia Law School, she began her professional journey as a lawyer, gaining experience at several prestigious law firms.

In 2010, she joined Accenture as the company’s general counsel, responsible for overseeing legal and regulatory matters. Her capabilities and leadership skills quickly propelled her through the ranks.

In 2015, Sweet was appointed as Accenture’s Chief Executive Officer for North America, where she played a crucial role in driving the company’s growth and innovation strategies in the region. Her tenure was marked by a focus on digital transformation, client relationships, and talent development.

In 2019, Julie Sweet became the CEO of Accenture and assumed leadership during a time of significant technological disruption and global economic challenges. Under her guidance, Accenture continued to expand its services and solutions across various industries, including technology, consulting, and outsourcing.

Sweet’s leadership style is often described as strategic, collaborative, and inclusive. She is known for her commitment to diversity and inclusion within Accenture and the broader business community. Additionally, she advocates for responsible business practices and sustainability initiatives.

Throughout her career, Julie Sweet has been recognized for her achievements and influence in the business world. She has been featured on lists such as Fortune’s Most Powerful Women and Forbes’ World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.

Julie Sweet’s journey exemplifies leadership, resilience, and a dedication to driving positive change in the corporate landscape.

13. Folorunsho Alakija

Folorunsho Alakija is a Nigerian businesswoman, philanthropist, and one of the wealthiest women in Africa.

She was born on July 15, 1951, in Ikorodu, Lagos State and started her career in the banking industry after studying fashion design in England at the American College, London and Central School of Fashion.

Alakija’s breakthrough came when she founded Supreme Stitches, a fashion label that catered to Nigeria’s elite clientele. Through her fashion venture, she amassed considerable wealth and gained prominence in Nigerian high society. However, her most significant success came in the oil industry.

In the early 1990s, Alakija ventured into the oil sector by obtaining an Oil Prospecting License (OPL) from the Nigerian government. This license granted her company, Famfa Oil Limited, the right to explore and produce oil on a lucrative offshore oil block, OPL 216.

Despite facing initial skepticism and challenges, Alakija’s persistence and business acumen paid off when her company struck oil in commercial quantities.

Famfa Oil Limited’s discovery of oil significantly boosted Alakija’s wealth and propelled her into the ranks of Africa’s wealthiest individuals.

Her stake in the oil block has contributed to her substantial net worth, making her one of the richest self-made women not just in Nigeria but globally.

Alakija’s life story serves as a source of inspiration to many, particularly aspiring entrepreneurs and women seeking to excel in traditionally male-dominated industries. Her journey to becoming a successful business tycoon and philanthropist underscores the power of determination, vision, and hard work.

14. Kristalina Georgieva

Kristalina Georgieva is a Bulgarian economist and policymaker known for her significant contributions to international development and economic governance.

Born on August 13, 1953, in Sofia, Bulgaria, Georgieva pursued economics and international relations as a career study and earned a master’s degree in Political Economy and Sociology from the Karl Marx Higher Institute of Economics in Sofia. She later earned a PhD in Economic Science from the University of National and World Economy.

Her career spans both academia and international institutions. She began her professional journey as an assistant professor at her alma mater, the University of National and World Economy and later joined the World Bank, where she held various positions over the years, focusing on economic development, poverty reduction, and sustainable growth.

Throughout her tenure at the World Bank, Georgieva gained recognition for her expertise in international development and crisis management. She played key roles in managing responses to global crises such as the Asian financial crisis, the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, and natural disasters.

In 2010, she was appointed as the European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, serving in the European Commission under President José Manuel Barroso. In this role, she oversaw the European Union’s humanitarian aid efforts and played a crucial role in coordinating responses to humanitarian crises worldwide.

In 2019, Georgieva’s leadership and contributions to international development led to her appointment as the Chief Executive Officer of the World Bank. During her tenure, she focused on addressing pressing global challenges such as poverty, inequality, and climate change, while also advocating for sustainable development policies and investments.

In 2020, Kristalina Georgieva became the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In this role, she leads the IMF in its mission to promote global economic stability, provide financial assistance to countries in need, and foster international cooperation on economic issues.

Throughout her career, She was recognized for her leadership, expertise, and dedication to improving the lives of people around the world. She is a leading voice in global economic governance and development policy.

15. MacKenzie Scott

MacKenzie Scott, formerly known as MacKenzie Bezos, is an American novelist, philanthropist, and former wife of Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos.

Born on April 7, 1970, in San Francisco, California, she grew up in the Bay Area and attended Princeton University, where she studied under renowned author Toni Morrison and earned a degree in English literature.

After graduating from Princeton, Scott pursued a career in writing, publishing her debut novel, “The Testing of Luther Albright,” in 2005. The novel received critical acclaim and won her the American Book Award for debut fiction.

However, Scott gained widespread recognition not just for her literary achievements but also for her philanthropic endeavours. Following her divorce from Jeff Bezos in 2019, she received a significant portion of Amazon stock as part of the settlement, instantly making her one of the wealthiest women in the world.

Scott’s approach to philanthropy is characterized by a commitment to addressing systemic inequalities and supporting organizations working on the front lines of social change.

In 2020, she announced her intention to donate the majority of her wealth to charitable causes, pledging billions of dollars to various nonprofits and initiatives focused on areas such as racial equity, economic empowerment, education, and healthcare.

Scott’s philanthropic efforts have garnered praise for their impact and inclusivity. She has emphasized the importance of listening to and supporting grassroots organizations led by marginalized communities, as well as providing unrestricted funding to allow nonprofits the flexibility to pursue their missions effectively.

Despite her immense wealth and influence, Scott maintains a relatively private personal life and focuses on using her resources to make a positive difference in the world.

Her approach to philanthropy has set a new standard for giving among the ultra-wealthy and continues to inspire others to leverage their resources for the greater good.

16. Gail Boudreaux

Gail Boudreaux is an accomplished business executive known for her leadership in the healthcare industry. Born in 1960, she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Dartmouth College and later obtained a Master of Business Administration degree with a focus on finance and healthcare management from Columbia Business School.

Boudreaux’s career trajectory has been marked by her leadership roles in several prominent healthcare companies. She gained significant experience in the industry during her tenure at UnitedHealth Group, where she held various executive positions, including President of UnitedHealthcare, the company’s health insurance arm. Her time at UnitedHealth Group was characterized by a focus on innovation, customer-centric approaches, and strategic growth initiatives.

In 2011, Boudreaux was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), the largest customer-owned health insurance company in the United States. Under her leadership, HCSC continued to expand its market presence and enhance its offerings while navigating the evolving landscape of healthcare reform and digital transformation.

Boudreaux’s leadership style is often described as visionary, collaborative, and results-oriented. She is known for her ability to drive organizational change, foster innovation, and deliver value to customers and stakeholders.

In 2018, Boudreaux was named the President and Chief Executive Officer of Anthem, Inc., one of the largest health insurance companies in the United States. In this role, she oversees the company’s strategic direction, operations, and growth initiatives, focusing on improving access to affordable healthcare and driving better health outcomes for members.

Throughout her career, Gail Boudreaux has been recognized for her contributions to the healthcare industry and her leadership in driving positive change. She serves on the board of directors of several organizations, including Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc., and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

Boudreaux’s dedication to improving healthcare access and delivery has positioned her as a respected figure in the industry, and her leadership continues to shape the future of healthcare in the United States and beyond.

17. Emma Walmsley

Emma Walmsley is a prominent British businesswoman known for her leadership in the pharmaceutical industry. Born on November 26, 1969, in Lancashire, England, Walmsley graduated from the University of Oxford with a degree in classics and modern languages. She later earned an MBA from INSEAD, a leading graduate business school.

Walmsley’s career began in marketing, where she held various positions at L’Oréal, one of the world’s largest cosmetics and beauty companies. Her experience in consumer goods marketing provided her with valuable insights and skills that would later prove instrumental in her transition to the pharmaceutical sector.

In 2010, Walmsley joined GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), a British multinational pharmaceutical company, as the head of consumer healthcare for Europe. She quickly rose through the ranks at GSK, holding leadership positions in different divisions of the company, including overseeing its consumer healthcare business in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.

In 2017, Walmsley made history by becoming the first female CEO of GSK, succeeding Sir Andrew Witty. As CEO, she has led the company through a period of significant transformation, focusing on innovation, research and development, and strategic partnerships to drive growth and competitiveness in the rapidly evolving pharmaceutical industry.

Under Walmsley’s leadership, GSK has pursued a strategic shift towards focusing on pharmaceuticals and vaccines while divesting its consumer healthcare and nutrition businesses. This strategic realignment aims to sharpen GSK’s focus on its core areas of strength and position the company for long-term success.

Walmsley’s leadership style is often characterized as decisive, forward-thinking, and customer-centric. She has emphasized the importance of innovation and collaboration in driving GSK’s growth agenda and delivering value to patients, customers, and shareholders.

Throughout her career, Emma Walmsley has been recognized for her achievements and leadership in the business world. She has been featured on lists such as Forbes’ Most Powerful Women and has received accolades for her contributions to the pharmaceutical industry and gender diversity in corporate leadership.

18.Samia Suluhu Hassan

Samia Suluhu Hassan is a Tanzanian politician who made history as the first female President of Tanzania in 2021. Her ascension to the presidency marked a historic moment for Tanzania and received widespread attention domestically and internationally.

Born on January 27, 1960, in Zanzibar, Samia pursued her education at Mzizima Secondary School and later earned a degree in Public Administration from the Institute of Development Management in Tanzania.

Hassan’s political career began in the 1990s when she served in various government roles in Zanzibar, including as a minister. She later transitioned to national politics, where she held several ministerial positions, including Minister of State for Union Affairs, Minister of Tourism, Trade, and Investment, and Minister of Health.

In 2015, Hassan was elected as the Vice President of Tanzania, serving under President John Magufuli. As Vice President, Samia played a significant role in various government initiatives and policy decisions.

Following the death of President Magufuli in March 2021, Samia Suluhu Hassan was sworn in as the President of Tanzania, becoming the first female president in the country’s history.

As president, Hassan has emphasized continuity and stability in governance while introducing some reforms and policy changes. She has expressed a commitment to addressing key challenges facing Tanzania, including healthcare, education, and economic development, while also promoting unity and inclusivity.

Hassan’s leadership style is characterized by pragmatism, humility, and a focus on consensus-building. Samia’s presidency represents a noteworthy milestone in Tanzanian politics and has been viewed as a step forward for gender equality and women’s empowerment in the region.

Her leadership continues to shape the trajectory of Tanzania’s development and its relations with the international community.

19. Yuriko Koike

Yuriko Koike is a politician and a prominent figure in Japanese politics. Born on July 15, 1952, in Ashiya, Hyōgo Prefecture, she studied sociology at Cairo University in Egypt and later earned a Master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Cairo.

Koike began her career as a television anchor and journalist before transitioning into politics.

In 1992, she was elected to the House of Representatives, becoming one of the youngest female members of Japan’s parliament at the time. She served in various ministerial positions, including Minister of the Environment and Minister of Defense under Prime Minister, Junichiro Koizumi’s administration.

In 2016, Koike made history by becoming the first female Governor of Tokyo, Japan’s largest city. Her election marked a significant moment for gender equality in Japanese politics, as well as a departure from the traditional political establishment.

As governor of Tokyo, Koike has focused on a wide range of issues, including urban development, environmental sustainability, and disaster preparedness.

She has been particularly active in promoting Tokyo’s bid to host the Olympic Games and has worked to ensure the city’s readiness to host large-scale international events.

Koike’s leadership style is often described as bold, charismatic, and reform-minded. She has prioritized transparency and accountability in government, as well as fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in Tokyo’s economy.

Over the years, she has faced praise and criticism for her policies and initiatives. However, she remains a significant figure in Japanese politics and continues to shape the future of Tokyo and Japan as a whole.

Her tenure as governor has been marked by a commitment to modernization and revitalization, positioning Tokyo as a global leader in the 21st century.

20. Mo Abudu

Mosunmola Abudu better known as Mo Abudu, is a Nigerian media mogul, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, widely recognized for her groundbreaking contributions to the Nigerian and African media landscape.

Born on September 11, 1964, in Hammersmith, London, Mo Abudu spent her early years in the United Kingdom before returning to Nigeria for her secondary education. Mo Abudu’s career journey is characterized by resilience, determination, and innovation.

After studying Law at the University of Westminster, she began her professional career as a recruitment consultant in the UK. However, her passion for media and storytelling eventually led her back to Nigeria, where she embarked on a remarkable journey in the entertainment industry.

In 2006, Mo Abudu founded EbonyLife TV, a groundbreaking media network dedicated to producing high-quality, African-focused content for television and digital platforms.

Under her leadership, EbonyLife TV has become one of Africa’s leading media companies, producing a wide range of successful television shows, films, and documentaries that showcase African talent and culture.

Abudu’s contributions to the media industry have earned her numerous awards and recognition locally and internationally. She has been named one of the “25 Most Powerful Women in Global TV” by The Hollywood Reporter and has received awards for her impact on African media and entertainment.

Beyond her achievements in media, Mo Abudu is also known for her philanthropic lifestyle and advocacy work. She is actively involved in initiatives aimed at empowering women and youth in Nigeria, including education and entrepreneurship programs.

Mo Abudu’s impact extends beyond the media industry, her vision, passion, and commitment to telling authentic African stories have cemented her legacy as a trailblazer in African media and a role model for future generations.