Women On Top: Congrats!August 26, 2011 No Comments
Forbes’ annual list of the world’s most powerful women was released this week and brought with it some welcome changes to the landscape of powerful ladies.
This year more of the top spots than ever seemed to be filled by women of colour or non-Western background, women of all ages and from increasingly diverse fields of expertise.
Alongside the Americans and Europeans in the top 20 were women of Indian, Brazilian, Chinese and African decent. There were women with children and women without; there were hetero and homosexual women. This year six Kenyan women made the list, five of whom are leaders in technology — not something we would’ve seen 10 years ago.
The media coverage of the list has been, as usual, a bit of a mixed bag. There are those who think there aren’t enough black women, lesbians, Asian women, women in business, female CEOs or female entrepreneurs as there should be.
Fair enough, there aren’t, and the ones that are shouldn’t be a novelty, but that shouldn’t stop us from celebrating their achievements.
One thing that has been very striking about the interest in the list is the focus on the entertainment industry. If you Google “Forbes Powerful Women” you can be sure the vast majority of responses will pertain to Lady Gaga trumping Beyoncé, Oprah dropping a spot or why Angelina Jolie is the most powerful actress in Hollywood.
Secondary to such gossip are the likes of Angela Merkel, Hilary Clinton, Dilma Rousseff, Sonia Ghandi and a host of other women making decisions that change the world. That our focus lies with Gaga and Oprah is a stark reflection of our priorities as a society.
Nevertheless, it is encouraging to see such a vast spectrum of women represented in this year’s list of most powerful women. Let’s enjoy it while it lasts and long for the day when a woman in power is no longer anything out of the ordinary.
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