Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women of 2023 includes Barbie

Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women of 2023 includes an imaginary doll called Barbie


Politicians and lawmakers have topped this year’s Forbes List of Most Powerful Women, with president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen coming in at No. 1, followed by president of the European Central Bank Christine Lagarde, Kamala Harris, and Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni coming in at No. 4. 

Taylor Swift is fifth on the list. 

The list is divided into six categories: Media & Entertainment, Politics & Policy, Finance, Business, Philanthropy and Tech. Women in business occupied the most spots on the list, with 36 — they include Karen Lynch, president and CEO of CVS Health, Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, Julie Sweet, CEO of Accenture, and Gina Rinehart, who came in at No. 48 on the list. 

Finance held 19 spots, including Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser, CEO of Banco De Brasil Tarciana Paula Gomes Medeiros and CEO & Managing Director, Macquarie Group Shemara Wikramanayake. 

Politics and Policy held 18 spots. Notable individuals include Tokyo’s first female governor, Yuriko Koike, Slovakia’s youngest and first female president, Zuzana Caputova, and the world’s longest-serving female head of government, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed. 

Media and Entertainment held 12 spots, including Oprah Winfrey, Beyoncé, founder of Ebonylife TV Mo Abudu and Netflix’s chief content officer Bela Bajaria. All but one woman in this category hail from the US. (Let’s not forget Forbes is an American publication). 

Tech held 9 spots, including Ruth Porat, the chief financial officer of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, Meta’s CFO Susan Li, CEO of semiconductor firm Advanced Micro Devices Lisa Su and SpaceX’s president and COO Gwynne Shotwell. 

The Philanthropy category included five women: Melinda French Gates, MacKenzie Scott, Laurene Powell Jobs, Solina Chau and Julia Gillard, who came in at No. 92. 

Most women on the list are from the US. Others hail from UK, Brazil, Germany, France, Taiwan. Hong Kong and China. 

Controversially, Barbie also made it onto the list, slipping in at No. 100. It’s the first-ever fictional character to be selected on the list, a decision the publication admits is “unconventional”.

According to Forbes writer Maggie McGrath, the doll has “expanded beyond a symbol of female empowerment to become an avatar for the necessity of fighting to recapture power that’s been taken away.”

“She’s inspired girls and their mothers for generations, but this was the year women needed her most,” McGrath wrote.

“What Barbie can do is give voice to the voiceless and power to the powerless through her ability to inspire. Barbie is much more than just a plastic toy.” 

Yet the woman responsible for making it huge again this year, Greta Gerwig, was not included on the list. 

Sketchy? You bet. 

You can read the full List of Forbes 100 Most Power Women of 2023 here.


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