From icons to 'titans', meet the women on TIME's Most Influential List

Meet the women on TIME’s Most Influential List


This year’s TIME 100 List of Most Influential People recognised a large number of women across politics, health, sports and entertainment, with 54 women featured all up (including those appearing in groups).

Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-Wen made it onto one of the covers, as well as Black Lives Matter founders Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi, rapper Megan Thee Stallion, and activist and actor Gabrielle Union.

President Tsai has been heralded this year throughout the course of the pandemic for her administration’s effective measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak in Taiwan.

Many other women have also been included on the list for their efforts in fighting the virus. In America, associate professor of engineering at John Hopkins University Lauren Gardner was recognised for her role in creating the COVID dashboard – a free, online website that tracks positive cases and deaths related to COVID-19. 

Infectious-disease specialist Dr. Camilla Rothe from Germany was recognised as one of the first scientists to warn the world about the pandemic as she discovered Germany’s first case of the new coronavirus. Veteran ER nurse Amy O’Sullivan from New York City was recognised for her tireless efforts during the pandemic as she worked for days on end, tending to the sick at her hospital in Brooklyn. Shi Zhengli from China led one of the first scientific teams that isolated SARS-CoV-2 at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

The TIME 100 List is divided into five main categories: Pioneers, Artists, Leaders, Titans and Icons. Below’s we break down the categories to learn more about the different female game-changers featured.

A diverse range of movers and shakers who’ve made extraordinary first made it onto the list.

Astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir were featured for their work in leading the first ever all-female space walk.

Filmmakers Tourmaline and Waad Al-Kateab were recognised for their trailblazing work putting new stories onto the big and small screen.

Dutch physician and activist Rebecca Gomperts was recognised for her life-long work trying to get women safe access to abortions in countries where abortion is illegal. 

Other Pioneers: 
Megan Thee Stallion – US rapper of hits including “Girls in the Hood”, “B.I.T.C.H” and “Captain Hook”
Julie K Brown – investigative reporter who broke Jeffery Epstein story in the Miami Herald 
Tomi Adeyemi – bestselling Nigerian-American and author of “Children of Blood and Bone” and “Children of Virtue and Vengeance” 
Cecilia Martinez – environmental activist
Maya Moore – WNBA basketballer
Gabriela Camara – Mexican chef, restaurant owner of Cala in San Francisco and author of “My Mexico City Kitchen: Recipes and Convictions”
Shiori Ito – Japanese sexual violence activist 

On the artists’ list in the TIME 100, we see familiar names including Netflix star comedian Ali Wong, who had two mega-hit shows “Hard Knock Wife” and “Baby Cobra” followed by her 2019 rom-com “Always Be My Maybe.”

Phoebe Waller-Bridge was recognised for her show “Fleabag”, and Michaela Coel for her show “I May Destroy You”. 

Other Artists:
Selena Gomez – released her third No. 1 album, Rare, released her own cooking show Selena + Chef, launched her own beauty line, Rare Beauty, and pledges to raise $100 million for mental-health services in underserved communities. 
JoJo Siwa – American dancer, singer, actress, and YouTube personality
Halsey – American singer, songwriter, and activist 
Jennifer Hudson – American singer, actress, and philanthropist 
Anais Mitchell – American singer-songwriter, musician, and playwright
LASTESIS – the Chilean feminist performance collective
Julie Mehretu – artist and architect, 2019 Venice Biennale’s 58th International exhibition “May You Live in Interesting Times” 


Angela Merkel, Nancy Pelosi, Kamala Harris and Mary Kay Henry joined Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-Wen on the list for most Influential leaders.

Other names included Anne Hidalgo, the Mayor of Paris, Nemonte Nenquimo, president of the Waorani of Pastaza and a co-founder of the Ceibo Alliance, Ursula Von Der Leyen,German politician and the president of the European Commission, and Jung Eun-Kyeong, a South Korean infectious disease expert currently serving as the first Commissioner of Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency.

The executive director of National Nurses United and of the California Nurses Association Committee, Bonnie Castillo, was also recognised on the Leaders list. 

What are ‘Titans’? People who’re leading huge corporations or movements, according to TIME.

This year, the Titans list included actor and activist Gabrielle Union, Head of Feeding America, Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, the first managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from an emerging market country, Bulgarian Kristalina Georgieva and SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell.

Other Titans:
Mackenzie Scott – American philanthropist 
Shari Redstone – American media executive, chairperson of ViacomCBS and president of National Amusements
Lisa Nishimura – American film producer

In this category, big-names in sports are prominent, including tennis player Naomi Osaka, soccer player and Captain of the US Football team Megan Rapinoe and track and field athlete Allyson Felix.

Black Lives Matter founders Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi were also on this list, as well as American powerhouse political activist and writer Angela Davis.

Other Icons: 
Sister Norma Pimentel – executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley
Bilkis – Indiaian activist
Arussi Unda – feminist from Mexico who organised a national women’s strike in March 2020 
Lina Attalah – Chief Editor of independent Egyptian online newspaper Mada Masr

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