Of the names on this year’s Power Women list, 14 are under 45. Whether the majority of their influence remains in business, tech, politics or entertainment, there are two qualities they all strongly share: resilience and the desire to better the world.
Spanx founder Sara Blakely, 43, lands the No.93 spot on the list. In 2012, she became the youngest woman to join our Billionaires list without help from a husband or an inheritance. Blakely has come a long way since age 29, when she invested her entire life savings of $5,000 to invent the line of slimming undergarments. Spanx is worn and adorned by many women: Jane Fonda deemed it as the clothing equivalent of an iPhone, wondering, “How did we ever get on without them?”
While on the topic of body and brand, Lady Gaga is the youngest woman on this year’s list at No.67. With last year’s release of her third studio album, Artpop, the 28-year-old entertainer-advocate’s fame has faltered, but not enough to knock her off the list. The Queen Monster has a loyal following of fans who help her attain concert figures of holy proportions. She earned an estimated $50 million from her Born This Way tour.
Angelina Jolie, 38, is another entertainer to make the list (No.50). With $33 million in earnings the past year (2013), she is one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood. But even with her unrivaled status, Jolie’s true power and influence comes from her multifaceted ambitions as an activist and philanthropist.
No. 63 is Samantha Power, who was named United States ambassador to the United Nations in 2013. At 43, the former journalist and national security specialist is the youngest American to hold the post.
President Obama describes her as “one of our foremost thinkers on foreign policy”.
Then there are the women in tech, who are helping to redefine the industry as a place that is welcoming for females, like Amy Hood and Marissa Mayer (No.48 and 18 respectively). Last May (2013), Hood became Microsoft’s first female CFO, taking on the responsibility of managing the company’s $83.3 billion in revenue. Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, takes the No.9 spot on the Power list. The 44-year-old’s best-selling book Lean In is a title that needs no introduction (and one conference-goers will likely find in their gift bags).
Download issues of Forbes Africa
- Single Digital Issue: James Mwangi Cover - Forbes Africa Aug/Sep2020 R50.00
- Single Digital Issue: Forbes Africa June/July 2020 R50.00
- Single Digital Issue: Forbes Africa April 2020 - 30 Under 30 R50.00
- Single Digital Issue: Forbes Africa March 2020 R50.00
- Single Digital Issue: Forbes Africa February 2020 R50.00