Finance Minister Sitharaman among world’s 100 most powerful women: Forbes

Nirmala Sitharaman, India's first female finance minister is ranked 34th on the Forbes most powerful women list 2019. Photo: PTI

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, HCL Corporation CEO and Executive Director Roshni Nadar Malhotra and Biocon Founder Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw have been named among the world’s 100 most powerful women by Forbes.

The Forbes 2019 list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women has been topped by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, followed by President of the European Central Bank Christine Lagarde in the second spot and Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, ranked third. Also on the list is Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina (29).

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In 2019, women around the globe took action, claiming leadership positions in government, business, philanthropy and media. These trailblazers are not to be messed with, Forbes said.

Sitharaman, a newcomer on the Forbes most powerful women list, is ranked 34th. India’s first female finance minister, Sitharaman has also served as the country’s defence minister.
Sitharaman is the first female to hold the portfolio full time. Before this, former prime minister Indira Gandhi briefly took the additional charge of the ministry.

Also read: Whether Nirmala eats onions or not, I want them back on my plate

Nadar Malhotra is ranked 54th on the list. As CEO of HCL Corporation, she is responsible for all strategic decisions for the USD 8.9 billion technology company.

Malhotra is also the chairperson of the company’s CSR Committee and is a trustee of the Shiv Nadar Foundation, which is focused on education and has established some of India’s top colleges and schools, Forbes said.

Mazumdar-Shaw, ranked 65 on the list, is Indias richest self-made woman and founder of the country’s largest biopharmaceutical firm Biocon in 1978. She tweeted that she was proud to be recognised as an influencer in health care.

Biocon has successfully forayed into the lucrative US biosimilars market, catching the attention of investors and it also became the first company to gain approval from the USFDA for two different biosimilars of drugs used in certain cancer treatments.

Mazumdar-Shaw has invested in research infrastructure and scientific talent with the aim of building a deep R&D-based biotech firm, not a copycat generics maker, Forbes said.

The Forbes list also includes Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Melinda Gates (6), IBM CEO Ginni Rometty (9), Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg (18), New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (38), First Daughter and Advisor to President Donald Trump Ivanka Trump (42), singers Rihanna (61), Beyonce (66) and Taylor Swift (71), tennis star Serena Williams (81) and teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg (100).

Also read: Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg is TIME’s 2019 Person of the Year

Referring to Pelosi’s recent “Don’t mess with me” remark to a reporter, Forbes said that could be the mantra for just about every one of the Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women.

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