Angela Merkel, Germany's head of government, is ranked once again as the most powerful woman in the world, according to a list collated by Forbes this year.
Merkel, a former scientist and current chancellor of Germany, was cited Wednesday as the world's most powerful woman. She has claimed the top spot for four consecutive years and is followed closely by tech CEOs, US politicians, and Hollywood personalities. Merkel is also the de facto leader of the European Union.
Having first been elected in 2005, Merkel has served as the Chancellor of Germany for more than half a decade and has been described as a tough yet pleasant, generally charismatic leader.
Below her are other well-known and influential names from different industries. Many come from US politics and entertainment while others are tech CEOs based in the US. At number 2 is Janet Yellen, the chief of the US federal reserves. Number 6 is former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and number 8 is First Lady Michelle Obama. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki comes in at number 12 while Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook enters the top ten at number 9.
Like Merkel, other female country chiefs have been included in the prestigious list. Dilma Rousseff, president of Brazil, claims the number four spot. Geun-hye Park, South Korea's first lady president, is at number 11.
Many have given their comments regarding Angela Merkel's popular position. Some opined that the German chancellor is already too powerful to fall from the list, and despite criticisms regarding certain issues within not just Germany but the European community, Merkel remains extremely popular. Merkel is one of the most well-liked politicians in the world - understandably so, since her brand of leadership has been a pivotal one in European politics. Merkel's leadership has seen a 5.3 unemployment rate in Germany - lowest since the country's reunification.
Her achievements in science do not pale in comparison. As a scientist, Merkel obtained her doctorate degree in Physics and is an expert on quantum chemistry. She had previously worked as a research scientist and has published numerous scientific papers on prestigious journals. Perhaps of all heads of nations, Merkel has the best scientific understanding of the current state of the world's climate - a pressing issue that superpowers like to ignore. Her background in science and the scientific method also gives her a trait many a president refuse to have - objectivity.
Angela Merkel won't be leaving the Forbes list very soon. Although there are a few women ready to dethrone Germany's chancellor (Hillary Clinton 2016, anyone?) from the list, Merkel's long-lasting influence will remain to be felt throughout the decades.
[Image from the World Economic Forum via Flickr]