For the last 15 years, Forbes has released a list of the top 100 women whom they deem the most powerful in the world, splitting the leading ladies into six categories--business, technology, finance, media & entertainment, politics & policy, and philanthropy--and ranking them within these categories, as well as overall, by applying four metrics: money, media, impact, and spheres of influence.
The 15th annual "Worlds 100 Most Powerful Women" list for 2018, which was announced on December 4, welcomes 20 newcomers among a slew of notable faces that have been featured on the list in years past. For the eighth year in a row, German Chancellor Angela Markle has earned the top spot of the list that also includes names such as Melinda Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Beyonce Knowles, and Sahle-Work Zewde.
According to Forbes Media's Executive Vice President Moira Forbes, these ladies were honored for their knowledge and leadership amidst what she described as "a tumultuous time where geopolitical tensions are on the rise, key economies are facing instability, and where trust in institutions is at an all-time low."
Sliding her way into the list's top 25 most powerful ladies, just below Queen Elizabeth II, is Ivanka Trump, who dropped to the 24th spot after her debut to the rankings last year at number 19.Ivanka is attributed in her profile with not only being the first daughter and adviser to her father, President Donald Trump, but the "de facto First Lady," as her stepmother Melania--who is noticeably absent from the list--prefers to take a quieter approach to her role in the White House. Forbes also noted that Ivanka shifted her focus this year from fashion to public policy after famously filling in for her father at last year's G2 summit.
What is interesting about the first daughter's inclusion on the list--and maybe slightly puzzling to some--is how she pans out in the "impact" sphere, which Forbes itself pointed out in the third bullet of Ivanka's profile is "unclear."According to the White House's website, the official description of Ivanka's role cites a focus on "education and economic empowerment of women and their families as well as job creating and economic growth through workforce development, skills training, and entrepreneurship."
This seems to be where Forbes has found justification for her ranking, noting her creation of a workforce apprentice program, promotion of women in science, and spotlight on human trafficking that has since become a key issue.Ivanka holds the sixth spot of a total of 22 women in the politics and policy category, where Forbes revered the first daughter for the continuing advancement of her policy agenda for paid family leave and her voice against policies "like forced family separation at the border" despite the unknown amount of influence she is "truly willing or able to yield" over her presidential father.