If you’re a woman who wants to make a it to the top, get onto Twitter, into policy making or philanthropy and know that time is on your side.

Hilary takes to Twitter

That’s the message of Forbes’ Most Powerful list for 2012; a list that includes Angela Merkel, Hilary Clinton, Queen Elizabeth, Sonia Gandhi, Christine La Gaurde and even Jennifer Lopez. 

The Guardian journalist Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett criticised the list for being all about money. She wrote: “You could say that the power many of these women yield lies in their ability to get you and me to buy stuff, often by blending seamlessly into power structures created by men, much to the chagrin of second wave feminists.”

But I say credit where credit is due. Forbes would have to be one of the only lists I’ve read to openly recognise the work of anyone over the age of 40. Take Queen Elizabeth, for example. HRH is a stalwart of the annual list and actually soared up 20 places this year and she’s 86.

Or Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi, who deserved a higher spot. At the age of 67, she is the Chair Parliamentarian, National League for Democracy. Although given the scale of her contribution and level of personal sacrifice, it would have been great to see her within the top five.

The other great thing worth mentioning about this year’s list is the nominees’ use of social media. According to the Huffington Post, the top 100 have a combined total of 90 million Twitter followers. Angela Merkel was praised for mastering You Tube to respond to her constituent’s questions.

Not only are these just impressive numbers in terms of social media connectedness, they also show that Forbes’ top 100 women are keeping up with technology and determined to stay involved.

They’re smart, sassy, dynamic, relentlessly hardworking and kicking international butt right into their middle age. What could be more inspiring than that?

Follow me on Twitter, I’m nowhere near 90 million followers: @lucyjk

Comments on this post close at 8pm AEST

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    • colin says:

      12:21pm | 23/08/12

      “They’re smart, sassy, dynamic, relentlessly hardworking and kicking international butt right into their middle age. What could be more inspiring than that?”

      Nothing could be more inspiring grin

      Though I am sure that you will soon be inundated with vitriolic diatribes from the chain-women-to-the-sink, barefoot and pregnant, misogynist brigade that skulks about on here…

    • Mahhrat says:

      12:32pm | 23/08/12

      @colin, while you’re right in that they are inspiring people, labelling anyone who disagrees with you as mysoginist is itself a sexist statement.

    • Scotchfinger says:

      12:37pm | 23/08/12

      depends if they got laid last night or not…

    • Anne71 says:

      12:45pm | 23/08/12

      Well said, Colin! I’m only surprised it hasn’t happened already. Still, it’s early days yet wink

    • MD says:

      01:00pm | 23/08/12

      0/10, Troll smarter not harder.

    • Lovecraft says:

      01:00pm | 23/08/12

      Well they don’t always have to be barefooted.

    • Jack says:

      01:01pm | 23/08/12




    • impatient says:

      01:34pm | 23/08/12

      Any minute now… <taps foot>. Come on, what’s going on, it’s been over an hour….

    • Scotchfinger says:

      02:23pm | 23/08/12

      Jack, you are actually one of the more articulate of the Boy Scouts Brigade. Guessing you are one of the recruiters? grin

    • wakeuppls says:

      02:26pm | 23/08/12


      Your preaching language proves you are a massive tosser.

    • colin says:

      02:47pm | 23/08/12

      @wakeuppls 02:26pm | 23/08/12

      “Your preaching language proves you are a massive tosser.”

      And your saying, “Massive Tosser” speaks volumes about you.

    • Where's my Sammich? says:

      02:58pm | 23/08/12

      I checked out that list, so fake, nothing about sammich making in there at all… Women aren’t real women unless they come with a sammich.

    • colin says:

      12:55pm | 23/08/12

      @Anne71 12:45pm | 23/08/12

      And maybe we will even manage to circumvent it by pointing out the irony of any subsequent derogatory comments… Probably not, but I live in hope grin


      @Scotchfinger 12:37pm | 23/08/12

      Boom, tish..!

    • Sancho says:

      01:58pm | 23/08/12

      That’ll be the Huma the Republicans are convinced is a jihadi spy for the Muslim Brotherhood.

      It’s weirder than bad fiction.

    • Ando says:

      01:04pm | 23/08/12

      The first 3 comments choose not to concentrate on these achievements but try and start an arguments. Trolls.  This article seems reasonable so you’ll have to argue amongst yourselves.

    • gobsmack says:

      02:03pm | 23/08/12

      Hilary Clinton - wife of US President
      Queen Elizabeth - hereditary ruler
      Aung San Suu Kyi - daughter of Burma president
      Sonia Ghandi - ex-airline hostess who married into Ghandi clan

    • Drama Queen says:

      04:08pm | 23/08/12

      And haven’t try made names for themselves regardless of who they married or what family they were born into. Aung San Suu Kyi has become more than a daughter of a Burma president and Hilary Clinton has moved beyond being the wife of a president.

      By the way Sonia Ghandi was never an airline hostess.

    • marley says:

      04:45pm | 23/08/12

      Fair enough.  I had a look at the men listed:

      Rupert Murdoch - son of newspaper mogul.
      Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al Saud - hereditary ruler.
      Kim Jong Il - son of “the Great Leader,”  father of “the Great Successor” so certainly part of an hereditary clan.
      Dalai Lama - inherited position at age of 2.

      And your point is?

    • gobsmack says:

      05:54pm | 23/08/12

      My point is that people who are on the Forbes list through accident of birth or, in the case of women, by marrying the right man are hardly worthy figures of inspiration for the average young woman or man.

    • marley says:

      07:39pm | 23/08/12

      @Gobsmack - and my point is, what matters is not whether people have had good luck by birth or marriage, but what they’ve done with the opportunities they’ve had.

      l’d personally rate Lizzie over the Saudi king any day of the week.  And I rank Aung San Suu Kyi way ahead of quite a lot of the males on that list as well. 

      Why is it that when women come to the fore, people say it’s only because of their fathers/husbands, yet when a connected male pops up, whether a JFK or a Kim Jung Il, they’re judged on their own merits?

      Oh, and having looked at the entire Forbes list of top 70 power players, I don’t find many who are inspirational, male or female.  The Pope?  The Mexican drug lord?  Putin?  The assortment of American and Chinese power players?  Scary, yes. Inspirational, not so much.

    • colin says:

      02:04pm | 23/08/12

      @Mahhrat says: 12:32pm | 23/08/12
      “...while you’re right in that they are inspiring people, labelling anyone who disagrees with you as mysoginist is itself a sexist statement…”

      Yeah, right; and I suppose you don’t accept that it’s time for a bit of Positive Discrimination, either..? You have already failed to see the irony in your - supposedly reasonable but, in reality, derogatory - comment


      @ Ando 01:04pm | 23/08/12

      * Double yawn*

    • Inky says:

      02:18pm | 23/08/12

      Quick, there’s no oppressive men coming out of the woodwork, better manufacture some so that your high horse looks justified.

    • Mahhrat says:

      02:52pm | 23/08/12

      @Colin:  “Positive Discrimination” is a logical fallacy.  To whit:

      dis·crim·i·na·tion/dis?krim??n?SH?n/Noun: 1.The unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, esp. on the grounds of race, age, or sex.

      Discrimination is unjust, period.  It is not made just when done for some kind of remediation (”...time for a bit of…”), as you seem to be suggesting.  You are stating that I should be punished for the sins of men going back hundreds of years.  They are not my sins, and I should not be punished for them simply because I share their gender.
      As to the second part of your comment, I am not mysoginist because I speak out against discrimination, any more than you are misandric by stating that “positive discrimination” is a good thing.

      Saying what you said above - applying negative values to anyone who doesn’t agree with you - isn’t traditionally sexist because you target those who disagree rather than men (though you meant men), so for that I apologise .

      What you need to realise is you’re being as closed-minded and bigoted as those you seek to criticise.  Play the ball, not the person.

    • colin says:

      02:59pm | 23/08/12

      @ Inky 02:18pm | 23/08/12

      “Quick, there’s no oppressive men coming out of the woodwork, better manufacture some so that your high horse looks justified…”

      Oh, Inky, didn’t you read my SECOND post?

      “...And maybe we will even manage to circumvent it by pointing out the irony of any subsequent derogatory comments… ...”

      Feel silly now..? grin

    • Al says:

      03:11pm | 23/08/12

      Affirmative Action, Positive Discrimination, whatever, it is still discrimination.
      If it is on the basis of sex, as this article is about, that would be illegal (either positive or negative).
      Of course it is unlikely for a man to claim sexual discrimination.
      I suppose this makes me one of what you will call ‘vitriolic diatribes from the chain-women-to-the-sink, barefoot and pregnant, misogynist brigade’ despite the fact I am an equalist, I don’t want different treatment on the basis of sex for anyone, base it one their ability.

    • Inky says:

      03:34pm | 23/08/12


      If I feel silly at all, it’s because I lowered myself to respond to such an obvious troll as yourself. But what can I say, forms processing is very boring.

    • colin says:

      02:14pm | 23/08/12

      MD 01:00pm | 23/08/12
      Ando 01:04pm | 23/08/12

      ...and out of the woodwork they come, gnashing their teeth and beating their chests…

      Men aren’t men who stand up for women, are they..? Anyone who DARES to call for Positive Discrimination is obviously a “troll”; I mean how else could you possibly justify any MAN speaking out like that?

      But wait; no accusations of being effeminate, “Not a man” and other rantings..?

    • wakeuppls says:

      02:48pm | 23/08/12

      What, you’re saying you are a man? I always thought “colin” was a pen-name, deadset.

    • colin says:

      03:10pm | 23/08/12

      @wakeuppls 02:48pm | 23/08/12

      “What, you’re saying you are a man? I always thought “colin” was a pen-name, deadset…”

      Effeminate name-calling prediction, 1; Bogan anti-feminist, 0.

    • Ando says:

      03:26pm | 23/08/12

      You talking to Me? You seem to be arguing with yourself . Are you finding it hard to justify your original post. I applaud successful women . Its you I have a problem with.

    • Klewdo says:

      03:36pm | 23/08/12

      Your bored huh. No one has objections to people who have made achievements being acknowledged and no one cares to buy into your diatribe today.

    • dancan says:

      02:54pm | 23/08/12

      And as a sad reflection of our society, I’d bet that Snookie and kim kardashian are probably better known and looked up to, than all the women on that forbes list by young women (under 20)

    • SK_ says:

      02:56pm | 23/08/12

      Right, so this article is basically acknowledging that women can achieve whatever they want if they put their mind to it.

      Why then is every other article on here about how they are being held back by one thing or another?

    • Faith says:

      03:56pm | 23/08/12

      Because ppl love to have something to complain about! Sheesh!
      I celebrate good people, young and old who help each other, respect each other and don’t try to leech off everyone else and scream “discrimination” at the drop of a hat when things don’t go their way.

    • SK_ says:

      04:40pm | 23/08/12

      Yup, exactly right Faith. People love to scream discrimination when things don’t go their way.

      If people put as much effort into furthering their goals that they put into whinging about how they are apparently being oppressed then I’d bet they would do quite well.

      Always easier to whinge though I guess!

    • Black Dynamite says:

      03:01pm | 23/08/12

      To all the women on this list I congratulate you and have the following request:

      Make me a sammich!


    • Dan says:

      03:06pm | 23/08/12

      That is a massive fail Colin - those comments on the females in the military thread would have been prophetic, here…not so much.

    • John says:

      03:07pm | 23/08/12

      Clinton might be at the top but the difference is she made a deal with devil while the person right at bottom did not .What a narcissist sitting in first class with all the crimes she has committed, at-least she should humble her self and sit in economy and resign serving evil Obama.

    • Anubis says:

      03:09pm | 23/08/12

      Another She-Rah story from the Punch - Yawn. Nothing to see here. Just back away, slowly, slowly…

    • che says:

      04:19pm | 23/08/12

      omg I used to love Shera! I got her showbag! smile

    • Dood says:

      04:34pm | 23/08/12

      I now would like to see a top 100 men list or do women only get these lists to stoke the collective ego. There is no need for these lists as they simply reinforce the old us vs them attitudes that need to be left in history.

    • marley says:

      07:41pm | 23/08/12

      Ask, and you shall receive. Here’s Forbes List of the World’s Most Powerful People.  By the way, the publish this and similar lists rather often.



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