The Most Influential Women Today

The Most Influential Women Today

The following 50 amazing women in our overall influence list span a wide range of disciplines and positions of influence, including science, business, politics, philanthropy, and more. For leaders and innovators in 21 specific fields of study, see the Table of Contents or check the listing that follows the top 50.

For the time period from 2010 to 2020, we have identified over 500 influential women in 21 fields of study and 50 women among all fields to top our list of most influential women today. To build the list, we used our machine-learning-powered InfluenceRanking™ Engine to produce a numerical score of academic achievements, merits, and citations across Wikipedia, wikidata, Crossref, Semantic Scholar and an ever-growing body of data.

Find out more about our Methodology. Note: for the purposes of our overall list, the influence of entertainers, TV personalities, and models were adjusted downward.

50 Most Influential Women Today

  1. #1

    Emmanuelle Charpentier

    1968 - Present (54 years)

    Areas of Specialization: Microbiology, Genetics
    Emmanuelle Charpentier is the Founding and Acting Director of the Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens and an Honorary Professor at Humboldt University of Berlin. She completed her undergraduate studies at the Pierre and Marie Curie University, which is now known as the Faculty of Science at Sorbonne University. She went on to earn a research doctorate from the Institut Pasteur.

    Charpentier is well known for her collaboration with Jennifer Doudna on decoding the molecular mechanisms of the CRISPR/Cas9 bacterial immune system. Her work on CRISPR has enabled scientists to edit the genome using Cas9.

    For her work on CRISPR, she has received the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award, the Gruber Foundation International Prize in Genetics, the Leibniz Prize, the Kavli Prize and the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, the Novozymes Prize, the Bijvoet Medal of the Bijvoet Center for Biomolecular Research at Utrecht University, and most recently, the Scheele Award of the Swedish Pharmaceutical Society.

  2. #2

    Malala Yousafzai

    1997 - Present (25 years)
    Malala Yousafzai , often referred to mononymously as Malala, and by her married name Malala Yousafzai Malik is a Pakistani activist for female education and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate. She is also the world’s youngest Nobel Prize laureate, and second Pakistani to ever receive a Nobel Prize. She is known for human rights advocacy, especially the education of women and children in her native Swat Valley in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, northwest Pakistan, where the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan had at times banned girls from attending school. Her advocacy has grown into an international movement, and accord...
  3. #3

    Oprah Winfrey

    1954 - Present (68 years)
    Oprah Gail Winfrey is an American talk show host, television producer, actress, author, and philanthropist. She is best known for her talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, broadcast from Chicago, which was the highest-rated television program of its kind in history and ran in national syndication for 25 years, from 1986 to 2011. Dubbed the “Queen of All Media,” she was the richest African-American of the 20th century, was once the world’s only black billionaire, and the greatest black philanthropist in U.S. history. By 2007, she was sometimes ranked as the most influential woman in the world.
  4. #4

    Christine Lagarde

    1956 - Present (66 years)
    Christine Madeleine Odette Lagarde is a French politician and lawyer who is the current president of the European Central Bank, a position she has held since 1 November 2019. Prior to this appointment and between July 2011 and September 2019, she was the managing director of the International Monetary Fund .
  5. #5

    Jennifer Doudna

    1964 - Present (58 years)

    Areas of Specialization: Biochemistry, Molecular Biology
    Jennifer Doudna is a Li Ka Shing Chancellor Chair Professor for the Department of Chemistry and Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. In addition, she has been a professor at the University of California, San Francisco and an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and senior investigator at the Gladstone Institutes. She earned a B.A. in biochemistry from Pomona College and a Ph.D. in biological chemistry and molecular pharmacology from Harvard Medical School.

    She is best known for her work with CRISPR. She, along with her colleague Emmanuelle Charpentier, were the first to suggest that genes could be edited or reprogrammed, now considered one of the most impactful discoveries ever made in the field of biology.

    For her work in gene editing, she has received numerous prestigious awards, including the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, the Gruber Prize in Genetics, the Kavli Prize in Nanoscience and in 2016, she was runner-up for the Time magazine Person of the Year, alongside her fellow CRISPR colleagues.

  6. #6

    Martha Nussbaum

    1947 - Present (75 years)

    Currently, Martha Nussbaum holds the position of Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago. Too influential to be confined to one department, Nussbaum is appointed to the faculty of both the philosophy department and the law school. As an undergraduate, Nussbaum spent two years at Wellesley College, before deciding to pursue theatre studies at New York University. After, Nussbaum completed her graduate studies and PhD at Harvard University.

    With roots in ancient philosophy and classics, Nussbaum is a significantly influential voice of feminism and liberalism. Her work draws on Aristotelianism and ancient Greek tragedy to investigate contemporary feminist theory and issues. Nussbaum also investigates the philosophy of emotion, often finding overlap between these realms, such as tying justice and ethics to questions about human flourishing. In her books Hiding from Humanity and From Disgust to Humanity, Nussbaum examined the role of shame and disgust in legal judgements and law, arguing that these notions cannot be the basis of truly just law. Similarly, in Sex and Social Justice, Nussbaum provided a feminist critique of liberalism, building on the notion of objectification, to show how sex and gender can be and is used as a tool of oppression, particularly of marginalized groups.

  7. #7

    Serena Williams

    1981 - Present (41 years)
    Serena Jameka Williams is an American professional tennis player. She has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, the most by any player in the Open Era, and the second-most of all time behind Margaret Court . The Women’s Tennis Association ranked her singles world No. 1 on eight separate occasions between 2002 and 2017. On her sixth occasion, she held the ranking for 186 consecutive weeks, tying the record set by Steffi Graf. In total, she has been WTA No. 1 for 319 weeks, which ranks third since WTA Rankings began behind Graf and Martina Navratilova. She is the only American player, male or fema...
  8. #8

    Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge

    1982 - Present (40 years)
    Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, is a member of the British royal family. Her husband, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, is second in the line of succession to the British throne, making Catherine a likely future queen consort.
  9. #9

    Fei-Fei Li

    1975 - Present (47 years)
    Fei-Fei Li is an American computer scientist. She is the Sequoia Capital Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University. Li is a Co-Director of the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence, and a Co-Director of the Stanford Vision and Learning Lab. She served as the director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory from 2013 to 2018.
  10. #10

    Zaha Hadid

    1950 - 2016 (66 years)
    Dame Zaha Mohammad Hadid was an Iraqi-British architect, artist and designer, recognised as a major figure in architecture of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Born in Baghdad, Iraq, Hadid studied mathematics as an undergraduate and then enrolled at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in 1972. In search of an alternative system to traditional architectural drawing, and influenced by Suprematism and the Russian avant-garde, Hadid adopted painting as a design tool and abstraction as an investigative principle to “reinvestigate the aborted and untested experiments of Mode...
  11. #11

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

    1989 - Present (33 years)
    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez , also known by her initials AOC, is an American politician and activist. She has served as the U.S. representative for New York’s 14th congressional district since 2019, as a member of the Democratic Party. The district includes the eastern part of the Bronx, portions of north-central Queens, and Rikers Island in New York City.
  12. #12

    Jane Goodall

    1934 - Present (88 years)
    Dame Jane Morris Goodall , formerly Baroness Jane van Lawick-Goodall, is an English primatologist and anthropologist. Seen as the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzeess, Goodall is best known for her 60-year study of social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees since she first went to Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania in 1960, where she witnessed human-like behaviours amongst chimpanzees, including armed conflict. In April 2002, she was named a UN Messenger of Peace. Goodall is an honorary member of the World Future Council.
  13. #13

    Daphne Koller

    1968 - Present (54 years)

    Areas of Specialization: Machine Learning, Artifical Intelligence, Computational Biology
    Koller is a professor of computer science at Stanford University. She received her bachelor's degree from Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1985, and her Ph.D. from Stanford in 1993. Her former students include notable computer scientists Ben Tasker, Suchi Saria, and Eran Segal.

    Koller's work focuses on probabilistic reasoning, representation, and inference with graphical models like Bayes Nets. With Stanford colleague Andrew Ng, Koller launched the online learning platform Coursera in 2012, serving as co-CEO with Ng and later as the company's president. Koller has also been active in using modern data science and statistics to improve areas of concern for us like health care. For instance, she has made important contributions to the development of techniques and software that help predict whether premature babies will have health problems. She has directed her focus on computer vision as well as computational biology toward the development of applications and systems that can help in decision making and diagnosis in medical and other industries.

  14. #14

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg

    1933 - 2020 (87 years)
    Joan Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an American lawyer and jurist who served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1993 until her death in 2020. She was nominated by President Bill Clinton to replace retiring justice Byron White, and at the time was generally viewed as a moderate consensus-builder. She eventually became part of the liberal wing of the Court as the Court shifted to the right over time. Ginsburg was the first Jewish woman and the second woman to serve on the Court, after Sandra Day O’Connor. During her tenure, Ginsburg wrote notable majority opinions, ...
  15. #15

    Ivanka Trump

    1981 - Present (41 years)
    Ivana Marie “Ivanka” Trump is an American businesswoman and the daughter of former President Donald Trump; she was a senior advisor in his administration, and also was the director of the Office of Economic Initiatives and Entrepreneurship. She is the daughter of Trump’s first wife, Ivana, and is the first Jewish member of a first family, having converted before marrying her husband, Jared Kushner.
  16. #16

    Shafi Goldwasser

    1958 - Present (64 years)

    Areas of Specialization: Computational Complexity Theory, Cryptography, Number Theory
    Shafrira "Shafi" Goldwasser is the RSA Professor of Computer Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as Professor of Mathematical Sciences at Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. She received a bachelor's degree in computer science and mathematics from Carnegie Mellon University, and a master's and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

    Goldwasser's impressive career spans many areas in computer science, including computational complexity theory, cryptography, and number theory. She has been in high demand during her impressive career in computer science, serving as chief scientist and co-founder of thr Israeli company Duality Technologies using cryptographic methods for data security, and has served as an advisor to a number of successful ventures, including companies focusing on blockchain technology, which has become hugely popular in recent years. Goldwasser is also a member of the Theory of Computation group at the world-renowned Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT. Her primary focus is on fundamental aspects of computer security, like cryptography, a topic that is of both theoretical interest in computer science and mathematics and has obvious practical applications to many industries like finance, banking, and data protection.

  17. #17

    Elizabeth Holmes

    1984 - Present (38 years)

    According to Wikipedia, Elizabeth Anne Holmes is an American former businesswoman who was the founder and chief executive of Theranos, a now-defunct health technology company. Theranos soared in valuation after the company claimed to have revolutionized blood testing by developing testing methods that could use surprisingly small volumes of blood, such as from a fingerprick. By 2015, Forbes had named Holmes the youngest and wealthiest self-made female billionaire in America on the basis of a $9-billion valuation of her company. The next year, following revelations of potential fraud about Theranos's claims, Forbes revised its estimate of Holmes's net worth to zero, and Fortune named her in its feature article on "The World's 19 Most Disappointing Leaders". Read more about Holmes in our article Even Superstar Students Need Help: The Cautionary Tale of Elizabeth Holme.

  18. #18

    J. K. Rowling

    1965 - Present (57 years)
    Joanne Rowling, , known by her pen name J. K. Rowling, is a British author, philanthropist, film producer, and screenwriter. She is the author of the Harry Potter series, which has won multiple awards and sold more than 500 million copies as of 2018, and in 2008 became the best-selling book children’s series in history. The books are the basis of a popular film series. She also writes crime fiction under the pen name Robert Galbraith.
  19. #19

    Shirin Ebadi

    1947 - Present (75 years)
    Shirin Ebadi is an Iranian political activist, lawyer, a former judge and human rights activist and founder of Defenders of Human Rights Center in Iran. On 10 October 2003, Ebadi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her significant and pioneering efforts for democracy and human rights, especially women’s, children’s, and refugee rights.
  20. #20

    Esther Duflo

    1972 - Present (50 years)

    Esther Duflo is Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She earned a B.A. from École normale supérieure in Paris, an M.A.S. from the School of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences, and a Ph.D from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    In 2019, Duflo, along with collaborators Abhijit Banerjee and Michael Kremer, were awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics for their work conducting trial experiments to alleviate poverty. She is a co-founder of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab which, with offices across the world including Paris and India, trains researchers to develop and conduct experiments to better understand the most effective development strategies.

    Her particular interest and work in India have yielded important insights into the causes and solutions of poverty. She is the director for the development economics program at the Center for Economic and Policy Research. Duflo is widely respected for her contributions to economics and her work to improve the economic status of women, and was named as one of 2012's Top 100 Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy magazine. In 2015, she received the prestigious A.SK Social Sciences Award of $200,000 from the WZB Berlin Social Sciences Center.

  21. #21

    Julia Kristeva

    1941 - Present (81 years)
    Julia Kristeva is a Bulgarian-French philosopher, literary critic, semiotician, psychoanalyst, feminist, and, most recently, novelist, who has lived in France since the mid-1960s. She is now a professor emerita at the University Paris Diderot. The author of more than 30 books, including Powers of Horror, Tales of Love, Black Sun: Depression and Melancholia, Proust and the Sense of Time, and the trilogy Female Genius, she has been awarded Commander of the Legion of Honor, Commander of the Order of Merit, the Holberg International Memorial Prize, the Hannah Arendt Prize, and the Vision 97 F...
  22. #22

    Betsy DeVos

    1958 - Present (64 years)
    Elisabeth Dee DeVos is an American politician, philanthropist, and former government official who served as the 11th United States secretary of education from 2017 to 2021. DeVos is known for her support for school choice, school voucher programs, and charter schools. She was Republican national committeewomanwoman for Michigan from 1992 to 1997 and served as chair of the Michigan Republican Party from 1996 to 2000, with reelection to the post in 2003. She has advocated for the Detroit charter school system and she is a former member of the board of the Foundation for Excellence in Education....
  23. #23

    Marissa Mayer

    1975 - Present (47 years)
    Marissa Ann Mayer is an American businesswoman and investor. She is an information technology executive, and co-founder of Sunshine Contacts. Mayer formerly served as the president and chief executive officer of Yahoo!, a position she held beginning in July 2012. It was announced in January 2017 that she would step down from the company’s board upon the sale of Yahoo!’s operating business to Verizon Communications for $4.8 billion. She did not join the newly combined company, now called Verizon Media , and she announced her resignation on June 13, 2017. She is a graduate of Stanford Universi...
  24. #24

    Margaret Atwood

    1939 - Present (83 years)
    Margaret Eleanor Atwood is a Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, teacher, environmental activist, and inventor. Since 1961, she has published 18 books of poetry, 18 novels, 11 books of non-fiction, nine collections of short fiction, eight children’s books, and two graphic novels, and a number of small press editions of both poetry and fiction. Atwood has won numerous awards and honors for her writing, including two Booker Prizes, the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Governor General’s Award, the Franz Kafka Prize, Princess of Asturias Awards, and the National Book Critics and PEN ...
  25. #25

    Gloria Steinem

    1934 - Present (88 years)
    Gloria Marie Steinem is an American feminist journalist and social political activist who became nationally recognized as a leader and a spokeswoman for the American feminist movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
  26. #26

    Donna Haraway

    1944 - Present (78 years)
    Donna J. Haraway is an American Professor Emerita in the History of Consciousness Department and Feminist Studies Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz, United States. She is a prominent scholar in the field of science and technology studies, described in the early 1990s as a “feminist and postmodernist”. Haraway is the author of numerous foundational books and essays that bring together questions of science and feminism, such as “A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century” and “Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in F...
  27. #27

    Ginni Rometty

    1957 - Present (65 years)
    Virginia Marie “Ginni” Rometty is an American business executive who served as executive chairman of IBM after stepping down as CEO on April 1, 2020. She previously served as chairman, president and CEO of IBM, becoming the first woman to head the company. She retired from IBM on December 31, 2020 after a near-40 year career at IBM. Prior to becoming president and CEO in January 2012, she first joined IBM as a systems engineer in 1981 and subsequently headed global sales, marketing, and strategy. While general manager of IBM’s global services division, in 2002 she helped negotiate IBM’s purch...
  28. #28

    Sheryl Sandberg

    1969 - Present (53 years)
    Sheryl Kara Sandberg is an American business executive, billionaire, and philanthropist. Sandberg is the chief operating officer of Meta Platforms and the founder of LeanIn.Org. In June 2012, she was elected to Facebook’s board of directors, becoming the first woman to serve on its board. Prior to joining Facebook as its COO, Sandberg was vice president of global online sales and operations at Google, and was involved in its philanthropic arm Google.org. Before that, Sandberg served as chief of staff for United States Secretary of the Treasury Lawrence Summers.
  29. #29

    Michiko Kakutani

    1955 - Present (67 years)
    Michiko Kakutani is an American literary critic and former chief book critic for The New York Times. Her awards include a Pulitzer Prize for Criticism. Biography Early life Kakutani, a Japanese American, was born on January 9, 1955, in New Haven, Connecticut. She is the only child of Yale mathematician Shizuo Kakutani and his wife Keiko Uchida. Her father was born in Japan, her mother was a second-generation Japanese-American who was raised in Berkeley, California. Michiko received her B.A. in English literature from Yale University in 1976, where she studied under author and Yale writing ...
  30. #30

    Elizabeth Blackburn

    1948 - Present (74 years)

    Elizabeth Blackburn is a researcher at the University of California at San Francisco, studying the impacts of stress on telomerase and telomeres. She is the former president of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and the first Australian woman to win a Nobel prize. She earned a bachelor of science and a master of science from the University of Melbourne. She went on to earn a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge. She is best known for her co-discovery of the telomerase, which is the enzyme that replenishes telomere. She and colleagues Carol W. Greider and Jack Szostak were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2009 for this work. Her research on telomerase has explored ways that mental health can impact physical health, investigating the impacts of meditation and social bonds.

    She has received numerous awards for her work, including the Eli Lilly Research Award for Microbiology and Immunology, California Scientist of the Year for 1999, an American Cancer Society Medal of Honor, Wiley Prize in Biomedical Sciences, and the Royal Medal of the Royal Society.

  31. #31

    Angela Davis

    1944 - Present (78 years)
    Angela Yvonne Davis is an American political activist, philosopher, academic, scholar, and author. She is a professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz. A Marxist, Davis was a longtime member of the Communist Party USA and is a founding member of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism . She is the author of over ten books on class, feminism, race, and the US prison system.
  32. #32

    Rahaf Mohammed

    2000 - Present (22 years)
    Rahaf Mohammed is a Saudi woman who was detained by Thai authorities on 5 January 2019 while transiting through Bangkok airport, en route from Kuwait to Australia. She had intended to claim asylum in Australia and escape her family who she says abused her and threatened to kill her for amongst other reasons leaving Islam, an act that is also a capital offence under Saudi law. After she had appealed for help on the social media service Twitter and thus gained significant worldwide attention, Thai authorities abandoned their plans to forcibly return her to Kuwait , and she was taken under the p...
  33. #33

    Naomi Klein

    1970 - Present (52 years)
    Naomi A. Klein is a Canadian author, social activist, and filmmaker known for her political analyses, support of ecofeminism, organized labour, left-wing politics and criticism of corporate globalization, fascism, ecofascism and capitalism. On a three-year appointment from September 2018, she was the Gloria Steinem Chair in Media, Culture, and Feminist Studies at Rutgers University.
  34. #34

    Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

    1938 - Present (84 years)
    Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is a Liberian politician who served as the 24th President of Liberia from 2006 to 2018. Sirleaf was the first elected female head of state in Africa. Sirleaf was born in Monrovia to a Gola father and Kru-German mother. She was educated at the College of West Africa. She completed her education in the United States, where she studied at Madison Business College and Harvard University. She returned to Liberia to work in William Tolbert’s government as Deputy Minister of Finance from 1971 to 1974. Later, she worked again in the West, for the World Bank in the Caribbean and ...
  35. #35

    Dina Katabi

    1970 - Present (52 years)
    Dina Katabi is the Andrew and Erna Viterbi Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT and the director of the MIT Wireless Center. Academic biography Katabi received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Damascus in 1995 and M.S and Ph.D. in Computer Science from MIT in 1998 and 2003 respectively. In 2003, Katabi joined MIT, where she holds the title of Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. She is the co-director of the MIT Center for Wireless Networks and Mobile Computing and a principal investigator at the Computer Science and ...
  36. #36

    Nasrin Sotoudeh

    1963 - Present (59 years)
    Nasrin Sotoudeh is a human rights lawyer in Iran. She has represented imprisoned Iranian opposition activists and politicians following the disputed June 2009 Iranian presidential elections as well as prisoners sentenced to death for crimes committed when they were minors. Her clients have included journalist Isa Saharkhiz, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi, and Heshmat Tabarzadi. She has also represented women arrested for appearing in public without a hijab, which is a punishable offence in Iran. Nasrin Sotoudeh was the subject of Nasrin, a 2020 documentary filmed in secret in Iran ab...
  37. #37

    Angela Merkel

    1954 - Present (68 years)
    Angela Dorothea Merkel is a German retired politician and scientist who served as the chancellor of Germany from 2005 to 2021. A member of the Christian Democratic Union , she previously served as leader of the Opposition from 2002 to 2005 and as Leader of the CDU from 2000 to 2018. Merkel was the first female chancellor of Germany. During her tenure as Chancellor, Merkel was frequently referred to as the de facto leader of the European Union and the most powerful woman in the world.
  38. #38

    Ann Coulter

    1961 - Present (61 years)
    Ann Hart Coulter is an American conservative media pundit, author, syndicated columnist, and lawyer. She became known as a media pundit in the late 1990s, appearing in print and on cable news as an outspoken critic of the Clinton administration. Her first book concerned the impeachment of Bill Clinton and sprang from her experience writing legal briefs for Paula Jones’s attorneys, as well as columns she wrote about the cases.
  39. #39

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali

    1969 - Present (53 years)
    Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a Somali-born Dutch-American activist, feminist, author, scholar and former politician. She received international attention as a critic of Islam and advocate for the rights and self-determination of Muslim women, actively opposing forced marriage, honor killing, child marriage and female genital mutilation. She has founded an organisation for the defense of women’s rights, the AHA Foundation. Ayaan Hirsi Ali works for the Hoover Institution and the American Enterprise Institute.
  40. #40

    Vivienne Westwood

    1941 - Present (81 years)
    Dame Vivienne Isabel Westwood is an English fashion designer and businesswoman, largely responsible for bringing modern punk and new wave fashions into the mainstream. Westwood came to public notice when she made clothes for Malcolm McLaren’s boutique in the King’s Road, which became known as SEX. Their ability to synthesise clothing and music shaped the 1970s UK punk scene which was dominated by McLaren’s band, the Sex Pistols. She viewed punk as a way of “seeing if one could put a spoke in the system”.
  41. #41

    Sonia Sotomayor

    1954 - Present (68 years)
    Sonia Maria Sotomayor is an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. She was nominated by President Barack Obama on May 26, 2009 and has served since August 8, 2009. She is the third woman to hold the position. Sotomayor is the first woman of color, first Hispanic, and first Latina member of the Court.
  42. #42

    Chelsea Clinton

    1980 - Present (42 years)
    Chelsea Victoria Clinton is an American writer and global health advocate. She is the only child of former U.S. President Bill Clinton and former U.S. Secretary of State and 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. She was a special correspondent for NBC News from 2011 to 2014 and now works with the Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative, including taking a prominent role at the foundation with a seat on its board.
  43. #43

    Mary Barra

    1961 - Present (61 years)
    Mary Teresa Barra is an American businesswoman who has been the chair and chief executive officer of General Motors since January 15, 2014. She is the first female CEO of a ‘Big Three’ automaker. In December 2013, GM named her to succeed Daniel Akerson as CEO. Prior to being named CEO, Barra was executive vice president of global product development, purchasing, and supply chain.
  44. #44

    Kristalina Georgieva

    1953 - Present (69 years)
    Kristalina Ivanova Georgieva-Kinova is a Bulgarian economist serving as chair and managing director of the International Monetary Fund since 2019. She was the Chief Executive of the World Bank Group from 2017 to 2019 and served as Acting President of the World Bank Group from 1 February 2019 to 8 April 2019 following the resignation of Jim Yong Kim. She previously served as Vice-President of the European Commission under Jean-Claude Juncker from 2014 to 2016.
  45. #45

    Germaine Greer

    1939 - Present (83 years)
    Germaine Greer is an Australian writer and public intellectual, regarded as one of the major voices of the radical feminist movement in the latter half of the 20th century. Specializing in English and women’s literature, she has held academic positions in England at the University of Warwick and Newnham College, Cambridge, and in the United States at the University of Tulsa. Based in the United Kingdom since 1964, she has divided her time since the 1990s between Queensland, Australia, and her home in Essex, England.
  46. #46

    Nancy Fraser

    1947 - Present (75 years)

    Nancy Fraser is a critic of contemporary liberal feminism and identity politics. She is the Henry A. and Louise Loeb Professor of Political and Social Science and professor of philosophy at The New School. She earned her B.A. in philosophy from Bryn Mawr and her Ph.D in philosophy from the City University of New York Graduate Center.

    Her work on the conceptions of justice and injustice have led her to the conclusion that justice can be viewed in two ways: distributive justice (related to equitable distribution of resources), and justice of recognition (related to recognition of identity). Likewise, injustice can be viewed as either maldistribution or misrecognition. In her view, society's recent preoccupation with the injustice of misrecognition has diverted attention and resources from the ongoing problems of maldistribution.

    Fraser has been International Research Chair in Social Justice for Collège d'études mondiales in Paris, a visiting professor in women's rights for University of Cambridge and Senior fellow for the Center for Advanced Studies, "Justitia Amplificata," in Frankfurt. She is president of the American Philosophical Association's Eastern Division. In 2018, she was honored with the Nessim Habif World Prize by The Graduate Institute, the Award for Lifetime Contribution to Critical Scholarship by the Havens Center for Social Justice at the University of Wisconsin, and the Chevalier de la Legion d'honneur.

  47. #47

    Barbara Liskov

    1939 - Present (83 years)

    Liskov (née Barbara Huberman) is a computer scientist at MIT, where she is Ford Professor of Engineering in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Institute Professor in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL), where she leads the Programming Methodology Group. One of the first women in the US to earn a PhD in computer science, Liskov was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, the eldest of four siblings. In 2008, she won the Turing Award for her invention of the Liskov substitution principle, one of only three women to win that award so far (the other two are Fran Allen and Shafi Goldwasser).

    Huberman (as she was then known) earned her bachelor's degree in mathematics from UC-Berkeley in 1961. She wanted to do graduate work in mathematics at Princeton, but at the time the university did not accept women as graduate students. While she was accepted at Berkeley, Huberman decided to accept an offer from Mitre Corporation instead. Located in Bedford, Massachusetts, one of Boston's northern suburbs, Mitre is a not-for-profit organization that acts as a liaison between federal funding agencies and cutting-edge scientific research in the private sector.

  48. #48

    Janet Yellen

    1946 - Present (76 years)
    Janet Louise Yellen is an American economist, educator and government official serving as the 78th United States secretary of the treasury since January 26, 2021. A member of the Democratic Party, she previously served as the 15th chair of the Federal Reserve from 2014 to 2018. Yellen is the first woman to hold either role. She is also a professor emerita at Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, and formerly a distinguished fellow in residence at the Brookings Institution.
  49. #49

    Vandana Shiva

    1952 - Present (70 years)
    Vandana Shiva is an Indian scholar, environmental activist, food sovereignty advocate, ecofeminist and anti-globalisation author. Based in Delhi, Shiva has written more than 20 books. She is often referred to as “Gandhi of grain” for her activism associated with the anti-GMO movement.
  50. #50

    Ada Yonath

    1939 - Present (83 years)

    Areas of Specialization: Crystallography
    Yonath is Director of the Helen and Milton A. Kimmelman Center for Biomolecular Structure and Assembly of the Weizmann Institute of Science. She received her bachelor's degree in Chemistry from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1962, her master's in biochemistry in 1964, and her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the Weizmann Institute of Science in 1968.

    Yonath is a crystallographer, a branch of chemistry that studies the arrangement of atoms in crystalline solids. Yonath has applied crystallographic techniques to the study of the ribosome, which has resulted in pioneering research in that area. In 2009, Yonath won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for her work on the structure and function of the ribosome (along with two colleagues). She became the first Israeli woman ever to win the Nobel Prize as well as the first woman in 45 years to win in the Chemistry field.

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Influential Women in Anthropology

Considered the leading hybrid of the sciences and humanities, modern anthropology necessitates an interdisciplinary approach. Among our list of women influential in anthropology today are authors, primatologists, forensics experts, and medical practitioners whose works have advanced the field and help prepare the next generation of anthropologists.

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Influential Women in Biology

Our list of influential biologists is as diverse as the field of study. These innovative women in the field of biology include virologists, neurologists, geneticists, physiologists, and pharmacologists. They are doing groundbreaking work and advancing the field, helping to prepare the next generation of biologists.

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Influential Women in Chemistry

Which women in chemistry are advancing our understanding of the field? These innovative chemists work as chemical engineers, biochemists, inventors, educators, business executives, astronauts, and more. These innovators are doing groundbreaking work and advancing the field in areas like semiconductor technology, molecular chemistry, and medicine, inspiring future chemists.

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Influential Women in Communications

Who are the women who are enriching the field of communications? Examples of top communicators include journalists, writers, editors, broadcasters, educators, and more. The legacy of these groundbreaking communications professionals will open new opportunies for women (and men) in the field.

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Influential Women in Computer Science

Our list of influential women in computer science covers educators, computer scientists, computer engineers, Turing Award winners, and more. These innovative women are doing groundbreaking work and advancing the field in areas such as artificial intelligence, speech recognition, cryptography, and data mining. Read on to get inspired by their accomplishments.

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Influential Women in Criminal Justice

Which women in criminal justice are advancing our understanding of the field? These innovative criminologists are shaping how we approach crime reduction, enhancing public safety, improving law enforcement, and working to help those trapped in a cycle of legal difficulties. They work in fields from politics to writing to forensics to even running a YouTube channel. Discover more about them.

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Influential Women in Earth Science

Our list of influential earth scientists are innovative women who are advancing our knowledge of climatology, geology, oceanography, ecology, and meteorology. They are working to help us steward our planet. Get familiar with their amazing accomplishments.

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Influential Women in Economics

Which women in economics are advancing our understanding of the field? These expert economists are shaping government, trade, business, education, and public policy. Economics touches on every aspect of our lives. Find out how these women are improving ours.

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Influential Women in Education

Who are the women who are enriching the field of education? These top educators are doing groundbreaking work to remove educational inequities and improve the quest for knowledge. They are teachers, social engineers, policymakers, and more. See how these women are paving the way for the next generation of educators.

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Influential Women in Engineering and Architecture

Engineering is a diverse field, and so are these innovative engineers. These women are designers, CEOs, semiconductor developers, astronauts, computational engineers, and much more. Their technologically advanced work is driving engineering and building design forward, while helping to inspire future women engineers and architects.

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Influential Women in History

History helps us understand where we are heading, and these historians are leading the way through their research. Political theory, social movements, cultural trends, the historical impact of women, and even mythology—discover what these women are finding in the past that will guide us into a better future.

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Influential Women in English & Literature

Who are the women who are enriching the fields of literature and the English language? These top literary scholars and English experts are educators, literary critics, writers, poets, and linguists. Get to know them and understand how their work impacts our world.

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Influential Women in Mathematics

Women continue to advance in the field of mathematics, but who are the women mathematicians everyone should know? These women are opening new venues of study for the next generation of mathematicians, researching areas such as graph theory, topology, geometry, theoretical physics, and more. Discover what secrets they are unlocking.

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Influential Women in Medicine

Our list of medical practitioners includes women in the field of medicine who are conducting research and treating patients in areas such as pharmacology, neurology, cardiology, pediatrics, plastic surgery, and more. Their accomplishments and leadership in medicine inspires women in many nations, expanding the opportunities for women physicians and medical specialists worldwide.

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Influential Women in Nursing

Which women in nursing and patient care are advancing our understanding of the field? These innovative nursing experts conduct research and address patient needs in areas such as education, pediatrics, diagnostics, trauma treatment, public policy, and more. Their work saves lives. Get familiar with them!

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Influential Women in Philosophy

Do you know the leading women in the field of philosophy? Our list of influential philosophers includes women who are helping us understand the the mind, consciousness, ethics, metaphysics, and even the sentience of animals. Discover how these women are advancing the field of philosophy.

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Influential Women in Physics

Physics is an increasingly diverse field of science, and these women are innovativing new directions and understandings. These physicists are leaders in researching dark matter, black holes, gravity waves, sound, particle physics, quantum mechanics, and the nature of reality. As STEM leaders, they are paving the way for the next generation of women in physics.

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Influential Women in Political Science

Our list explores the contributions of the leading women in political science who are trailblazers in human rights, activism, politics, diplomacy, innovations in governance, and more. The work of these political scientists affects our lives in myriad ways. Discover more about these amazing women.

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Influential Women in Psychology

Which women in psychology are advancing our knowledge of the field? These innovative pyschologists research and make discoveries in social interaction, mental disorders, personality, parapsychology, human development, and cognition. The future of how we understand ourselves is their concern. See where the work of these women is taking us.

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Influential Women in Religious Studies

Women continue to be on the forefront of religious studies, and these leaders are helping us unlock questions of the soul as they conduct research into ethics, justice, human spirituality, world religions, and the nature of the divine. See how the work of these women is leading us to better understand the metaphysical and supernatural.

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Influential Women in Social Work

Who are the women who are enriching the field of social work? These top social workers address issues in areas such as mental health, gender inequality, children’s rights, domestic violence, substance abuse, and more. These women are paving the way for the next generation of dedicated social workers.

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Influential Women in Sociology

Our list of influential sociologists promotes those women who are leaders in feminism and women’s studies, social policymaking, researching the human community, addressing inequality, childrearing, and more. See how these women are helping us to discover more about ourselve, and learn who they are as well.

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Image Credits:

Top row, left to right: Patricia Hill Collins, Emmanuelle Charpentier, Malala Yousafzai, Shafi Goldwasser, Jennifer Doudna, Fabiola Gianotti, Michiko Kakutani, Lauren Underwood.

Bottom row, left to right: Fei-Fei Li, Esther Duflo, Kathy Reichs, Nancy Fraser, Brené Brown, Judith Curry, Jill Lepore, Zaha Hadid.

Image Attributions