NEW DELHI: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has been ranked as the 34th most powerful woman in the world on Forbes's 'The World's 100 Most Powerful Women' list, leaving behind Queen Elizabeth II who is placed on the 40th spot and US President Donald Trump's daughter and advisor Ivanka Trump, who is on the 42nd spot.
Nirmala Sitharaman has also been placed ahead of New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. The ranking of the finance minister ahead of some of the most noteworthy personalities of the world depicts India's rising power globally.
India's first female finance minister, Sitharaman has also served as the country's defence minister. She 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.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel topped the Forbes 2019 list of ‘The World's 100 Most Powerful Women’, followed by President of the European Central Bank Christine Lagarde in the second spot and Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, who came third. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also appeared in the list at the 29th position.
“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.
Other Indian women who made it to the list are Roshni Nadar Malhotra, who has been placed on the 54th spot and Kiran Mazumdar Shaw at 65th spot. Rihanna at 61st spot, Beyonce Knowles at 66th spot, Taylor Swift at 71st spot, Serena Williams at 81st and Reese Witherspoon at 90th spot and Greta Thunberg at 100th spot have all been ranked below FM Sitharaman.
As CEO of HCL Corporation, Roshni is responsible for all strategic decisions for the USD 8.9 billion technology company. She 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 India's richest self-made woman and founder of the country's largest biopharmaceutical firm Biocon in 1978.