Bratislava, Slovakia – Slovak President Zuzana Caputova has been ranked as one of the most powerful women in the world by Forbes.
Ranked 80th in the U.S. magazine’s annual list of the world’s top 100 most powerful female leaders, Zuzana Caputova, aged 46, became Slovakia’s youngest and first female president in history earlier this year.
A former environmental, anti-corruption lawyer and activist, she rose to prominence in the wake of the murder, last year, of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancee, taking center stage in the wave of public anger and mass protests that forced then-Prime Minister Robert Fico to resign.
Elected on a progressive and liberal platform, Zuzana Caputova vowed to make the fight against corruption, the transparency of the country’s judicial system and the respect of the rights of minorities of all kinds the pillars of her five-year term.
Although the president doesn’t wield much day-to-day power in Slovakia, her shock victory, last March, against the ruling party’s nominee represented a beacon of hope for many in Central Europe, weary of the region’s slide towards far-right populism, authoritarianism and nationalist fear-mongering. Zuzana Caputova is the only public figure from Central Europe to make Forbes’ 2019 ranking.
According to Forbes, here are the top 10 most powerful women in the world in 2019:
- Angela Merkel – German chancellor (Germany)
- Christine Lagarde – European Central Bank governor (France)
- Nancy Pelosi – Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives (U.S.)
- Ursula von der Leyen – EU Commission President (Germany)
- Mary Barra – CEO of General Motors (U.S.)
- Melinda Gates – Co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (U.S.)
- Abigail Johnson – CEO of Fidelity Investments (U.S.)
- Ana Patricia Botin – Executive chairman of Santander (Spain)
- Ginni Rometty – CEO of IBM (U.S.)
- Marillyn Hewson – CEO of Lockheed Martin (U.S.)
Other well-known female leaders who also made the list this year include Sheryl Sandberg (18th), Oprah Winfrey (20th), Queen Elizabeth II (40th), Ivanka Trump (42nd), Rihanna (61st), Beyoncé (66th), Taylor Swift (71st), Serena Williams (81st), Reese Witherspoon (90th) and Greta Thunberg (100th).
Nearly half of this year’s nominees come from the United States.