STEVE INSKEEP, host:
Forbes magazine just released its annual ranking of the 100 most powerful women. The chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, is at the top, and Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state, is number four. But most of the women on this list are in business, not government.
NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.
WENDY KAUFMAN: German Chancellor Merkel is cited for impressive leadership at two global summits and for presiding over a strong domestic economy. She is followed by Wu Yi, vice premier of China, and Singapore's first lady, Ho Ching, who heads that country's $100 billion state-owned investment firm. Rounding out the top five, Secretary of State Rice, and Indra Nooyi, CEO and chairman of PepsiCo. Others include Melinda Gates, Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton, chief executives of several multinational companies, and Oprah Winfrey.
Forbes senior editor Elizabeth MacDonald calls it an interesting list.
Ms. ELIZABETH MacDONALD (Forbes Magazine): What struck me was the rise of businesswomen from the Middle East, who also happen to be Muslims.
KAUFMAN: MacDonald says 10 Mideast women made the list, despite political and cultural pressures that often work against women.
Ms. MacDONALD: You see these women in the upper echelons, not just of retail concerns but conglomerates - energy concerns, banking companies. And you know, the Asian tigresses also came in strong. They - we have 10 women from Asia on the list as well.
KAUFMAN: American women made up 50 percent of the Forbes list. MacDonald says the women are not worrying about any glass or even concrete ceilings. They have arrived, she says, because of their intelligence, wit, integrity, focus, and drive.
Wendy Kaufman, NPR News.
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