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How to get on the Forbes Most Powerful Women list

Go into politics, become a CEO or start taking singing lessons

By Andrea Tim | Published: 27 May 2015

Most Powerful Women
Photo: The Federal Chancellor

What do you have in common with the people on the 2015 Forbes Most Powerful Women list? You are a girl, or a woman (probably). And there is nothing standing between you and changing the world so that you make it onto the list one day. Let's take a look at how to get there.

There are 21 politicians, 7 entertainers (actresses and singers), 14 businesswomen, 10 media moguls (topped by, you guessed it, Oprah Winfrey) and 11 philanthropists on the 2015 list released yesterday. In the Top 25 alone, 11 are executives of multinational companies – ranging from technology to food and beverage – so that's definitely an occupation to aim for.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel tops the list for the second year in a row. US Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton could overtake her next year once elections begin, but for now, the 67-year-old American takes second place. Politicians are natural leaders – it's no wonder they lead the list.

The world's all about technology right now, so no suprise that tech heads figured strongly. Among the 18 bosses of technology-related companies on the list were Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg (#8), YouTube's Susan Wojcicki (#9), IBM's Virginia Rometty (#13) and HP's Meg Whitman (#14). It really is time to learn how to code.

If you'd like a profession in fashion, look to designers Tory Burch, Diane von Furstenberg, Miuccia Prada and Sara Blakely for inspiration; they all rank between 73 and 91. Or create something even more revolutionary than Sara's Spanx to succeed (good luck).

If entertainment is more your thing, we'll leave you with fair warning. You need to best Beyoncé (#21), Ellen DeGeneres (#50), Angelina Jolie (#39), Sofia Vergara (#57), Taylor Swift (#64), Shakira (#81) and Yao Chen (#82).

The best part about all this is that it doesn't necessarily take forever for you to reach your career goals. Taylor Swift started young – with plenty of help from her parents and at least 31 million devoted fans – and now at just 25 years old she is the youngest woman to make the 2015 list.

Just as being too young shouldn't stop you, being 'too old' definitely isn't an excuse either. Queen Elizabeth II, the world's oldest reigning monarch, ranks 41st and come 9 September, will surpass Queen Victoria as the longest-reigning British sovereign. The downside? You need to be born into a job like hers.

See the full Forbes Most Powerful Women list here.

Related: Badass women: 22 May 2015


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