The female fighters
To be honored by Forbes, listees have to undergo an entire process which takes into account the resilience and determination to go full steam ahead in defiance of social biases, the ability to spur women’s development, and the sympathy with women’s vulnerability.
All the listees as The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women of 2019 play a major role in their respective careers. They are from six categories—business (31), technology (17), finance (12), media and entertainment (14), politics and policy (22), and philanthropy (4).
In all, these most powerful women control over US$2.3 trillion in revenue and oversee nearly 6.5 million employees.
According to Moira Forbes, executive president of Forbes, the 100 most powerful women of 2019 have made impressive strides to upend traditional gender stereotypes in the past decade.
“This year’s list of World’s Most Powerful Women is a collection of innovators and instigators who are leading on the world stage to redefine traditional power structures and forge lasting impact in every industry and sphere of influence,” said Moira Forbes.
Coming first in the list is Angela Merkel, chancellor of Germany, the woman who has made such impressive strides regardless of skepticism by allies in the fight against climate change, global illegal migration and rampant terrorism.
Merkel has been named for the first place in the world’s most powerful women for nine years consecutively out of her 13 appearances in the group of the top ranks. She has also appeared 14 times in the list’s 16-year history.
Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, has returned this time ranking third. Pelosi is the most powerful woman in the world’s biggest economy, especially when she is confronting President Donald Trump in the war on impeachment. She has also announced the United States has not yet withdrawn from the Paris agreement on climate change in contrast with what President Trump has said.
Melinda Gates, wife of Bill Gates, has shown how wide gender equality has gone around the world. Co-chair and co-founder of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, she has supported millions of women and little girls the world over. Over the past decades, Melinda Gates has been ranked between third and sixth in the Forbes list.
Mary Barra, who has been GM’s CEO since 2014, is typical of women who pioneer in technology. She has made non-stop investment in electric cars, self-driving cars and ride-hailing services. Since 2014, Barra was ranked sixth in the 2019 Forbes list.
Representing women who can expose internal hidden strength is U.S. tennis star Serena Williams.
Power of the Vietnamese female billionaire
The sole listee from Vietnam, President & CEO of Vietjet Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, has been known as the country’s first self-made woman billionaire who set up an airline to bring about revolutionary changes in aviation services. Ms. Thao’s endeavor has enabled tens of millions of passengers to make their first flights out of the 100 million passengers transported by Vietjet.
Ms. Thao’s Vietjet has also fostered innovations and spurred growth in a host of companies in ground services, fuel, technology and human resources training. These changes embrace as well integration polices on Vietnam’s aviation industry. Under Ms. Thao’s leadership are nearly 30,000 employees working for two leading firms in aviation and finance-banking, Vietjet and HDBank.
The President & CEO of Vietnam’s biggest private airline gathers all the vital factors mentioned by Moira Forbes which entail creativity, determination to break barriers and pioneering spirit.
This graceful native of Hanoi has won cut-throat competition to enable latecomer Vietjet to break monopoly in the aviation industry and make the most convenient transport service available to millions of low-income earners.
However, what is meant by “power” to President & CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao is not absolute at all. The power of the self-made billionaire who owns up to US$2.7 billion is mirrored by her ability to inspire others. It is that inspiration which has encouraged women under her helm to make every effort day in day out to assume key positions in her companies. To start-up companies, Ms. Thao’s inspiration has brought them the motive for more creativeness and impetus for a start-up nation. Ms. Thao strongly believes that Vietnam will have a prosperous future which is partly propelled by the private economy and its citizens.
In the field of philanthropy, Vietjet and HDBank are good illustrations of the female billionaire’s compassion toward the needy in Vietnam.
The list of World’s 100 Most Powerful Women of 2019 marks the fourth consecutive year in which President & CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao has been selected by Forbes. In 2016, 2017 and 2018, Ms. Thao was also one of the honorees.
Furthermore, Ms. Thao was shortlisted in 2018 by Bloomberg in the Bloomberg 50. In this list, she stood alongside other male honorees who were the world’s most influential business people.
The story of Vietnam’s self-made woman billionaire has also been included in Harvard’s business textbooks.