Three Women of Caribbean Heritage Included on Forbes 2023 Power Women List

Three women of Caribbean descent have been named to the 2023 Forbes magazine list of the 100 most powerful women in the world. The women are United States Vice President Kamala Harris, musician and entrepreneur Rihanna, and Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley. The Forbes Power List was compiled on the basis of four elements: money, media, impact, and spheres of influence. The ranking of political leaders was based on gross domestic product and population, while corporate leaders were ranked according to revenues, valuations, and number of employees. Mentions of the leaders in the media and their social reach were analyzed for all the women.

Three Women of Caribbean Heritage Included on Forbes 2023 Power Women List 2

Number 3: Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris became the first Black person and the first South Asian American person to become the Vice President of the United States on January 20, 2021. Her career has been marked with firsts. She was the first Indian American woman elected to the US Senate in 2016, and in 2010, she was the first African American individual and the first woman to become the Attorney General of the State of California. Harris was born in Oakland, California, to immigrant parents. Her mother is from India, and her father is from Jamaica. Harris, who attended Howard University, is the first graduate of a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) to become the US Vice President.

Number 74: Rihanna

Rihanna, who has been called the “most famous export” of Barbados, is a superstar singer and a billionaire. The success of Fenty Beauty, the line of cosmetics she co-owns with LVMH, a French luxury retailer, doubled its revenues in 2022. She also owns 30 percent of the Savage x Fenty lingerie line, which had a valuation of $1 billion in 2021. Rihanna made her first appearance at a Super Bowl halftime show in 2023, revealing her second pregnancy. In 2022, she released her first new songs since 2017 for the blockbuster film “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” and her song “Lift Me Up” received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song.

Number 99: Mia Mottley

Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley was elected in 2018, becoming the first woman to serve in that role. She has become a world leader on climate change issues, and in 2021, she urged immediate action on the matter in a strong speech delivered to the United Nations General Assembly. Later in the year, the UN Environment Program called Mottley a “champion of the Earth” for policy leadership. Under Mottley’s leadership, Barbados removed the Queen of England as head of state and became a parliamentary republic. Mottley had previously served as Minister of Education, Youth Affairs, and Culture for Barbados, being appointed in 1994.

What women want

The 100 women in the Forbes ranking are influencing the products, policies, and political issues of the world in 2023. The political battles involve reproductive rights for women in the United States, girls’ access to education in Afghanistan, personal rights in Iran, protection against gender-based violence in Ukraine and Gaza, and climate change policy and actions that protect the health and lives of women in lower-income and agriculturally-based economies. As philanthropist Melinda French Gates stated to Forbes, women have not achieved the kind of success necessary to alter conditions yet, but if enough women get into positions of power throughout the world, things will start to change.

Top 5 Ranked of 2023 Ranked by Forbes

The top five power women on Forbes 2023 list, in order, are President of the European Commission, European Union, Ursula von der Leyen, 65, of Belgium; President of the European Central Bank, Christine Lagarde, 67, of Germany; Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris, 59, of the United States; Prime Minister of Italy, Giorgia Melon, 46, of Italy; and Musician Taylor Swift, 33, of the United States.

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