Ardern ranked 29th ‘most powerful woman’ in 2018

Forbes have ranked New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as the 29th most powerful woman in the world for 2018. While Ardern obviously has significant power in New Zealand her world-wide power is not obvious to me.

And ‘power’ is not necessarily a positive – Theresa May is ranked second. She seems to have the power to make a mess of things in the UK, and this has major implications for Europe in particular.

Forbes: Power Women 2018

Change is rippling through the business, tech, entertainment, philanthropical and political spheres alike. The 2018 World’s 100 Most Powerful Women list celebrates the icons, innovators and instigators who are using their voice to change power structures and create a lasting impact.

This year, the 15th annual list welcomes 20 newcomers, but what’s notable is who’s moved out, up and down, making way for emerging leaders who are redefining the chief seat and bringing others along with them. We see more change ahead.

It isn’t surprising to see Angela Merkel ranked number 1 – but she recently indicated she won’t stand again for leadership in Germany.

I haven’t heard of most women on the list. Here are some:

  1. Angela Merkel (Germany)
  2. Theresa May (UK)
  3. Christine Lagarde (France)
  4. Mary Barra (USA)
  5. Abigail Johnson (USA)
  6. Melinda Gates (USA)
  7. Susan Wojcicki (USA)
  8. Ana Patricia Botín (Spain)
  9. Marillyn Hewson (USA)
  10. Ginni Rometty (USA)

A few further down:

2. Oprah Winfrey (USA)

23 Queen Elizabeth II (UK)

24. Ivanka Trump (USA)

29. Jacinda Ardern (New Zealand)

30. Gina Rinehart(Australia)

The blurb on Ardern:

“New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern continues to be a fresh voice, advocating for families and normalising working parenthood by bringing her daughter and stay-at-home partner to the UN General Assembly”

  • Ardern set new norms as a government leader when she gave birth, took six weeks maternity leave and shared that her partner will be a stay-at-home dad.
  • She said she is using her platform to “create a path for other women” to follow in her footsteps.
  • Rising to power on a tide of “Jacindamania,” at 38, she is the youngest female leader in the world and New Zealand’s youngest PM in 150 years.
  • As leader of the Labour Party, she promises an “empathetic” government, with ambitious plans to tackle climate change and child poverty.
  • In July she announced welfare reforms including a weekly stipend for new parents and an increase in paid parental leave from 18 to 22 weeks.

However Ardern is being criticised in New Zealand for her actions not coming close to living up to her rhetoric.

Helen Clark has been ranked on the list over the years…

  • 2004 – 43rd
  • 2016 – 22nd (most powerful woman in the United Nations)

…but dropped right off it in 2017.

NZ Herald: Jacinda Ardern named among world’s most powerful women

Ardern is one spot higher than Australia’s richest citizen Gina Rinehart, and above some big names such as Beyonce, at number 50, and Taylor Swift, at number 68. Queen Elizabeth is just spots above her at number 23.

Funny that NZH should compare Ardern to celebrities.

Also featured on the list at number 91 is Ana Brnabic, the first female and first openly gay Prime Minister of Serbia, and Zewde Sahle-Work at number 97, the first female president of Ethiopia.

But Serbia (population 7 million) and Ethiopia (population 105 million) are in parts of the world that aren’t so important to a US magazine.


Leave a comment


  1. duperez

     /  6th December 2018

    These Forbes ranking things are straight out of the ‘get a life’ category. They’re as silly as comparing sportspeople by their totally disparate deeds in different parts of the world in unique circumstances and ranking them as if the list had real meaning.

    • Gezza

       /  6th December 2018

      You are spot on with that one, dupers. And aren’t they completely – & inexplicably – overlooking wotsername who married Prince Harry and who, in the opinion of millions, ought to be top of the list?

      • Gezza

         /  6th December 2018

        *Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (soz, forgot – I don’t read women’s mags as often these days)

        • Gezza

           /  6th December 2018

          Dunno what the downtick’s for. Half the population of the world is women. If it’s just because I forgot her name I corrected that as soon as I’d googled “Prince Harry married”. o_O

        • Blazer

           /  6th December 2018

          nice video…looks like an excerpt from a period drama from Victorian times.

  2. Maggy Wassilieff

     /  6th December 2018

    Oh Gosh, the Chinese Government overlooked our Powerful PM.

    It wasn’t the fact that Jacinda Ardern did not seal a visit to China in her first year as Prime Minister that raises questions about the state of New Zealand’s relationship with the rising superpower.

    It is the way she was treated by China, left dangling, not knowing through most of November whether or not the nod would come for an end-of-year visit.

  3. Kitty Catkin

     /  6th December 2018

    Thank you, Jacinda, but women don’t need you to open the path for them; how patronising that is. We have had two PMs, so you are not the first. You are nowhere near the first one ever, although one might not think it. How on earth do you think that women managed to achieve anything before you came along ?

    Women can be far more condescending and patronising to other women than any man could ever be.

    • robertguyton

       /  6th December 2018

      “Women can be far more condescending and patronising to other women than any man could ever be.”

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  7th December 2018

        If one more person says that my great-aunt the doctor must have been the only girl in her class, I will not be responsible for my actions, and it’s always women who say it.

        A woman I know said condescendingly that Stirling Moss probably let another great-aunt beat him; highly likely, I DON’T think. What an insult to her, to assume that she couldn’t take on someone like that in a race; she was racing at Brand’s Hatch and the other famous one and won every major car rally in Canada. One doesn’t normally notice the way that someone drives, but I did with her; the car was part of her.


Leave a Reply to Kitty Catkin Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: