The world’s most powerful women

Earlier this week Forbes released their list of of the top 100 most powerful women in the world. We thought we’d highlight a few, because we think they are awesome. All of the women that made this list are incredible, so make sure to go and check out the full list.

At the top of the list was no surprise, Angela Merkel. Last summer I had the privilege of attending her welcome to the White House. It was a powerful moment to be in the presence of a woman who has topped the lists of powerful women for years. She has such class and holds herself in a way that exudes confidence and kindness at the same time. Basically, she rocks.

Hilary Clinton and Dilma Rousseff follow Merkel on the list. Both powerful women in politics and showing the world that women, too, can help run a world power country.

Melinda Gates falls in the top 5 for her role as co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. That’s a power couple right there and we love how she is just as smart and powerful as her husband.

This year the list included women from around the globe, showing how women are powerful in countries all over the world. It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come and that this trend is not slowing down.

Behind Every Great Company: A Great Woman

Irene Rosenfeld: CEO of Kraft

Not many people know who the CEO’s of the major corporations are, and even less know how many of them are women. Here are some examples of women leading some big name brands. FORTUNE has created a list of the fifty most powerful women in business for the year 2011 and here are a few selections from that list.

The number six most powerful woman in business is the leader of Avon Products, Andrea Jung. She has been in charge of the company for over 12 years, which makes her the longest-serving female as a CEO of a Fortune 500 company. That is a feat in itself! The company has been in existence for upwards of 125 years and their sales average over $11 billion. Quite the business and quite the woman.

Ranked number one is the CEO of Kraft Foods. Kraft owns brands such as Trident, Cadbury, Capri Sun, Jell-O, Nilla, and Ritz among others. Her name is Irene Rosenfeld and she is the most powerful woman in business, as of last year. She controls a huge amount of America’s processed food consumption and has for a few years now. She decided to split the company recently and will remain CEO until the leadership of the two companies is sorted out. Her leadership of Kraft moved her from the number two spot on the list to the number one.

Ursula Burns is a name that you are not very likely to know, but she is a woman who knows how to take control of her future. She is the Chairman and CEO of Xerox. She is ranked number eight on our list and rightly so. She recently closed the company’s biggest deal, the total was over six billion dollars. Imagine having the power to deal with that amount of money! She knows how to control herself and the company that she is under.

There are so many more women that show their strength in business and leadership. We have left the stigma of women that was built in the early twentieth century and women are now in charge of a field that was originally only for men. Women are wearing the pantsuits now and that is not something that is likely to change soon. Gender means nothing anymore, a person of either gender can decide that they want to be a stay at home parent of a CEO of a major corporation. Women can even become president of the United States now, and people would not look twice. This is an era of opportunity and it is up to the individual to seize that.