Maria Ramos, group chief executive of Absa, and Nonkululeko Nyembezi-Heita, chief executive of ArcelorMittal SA, are the only South Africans named in Forbes Magazine’s most powerful women in the world survey released on Wednesday.
Nyembezi-Heita’s company website states that she was appointed chief executive and member of the board in 2008. She was number 97 on the top 100 list.
Nyembezi-Heita was the chief officer for mergers and acquisitions at Vodacom and prior to that, she was chief executive of Alliance Capital Management and chairman of Alliance Capital Namibia.
Ramos, 52, was listed as a member of the board of directors and an executive director of Absa and ranked at 93.
She is also a non-executive director of Richemont SA; a member of the International Business Council’s executive committee; a member of the World Bank chief economist advisory panel and a member of Business Leadership SA.
She was previously the director-general of the National Treasury and chief executive of Transnet.
The world’s most powerful women, according to Forbes’ annual survey, were German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Following the two stateswomen in the 2012 rankings was Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff.
The rankings are determined by calculating wealth, media presence and overall impact.
The 100 women come from a total of 28 countries and have an average age of 55.
Sixteen women enter the list for the first time, including singer Jennifer Lopez, former US Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, Meg Whitman of HP and Marissa Mayer of Yahoo.
Lady Gaga, the pop singer, makes it to 14 and at 26 is the youngest. The oldest, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, who is 86, ranks at number 26.
Others in the top tier include US first lady Michelle Obama at seven, and Indian politician Sonia Gandhi at six. The first female executive editor of The New York Times, Jill Abramson, is at five. - The Mercury