The trio at the top of annual list of the 100 most powerful women in the world hold traditional positions of power of the kind that until recently were all-male preserves, the magazine said. Two others in the Top 10, Melinda Gates at No. 4 and Michelle Obama at No. 7, became powerful by marrying men who attained high positions and used that base to become powerful themselves.
Others in the Top 10 include Jill Abramson, managing editor of The New York Times at No. 5; Sonia Gandhi, widow of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and now a political force in India herself, No. 6; Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, No. 8; U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, No. 9; and Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, No. 10.
Oprah Winfrey in the No. 11 position was the highest-ranking figure from entertainment this year. Winfrey combines power as an entertainer who has created a media empire and as a philanthropist.
This year's list also includes 25 chief executive officers, seven of them newly appointed to the position.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, a decidedly constitutional monarch, is in the No. 26 spot, 12 places behind U.S. pop singer Lady Gaga and just ahead of Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, conservative wife turned liberal media entrepreneur Arianna Huffington and Nancy Pelosi, minority leader of the U.S. House of Representatives.
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