Merkel has been number one on the list nine out of the ten times she has appeared on it since she was elected in 2005. She is the first female chancellor of Germany and helped frame the European Union.
Merkel is in good company on the list. Following her in ranked order is Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen, Philanthropist Melinda Gates, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, GM CEO Mary Barra, U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and IBM CEO Virginia Rometty.
Yellen, the first female Federal Reserve Chair, is one of eighteen new women to make the list. Other people first timers include U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power, Bank of Russia Governor Elvira Nabiullina, Bloomberg Philanthropies CEO Patricia Harris, Chinese search giant Alibaba's Lucy Peng and SpaceX COO Gwynne Shotwell.
The women on the list are impressive but they still are in the minority. There are nine heads of state on the list, but only 14 incumbent female heads of state in the world. While 28 corporate CEOs were featured, just five percent of the world's companies have a woman in charge and only slightly more than 10 percent of the world's billionaires are women.