Three Massachusetts women, including two international powerhouses in finance and a prominent media executive, are among the most powerful in the world, according to a new Forbes list published Tuesday.
Fidelity Investments CEO Abigail Johnson, ViacomCBS Chairwoman Shari Redstone, and Bank of America Vice Chairman Anne Finucane made the magazine’s annual list of the world’s 100 most powerful women. They ranked #9, #24, and #36, respectively.
Johnson, who lives in Milton, took over as CEO of Fidelity when her father stepped down in 2014, and she’s been chairman since 2016. At an estimated net worth of $15 billion (and the wealthiest person in Massachusetts), Johnson is the top-ranked billionaire on the list.
Johnson’s grandfather, Edward Johnson II, founded the Boston-based financial giant in 1946. Forbes cites her 24.5% stake, which manages nearly $2.9 trillion in assets, and her embrace of cryptocurrencies in her profile.
Redstone, the daughter of media magnate Sumner Redstone, led the enormous $12 billion merger between CBS and Viacom last year and is the first woman to have such a major stake in an American media business, according to Forbes. She lives in Westwood.
Finucane, who lives in Boston, is the chairman of Bank of America Europe along with being the vice chair of the bank as a whole. Her Forbes profile highlights her role in overseeing the bank’s direction around the world and its new $2 billion bond that aims to advance racial equality.
None of the three women are newcomers to the Forbes list; in fact, Johnson has been in the top 10 every year since 2017.
The number one spot went to German chancellor Angela Merkel, who has topped the list most years since her first election in 2005 for her leadership in the European Union. Second goes to Christine Lagarde, who became president of the European Central Bank in 2019, and third is newcomer Kamala Harris, the first woman to be the vice president-elect of the United States.
Rounding out the top 10 is recent president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, philanthropist Melinda Gates, General Motors CEO Mary Barra, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, executive chairman of Santander Ana Patricia Botín, the aforementioned Abigail Johnson, and Anthem CEO Gail Boudreaux.
For the record, Queen Elizabeth II is #46 and Beyoncé is #72. Other well-known names include Oprah Winfrey at #20, Rihanna at #69, Ava DuVernay at #79, Taylor Swift at #82, and Reese Witherspoon at #92.
Forbes constructs its list using four metrics: money, media mentions, impact, and spheres of influence. Women were chosen in the fields of business, media, technology, finance, philanthropy, and politics.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story did not include Shari Redstone.
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