Meet the most powerful Latinas in the world, according to Forbes
If we were worth that much, we’d be smiling that big, too.
Behold Forbes’ Top 100 Most Powerful Women of 2012…
Covering the spectrum from politics, business, and entertainment, the group is led by Germany’s Angela Merkel whose ability to keep Europe from collapsing is admirable. Hillary Clinton follows as the most-traveled Secretary of State the U.S has ever had, yielding the spotlight to the highest-ranking Latina on the list: President Dilma Rousseff.
Latinas, we might say, are not as abundant in the list as we’d have it be (where’s Eva Longoria, for instance?), but the ones who make it are undisputed icons in their fields.
Here are the ones who made the cut, in order of appearance and numbered in accordance to the world scale:
#3 Dilma Rousseff- President of Brazil, the 6th largest economy in the world
Power- wielding move: fighting for Brazil’s people to create a “Brazil without Misery” through non-popular policies that are being slow in turning results- for her popularity’s demise. The Great-Society model grants funds to target institutions and programs to boost entrepreneurship but red-tape still permeates and slows down the system.
Despite criticism on the market response to her policies, President Rouseff has remained firm to her convictions of a Great-society model. Brazil still forecasts its GDP to grow by 4.5% next year.
Keep an eye out: She will be in charge of getting the country ready for the World Cup in 2014.
#16 Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner- President of Argentina
Power- wielding move: the jaw-dropping expropriation of the oil company YPF from Spain’s Repsol, a bold maneuver to take control of the country’s national resources. Carlos Slim invested on a 8.4% stake on the venture. He was likely content to see the company soar at this.
Keep an eye out: She is disputing the ownership of the Malvinas- Falkan- islands with Britain. Her last attempt at the G-20 to engage in negotiation talks ended up in PM Cameron turning his back on her. As expected, this has not deterred her efforts.
#20 Maria das Gracas Silva- Brazilian Oil Tycoon
Power wielding move: Maria was appointed as CEO of Petrobras by President Rousseff on February 2012 and has since engaged on an executive house-cleaning. So far she has replaced the politically connected with leaders considered to actually have the technical skills to run their divisions, as reported by Reuters.
Keep an eye out: She took over International Operations following the resignation of the head of the unit this last July .
#38 Jennifer Lopez- Nuyorican Multihyphenate
Power wielding move: Her Coty fragrance empire alone is something to marvel at, exceeding $2 billion and totaling 18 perfumes. Then there are her endorsement deals (last year, she scored deals with Tous, Gillete Venus, Fiat, Harman Kardon, and L’Oreal Paris). She stays as much behind the scenes as she does in front, via her Nuyorican Productions company, and always demands a pretty penny for it.
Keep an eye out: She just signed with CAA, noting that she wants to focus on music and movies again. Her stepping down from her judging gig on American Idol (for which she was paid $20 million to return for a second season) was a sign she’d be returning to her first loves. And she’ll also be expanding her clothing line at Kohl’s.
#40 Shakira- Colombian Entertainer/World Changer
Power wielding move: Shakira is so influential, even President Obama recognizes her importance, by appointing her to his special education commission. She’s also the 7th most followed person on Twitter (almost 18 million followers and counting).
Keep an eye out: She’s currently in the studio recording her next studio album. Taking a cue from J.Lo, she’ll continue to add to her fragrance empire, too. All that while potentially being pregnant with her first baby with handsome beau, Gerard Pique.
#54 Rosalia Mera- Spanish Entrepreneur
Power wielding move: Ms. Mera, seldom makes it into the news, but she is the richest woman in Spain. She co-founded Indetex, the parent company of clothing retailer Zara with her husband and the Fundacion Paideia for the disabled which she still runs. Zara is the third largest retailer in the world right after GAP and H&M. She also belongs to different business investment groups and has contributed to research in pharmaceutical companies that focus on a cure for cancer.
Keep an eye out: She recently inaugurated the most luxurious hotel in London, the Bvlgari.
#75 Sofia Vergara- Colombian Actress/Producer/Walking Corporation
Power wielding move: She’s been around for years, but it was her Emmy-nominated role in ABC’s Modern Family that launched her into becoming the living stereotype of the glamorous, loud Latina. Not that she cares. And why should she? Her star is only rising, as proven by this Forbes cover story all about her as the perfect representation of the trillion-dollar Latino market that brands such as Pepsi, Burger King, and CoverGirl (for which she’s a spokesperson) are after. Her net worth in 2011? $19 million ($12 million of that comes from endorsement deals), making her the highest paid Latina on TV.
Keep an eye out: Besides negotiating a raise for a fourth season of Modern Family, she’ll play a dominatrix in Robert Rodriguez’s Machete Kills, has got her own production company, her own YouTube channel, and owns a clothing line at Kmart. That, of course, in addition to all the endorsement deals she’s likely to score in 2013. Cha-ching!
#83 Gisele Bundchen- Brazilian Supermodel
Power wielding move: She’s the highest-paid model in the world, earning an astounding $45 million in endorsements and commercials. As Forbes puts it, “she racks up modeling gigs, spokesperson deals, and independent licensing ventures at every turn.” The veritable endorsement queen shills for brands such as Pantene, Esprit, and Versace, and makes a percentage of profits on Ipanema flip-flops and other products bearing her name.
Keep an eye out: She just confirmed a second baby on the way with husband Tom Brady.
A constant across our Latinas is their use of the renown and power within their industries to expand their influence and create other opportunities across the spectrum. Something we could definitely ponder on and align with our own experiences.
Do you agree with this list or do you think Forbes missed out on other Latina powerhouses?