Special Report

The Most Influential Women of the 21st Century

Source: gaelx / Flickr

Judith Butler
> Area of influence: Activism
> Wikipedia pageviews (2 yr.): 754,640

Judith Butler is a philosopher and gender theorist who has written influential books on feminist and gay topics. Her books, such as “Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity” and “Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of Sex,” challenge conventions about gender.

Source: Pool / Getty Images

Angela Merkel
> Area of influence: Politics
> Wikipedia pageviews (2 yr.): 4,795,834

Germany’s first female chancellor has led Europe’s most populous nation since 2005. Angela Merkel is a staunch supporter of the European Union and is credited with holding it together during the eurozone debt-crisis years. She has been seen as a polarizing figure, particularly in her handling of the refugee crisis in 2015 and 2016.

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Beyonce
> Area of influence: Entertainment
> Wikipedia pageviews (2 yr.): 12,624,794

Beyonce has more Grammy nominations, 66, than any other female performer, and she has won 22 times. She is an icon for feminism and for African American culture. She dipped her toe into politics at Super Bowl 50, when she had her backup singers dress in black with black berets and afros to protest racial injustice.

Source: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Christine Lagarde
> Area of influence: Finance
> Wikipedia pageviews (2 yr.): 714,633

Christine Lagarde is the first female managing director of the International Monetary Fund, and she has helmed the IMF since 2011. Over that time, Lagarde has helped the international community manage the eurozone debt crisis and the possibility of a trade war between the United States and China, the world’s two largest economies.

Source: Eco Wave Power / Wikimedia Commons

Inna Braverman
> Area of influence: Energy
> Wikipedia pageviews (2 yr.): 3,740

Israeli entrepreneur Inna Braverman is the co-founder of Eco Wave Power, a company that is using the power of oceanic waves to produce clean energy. Braverman designed and created a commercially feasible wave energy plant in Gibraltar that supplies 15% of the British territory’s electricity. Braverman, who survived the Chernobyl nuclear accident when she was an infant, opened her first power plant in Jaffa, Israel, when she was 26 years old.