Changing the world requires bravery, tenacity, and a strong desire to improve things. Here are some female leaders who know just that and are leaving their mark on society.
This year’s Forbes list of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women includes women rising in power, and running countries, companies, currencies, and communities. Here are some worldwide leaders to watch out for in 2022.
Leader of the Barbados Labour Party, Mottley, is Barbados’ first female Prime Minister. MP since 1994, she has held multiple ministerial portfolios, including the post of Attorney-General of Barbados. Having served two terms as the Leader of the Opposition, she won by a historic landslide in 2018, with the Mottley-led Barbados Labour Party securing all 30 seats in the House. This is the first party to accomplish this feat, with a clear 72.8% of the popular vote (the highest share ever achieved by a party in the nation’s history). She ran on a promise of social justice in a time of deep austerity.
Najla Bouden Romdhane
Najla Bouden Romdhane went from being an engineer and a geology expert to the Arab world’s first woman leader. The 63-year-old has risen from political obscurity to become Tunisia’s 10th Prime Minister. She is the first woman ever to hold the post. Romdhane was born in 1958 in Tunisia’s Kairouan province. She served as a professor at Tunisia’s National School of Engineering, specializing in Geoscience, and holds a Ph.D. in Earthquake Engineering. In 2011, when Tunisia had just emerged from the Arab spring, Najla was appointed to the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.
Since the beginning of this year, Lynn Martin has become the second woman to run the New York Stock Exchange in its more than two centuries of history. She has taken the reins to replace Stacey Cunningham, the first woman to do so and who has led the world’s leading stock market for three and a half years. Until last January, Martin had been in charge of fixed income and data services at the parent company of the NYSE, the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), a division that employs 2,500 people and that invoiced 1,400 million dollars during the first nine months of last year.
Angela Williams is a minister and a lawyer that has served in the United States Air Force. She is also the first African American to serve as president and CEO of one of the nation’s largest nonprofit healthcare organizations. She’s had a storied career. In the mid-1980s, she served in the US Air Force as a Judge Advocate General or lawyer. Later in 2006, she served as the interfaith liaison for The Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund. In an interview with WGN News, Angela said, “my responsibility was to handle $25 million in grants to rebuild houses of worship that were devastated by the hurricane.” These experiences prepare her for the position she holds today, advocating for those with disabilities as the president and CEO of Easterseals. This nonprofit healthcare organization serves more than 1.5 million people a year.
Nemonte Nenquimo is co-founder of the indigenous-led nonprofit organization Ceibo Alliance. She is also the first president of the Waorani organization from Pastaza province, Ecuador. The activist has become one of the world’s most prominent indigenous voices protecting the Amazon from economic exploitation. In 2018, she achieved victory against the State of Ecuador through a court ruling that prohibits oil exploration in 180,000 hectares of Waorani territory in Pastaza, setting a precedent regarding indigenous rights. When an oil company, Ecuador’s main export product, proposed an exploitation project in Waorani lands, Nemonte went to protest in the streets of Quito and Puyo.