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Samsung's Lee Boo-Jin Is the Only S. Korean among World's 100 Most Powerful Women
Lee Boo-Jin, president and CEO of Shilla Hotel in Seoul

NEW YORK (Dec. 4, 2018) – Forbes today announced the 2018 list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. In the 15th year of the annual list, German Chancellor Angela Merkel again retains the top spot for the eighth consecutive year, and 13 times in total.

She is followed by U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, who for the second year in a row has retained the No. 2 spot on the list in the midst of her leadership through Brexit. May is followed by International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde (No. 3), General Motors CEO Mary Barra (No. 4), and Fidelity Investments CEO Abigail Johnson (No. 5).

Samsung Group's Lee Boo-Jin was the only South Korean included in the Forbes' 2018 list of World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. She was placed at 86 on the list. She serves as president and CEO of Hotel Shilla of Samsung Business Group.

“Forbes’ Most Powerful Women 2018 list reflects what is always known about power, how ephemeral it is and how volatile it can be,” says Moira Forbes, Executive Vice President, Forbes Media. “The world’s most powerful women are leading amidst a tumultuous time where geopolitical tensions are on the rise, key economies are facing instability, and where trust in institutions is at an all-time low.”

Click the photo for large one

The 100 women on the list are women who are building billion-dollar brands, calling the shots in the financial markets, crisscrossing the globe to broker international agreements, and provide aid to those in need. Their accomplishments are formidable on their own, and even more so given how difficult it can be to establish inroads into industries and job titles traditionally dominated by men, especially in tech, venture capital, and Hollywood.

They are builders, disruptors, and innovators in every sector from business to creative worlds, taking a modern, forward-looking view on power and using their positions to better the world. Members of the 2018 Most Powerful Women list represent women in six categories: business (27 honorees), technology (18), finance (12), media & entertainment (16), politics & policy (22), and philanthropy (5). In total, the Power Women control or influence nearly $2 trillion in revenues and oversee 5 million employees.

The 2018 list spans more than six generations of influential women, with Taylor Swift the youngest honoree at 28 and Queen Elizabeth II the oldest at 92. The list also includes siblings for the first time – Anne and Susan Wojcicki of 23andMe and YouTube respectively. North America represents 50 women on the list, Asia Pacific 22, Europe (inclusive of Russia and Turkey) 17, the United Kingdom 7, the Middle East 3, one in Africa.

Nineteen women have made their debut on Forbes’ World’s Most Powerful Women list this year. Notable newcomers include Ana Brnabić, Prime Minister of Serbia, Serena Williams, tennis superstar and clothing designer, Shonda Rhimes, television producer and showrunner of programs including Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, Maggie Wei Wu, CFO of Alibaba Group, and Shari Redstone, Vice Chair of CBS & Viacom.

Notably, Hillary Clinton, who descended 63 spots in the ranks in 2017 at No. 65, did not appear on the list in 2018 for the first time since its inception in 2004. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg also dropped out of the top 10 in 2018 rankings for the first time since her list debut in 2010, falling to spot No. 11. First Daughter and Advisor to President Donald Trump Ivanka Trump remained in the top 25, but fell three spots as well to No. 21.

For the complete ranking, methodology, videos and more, visit


Members of the 2018 ranking represent women in six categories - business, technology, finance, media & entertainment, politics & policy, and philanthropy. To determine the rank within each category, as well as overall rank on the list of 100, Forbes applied four metrics: money, media, impact, and spheres of influence.
Follow Forbes on Twitter @Forbes
Join the conversation on social, using: #PowerWomen
Forbes Media Contact: Christina Vega at or 212.206.5155

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