Forbes list: Swiss president among world’s most powerful women

The veteran politician has appeared regularly in front of the press as part of the government's efforts to manage the coronavirus pandemic. Keystone / Peter Klaunzer

Simonetta Sommaruga took 56th place in the magazine’s annual ranking of the 100 most influential women on the globe, which was published this week.

This content was published on December 10, 2020 - 17:24

The Swiss politician placed ahead of Danish prime minister Mette Frederiksen (75), Finnish prime minister Sanna Marin (85) and pop icon Beyoncé (72), but well behind German chancellor Angela Merkel, who topped the list. Christine Lagarde, head of the European Central Bank, and US vice-president elect Kamala Harris rounded out the top three.

The American business magazine applied four metrics – money, impact, spheres of influence and media mentions – to determine the 17th edition of the ranking. It also considered how the women responded to challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Swiss president has been highly visible as part of the government’s efforts to manage the health crisis, listening to and reassuring the population, Swiss public television RTS pointed out.

Other women leaders who have been praised for their handling of the pandemic also appeared on the list, including New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern (32) and Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen (37).

Sommaruga has been a member of the government’s executive body, the Federal Council, since 2010. She last held the Swiss rotating presidency in 2015. The veteran politician will hand the position over to economics minister Guy Parmelin in 2021.

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