It's not just about being rich and powerful
Forbes released its “100 Most Powerful Women” list today and as expected, it’s filled with familiar female faces from around the world. Forbes determined their annual ranking by looking at each candidate’s net worth, mentions in the media and influence in a particular sphere. If you’re vying to make the list yourself one day, here’s a few things you can do to bulk up your resume:
1. Be in the U.S. tech industry
This one’s obvious: Every year, Silicon Valley seems to wield more money, power and influence. Female tech icons like Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook), Marissa Mayer (Yahoo), Virginia Rometty (IBM) and Susan Wojcicki (Google/YouTube) are bound to not only make the list, but be close to the top. So get on board with the next big startup now and secure a leadership position.
2. Become an international world leader
Another easy way to rise to power: Control a country and/or influence the international economy. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, and Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, placed high on this year’s list because of their influence on the global economy. President of Brazil Dilma Rousseff, Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, First Lady Michelle Obama, President of South Korea Geun-hye Park and President of Argentina Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner also made the top 20 because of their political sway.
3. Have a lot of money
This is a Forbes list, after all. Billionaires on the list range from Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg to media mogul Oprah Winfrey to Laurene Powell Jobs — wife of the late Steve Jobs — to Gina Rinehart, an Australian mining heiress and the fifth-richest woman in the world, to Zhang Xin, who founded SOHO China with her husband.
4. Diversify your empire
Sure, Beyoncé could settle for being the most powerful female singer in the world or Oprah could be the most popular talk show host in the world. But why stop there? The key to really making it big is investing in a number of different sectors to maximize influence and build an empire. If you wondered why Sofia Vergara made the list this year when she earns the same as her Modern Family co-stars — $175,000 per episode — it’s because the bulk of her income comes from endorsement and licensing deals, like her clothing line at Kmart. Same goes for using your money and power for good: Angelina Jolie, Belinda Gates and Diane von Furstenberg have all used their influence to become leaders in philanthropy.
5. Have a huge social media footprint
It doesn’t matter if you have money and power if nobody is listening to what you have to say. That’s why the number of Twitter or Facebook followers you have matters so much. Part of Shakira’s strength comes from her social media following: She’s the “most liked” person on all of Facebook with 93 million followers. Yao Chen, China’s most popular romantic comedy actress, has 66 million followers on Weibo (China’s version of Twitter). That’s a long reach.