By pushing into new territories and inspiring women in their home countries, these globetrotters are, quite literally, taking on the world
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Fortune’s first list of the most powerful women in business, published in October 1998, didn’t set out to be an American affair. But 15 years ago few international companies promoted women to the kinds of high-profile operating and financial roles that the editors equate with business prowess. In 2001 the magazine launched a separate ranking of international power women, but that list, too, had an American expat (Marjorie Scardino of Pearson) at the top. Times have changed: Women around the world are ascending at huge companies. And American executives are more global than ever, hopping on long-haul flights in search of growth and new ideas.