With the Bush administration clock ticking away, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is the only other government official in the top 10, although she dropped three spots from last year to No 7. The rest of the top 10 is made up of the chief executives of PepsiCo, WellPoint, Anglo American, Kraft Foods, Temasek Holdings, Areva and Xerox.
"It is inspiring to look at what some of these women have done and to listen to some of their life stories," Chana Schoenberger, Forbes' associate editor.
Forbes said 45 per cent of the women are based outside the United States. One third of the women are new to the list, including Argentina's first popularly elected president Cristina Fernandez and Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, chief executive of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
A drop out of a lot of women from the list this year was due to job-realted reason, Schoenberger added.