the most influential women in the world..

27. Sophia Amoruso

Founder of Nasty Gal

Amoruso is the ultimate success story for turning an unusual hobby into a multimillion-dollar business.

She started Nasty Gal in 2006 as an eBay store selling women’s vintage clothing. Not a new concept, sure, but the college dropout showed extreme resourcefulness and business savvy in that most of the pieces she sold were found while Dumpster diving. Today the website has grown into a full-fledged online retailer with more than $100 million in sales. Inc named Amoruso to its 30 Under 30 list last year.

Probably the most amazing thing of it all is that Amoruso had never worked in fashion before Nasty Gal — she was just a well-dressed young woman with an eye for fashion. Amoruso just published her first book, #GIRLBOSS, which outlines her successful business journey and the crazy, exponential growth of her brand.

25. Dilma Rousseff

President of Brazil

Despite being one of the biggest emerging world powers, Brazil hasn’t exactly been on the up and up in recent years. But with the World Cup just around the corner, all eyes are on Brazil and its president, Dilma Rousseff. The World Cup is expected to drive people en masse to the country, which is hosting a total of 64 soccer matches in 12 cities.

The cities have all constructed state-of-the-art fields, hotels, restaurants, and other opportunities for tourists to spend money and boost the Brazilian economy. Tourists are expected to bring in about $11 billion over the one-month course of the event.

All good things for Rousseff, especially seeing as growth has been sluggish and inflation has been the increasing. Rousseff has also achieved some target financial goals since being elected, and the boost of tourism this summer could help her achieve even more.

24. Jenna Lyons

President and chief creative officer at J.Crew

Called “the woman who dresses America” by The New York Times, Jenna Lyons is credited with turning J.Crew “from ugly duckling to fashion arbiter.” Today, the brand is one of the hottest in retail with designers lining up to do collaborations. It’s thanks, in part, to her semi-androgynous style, which makes her a recognizable fixture in fashion.

As J.Crew’s chief creative officer and president, Lyons is such a creative force in the brand that she’s even rumored to be the next CEO.

Mike Coppola/Getty Images

23. Kara Swisher

Founder and co-executive editor of Re/code

The former co-executive editor of AllThingsD and now founder and co-executive editor of Re/code, a new tech site launched in January, Kara Swisher is one of the most powerful women in tech.

The outspoken tech journalist is a modern muckraker who’s not afraid to criticize the big people in tech: She called Google “dangerous and thuggish,” criticized Silicon Valley as being an all-white boys’ club, and is an advocate for women in tech.

Swisher is relentless in her investigative journalism, and she is keeping the big guys on their toes.

“I want to win a lot,” she told Tech Cocktail. “I don’t want to just win, I want to beat the people into the ground. I’m really competitive, and I’ve always been competitive as a reporter. I wouldn’t say I’m shy.”  

 

 

20. Jamila Bayaz

Kabul District 1 police chief

Afghani Col. Jamila Bayaz was appointed the country district police chief at the beginning of the year, serving in District 1 in the capital city of Kabul, making her the first female district police chief in Afghan history.

It’s a revolutionary development for a country known for being behind when it comes to treating men and women equally — in fact, women in Afghanistan can only speak to female police officers, but there are fewer than 1,600 of them.

The Taliban has expressed interest in killing Bayaz but, like Malala Yousafzai, Bayaz hopes to become a symbol of women’s rights and justice in her country.

 

 

 

 

19. Beyoncé

Grammy-winning musician

This month, Beyoncé was honored with a place on Time’s 100 most influential list and a cover on the magazine. “Beyonce doesn’t just sit at the table. She builds a better one,” wrote Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg in the singer’s profile. (Beyoncé collaborated on Sandberg’s “Ban Bossy” campaign earlier this year.)

She has 17 Grammy wins and 46 nominations under her belt, making her the third most-honored woman in the award’s history. While some say her sexual empowerment is a far cry from feminism, others laud her songs like “Run The World (Girls)” for wearing the label proudly.

Beyoncé pushed back against big-business retailers when she announced in December that the album she’d been secretly producing would be released on iTunes first. After the snub, Target and Amazon refused to stock her new album, which achieved record sales.

 

1. Janet Yellen

Federal Reserve Board Chair

Yellen was tapped to become chair the Federal Reserve at the beginning of this year — a big deal not just because of the change of hands but because few people had heard of Yellen. She’s the first woman to chair the Fed in the bank’s 100-year history.

It’s only four months into her tenure, but she’s already shown a powerful command over the markets when comments she’s made since her appointment have caused stocks to climb or tumble within minutes.

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