• Entertainment
  • Updated: December 12, 2021

11 Black Women Who Made Forbes' Most Powerful List For 2021

Every year, Forbes reveals the names of women who have impacted the world in several ways. Riddled with some of the most notable females on the planet, it's a list of the most powerful and influential.

This year's list consists of ten black women whose efforts have not gone unnoticed and whose inclusion in the power list is as deserving as it is noteworthy.

Below are the ten black women and the position they occupy on Forbes' list:

Kamala Harris (Number 2)

Kamala Harris

The name Kamala Harris sure rings a bell as she made history on January 20, 2021, by being the first woman, the first black person, and the first South-Asian American to become the Vice-President of the United States.

With her stunning achievements and her global influence, it's no wonder this incredible woman occupies the second position.

Rosalind Brewer (Number 17)

Rosalind Brewer

Rosalind Brewer is an American businesswoman who currently serves as the CEO Walgreens Boots Alliance. She is one of only two black women CEOs of Fortune 500 companies (alongside Thasunda Brown Duckett).

When you have become the kind of leader that Brewer is, global recognition becomes inevitable, hence her place here as one of the most powerful women in the world.

Oprah Winfrey (Number 23)

Oprah Winfrey

Unarguably one of the most famous names in global entertainment, American talk show host Oprah Winfrey has influenced millions over the years with her inspiring story and singular feats.

Ever since she turned her hit talk show into a media and global business empire, the former news anchor has become a household name in most corners of the world.

Thasunda Brown Duckett (Number 45)

Thasunda Brown Duckett

This American businesswoman is the president and CEO of TIAA (Teachers Insurance and Annuity of America-College Retirement Equities Fund), a Fortune 100 financial services organisation that is the leading provider in the academic, research, medical, cultural, and government fields.

Having overseen a network of over $600 billion in deposits and 50,000 employees, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that Duckett deserves to be on this list.

Rihanna (Number 68)


Except you've been living under a rock or were born not too long ago, the name Rihanna should definitely strike a musical chord in you as her songs have electrified audiences since her debut in 2005.

The Barbadian singer is now a billionaire, thanks to her successful cosmetics line Fenty Beauty and she definitely earns her place here.

Beyoncé Knowles (Number 76)


This sultry songstress isn't new to creating global records. Her long list of awards and the fact that she is one of the world's bestselling recording artists, with 118 million records worldwide, speaks for itself.

Beyoncé sits comfortably in the number 76th position and everyone who knows the 'Queen' knows that her reign is far from over.

Ava DuVernay (Number 80)

Ava DuVernay

Movie fans hear the name Ava DuVernay and remember the gripping, touching tales she has told with her impressive filmmaking skills. 

She is the first black woman to be nominated by the Academy as a director in a feature category, and her Emmy Award-winning series When They See Us is still regarded as one of the best TV shows of our time.

Serena Williams (Number 85)

Serena Williams

Talking about the game of tennis without mentioning Serena Williams would be like mentioning a cinematic masterpiece without naming the director.

This ferocious athlete is regarded as one of the greatest female tennis players of all time, and a glimpse of her moving story was recently seen in the film King Richard. Like the others on this list, she is deserving of the honour.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (Number 91)

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is one of those rare breeds of individuals whose deeds transcend generations. Reflecting on the major events of 2021 without bringing up her name would be an act of injustice.

An economist and international development professional, Okonjo-Iweala boasts of over 30 years of experience working in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, and North America. 

This Nigerian superwoman became the first woman and the first African to serve as the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in March 2021.

Samia Suluhu Hassan (Number 94)

Samia Suluhu Hassan

Samia Suluhu Hassan became the sixth president of Tanzania and the first-ever female leader in March 2021 after the demise of President John Magufuli. Only an incredible woman would have ascended that position in a male-dominated world.

Since taking up the position as the leader of her nation, Hassan has implemented stricter COVID-19 protocols and is proving that she is no fluke.

Mo Abudu (Number 98)

Mo Abudu

Mo Abudu is a media behemoth whose recent collaborative work is putting Nigeria on the global map like never before. 

One of the most powerful women in global entertainment, Abudu established EbonyLife TV, a network brand that now airs in over 49 nations on the African continent; a daunting feat by anyone's standards.

Her place here is well-earned and her efforts in the media have left her imprint in the sands of time. 


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Sydney Elike
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