Forbes has named State Bank of India Chairperson Smt Arundhati Bhattacharya in its 100 Most Powerful Women’s list, with a ranking of 30 in the world. The Kolkata-born Bhattacharya, aged 59, has moved up six spots from No.36, in the list and is the SBI's first woman chairperson since October 2013. She oversees 220,000 staff in 16,000 branches which service 225 million customers as India's largest lender with offices in more than 36 countries. Two other women of Indian-origin, PepsiCo chief Indra Nooyi and Cisco chief technology and strategy officer Padmasree Warrior has also made to the list.
Forbes's list of the 100 most influential women features extraordinary entrepreneurs, visionary CEOs, politicians, celebrity role models, billionaire activists and pioneer philanthropists. The top ten include philanthropist in the list are Melinda Gates (3), Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen (3), GM CEO Mary Barra (5), IMF Chief Christine Lagarde (6), Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff (7), Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg (8), YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki (9) and US First Lady Michelle Obama (10).
"Recognising the multiple roles of working women, Ms Bhattacharya pioneered a two-year sabbatical policy for female employees taking maternity leave or give extended care to familly," Forbes said. “That these wretched stats continue year after year is a serious and pressing issue. But there’s hardly a void of powerful women — and the numbers are growing. That is, if we enlarge our focus from just who owns the greatest wealth or the heaviest corporate hammer to include the women whose influence and impact may be greater than the sum of their title,” Forbes said.
“The 59-year old PepsiCo CEO rang in PepsiCo’s 50th anniversary by throwing a bone to an activist investor threatening to ruin the party. By handing a board seat to Nelson Peltz’s Trian Fund Management, who thinks the food and beverage giant should split up, Nooyi avoided a messy proxy fight,” Forbes said.
India-born Padmasree Warrior has dropped in the rankings this year to 84 on the list from 71 last year. Forbes said in her seven years in the USD 138 billion technology company, Padmasree Warrior has helped Cisco to grow its influence through acquisitions, including six in 2014 and 10 in 2013. The 54-year old Cornell-trained engineer mentors other women in the technology industry and “believes a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education informs creativity,” Forbes profile states.