"Never before in my political life have I been taken so seriously as woman."
- Angela Merkel
Taking first place on Forbes' most powerful women's list seven times in the past eight years, the German chancellor is the queen bee. Angela Merkel is the fifth most powerful person in the world, after Russian President Vladimir Putin, US President Barack Obama, Microsoft's Bill Gates and Pope Francis. Merkel, as leader of the most powerful nation in the European Union, has a lot of say about what the EU does and how it spends its money.
"The way I look at it – speaking as a woman – I understand what it means to be a daughter, and to be a wife, and to be a mother, and also to be a career woman. The multiple roles that women can play in a society if given the opportunity is really a tremendous asset."
- Margaret Chan
China’s top entry on the world’s most powerful women list is Hongkonger Margaret Chan Fung Fu-chun at number 30. The Director General of the World Health Organisation is tasked with looking after the health of people all over the world.
"If everything was perfect, you would never learn and you would never grow."
- Beyonce Knowles-Carter
Coming in at number 17, Beyonce is the most powerful female performer in the world. The singer, songwriter and actress is a modern feminist who uses her shows to send a strong message of sexual empowerment, love and relationships to her millions of adoring fans. Her hit songs Run the World and Put a Ring on It have been anthems for girls all over the world.
"We have to be careful in how we use this light shined on us."
- Melinda Gates
She might be married to one of the richest men in the world, but Melinda Gates has her own reasons to be on this list. Being in charge of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, she has given away billions of dollars to needy people and honourable causes all over the world.
"Listening to others, especially those with whom we disagree, tests our own ideas and beliefs. It forces us to recognise, with humility, that we don’t have a monopoly on the truth."
- Janet Yellen
You might not have heard of her, but Ms Janet Yellen, an American economist, is the chair of the US Federal Reserve’s Board of Directors. So she has her eyes on all the money in America.