German Chancellor Angela Merkel has taken Forbes magazine's title of the world's most powerful woman for the second year in a row, ahead of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.
Three Australian women appeared on the list this year with Prime Minister Julia Gillard taking out the highest ranked position at 27th on the list, just one place behind the Queen.
Mining magnate Gina Rinehart, the executive chairman of Hancock Prospecting, ranked 35th with Westpac CEO Gail Kelly in 60th position.
The magazine reported Ms Gillard oversees a population of 22 million and a GDP of $926 billion. It described her by saying, ''the Labor Party leader, who became an Australian citizen in 1974, has struggled with rising energy bills and illegal immigration,''. Mrs Rinehart was described as a ''political powerhouse, publicly lobbying against mining and carbon taxes and pushing to relax Australia's immigration policies''. The list featured eight heads of state, 25 CEOs, a dozen entrepreneurs and 10 celebrities.
Celebrity inclusions of note were Lady Gaga at 15, Beyonce at 32, Jennifer Lopez at 38 and, a new inclusion, Sofia Vergara, in 75th place thanks to her position as "the best-paid actress in television" as the star of ABC's series Modern Family.
Newly appointed Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer sat high on the list at 21, though still behind Sheryl Sandberg another high profile woman in technology who, as the Facebook COO, is ranked in 10th position.