Women in Automotive, Manufacturing, and Tech Make Forbes List of Most Powerful Women

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The Forbes annual list of Most Powerful Women is out today.  Included among these 100 women are foremost heads of state as well as iconic entrepreneurs and CEOS and notable celebrities and philanthropists.  According to Forbes, the list is compiled through an analysis of money, media momentum, and spheres of influence and impact.  You can read about Forbes' methodology here.

We were pleased to see Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, come in number 5.  She follows only Angela Merkel (on the list at number 1 for the 10th year in a row), Hillary Clinton, Melinda Gates, and Janet Yellen.  Barra is listed as the world's most powerful businesswoman.

Coming in at an impressive number 20 is the only woman on the list whom Forbes classifies as being in the manufacturing sector, Marillyn Hewson, CEO of Lockheed Martin.  Hewson is the company's first female CEO and she's made big strides by investing in emerging technologies in the energy and cyber fields.  Read her full Forbes profile here.

A solid 18 of the women on the list are in the tech industry, working in leadership positions at top U.S. and global companies like Facebook, Apple, Google (and Google-owned YouTube), Hewlett-Packard, Xerox, Cisco Systems, and Alibaba Group.  Importantly, 7 tech women made it into the top 25 this year.

One lesson Forbes writer Caroline Howard says readers should take from the list is that "STEM degrees pay off."  Forbes notes the number of science, technology, engineering, and math degree-holders who made the cut, including Dupont CEO Ellen Kullman who studied mechanical engineering and comes in this year at number 26.

We were also glad to see Gwynne Shotwell on the list at number 90.  As president and COO of SpaceX, she manages the day-to-day operations of the commercial space exploration company.  See her full Forbes profile here.

Overall, the list is an impressive round-up of top women who are influencing sectors across the spectrum and lives around the world. 

View the full list on Forbes' interactive website here.