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Who are the most influential women of 2022?

The Financial Times list includes stars, leaders and sportswomen who are changing the world such as Meghan Markle, Serena Williams and Francesca Bellettini

Who are the most influential women of 2022? The Financial Times list includes stars, leaders and sportswomen who are changing the world such as Meghan Markle, Serena Williams and Francesca Bellettini

Leaders, heroines, creative. These are the 25 women who have left their mark on the past year, those who, according to the Financial Times, are shaping the present and the future with their work. The list, which has just been released by the authoritative magazine, includes sportswomen, civil rights activists, CEOs, heads of state, philanthropists, writers, musicians, actresses, Nobel prize-winners and even a collective: the women of Iran who, after the death of Mahsa Amini, took to the streets in protest, demanding freedom and equal rights, at the risk of their own lives.

Let us start with the only Italian among the 25 most influential women of 2022. Her name is Francesca Bellettini and she has held the position of CEO of Saint Laurent since 2013. She studied at Bocconi, a career that began in the world of finance and then continued (thanks to Prada's CEO Patrizio Bertelli) successfully in fashion until she became one of the "rare female managers in fashion". The numbers, which experts attribute to her constant search for balance "in global markets, between categories or in the relationship between men and women", speak for her: in the third quarter of this year she helped the Kering group brand record a turnover of EUR 916 million, or +40%, and is aiming to reach the expected EUR 5 billion in revenues in the medium term. Rumors speculate about his possible landing at Gucci, replacing Marco Bizzarri, but only the future will tell. In the same category, i.e. leaders, are also Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first black woman to become a judge of the US Supreme Court in over 230 years of history; Oleksandra Matviichuk, human rights lawyer, war crimes reporter and president of the organization Centre for Civil Liberties, the Ukrainian NGO awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. There were also many politicians such as Mia Mottley, the first minister of Barbados and a lawyer at the forefront of the fight against climate change; Sanna Marin, the first minister of Finland (the world's youngest elected leader at only 34 years old) who supported her nation's entry into NATO; Francia Elena Márquez Mina, vice-president of Colombia; and the Pakistani Minister of Climate Change, Sherry Rehman. Also deserving of mention is Karen Lynch who, as of February 2021, is CEO of the largest US healthcare company, CVS Health, and who, according to the Financial Times, is "the person redefining healthcare in America" by making it much more accessible for citizens.

The heroes section, on the other hand, is a mix of sportswomen, doctors and activists, all united by extraordinary talent, strength and determination, starting with the most famous, former tennis player Serena Williams. Together with the winner of 23 Grand Slam tournaments we find the philanthropist and ex-wife of Bezos, MacKenzie Scott; Sarina Wiegman, coach of the English women's football team; Paula Kahumbu, Kenyan wildlife activist; Jamie Fiore Higgins, former senior banker at Goldman Sachs and author of the memoir Bully Market in which she denounces racism and sexism on Wall Street; Rina Gonoi, the former soldier who last summer launched a public campaign demanding truth and a formal apology from the Japanese army after she was sexually assaulted by three Japanese Self-Defence Forces officers during training. Crucially, the work of another hero, Dr Rebecca Gomperts who, after the annulment of the US Supreme Court ruling that guaranteed the right to abortion since 1973, helps women in states that ban abortions through her telemedicine service Aid Access. 

The last category of the list of the most influential women of 2022 is reserved for creators. Here stand out the best-known names to the general public such as Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex who gave voice to women in the podcast Archetypes and by challenging the British monarchy has "become a symbol of resilience for many women"; pop star Billie Eilish who this year won a Golden Globe and an Oscar for No Time to Die; actress Michelle Yeoh who we will soon see on Netflix with the miniseries The Witcher: Blood Origin that recounts the events that took place 1. 200 years before The Witcher; the writer and Nobel Prize winner for Literature in 2022, Annie Ernaux; and Anne Imhof, German artist and performer.