Forbes loves to measure dollars and sense. Billionaires, top-earning CEOs and royalty-earning dead celebrities have been tracked by the economic powerhouse for decades.

Why, then, did their editors decide to dis their trademark metric in this new list of Power Women?

Forget money or popularity, the rankings of these Top 100 ladies weigh in on two things; visibility—by press mentions—and the size of the organization or country these women lead.

So for the men, power is measured by money (mostly earned).

But for Forbes to deem you powerful, it’s not about the assets owned or controlled. Instead, influence is the name of the game.

So why is this significant?

Because if Forbes ranked power for women using the same metric it uses for men, the comparative list would reveal a headline like this:

“World’s Wealthiest Women Six Billion Dollars Short of Last-Ranked Wealthiest Man”

Ouch! What accounts for this money chasm?


In 1960, women earned 61 cents for every dollar earned by men. In 2003, that number had increased to 76 cents. It has taken women 43 years to gain another 15 cents for each dollar earned by men.

Isn’t that way too little progress for way too long?

According to this report, the wage gap costs the average American full-time working woman between $700,000 and $2 million over the course of her lifetime.

I got my first taste of the unfair gender marketplace when I was 22. Based on my outstanding research as a volunteer, the head of the physiology lab received a grant to hire someone fulltime.

Although he had always been complimentary of my work, he interviewed a lot of men. I was relieved and curious when he offered me the job.

“Why did you choose me?” I asked.

“Well you do really good work and I’m happy with you and I don’t have to pay you as much as I would a guy,” was his reply.

Twenty-seven years later, that’s not the only take on the stinkin thinkin.

Check out this comment from the Forbes’ list:

“I'm actually glad that Forbes did a list of influential women rather than wealthiest women because honestly I find powerful women a lot more interesting than women from rich families.”

Gee, I guess if we’re not born rich, we’re outta money luck.

Maybe what’s worse is that this type of thinking separates powerful women from wealthy women.

I agree with the iconic money magazine that influential women have great power.

Take Afghanistan’s Dr. Sima Simar. One of the twelve women who didn't win the Nobel Peace Prize, her life clearly demonstrates power is more than money or financial status. It’s the culmination of control, wisdom and influence.

To Forbes, I pose this $64,000 question:”Why the separation in how women and men are ranked?”

The paid ads running alongside your article say, “Mom makes $63/hour online” and “1 Sexy Stomach Rule: Obey.” Maybe a woman’s place should be measured—and paid—according to her influence.

Should influence trump money for women? Where do you weigh in?

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From regional manager to international executive with quadruple the pay, Karen Keller’s unique blueprint carefully outlined the step-by-step process for creating high-impact influence and let me know when I was being influenced in a way that didn’t serve me.
Lloyd Moore
Global Director Supplier Quality & Development - Lear Corporation – South Carolina