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The Most Influential Women in the World of Finance

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The number of women in positions of power around the world is increasing, albeit slowly. The Women Business Collaborative reported that there were 41 women CEOs in the Fortune 500 in September 2021 compared to 39 in 2020. It is possible to see, therefore, that progress is being made.

There is an increasing number of influential women in the world of finance and banking. This list celebrates just a few of them and some of their achievements.

Jane Fraser

Jane Fraser is the CEO of Citigroup, one of the largest investment banks in the world. Fraser joined Citigroup in 2004 and became CEO in March 2021. She is the first female CEO in the history of Citigroup.

Source: Citigroup

Christine Lagarde

From 2011 up to 2019, Christine Lagarde ran the International Monetary Fund. She was the first woman to hold this position. In November 2019, Lagarde became president of the European Central Bank.

Ana Botín-Sanz de Sautuola y O’Shea

Ana Botín-Sanz de Sautuola y O’Shea is the Executive Chairman of the Santander Group and has been since 2014. Before that, she was the CEO of Santander UK. Botín has also launched Santander X which aims to help university entrepreneurs from around the world to start their own businesses.

Source: FiveStar

Kristalina Georgieva

Kristalina Georgieva is the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. Georgieva has held this position since October 2019. Georgieva also served as the interim president of the World Bank Group in 2019.

Source: BFM

Shemara Wikramanayake

Shemara Wikramanayake is the Managing Director and CEO of the Macquarie Group, a global financial services group. Wikramanayake joined the group in 2008 and was appointed as the Managing Director and CEO in 2018.

Source: Fortune

Adena Friedman

Adena Friedman is the President and CEO of Nasdaq. She assumed the position of CEO in 2017 and became the first woman CEO to lead a global stock exchange. The Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Nasdaq is also a woman, Ann Dennison.

Source: Fortune

Marianne Lake and Jennifer Piepszak

Marianne Lake and Jennifer Piepszak were announced as the joint heads of consumer operations as JP Morgan in 2021. Consumer operations makes up almost 40% of JP Morgan’s profits. Both Lake and Piepszak have held the position of Chief Financial Officer at JP Morgan and the new role has highlighted that both have the potential to become the company’s next CEO.

Tokiko Shimizu

Tokiko Shimizu was appointed Executive Director of the Bank of Japan in 2020. She is the first woman Executive Director of the bank. Shimizu joined the Bank of Japan in 1987 and was previously the bank’s General Manager for Europe.


Hana Al Rostamani

Since January 2021, Hana Al Rostamani has been the Group CEO of First Abu Dhabi Bank. Before assuming this role, Rostamani was the bank’s Chief Financial Officer and Group head of personal banking.

Source: GulfNews

Elvira Nabiullina

Elvira Nabiullina is the head of the Central Bank of Russia. Nabiullina became the first woman to run a central bank of a G8 country when she assumed the position in 2013. Before that, she was Putin’s economic advisor from 2012 to 2013.


Sri Mulyani Indrawati

Sri Mulyani Indrawati is the Minister of Finance in Indonesia. Indrawati first became Minister of Finance in 2005, but left the role when she was appointed as Managing Director of the World Bank Group in 2010. She returned to the position in 2016 and remains the current Indonesian Minister of Finance.

Source: Tempo

Laura Cha

Laura Cha has been Chair of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange since 2018. Cha is the first female chair of the Stock Exchange.

Source: HSBC

Abigail Johnson

Abigail Johnson is the CEO of Fidelity Investments. Johnson has been CEO since 2014, and Chair of the company since 2016. It is estimated that Johnson owns a 24.5% stake in the firm. Johnson is keen to stay at the forefront of financial developments and, in 2018, Fidelity launched a platform that means institutional traders can trade bitcoin and ether. 

Source: FamousPeople

Gita Gopinath

In January 2022, Gita Gopinath became the First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. From 2019 to 2022, Gopinath was Chief Economist of the IMF. The Deputy Managing Director of the IMF is Antoinette Monsio Sayeh, who assumed the position in 2020.

Source: PBS

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation. Okonjo-Iweala is the first woman and the first African to hold this position. Before this, Okonjo-Iweala worked for 25 years at World Bank, during which time she rose to the position of Managing Director.

Source: ThisDay

Nandita Bakhshi

Nandita Bakhshi has been the President and CEO of Bank of the West since 2016. Bakhshi is also Co-Chief Executive Officer of BNP Paribas USA Inc..


This list represents some of the powerful women in the world of finance and banking. Although the list is not extensive, it is also important to remember that there is still a long way to go. For example, the Sex and Power Index released by the Fawcett Society in 2022 showed that women in the UK remain outnumbered by men 2:1 in positions of power.

Changes are happening, therefore, but there is still progress to be made.

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