This year there are 41 women on the 2014 TIME 100—a record number of women on the list, especially considering the previous criticism about the list and gender equity. This annual list profiles influential people in categories such as activism, business, culture, politics, sports, and more. The following is a partial list of the influential women on this year’s list.
Pop superstar Beyoncé is on top of the world. She’s broken records with her most recent album, becoming the first woman in history to hit No. 1 with her first five studio albums, according to Billboard. Sheryl Sandberg, author of Lean In and COO of Facebook, notes that the singer “has insisted that girls ‘run the world’ and declared, ‘I’m not bossy, I’m the boss.’ She raises her voice both on- and offstage to urge women to be independent and lead.”
Hillary Clinton has worn many hats: former First Lady, Secretary of State, and senator, just to name a few. Many Democrats are hoping her next title will be President of the United States and Clinton has not ruled that out as yet. Teen activist Malala Yousafzai describes Clinton as “a symbol of strength for women across the world. It was she who famously said, ‘Women’s rights are human rights.’ She not only spoke those words, but also dedicated her life to empowering women around the world through politics and philanthropy.”
Eight-time LPGA player of the year and World Golf Hall of Famer, Annika Sorenstam profiles up-and-coming golfer, Lydia Ko. Sorenstam calls Ko “exceptionally talented, mature beyond her years and well liked by gof fans and competitors alike. She is responsible for sparking increased interest in our sport not just in her native South Korea and adopted homeland of New Zealand but also among juniors across the globe.”
Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is a renowned economist, who has previously worked with the World Bank Group managing leveraged loans for poor and developing nations. Since her tenure she has worked to eliminate Nigeria’s massive debt. Bono lead singer of U2 and a co-founder of ONE and (RED) says that, “Humor and joy spill out of her, which can belie the fact that she’s got one of the toughest jobs on the planet — how to ensure that the tens of billions of dollars earned each year in oil receipts go into productive usage, like agriculture, infrastructure, health and education.”
Grammy Award winner and UNICEF goodwill ambassador Ricky Martin describes Withelma “T” Ortiz Walker Pettigrew, a college student and survivor of sex trafficking as, “a beacon of hope, raising her voice against the world’s $96 billion human-trafficking industry, which exploits 27 million victims, including millions of youths and children.” Pettigrew has testified about her experience and against the exploitation of children on the Hill in order to both raise awareness and to change laws regarding trafficking.
Author Pankaj Mishra describes acclaimed novelist, screenwriter, and activist Arundhati Roy as the “conscience of India.” Roy is perhaps best known for her novel, The God of Small Things, which won the Booker Prize in 1997. Roy is also a prolific nonfiction writer, whose most recent text, Capitalism: A Ghost Story exposes the pitfalls of when capitalism is partnered with global democracy. Mishra notes that “in an age of intellectual logrolling and mass-manufactured infotainment, [Roy] continues to offer bracing ways of seeing, thinking and feeling.”
Click here for more on the women featured in the Time 100.