The ranking includes women from the U.S., Europe and Asia, and is divided into seven diverse subgroups:
-- "Running the Show" -- Women who are chairwomen or chief executive officers.
-- "In Line to Lead" -- Women who stand to move up in their own companies or elsewhere in the years ahead.
-- "The Inheritors" -- Women who could be running the family business in the future.
-- "The Policy Makers" -- Women in government and central banks having a significant impact on business.
-- "The Owners" -- Women who run their own companies.
-- "The Advocates" -- Women who are working to improve career opportunities and everyday lives of women.
-- "On the Sidelines" -- Women who recently have stepped down from high-profile corporate positions and are expected to play a major role in business in the years ahead.
"We are proud to be honoring, once again, the 50 women who have made an indelible mark in their respective professions," said Karen Elliott House, publisher, The Wall Street Journal, and senior vice president, Dow Jones & Company. "These women, who come from a wide range of companies and locations around the world, are in a class by themselves and their accomplishments are evidence of this. I congratulate each and every one of them."
The entire ranking is listed below.
The Top 50 Women to Watch "Running the Show" 1. Margaret C. Whitman, president and chief executive, eBay 2. Brenda Barnes, chairman and chief executive, Sara Lee 3. Andrea Jung, chief executive, Avon Products 4. Anne M. Mulcahy, chairman and chief executive, Xerox 5. Carol Bartz, chief executive, Autodesk 6. Anne Lauvergeon, chief executive, Areva 7. Ho Ching, chief executive, Temasek Holdings 8. Marjorie Scardino, chief executive, Pearson 9. Izumi Kobayashi, president, Merrill Lynch Japan Securities 10. Marion Sandler, co-chief executive, Golden West Financial 11. Xie Qihua, chairwoman, Shanghai Baosteel 12. Laurence Parisot, president, Medef 13. Clara Furse, chief executive, London Stock Exchange "In Line to Lead" 1. Susan Arnold, vice chairman, Procter & Gamble 2. Zoe Cruz, acting president, Morgan Stanley 3. Indra Nooyi, president and chief financial officer, PepsiCo 4. Angela Ahrendts, chief executive-designate, Burberry Group 5. Laura Wright, chief financial officer, Southwest Airlines 6. Susan Desmond-Hellmann, president of product development, Genentech 7. Karen Katen, vice chairman, Pfizer 8. Sallie Krawcheck, chief financial officer, Citigroup 9. Ann Moore, chairman and chief executive, Time Inc. 10. Safra Catz, co-president, Oracle 11. Linda Cook, executive director, Gas and Power, Royal Dutch Shell 12. Valerie Hermann, chief executive, Yves Saint Laurent 13. Yoshie Motohiro, managing director, Nissan Motor India 14. Christine Poon, vice chairman, Johnson & Johnson 15. Renetta McCann, chief executive, Starcom MediaVest Group 16. Anne Sweeney, president, Disney-ABC Television Group 17. Ann Livermore, executive vice president, Hewlett-Packard 18. Nancy Peretsman, managing director, Allen & Co. 19. Joyce Chang, managing director, J.P. Morgan Chase 20. Marluce Dias da Silva, adviser, TV Globo 21. Tami Booth Corwin, president, Rodale Books "The Inheritors" 1. Shari Redstone, president, National Amusements 2. Abigail P. Johnson, president, Fidelity Employer Services 3. Ana Patricia Botin, chairwoman, Banco Espanol de Credito 4. Penny Pritzker, chairman, TransUnion 5. Maria Asuncion Aramburuzabala de Garza, vice chairwoman, Grupo Modelo "The Policy Makers" 1. Angela Merkel, chancellor-designate, Germany 2. Wu Xiaoling, deputy governor, People's Bank of China 3. Linda Chatman Thomsen, director of enforcement, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission 4. Janet Yellen, president, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco "The Owners" 1. Oprah Winfrey, Harpo 2. Miuccia Prada, Prada Group 3. Elisabeth Murdoch, Shine "The Advocates" 1. Sylvia Mathews, chief operating officer, Gates Foundation 2. Kazuyo Katsuma, telecom analyst, J.P. Morgan Chase-Japan "On the Sidelines" 1. Carly Fiorina, former chief executive, Hewlett-Packard 2. Myrtle Potter, former president of commercial operations, Genentech
The ranking is published in the Journal Report in today's print editions of The Wall Street Journal, The Wall Street Journal Asia and The Wall Street Journal Europe, as well as online at www.wsj.com. The Journal asked dozens of editors and reporters in bureaus from around the world to nominate potential candidates, while also seeking nominations from outside. In all, around 450 nominations were received.
The Journal ranked the women based on their potential to make a significant impact on business in the years ahead. The Journal considered a variety of factors, such as their influence in business and their recent accomplishments. Moreover, the Journal considered the challenges they face in business, how they're responding to those challenges, and what their decisions may mean for their companies and industries in the years ahead.
Many of these women already are CEOs or top executives, and will continue to be influential in their industries or in the wider business world. Others are women who are on their way up and bear watching. After much discussion and several rounds of voting among Journal editors and reporters, the list was narrowed down to the 50 finalists in the report.
About The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal, the flagship publication of Dow Jones & Company (NYSE: DJ; www.dowjones.com), is the world's leading business publication. Founded in 1889, The Wall Street Journal has a print and online circulation of nearly 2.1 million, reaching the nation's top business and political leaders, as well as investors across the country. Holding 31 Pulitzer Prizes for outstanding journalism, the Journal seeks to help its readers succeed by providing essential and relevant information, presented fairly and accurately, from a dependable and trusted source. The Wall Street Journal print franchise has more than 600 journalists world-wide, part of the Dow Jones network of more than 1,800 business and financial news staff. Other publications that are part of The Wall Street Journal franchise, with total circulation of 2.7 million, include The Wall Street Journal Asia, The Wall Street Journal Europe and The Wall Street Journal Online at WSJ.com, the largest paid subscription news site on the Web. In 2005, the Journal was ranked No. 1 in BtoB's Media Power 50 for the sixth consecutive year.