TIME 100 List: The 15 'Most Influential' Women That We Love

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 04/18/2012 5:03 pm Updated: 04/18/2012 5:19 pm

TIME Magazine released its list of 100 Most Influential People today -- and quite a few of those 100 are women. Women made up about 40 percent of TIME's list this year, and their range of accomplishments is nothing short of remarkable. The TIME 100 features actresses, activists, politicians and businesswomen. (Side note: It was bit confusing to see Claire Danes on there, even though "Homeland" is a great show and we'll always love Angela Chase.)

We rounded up 15 women that we were most excited to see featured. Did we miss anyone you admire?

LOOK: 15 Women From TIME's 100 Most Influential People

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  • Adele

    Oh, <a href="http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2111975_2111976_2111950,00.html" target="_hplink">Adele</a>, there aren't enough superlatives. Her songs make you want to smile, cry and possibly engage in some ill-advised karaoke. The fact that she possesses incredible body confidence and that her wildly successful albums were inspired by a wayward ex-boyfriend are just icing on the cake.

  • Viola Davis

    Even though <em>New York Magazine</em> put <a href="http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2111975_2111976_2112127,00.html" target="_hplink">Viola Davis</a> on its list of <a href="http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2012/04/time-100-influential-people.html" target="_hplink">least influential</a> people from <em>TIME</em>'s 100, we think she did much more than "nearly win an Oscar." While white author Kathryn Stockett faced criticism for writing in a black woman's voice in her bestselling novel "The Help," no one disputed the power or authenticity of Davis' performance in the movie, giving voice to a character who fifty years ago in real life might not have had one. She also showed that women in their 40s can take on roles far meatier than the main character's mother.

  • Samira Ibrahim

    After 25-year-old <a href="http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2111975_2111976_2111959,00.html" target="_hplink">Samira Ibrahim</a> was detained with her peers and subjected to "virginity testing" against her will, she sued the Egyptian military. In December, she won her case, and the practice was ruled illegal.

  • Cecile Richards

    It's been a challenging year for <a href="http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2111975_2111976_2111998,00.html" target="_hplink">Cecile Richards</a>, who's been the President of Planned Parenthood since 2006. Through it all, Richards has been a tireless advocate for women and their right to accessible health care. (And kudos to<em> TIME </em>for asking Sandra Fluke to write Richards' blurb in the 100 list -- we just wonder why Fluke herself wasn't included.)

  • Hillary Clinton

    This year, <a href="http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2111975_2111976_2111951,00.html" target="_hplink">Hillary Clinton</a> got hip. She dances! She drinks beer! She texts! She understands Tumblr! Oh yeah, and she's the current Secretary of State and a former New York Senator ... and former First Lady. NBD.

  • Virginia Rometty

    <a href="http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2111975_2111976_2111962,00.html" target="_hplink">Virginia Rometty</a>, or "Ginni," became the first female CEO of IBM this year. The 54-year-old Northwestern graduate is an inspiration to women looking to break into the Tech sector. She also indirectly forced <a href="http://espn.go.com/golf/masters12/story/_/id/7790749/2012-masters-ibm-chief-virginia-rometty-augusta-minus-green-jacket" target="_hplink">Augusta National to defend its no-girls-allowed policy</a> all over again.

  • Kristen Wiig

    We can't say we're at all surprised to see 38-year-old <a href="http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2111975_2111976_2112109,00.html" target="_hplink">Kristen Wiig</a>, the comedic genius behind "Bridesmaids," on <em>TIME</em>'s list. She's been making us laugh on <em>SNL</em> since 2005, but her hilarious, often graphic blockbuster about female friendship made her an icon "She never thought she was making a statement about women in comedy. Of course women in comedy have always been brilliant," <a href="http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2111975_2111976_2112109,00.html" target="_hplink">Judd Apatow</a> wrote in <em>TIME</em>. Yes they have, Judd, but we'll always love Wiig for driving that point home.

  • Sara Blakely

    When she invented SPANX, <a href="http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2111975_2111976_2112100,00.html" target="_hplink">Sara Blakely</a> managed to make shape wear sophisticated and easy to wear, and with the silly name, poke fun at the entire, often-hilarious project of girding yourself. Now a household name, SPANX sells 200 products in over 40 countries, and Blakely has become a self-made billionaire.

  • Sheryl Sandberg

    42-year-old <a href="http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2111975_2111976_2112093,00.html" target="_hplink">Sheryl Sandberg</a> is the COO of Facebook -- and a vocal advocate for women. She's spoken extensively about work-life balance, motherhood and women in the tech industry.

  • E.L. James

    Whether you love, hate or wouldn't deign to read "Fifty Shades of Grey," there's no denying the popularity of <a href="http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2111975_2111976_2112140,00.html" target="_hplink">E.L. James</a> book or the really fascinating discussion it has prompted about women's sexuality. She put a not at all shocking but still often hidden truth out in the open: women really like sex.

  • Christine Lagarde

    We can all agree that having a woman become the managing director of the International Monetary Fund is pretty awesome. 56-year-old <a href="http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2111975_2111976_2111994,00.html" target="_hplink">Christine Lagarde</a> has also served as France's Finance Minister, and as <em>TIME</em> pointed out, could run for President in a few years.

  • Portia Simpson Miller

    <a href="http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2111975_2111976_2111996,00.html" target="_hplink">Portia Simpson Miller</a> became Jamaica's first female Prime Minister in 2006. However, she's been involved with Jamaican politics since 1976 when she was elected to Parliament.

  • Maria das Gracas Silva Foster

    <a href="http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2111975_2111976_2111991,00.html" target="_hplink">Maria das Gracas Silva Foster</a> grew up in the favelas of Brazil. Today, at 58, she's the CEO of Petrobras, one of Brazil's largest oil and gas companies.

  • Angela Merkel

    German Chancellor <a href="http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2111975_2111976_2112098,00.html" target="_hplink">Angela Merkel</a> is one of the most powerful women in Europe. The 57-year-old has been a huge power player when it comes to European economic decisions -- for better or worse.

  • Maryam Durani

    <a href="http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2111975_2111976_2112120,00.html" target="_hplink">Maryam Durani</a> was presented with an International Women of Courage Award this year by Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama -- and for good reason. The Afghani woman owns and operates a radio station in Kandahar that focuses on women's issues, which has made her the target of several assassination attempts.

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