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Forbes' 200 Most Powerful Arab Women

Forbes Middle East has just released its second 200 Most Powerful Arab Women, and Egyptian women are dominating the list with the highest number of entries!

Forbes Middle East has just released its second list of The 200 Most Powerful Arab Women. The coveted ranking of leading ladies is published in the September 2014 issue of the business publication and includes women in government positions, family businesses, and the corporate sphere. All the women featured on the list are making major contributions to their respective fields, and according to Forbes, are all actively “driving the advancement of national economies and political agendas” across the Arab world.

The list of the 200 Most Powerful Arab Women is topped by Shaikha K. Al Bahar, who is the Deputy Group CEO of the National Bank of Kuwait, followed by Dr. Nayka Hayek from Lebanon who serves as the Chairperson of Swatch Group.

But let’s have a big round of applause for the land of the Pharaohs, because out of the 200 women, Egypt dominates the complete list with a total of 29 entries! Closest to the top is Elham Mahfouz who comes in at number 10. The Egyptian leading lady (who, fun fact, attended AUC), currently presides as the acting CEO of the Commercial Bank of Kuwait. Other notable entries include Heba Thabet, Director of Juhayna Food Industries, who comes in at number 23. So essentially, every time you take a sip of juice, you should feel a little rush of women's empowerment.

Interestingly enough, many of the Egyptian women who made the list are in banking or in a financial field, including numbers 35 through 37 who are, respectively, the CEO of Piraeus Bank Nayera Amin, CEO of Al Ahli United Bank Nevine El-Messeery, and COO of HSBC Egypt, Hania Sadek. We're currently rethinking our career path…

Overall, Egyptian women made us proud this year. Coming in second was Saudi Arabia with 27 entries, and the UAE ranks third with 26.

Though women at the helm of family businesses comprise the majority of the list at 43%, it’s also noteworthy that 29% of the entries feature women in government, which reflects a rise in female representation in national politics.  The ranking this time around has also extended to include women in corporate positions, a category which was not featured last year. It includes women who currently occupy C-level, board, chair and presidential roles in their companies and this year they make up 28% of the full list.

The top 10 ranked women are below, and you can click here to see the full list.


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