By Fortune Editors
September 25, 2017

In its 17 years, Fortune’s list of the Most Powerful Women in international business has always featured talented and successful leaders from around the world.

But until recently a significant number of those global listmakers graduated to their executive ranks through a family business or by government appointment. The far more common story this year is one of women who have vaulted up the corporate ladder and landed top jobs with some of the world’s largest multinationals (see GSK’s new CEO Emma Walmsley [No. 2]; Isabel Ge Mahe, Apple’s new head in China [No. 12]; and Jessica Uhl, Royal Dutch Shell’s new CFO [No. 29] just to name a few). Even if their number is small, that’s an encouraging shift signaling a broadening of leadership in
global business.

Methodology for our Most Powerful Women International list:

The Most Powerful Women in Business list is compiled by Fortune editors, who consider four criteria: the size and importance of the woman’s business in the global economy, the health and direction of the business, the arc of the woman’s career (résumé and runway ahead), and social and cultural influence.

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