Entertainment
4.8k voters

The Most Influential Women of 2019

Updated January 21, 2020 61.6k votes 4.8k voters 89.5k views94 items

List RulesVote up the women who had the biggest impact in 2019.

UPDATED: Check out the most influential women of 2020!

From inspirational female celebrities to businesswomen to political activists, women have made a truly amazing impact in 2019! They know that the greatest women in history change the game for the generations that follow in terms of the power and the presence women have in society. Even while much of the news about women in the world has been bleak, there are still women illuminating and addressing systemic problems in the United States and the world.

Young female politicians like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are being voted into places of power and finding ways to be a vocal presence for people who are often overlooked. There are more powerful world leaders who are women making headlines - many of which are written by female journalists difficult topics into perspective for the public. Movements like Me Too continue highlighting the epidemic of sexual violence in Hollywood and elsewhere, gaining ever more momentum as they are spearheaded and supported by female celebrities.

Who are the most inspiring women of 2019? Vote up the most influential women below and feel free to add anyone you think is missing!

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  • 1
    1,623
    1,056

    Michelle Obama

    Writer, Lawyer

    Age57

    BirthplaceChicago, Illinois, USA

    Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama (née Robinson; born January 17, 1964) is an American lawyer, university administrator and writer, who was the first lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017. She...  more
  • 2
    218
    126

    Christina Koch

    Astronaut

    Age40

    BirthplaceGrand Rapids, Michigan

    Christina Hammock Koch (born January 29, 1979) is an American engineer and NASA astronaut of the class of 2013. She received Bachelor of Science degrees in Electrical Engineering and Physics, and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina State University. She also did advanced study while working for the Goddard Space Flight Center. Just before becoming an astronaut, she served with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as Station Chief for American Samoa. On March 14, 2019, she launched to the International Space Station as a Flight Engineer on Expedition 59, 60 and 61. On October 18, 2019, Koch and Jessica Meir were the first women to participate in an all-female spacewalk.

  • 3
    1,043
    832

    Age95

    BirthplaceMayfair, London, London, England

    Elizabeth II (born 21 April 1926) is Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms.Elizabeth was born in London as the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York, later King George...  more
  • 4
    167
    116

    Jessica Meir

    Researcher, Astronaut

    Age44

    BirthplaceCaribou, Maine

    Jessica Ulrika Meir is Assistant Professor of Anesthesia at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, following postdoctoral research in comparative physiology at the University...  more
  • 5
    1,086
    976

    Ellen DeGeneres

    Television presenter, Comedian

    Age63

    BirthplaceMetairie, Louisiana, USA

    Ellen Lee DeGeneres ( də-JEN-ər-əs; born January 26, 1958) is an American comedian, television host, actress, writer, and producer. She starred in the popular sitcom Ellen from 1994 to 1998 and has...  more
  • 6
    898
    830

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg

    Judge, Jurist

    Age88

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York, United States of America

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg (March 15, 1933-September 18, 2020) was an American lawyer and jurist who was an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Ginsburg was appointed by President Bill Clinton and...  more
  • 7
    977
    925

    Emma Watson

    Model, Actor

    Age31

    BirthplaceParis, France

    Emma Charlotte Duerre Watson (born 15 April 1990) is an English actress, model and activist. Born in Paris and brought up in Oxfordshire, Watson attended the Dragon School and trained as an actress...  more
  • 8
    910
    866

    Oprah Winfrey

    Businessperson, Journalist

    Age67

    BirthplaceKosciusko, Mississippi, USA

    Alternative NameOprah

    Oprah Gail Winfrey (born Orpah Gail Winfrey, January 29, 1954) is an American media executive, actress, talk show host, television producer and philanthropist. She is best known for her talk show...  more
  • 9
    427
    446

    Greta Thunberg

    Environmentalist, Activist

    Age16

    BirthplaceSweden

  • 10
    642
    711

    Angela Merkel

    Politician, Physicist

    Age67

    BirthplaceHamburg, Germany

    Angela Dorothea Merkel (, German: [aŋˈɡeːla ˈmɛɐ̯kl̩]; née Kasner; born 17 July 1954) is a German politician serving as Chancellor of Germany since 2005. She served as the leader of the centre-right...  more
  • 11
    Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, (born Catherine Elizabeth Middleton; 9 January 1982), is a member of the British royal family. Her husband, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, is expected to become...  more
  • 12
    915
    1,114

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

    Activist, Politician
    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (born October 13, 1989) is an American activist, community organizer, and democratic-socialist politician. On June 26, 2018, Ocasio-Cortez won the Democratic primary in New...  more
  • 13
    644
    802

    Beyoncé Knowles

    Record producer, Businessperson

    Age39

    BirthplaceHouston, Texas, United States of America

    Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter (born September 4, 1981) is an American singer, songwriter and actress. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Beyoncé performed in various singing and dancing competitions...  more
  • 14
    265
    327

    Michelle Bachelet

    Politician, Pediatrician

    Age69

    BirthplaceSantiago, Chile

    Verónica Michelle Bachelet Jeria (Spanish: [beˈɾonika miˈtʃel βatʃeˈle ˈxeɾja]; born 29 September 1951) is a Chilean politician who served as President of Chile from 2006 to 2010 and again from 2014...  more
  • 15
    712
    909

    Lady Gaga

    Fashion designer, Record producer

    Age35

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York, United States of America

    Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta (born March 28, 1986), known professionally as Lady Gaga, is an American singer, songwriter and actress. She is known for her unconventionality, provocative work...  more
  • 16
    556
    742

    Rihanna

    Fashion designer, Songwriter

    Age33

    BirthplaceSaint Michael Parish, Barbados

    Robyn Rihanna Fenty (born February 20, 1988) is a Barbadian singer, songwriter, record producer, businesswoman, fashion designer, actress and philanthropist. She is known for embracing various...  more
  • 17
    348
    465

    Jacinda Ardern

    Politician

    Age41

    BirthplaceHamilton, New Zealand

    Jacinda Kate Laurell Ardern (; born 26 July 1980) is a New Zealand politician serving since 26 October 2017 as the 40th Prime Minister of New Zealand. She has also served as the Leader of the Labour...  more
  • 18
    426
    616

    Melinda Gates

    Businessperson

    Age56

    BirthplaceDallas, Texas, USA

    Melinda Ann Gates DBE (née French; August 15, 1964) is an American philanthropist and a former general manager at Microsoft. In 2000, she co-founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with her...  more
  • 19
    184
    264

    Age39

    BirthplaceLos Angeles, California, USA

    Alternative NameMeghan Markle, Meghan Markle Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Duchess of Sussex

    Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (born Rachel Meghan Markle; August 4, 1981), is an American-born member of the British royal family and former actress. Markle was raised in Los Angeles, California and has...  more
  • 20
    269
    408

    Scarlett Johansson

    Model, Actor

    Age36

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York, United States of America

    Scarlett Ingrid Johansson (; born November 22, 1984) is an American actress and singer. She is the world's highest-paid actress, has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, has made multiple...  more
  • 21
    170
    259
    Melissa Jefferson (born April 27, 1988), better known by her stage name Lizzo, is an American alternative hip hop artist based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is a founding member of indie hip hop...  more
  • 22
    392
    611

    Adele

    Arranger, Musician

    Age33

    BirthplaceTottenham, London, United Kingdom

    Adele Laurie Blue Adkins (born 5 May 1988) is an English singer-songwriter. After graduating from the BRIT School in 2006, Adele signed a recording contract with XL Recordings. In 2007, she received...  more
  • 23
    354
    571

    Sonia Sotomayor

    Editor, Judge

    Age67

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York, United States of America

    Sonia Maria Sotomayor (Spanish: [ˈsonja sotomaˈʝoɾ]; born June 25, 1954) is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, appointed by President Barack Obama in May 2009 and...  more
  • 24
    516
    837

    Ariana Grande

    Songwriter, Actor

    Age28

    BirthplaceBoca Raton, Florida, USA

    Ariana Grande (born June 26, 1993) is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. A multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning recording artist, she is known for her wide vocal range, which critics have...  more
  • 25
    345
    564
    Emma González is an American activist and advocate for gun control. As a high school senior she survived the February 2018 Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, and in response...  more