Last week TIME released their annual global list of the Top 100 most influential people. Each person is summarised, with Hugh Jackman being hailed as one of the “finest, most committed actors of his generation” by Anne Hathaway.
Other well known names making the list include Roger Federer, Kim Jong Un and soon-to-be royal Meghan Markle. Described as a list of individuals whose time “is now” rather than a measurement of power, this year had a record 45 people under the age of 40 across five categories: pioneers, artists, leaders, icons and titans.
2018’s list also includes more women than any previous year. Could this be because we’re on the cusp of change, and a “new day” really is on the horizon? Out of an outstanding list of 100, here are our top five.
If being an astronaut wasn’t inspiring enough, try being the first female chief of the NASA astronaut office. Peggy has “redefined the role of women in space exploration”, and is the most successful astronaut in US history. Yes, you read that right – not the most successful female astronaut, but the most successful astronaut, ever!
Meet the youngest female to win an Olympic medal for snowboarding (and a gold one at that). As a young Korean-American female, Chloe’s 2018 sporting success shattered Asian stereotypes and continues to challenge how Asians are perceived in sport.
Nicole’s award-winning performance in Big Little Lies shone a light on the horrors of being a modern day woman trapped in an abusive relationship. Her portrayal of Celeste, a housewife struggling to leave an abusive husband, highlighted the full range of human emotion – shame, guilt, anger and courage to name a few. Playing a unique role not often seen in Hollywood, showed courage and brought awareness to an incredibly important issue.
Advocator for survivors of rape and sexual assault, Tarana Burke’s tireless work brings a voice to girls and women of the future. Her focus on changing current legislation is improving the lives of many.
Of the eleven women who are leading countries in the world, New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern is the only one who is pregnant. As the youngest female Prime Minister in the world, Jacinda is smashing the glass ceiling with her progressive politics and leadership skills.
“In a world that too often tells women to stay small, keep quiet – and that we can’t have both motherhood and a career – Jacinda Ardern proves how wrong and outdated those notions of womanhood are. She’s not just leading a country. She’s changing the game. And women and girls around the world will be better for it”, says COO of Facebook Sheryl Sandberg.
Discover the full TIME 100 list here.
Image by Andrew McConnell.