Introducing Fortune’s 2020 Most Powerful Women International list

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Canada breaks its own banking glass ceiling, D.C. enacts new education requirements for childcare workers, and we unveil Fortune’s 2020 Most Powerful Women International list. Have a wonderful Wednesday.

– Meet the Most Powerful Women in the world. On Monday, Fortune published the 2020 Most Powerful Women list featuring female executives based in the United States. Today, we introduce you to the 50 most powerful women in business elsewhere in the world

For this list too we shook up the methodology to reflect the unprecedented crises sweeping the globe this year—the pandemic, economic turmoil, and climate change. Fortune‘s MPW list was founded two decades ago on four metrics: the size and health of a woman’s business, the arc of her career, and her societal and cultural influence. This year we considered not just how much power a woman had amassed, but how she’s using it to shape the world around her. 

The women at the very top of the list reflect that new criteria. At No. 1, GlaxoSmithKline CEO Emma Walmsley has directed many of her drug company’s resources to the fight against COVID-19 (all while keeping up her thriving pharma business). Ping An, the massive insurer No. 2 Jessica Tan co-leads, played a pivotal role in responding to China’s outbreak.

The women hail from 21 countries, and there are a whopping 17 newcomers on the list, many of whom were tapped to lead companies in the midst of turnaround efforts. Take our new No. 7, for instance. Martina Merz joined the supervisory board of Thyssenkrupp, the storied but troubled German conglomerate, in December 2018 and became interim CEO last October after the previous chief executive was ousted after 14 months. She won the job on a permanent basis in April after selling the group’s most profitable elevator business for $18.9 billion and capturing the support of shareholders who’d previously been at odds: the Krupp family foundation and activist investment funds. 

Merz’s work continues, as does that of all the women on our list as they face a business climate unlike any other. You can learn more about what they’re up against—and what they’ve achieved so far—here.

Erika Fry and Claire Zillman,
@ErikaFry, @clairezillman

Today’s Broadsheet was curated by Emma Hinchliffe

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