On Tuesday, Forbes released their list of this year’s “100 Most Powerful Women of 2020.” Though their ranking celebrates women of various geographical, generational, racial, and occupational backgrounds, one form of diversity is glaringly absent: ideological diversity. While names like Kamala Harris and Nancy Pelosi are rightfully included, the only American political figures named are Democrats.
— Forbes (@Forbes) December 8, 2020
If Forbes genuinely intends to rank the most powerful women in the world, why did they fail to acknowledge those right-of-center? This is not a matter of whether or not Forbes likes these women — or their politics. Instead, such rankings should serve as an objective survey of female power on the global stage — or, as Forbes put it themselves, a celebration of “more power in more places.”
Here are five powerful conservative women who would add ideological variety to Forbes’s list:
Amy Coney Barrett
This September, Amy Coney Barrett rose to prominence when President Trump appointed her to the Supreme Court. A widely respected law professor at Notre Dame (where she also graduated top of her class), Barrett is also a mother of seven. Of her 114 predecessors, Barrett made history as the fifth and youngest woman to ever serve on the Supreme Court.
Barrett’s appointment dominated headlines in 2020, sparking celebration on the right and receiving harsh criticism from the left. Dubbed a “danger to the future of civilization” by Paul Krugman and the legacy media, surely Barrett must earn a spot among the world’s most powerful women? At only 48 years old, her influence could last for decades.
Another woman to gain tremendous coverage in 2020 is Kayleigh McEnany. A graduate of Georgetown University and Harvard Law School, she previously served as a commentator for CNN and spokesperson for the Republican National Committee. President Trump appointed her White House Press Secretary this April.
At 32 years old, McEnany is only the fifth woman to serve in this role. Though her time in office has been brief, these past months have been nothing short of historic. As the public-facing spokesperson for an unprecedented leader in unprecedented times, she has unwaveringly defended the president and his policies. In doing so, she has rapidly gained considerable attention and influence.
Though she was ranked #42 in last year’s list, Ivanka Trump still wields considerable influence in the White House. A cum laude graduate of the Wharton School, she formerly served as the executive vice president of the Trump Organization, as well as founder of her own clothing line.
During her father’s presidency, Ivanka assumed an unprecedented and dynamic role as first daughter, acting also as Advisor to the President and Director of the Office of Economic Initiatives and Entrepreneurship. Last year, Forbes credited Ivanka for her advocacy for a childcare tax credit and workforce apprentice program. It should also be noted that she recently launched the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative for female economic empowerment.
Upon Trump’s election in 2016, Kellyanne Conway stepped into the national spotlight. As the President’s campaign manager, she led one of the most unlikely political candidates to a famously unexpected victory, making history as the first woman ever to run a successful presidential campaign. She went on to work as Senior Counselor to the President starting in 2017, and while in the White House, she oversaw efforts to combat the opioid epidemic.
This year, Conway served as an advisor to Trump’s re-election campaign. In August, she announced her exit from the White House following a public feud with her daughter. Just this week, however, she stepped back into the spotlight yet again. On Tuesday, Conway was tapped by the President to join the board of visitors to the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Along with Ivanka, Nikki Haley is another conservative woman to previously appear on Forbes’s list, only to drop off in 2018. Haley gained national notoriety in 2011 when she took office as Governor of South Carolina. She made national history as the youngest ever governor, and second governor of Indian descent. She is also the first female governor of South Carolina.
In 2016, Trump nominated Haley as Ambassador to the United Nations. At the time, Forbes published an article entitled “Trump’s Choice Of Nikki Haley Is A Slap To The U.N. And Pandering To Asian-Americans.” Nonetheless, during her time at the United Nations, Haley was central to the Trump administration’s handling of a wide variety of international concerns, from Israel to Iran and North Korea.
Though Haley left the Trump team on good terms in 2018, she remains very actively involved in national discourse. She has recently published a variety of editorials and founded Stand for America, a non-profit policy advocate group. Her name is also frequently mentioned as a potential candidate for 2024 or 2028. Haley, therefore, could potentially be the future face of the Republican party.
Forbes’s inclusion of conservative women does not require an endorsement of their politics. It need not be a fight between right and left. From Tulsi Gabbard to Jo Jorgensen, this year has proved that women across the political spectrum are breaking the political glass ceiling.
If Biden’s presidency is to succeed in healing the political divide, then major media players like Forbes ought to begin considering the breadth of our country’s ideological diversity. Celebrating the rise of women in positions of power, therefore, should not be a matter of promoting political orthodoxy.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.