Fortune's 50 Greatest Leaders Includes A Record 23 Women

Photo: Kelvin Trautman/REX/Shutterstock.
Fortune released its list of the world's 50 greatest leaders today. Every year, the list highlights trailblazers in both the private and public sector, but 2016's list stands apart for a very special reason.

This year, nearly 50% — a record-breaking 23 spots — were awarded to women. Last year, there were only 15. While Fortune says there's no "concrete reason" that 2016's list is record-setting, there are some trends. Female politicians, both domestic and global, made headlines this year, from number 17, Nikki Haley, to number 2, Angela Merkel. Many headline-making activists on the list are also female, include the three women behind the Black Lives Matter movement.

You can go to Fortune to see the full list of impressive women included (and, you know, the men). Ahead, we rounded up 10 that we find particularly amazing — click through to get some major inspiration.
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Photo: Kelvin Trautman/REX/Shutterstock.
45. Mina Guli, CEO Of Thirst
Guli created Thirst to spread awareness on water usage and conservation. This year, to help raise awareness for her cause, she ran 40 marathons on seven continents in seven weeks.
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Photo: Branden Camp/AP Photo.
34. Kristen Griest & Shaye Haver, U.S. Army Rangers
Griest and Haver recently became the first two women to complete the infamously difficult Army Ranger training. Griest told Fortune she got through it by "thinking...of future generations of women — that I would like them to have the opportunity."
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Photo: ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images.
28. Chai Jing, Freelance Journalist In China
Jing's documentary, Under The Dome, is a scathing critique of the causes of China's current environmental crisis. It angered the Chinese government — and resulted in censorship — but also started a conversation vitally important to future generations.
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Photo: Mike Pont/Getty Images.
27. Alicia Garza (pictured), Patricia Cullors, & Opal Tometi; Cofounders Of Black Lives Matter
Since the three friends started the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter after Trayvon Martin's death in 2012, they have gone on to influence political debate all the way up to the presidency and have helped create a modern movement that cannot be ignored.
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Photo: Ted S. Warren/AP Photo.
25. Carla Hayden, Librarian Of Congress Nominee
Long before she entered the national spotlight as the person to potentially become both the first woman and African-American to helm the Library of Congress, Hayden ran the Baltimore public libraries, where she has long been a voice for keeping libraries relevant in the modern age.
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Photo: Taylor Hill/Getty Images.
24. Anna Maria Chávez, CEO Of Girl Scouts U.S.A.
If you've bought Girl Scout cookies online recently, you can thank Chavez. As the first person of color to head the organization, she's also modernized it by creating new badges in financial and STEM literacy, as well as worked with women like Michelle Obama and Sheryl Sandberg to recruit and build the country's next generation of women leaders.
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Photo: Desiree Navarro/Getty Images.
20. Reshma Saujani, Founder & CEO Of Girls Who Code
Saujani created Girls Who Code to get more young women into computer science — and her work is already paying off. By the end of this year, 40,000 girls will have gone through her program, and the organization will handout over $1 million in scholarships this summer alone.
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Photo: Carsten Koall/Getty Images.
10. Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister Of Bangladesh
Hasina has pledged to increase educational, financial, and political power to women in Bangladesh. As a head of state in a country home to the world's fourth-largest Muslim population, she is an important voice for women's rights globally.
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Photo: REX/Shutterstock.
9. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice Of The U.S. Supreme Court
A longtime advocate for women's rights, the Notorious RBG serves as an inspiration to female lawyers and change-makers the world over.
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Photo: Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images.
7. Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary, U.N. Framework Convention On Climate Change
The future may be female, but we don't have much of a future if climate change goes unchecked. Sine 2010, Figueres has been working at the U.N. to create a unified, powerful response to global warming. The Paris climate conference in December was the result of her hard work.