Queen extends her reign to top list of most powerful women in Britain

Home Secretary Theresa May comes second in first table to assess Britain's most powerful females

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The Independent Online

She's been tipped as a future Tory leader – and today Theresa May's rise to prominence is confirmed with the news that she has been voted the most powerful woman in Britain after the Queen.

The Home Secretary, whose political star has soared since her popular decision to block the extradition of autistic hacker Gary McKinnon, came out ahead of a host of leading female business figures and judges in the list compiled by BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour.

While the list is – perhaps inevitably – headed by the woman who has spent 60 years on the throne, there is no place in the top 100 for the Duchess of Cambridge. And the ranking also hints at the lack of racial equality among the country's most powerful women with every member of the top 20 being white. Kids Company founder Camila Batmanghelidjh and Iraqi-born architect Zaha Hadid are among the few ethnic-minority women on the list.

Among the women who made the top 20 is third-placed Santander chief executive Ana Botin, who ran an internet start-up business before joining the bank. She is joined by media tycoon Rupert Murdoch's daughter Elisabeth, the chairman of television company Shine Limited, who has thus far come through the scandal surrounding other members of her family relatively unscathed and is ranked fifth.

The inaugural Woman's Hour Power List was compiled by a panel of judges including author and journalist Eve Pollard, Conservative MP Priti Patel, television presenter and writer Dawn O'Porter, Labour peer Oona King, novelist Val McDermid, and former Woman's Hour editor Jill Burridge.

Eve Pollard, the panel's chair, said the judges set out to include women who wield power, rather than simply influence, hence the decision to exclude Kate Middleton.

"Inevitably not everyone will agree with the 100 we have chosen. There are some omissions. For example, we had long debates about the Duchess of Cambridge. Is she influential? Hugely. Is she powerful? Not yet," she said.

"What this list does is shine a light on those sectors where too few women are getting to the top, like politics, FTSE companies, the military and journalism. Our legacy, we hope, is that this list might change that."

Woman's Hour power list: the top 20

1. Her Majesty The Queen

2. Rt Hon Theresa May MP (Home Secretary), pictured

3. Ana Botín (CEO, Santander UK)

4. Baroness Brenda Hale of Richmond (Supreme Court Judge)

5. Elisabeth Murdoch (Chairman, Shine Group)

6. Professor Dame Sally Davies (Chief Medical Officer)

7. Justine Roberts & Carrie Longton (Co-founders, Mumsnet)

8. Lady Justice Hallett (Appeal Court Judge)

9. Angela Ahrendts (CEO, Burberry)

10. Dame Gail Rebuck (Chairman and CEO, The Random House Group)

11. Frances O'Grady (General Secretary, TUC)

12. Moya Greene (Chief Executive, Royal Mail)

13. J K Rowling (author and philanthropist)

14. Rt Hon Harriet Harman MP (Deputy Leader, Labour Party)

15. Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell (President & Vice-Chancellor, University of Manchester)

16. Rosemary Squire (co-founder and co-Chief Executive, Ambassador Theatre Group)

17. Rt Hon Maria Miller MP (Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport)

18. Sara Thornton (Chief Constable, Thames Valley Police)

19. Ann Glover (Chief Scientific Adviser to the European Commission)

20. Nicola Sturgeon MSP (Deputy First Minister of Scotland)

Numbers 21 to 100 are listed alphabetically, by first name

Adele Adkins

Alexandra Shulman

Alison Cooper

Alison Nimmo CBE

Amanda Sourry

Ann Cairns

Pofessor Dame Ann Dowling

Lady Barbara Judge

Camila Batmanghelijh

Carol Ann Duffy CBE

Professor Dame Carol Black

Carolyn McCall OBE

Baroness Catherine Ashton

Chrissie Rucker MBE

Cilla Snowball CBE

Clare Balding

Clare Foges

Clare Gerada MBE

Colette Bowe

Cressida Dick QPM

Dawn French

Denise Coates CBE

Dido Harding

Eileen Gallagher OBE

Harriet Green OBE

Heather Rabbatts CBE

Dame Helen Alexander

Helen Boaden

Lady Helen Hamlyn

Helena Morrissey CBE

Jan Hall OBE

Dame Janet Smith

Jasmine Whitbread

Jayne-Anne Gadhia

Joanna Lumley OBE

Joanna Shields

Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell-Burnell

Jude Kelly OBE

Judith McKenna

Dame Julie Moore

Rt Hon Justine Greening MP

Kanya King MBE

Karren Brady

Kath Mainland

Liz Bingham

Reverend Lorna Hood

Louise Casey

Lucy Heller

Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP

Marisa Drew

Martha Lane Fox CBE

The Rt Hon Lady Justice Arden

Mary Curnock Cook OBE

Dame Mary Perkins

Natalie Massenet

Nicola Shindler

Pinky Lilani OBE

Rachel Whetstone

Ruby McGregor Smith CBE

Sarah Millican

Shami Chakrabarti CBE

Sigrid Rausing

Siobhan Reddy

Sophie Turner Laing

Stella McCartney

Dame Stephanie 'Steve' Shirley

Professor Sue Bailey

Professor Sue Black OBE

Baroness Sue Campbell

Dame Sue Ion