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

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

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: PMLD Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: PMLD Teacher A specialist primary school i...

Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

Recruitment Genius: Public House Manager / Management Couples

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...

Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links