Why Shonda Rhimes and Serena Williams deserve to be on the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women Forbes list

Shonda Rhimes and Serena Williams
Shonda Rhimes and Serena Williams

Shonda Rhimes and Serena Williams have joined 20 newcomers on the Forbes 2018 World’s 100 Most Powerful Women list. In their respective fields, no else is more deserving.

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Shonda and Serena are not only global icons, but they have been trailblazers in their careers. This Forbes list “celebrates the icons, innovators and instigators who are using their voice to change power structures and create a lasting impact,” and that is exactly what these two women have done.

Shonda, the founder and owner of the Shondaland TV production company, has led the creation of the hit series Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder and Grey's Anatomy – all of which have women lead characters.

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After signing a multiyear, nine-figure deal with Netflix, as The New York Times reported, Shonda has “achieved almost everything a television producer could hope for”.

Forbes acknowledged this achievement by noting that Shonda made history as one of the first showrunners to sign an exclusive deal with Netflix.

Shonda Rhimes overflows with self-confidence, she knows her worth and she continues to push boundaries in television by producing riveting shows.

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She has been honoured with many awards - most recently, she was inducted as the member of the Television Hall of Fame. Essence magazine reported that Shonda is only the third black woman inducted into the Television Hall of Fame, following Oprah and Diahann Carroll.

In 2014, Shonda Rhimes received an honourary doctorate in Fine Arts from the University of Southern California. So technically, it’s Dr Shonda Rhimes to all of us.

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Also making a debut appearance on the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women list is Serena Williams. She is a household name in sport, while Forbes recognises her for being an athlete, she is also a founder of self-titled fashion label Serena and has made a few business moves worth appreciating.

In her sporting career, Serena has broken many records, pushed so many boundaries and has been an example of excellence in sports. Forbes reports that she ranks as the highest paid female athlete for the third consecutive year with earnings of $18.1 million attributed to her endorsement portfolio and highlighting tennis as her source of wealth.

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This is not the first time Serena has appeared on one of the Forbes lists. In 2014 she was ranked 69th on the Celebrity 100 as one of the world’s highest-paid entertainers and until 2017, she was on the World's Highest-Paid Athletes list.

In this year’s most powerful women’s list, Shonda Rhimes and Serena Williams ranked 74th and 79th respectively, joining Oprah Winfrey who is ranked 20th, Ivanka Trump ranked 24th, Priyanka Chopra ranked 94th and the President of Ethiopia Sahle-Work Zewde ranked number 97, among others.

Who else do you think should appear on the Forbes World’s 100 Most Powerful Women list? Chat to use here.

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