MSN Leaves Women in Business off its “Most Influential” List

MSN released their annual list of the most influential women in 2007. The list included politicians (two, to be exact), singers, television personalities and actresses (six, to be exact), a random woman who popped up on the radar of bloggers at some point during 2007, a coach and an author. The big shocker? The list did not include a single woman in business, finance or law. That’s right, according to the movers and shakers at MSN, the myriad ways in which women leaders impacted our society in 2007 did not merit a single mention of women in the corporate world. In contrast, the list of most influential men was dominated by politicians and businessmen. Here, the list of 2007’s influential women, as interpreted by MSN News:

  1. Hillary Clinton, New York Senator and Democratic presidential candidate
  2. Benazir Bhutto, Former Prime Minister of Pakistan
  3. Elizabeth Hasselbeck, conservative television commentator
  4. Carrie Underwood, American Idol winner and country music singer
  5. Pat Summitt, University of Tennessee women’s basketball coach
  6. Miley Cyrus (otherwise known as Hannah Montana)
  7. Alice Temperley, Sarah Jessica Parker, Vera Wang, Erin Fetherston (in their capacity as designers of trendy affordable clothing)
  8. Obama Girl (someone who made a YouTube rap video endorsing presidential candidate Barak Obama – don’t ask)
  9. Tina Fey, writer and comedian
  10. Padma Lakshmi, Top Chef hostess
  11. J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter author

However, readers on the MSN message boards also noticed the discrepancy, which caused a bit of an outcry. Several readers noted that it seemed ridiculous to include Miley Cyrus and Benazir Bhutto on the same list of anything. The stark and surprising absence of women leaders in business was observed by several commentators, who panned the list as a superficial and inaccurate reflection of women’s accomplishments in 2007. One reader stated that she was disappointed in the list, which consisted mostly of “sexy-looking media celebrities,” and did a disservice to Clinton, Bhutto and other serious hardworking women who were left off. Another reader summed it up nicely, lamenting the exclusion of the “hundreds of women trying to make the world a better place” and stating bluntly, “that’s five minutes of my life that I will never get back, thanks.”

This pseudo-list of accomplished women inspired The Glass Hammer to try to compile the real thing. Who do you think should be included on the list of most influential women in 2007? Write to us or post below to let us know your thoughts. This article will be published shortly after the New Year.