August 21, 2013

Women and power

Erica Ariel Fox, who teaches negotiation at Harvard Law School and is president of Mobius Executive Leadership, said the focus on earnings and title neglects to consider inner qualities that may make people powerful, such as that they’re deeply inspiring, or the fact that a company’s top dog isn’t always the most influential.

Yet interestingly, as more women rise to the top by traditional male standards of success, Fox said she has found a concurrent trend among male leaders to embrace more archetypically feminine values — turning away from hierarchy to build webs of relationships, wanting meaning and purpose to their work as well as bottom line results.

Forbes, being a business magazine, may always judge power according to money, which is one way to do it. But Hassan hopes being powerful eventually is redefined away from cash power toward a moral power, where what’s most important is what you value and what you’ve been able to do for other people — a cause likely helped by the 100 brilliant women at the top of Forbes’ food chain.

“They’re the ones who will have to lead the paradigm shift,” Hassan said.

Meet all 100

Meet the women chosen for 2012 at forbes.com/power-women.