Forbes: World's Most Powerful Women 2010

By Meghan Casserly,

Forbes' power lists are synonymous with moguls and movie stars, heads of state and captains of business. One look at the 2010 World's 100 Most Powerful Women list and it is clear that we've come up with a new ranking of the female power elite that reflects the New Order of now.

When we set out to identify this year's list, we decided it was time to look up and out into the broader culture. Our assessment is based less on traditional titles and roles and more on creative influence and entrepreneurship. They have built distinctive companies and brands and championed weighty causes, sometimes through unconventional means; in other cases, they have broken through gender barriers.