In 2016, Hillary Clinton made history as the first candidate to clinch a major party's nomination for president of the United States.
Women have always had a key place in history, of course. But that hasn't always equated the kind of highly visible clout -- in politics and government, the arts, technology and more -- that we're seeing in 2016.
Here's our list of more than two dozen of the most powerful women in the world today.
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After a stint as first lady, Clinton served as a U.S. senator from New York, helping to bring in more than $20 billion to redevelop the World Trade Center after 9/11. After losing her first bid for president in 2008, she then took on the role of secretary of state, focusing on the use of "smart power" to advance U.S. interests around the world while emphasizing the importance of women's and human rights.
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Michelle Obama has been using her role as first lady to combat child obesity since her husband's first year in office. Her Let's Move initiative recently collaborated with Disney to promote healthier food options throughout its many channels and theme parks.
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Through the foundation she co-founded in 2000 and runs with her husband Bill, Gates has shepherded nearly $37 billion in donations to health, education and many other causes. One major accomplishment: a program that supplies contraceptives to 120 million women and girls in the world's poorest countries.
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Beyonce is a household name, and she's changing the music industry. She's sold more 34 million albums (including her work with her early band, Destiny's Child), and 1.8 million people saw her 2013-2014 tour.
By dropping her 2013 self-titled album as a surprise, Beyonce signaled to artists worldwide that the status quo in the music business needs to be re-examined and reinvented. Since then superstars such as Drake have been following suit.
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The chancellor of Germany is a leading figure in European politics, wielding strong influence over world events ranging from the Middle East to European Union financial troubles. In 2016, Merkel brought Germany to a surplus of 12.1 billion euros and spearheaded the acceptance of 1 million Syrian refugees.
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Taylor Swift is one of the most sought-after and bestselling artists in the world, with all three of her last albums selling a million or more copies in the first week. She can boast 78.9 million Twitter followers and 83.4 million Instagram followers.
And her words don't just scroll across millennials' mobile phones; they're touching lives and inspiring a generation of young fans.
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As chair of the Federal Reserve, Yellen is known for her logic and straight-forward language. In 2015, with an eye toward quelling unemployment and inflation, she raised interest rates for the first time since 2006. Since then, unemployment and inflation have continued to fall.
Oprah Winfrey has been a media mogul for years, with her show seeing 48 million viewers per week and airing in 150 countries before its final episode. Today she runs her own cable network, OWN, and most recently, after she bought a stake in Weight Watchers, its stock rose 90 percent.
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Lawrence is the highest-paid actress in Hollywood, having appeared in major franchises such as the Hunger Games and X-Men. She's also won multiple awards - including an Oscar.
Still, in a letter she wrote for the newsletter Lenny, Lawrence suggested she hadn't fought hard enough to get paid as much as her male costars in "American Hustle." She vowed to change that practice; as a result, costar Bradley Cooper said he'd start ensuring female costars get paid equally as well.
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Wintour is the artistic director at Conde Nast, weighing in on all 21 of the company's publications. The longtime Vogue editor-in-chief, she's used her influence to turn the annual Met Gala into a blockbuster event, raising more than $145 million for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
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Theresa May steps into the role of British Prime Minister in July 2016. The steely Conservative will have to guide her country through the first steps of withdrawing from the European Union following the divisive "Brexit" vote.
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Huffington needs no introduction, with one of the most popular websites in the world featuring her name. The Huffington Post, which she co-founded and shepherds as editor-in-chief, sees 200 million unique visitors each month. She's also written more than a dozen books on topics ranging from politics to the need for a good night's sleep.
In 2012, Malala Yousafzai was shot by the Taliban, having spoken out publicly about the importance of girls' education. She recovered, becoming one of the world's outspoken advocates for the cause and winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014. She's since used her power to raise funds to open a school for hundreds of Syrian refugee girls.
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Ruth Bader Ginsburg
In 1993 Ginsburg became the second woman ever appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, where she is still serving today. She spent her earlier career as a lawyer and activist fighting for gender equality. Her votes on the high court helped put into effect Obamacare, and she was instrumental in the historic ruling legalizing same sex marriage.
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Sandberg is chief operating officer of one of the biggest and most influential companies in the world: Facebook. Under her leadership, the company has seen tremendous growth, earning a record $3.69 billion in 2015. By early 2016, the company saw an average 1.04 billion users a day, 17 percent more than in 2014. Her book, Lean In, about working women, has sold more than 2 million copies, and inspired women to start businesses and speak up for themselves.
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In 2012, Harvard professor and consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren was elected to the U.S. Senate from Massachusetts. She serves as strategic advisor on the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, reshaping the party's direction and priorities, and in June 2016 made a key speech supporting Hillary Clinton's run for the presidency.
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Award-winning creator, executive producer, and head writer of "Grey's Anatomy" and other hit shows, Shonda Rhimes' various television and film endeavors have garnered accolades and viewership worldwide. In the 2015/16 season, "Grey's" saw an average of 8 million viewers per episode; while another of her shows, "Scandal," saw 7 million; and her latest, "How to Get Away With Murder," saw an average of 6 million.
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She's the highest-paid female athlete in the last past year and the only player, male or female, to have won at least 10 singles Grand Slam titles in each of two different decades. She brought the total to 22 with her 2016 Wimbledon victory. In the summer of 2015, for the first time in US Open history, the women's singles final sold out before the men's. Serena was, of course, playing that day.
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CEO of the hugely popular and influential video site YouTube, Wojcicki was a huge player in Google's purchase of the company in 2006. Today, YouTube gets more than 1 billion unique visitors a month and is worth an estimated $70 billion.
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As managing director of the International Monetary Fund, a body of 189 countries, Lagarde is at the forefront of working to secure worldwide financial stability.
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Ana Patricia Botin
Botin took on the role of executive chairman of financial services for the biggest bank in the Eurozone, the Santander Group of Spain, in 2014. The bank is valued at $68.4 billion (as of June 2016). Under her leadership, Santander was the first to try Bitcoin money transfers.
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The California congresswoman was the first woman Speaker of the House, and currently serves as the House Democratic leader. She's fought to increase the country's minimum wage, enact a new GI education bill for veterans, and expand college aid.
In 2015, 84-year-old Tu was one of three people to share the Nobel Prize for medicine after identifying a natural substance called artemisinin that could be used to develop drugs against malaria. In the last 15 years, such treatments have halved the number of deaths from the disease, saving millions of lives.
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Barra took over General Motors as the first woman CEO of a major auto company in 2014, and under her leadership, GM saw record profits in 2015. Among Barra's goals is developing GM's electric car, enabling millions of potential car owners to live more eco-friendly lives.
The CEO of PepsiCo heads one of the world's biggest public companies, worth more than $140 billion and with hundreds of thousands of employees worldwide. This year she announced the company known for its sugary, carbonated beverages, would be shifting its focus to healthier products.
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Rowling's Harry Potter books have sold more than 450 million copies, reaching more people than any other book series in history. As such, she is credited with getting kids excited about reading in unprecedented numbers. This influence will likely continue: a new Potter book, based on the play "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child," is expected to debut in July 2016.