Fortune magazine has ranked the most powerful women in business outside the U.S. and Absa boss Maria Ramos has climbed to number 16 in the top 50 list. She is the only woman from Africa on the prestigious listing.
"Barclays Africa is a very different bank than it was when Ramos took the reins there in 2009. In her eight years at the firm, the Portuguese-South African economist has skilfully led the company's transformation, completed earlier this year, from Barclays subsidiary to standalone entity with 11.8 million customers and a presence in 12 countries," Fortune said of Ramos.
Her global power is important to her position on the list, Fortune say.
"Though recession in South Africa has tested the bank locally, it added 2.5 million customers and now counts on foreign markets for nearly a quarter of its revenue. Ramos, the only woman to helm one of the 40 largest companies on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, earlier this summer joined the prestigious Group of 30,a select body of economists that includes Ben Bernanke and Bank of England governor Mark Carney,where she is also the only woman."
This is the second time Ramos has been included on the listing, which is based on four metrics: money (either net worth, company revenues, or GDP); media presence; spheres of influence; and impact, analysed both within the context of each woman's field (media, technology, business, philanthropy, politics, and finance) and outside of it. Last year she was listed 20th.
In 2016 Ramos' total salary amounted to R28.57m, according to Business Tech, making her the third-highest earning retail banking CEO in South Africa.