Every December, FT Weekend Magazine dedicates a special issue to celebrating the women from around the world who, over the past year, have stood out in their fields and sparked positive change. The 2022 list is now here, with 25 women disrupters profiled by a host of female writers including FT editors, actors, sportswomen, novelists, politicians and entrepreneurs. But Women of 2022 would not be complete without a crucial list — the one compiled by our loyal readers.
We were delighted to receive dozens of suggestions via FT.com and Instagram, and loved learning about the trailblazers who have inspired you. Some of the names you suggested feature in our list of the 25 most influential women of 2022. Here are a further selection of nominees you put forward who have overcome barriers, set examples and shone a light on some of the most urgent issues of our time.
I nominate Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s deputy prime minister and minister of finance. In 2022, she has shown exceptional leadership in forging consensus among the largest economies on Russian sanctions in response to the invasion of Ukraine, and in demonstrating the utmost patience in renegotiating a deal with Nafta.
I already admired her in all aspects of her work, for example for how she shaped Canada’s economic response to the Covid pandemic that helped reduce the impact of the virus, as shown by fewer infections and Covid deaths in comparison with other major industrialised countries.
Farah Ahamed is a writer and lawyer whose 2022 book Period Matters, on menstruation in South Asia, celebrates the power of femininity and changes the discourse on women with grace and civility. Her writing helped so many girls and women.
Dr Annice Mukherjee
The UK hormone specialist researches, writes and advocates for menopausal health and against excessive HRT (hormonal replacement therapy). She says the most sensible things about the menopause.
I nominate the British actress Nazanin Boniadi because she has been an outstanding spokesperson for the women of Iran, where she was born. She helped co-ordinate large-scale protests against the Islamic regime in the US, inspiring thousands of people, and used her platform to offer her voice to those who were silenced.
—Stephanie Javadi (@ssjavadi, Instagram)
Rana Ayyub, the Indian journalist and opinion columnist with The Washington Post. I admire her courage and bravery for speaking up against injustice, oppression and hate in her region. She is braving all odds in the current political climate of India, especially as a Muslim woman journalist. Her courage, tenacity and her not mincing her words to speak truth to power is journalism in action in every sense of the word.
She is a proud Indian who is not afraid to hold her government accountable. I have seen her brave personal odds to speak for those who are deliberately silenced. Anyone else in her position would have long left the field to protect herself and her family. Such a selfless act of choosing her words to write the first draft of history is what we badly need today. And she does exactly that.
—Al Taf (@cyclingsultan, Instagram)
An understated winner. Earlier this year Rachael Blackmore, the first female winner of the Aintree Grand National, has also become the first woman to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup (on Henry de Bromhead-trained A Plus Tard), among many notable wins, all delivered with aplomb.
—Harvey ptt (@harveyptt, Instagram)
Annemiek van Vleuten
Dutch road racing cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten won a lot of races this year, the most formidable being the UCI Road World Championships in Australia, where she snatched the gold medal while cycling with a broken elbow! Her wins are putting women’s races on the map, and she’s setting an example for young girls who are considering getting into racing, so far still a strongly male-dominated sport.
—KP Chn (@@chan.kap, Instagram)
I saw American photojournalist Lynsey Addario give a talk in London and she truly impressed me. I had the chance to see her solo exhibition in New York this year, and it moved me to tears. She creates important work as a woman in a male-dominated industry, and risks her life to shine light on the atrocities of war zones. Her autobiography (It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War) fully captures the importance of her work and the personal sacrifices she makes.
—Susan Skrupa (@superskrup, Instagram)