Margaret Thatcher beat Marie Curie and the Queen to be crowned the ‘Most Influential Woman’ of the last 200 years.
According to Scottish Widows poll of over 2000 adults 28% put the only female Prime Minister at number one on the list, followed by the first female Nobel Prize winner Marie Curie (24%), and the longest reigning monarch Queen Elizabeth II (18%).
This was followed by Diana, Princess of Wales (17%), suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst (16%), Catholic missionary Mother Teresa (13%), nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale (12%), Queen Victoria (8%), African-American civil rights activist Rosa Parks (7%) and broadcaster Oprah Winfrey (6%).
Aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart was named the most influential sportswoman, author Jane Austen named the creative arts list, and actress Judi Dench was named the most influential female performing artist.
The most influential businesswoman was revealed as Body Shop founder Anita Roddick, Simone de Beauvoir was named most influential female public intellectual and Kate Adie was crowned the most influential female journalist.
Suzannah Lipscomb, historian and author, said: “The top 10 are an impressive list of women. Each of them was or has been responsible for or overseen real change, but in addition nearly every one of them has some symbolic importance beyond their own person. What’s evident overall is that the women chosen as the top of each category – and in our list of top 10 – are not flashes in the pan.
“Thatcher, Pankhurst, Curie, Earhart, Austen, Dench, Beauvoir and Adie are women who can be referred to by one name. They have been chosen because they were and are game-changers. This is the definition of ‘influential’ that emerges.”
Jackie Leiper, retirement expert at Scottish Widows, said: “The survey results reflect the changing face of women in the workforce since Scottish Widows was established 200 years ago, and the increase of opportunities that have opened up to women to enact genuine influence on society since then.”