The World's 20 Most Powerful Mums

Melinda GatesReuters/Suzanne PlunkettMelinda Gates, cofounder and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

These women prove that motherhood is no longer a barrier to achieving greatness.

Working Mother magazine has named the Most Powerful Mums of 2014, selected from the spheres of business, technology, politics, philanthropy, and news and entertainment.

These women are leading nations, managing billion-dollar companies, and influencing the global conversation, in addition to doing the most important work of all — raising the next generation.

From Melinda Gates to Queen Bey, here’s a look at some of the mums who are shaping our world, selected by Working Mother.

Christiane Amanpour

Chief International Correspondent, CNN
Children: One

British-Iranian Amanpour is one of the world's most highly respected and awarded journalists. She has covered war zones, campaigned to free captive journalists, and interviewed countless world leaders. She's also taken on the challenge of becoming a mother and has one son.

Mary Barra

CEO, General Motors
Children: Two

The GM veteran is not only one of the world's most powerful women in business, she's also a mum of two teenagers, ages 15 and 17. After working at the car giant for 33 years, Barra stepped into the CEO role in January and has since been dealing with a scandal that led to the recall of 2.6 million cars. She has a degree in electrical engineering and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Beyonce

Singer, Actress, Mogul
Children: One

With hubby and fellow music mogul Jay Z, Queen Bey is mum to 2-year-old Blue Ivy. Motherhood hasn't slowed her down. The Grammy-winner's latest album, 'Beyoncé,' sold half a million copies in the first 24 hours of its release. What's more, she just wrapped her Mrs. Carter Show World Tour, earning $US188.6 million.

Sandra Bullock

Actress, Producer
Children: One

Bullock, one of Hollywood's savviest leading ladies, is the mother of 2-year-old Louis. The Academy Award winner has starred in box-office hits like 'Gravity,' 'The Blind Side,' and 'Crash,' and has an estimated net worth of more than $US150 million.

Melinda Gates

Cofounder, Co-Chair, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Children: Three

Along with her husband Bill, Melinda is one of the world's richest people and parent of three teens: Jennifer, 18, Rory, 15, and Phoebe, 12. She is responsible for the strategy and direction of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which puts their wealth to work. One of her goals is to give women more control over their bodies, and she is working to deliver contraceptives to women in developing countries.

Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. Senator, New York (D)
Children: Two

The mum of two boys (Theodore, 10, and Henry, 5) is one of only two women in the senate with young children. She's become a powerful voice in politics, after she advocated for the STOCK Act, banning insider trading by Congress members, and led a repeal of 'Don't Ask Don't Tell,' banning gays from serving openly in the military.

Sri Mulyani Indrawati

COO and Managing Director, the World Bank Group
Children: Three

Indrawati, the former finance minister of Indonesia, now runs the World Bank's operations in 70 countries around the globe. In addition to being a mum of three, she has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Illinois and is a regular on Forbes' list of the most powerful women in the world.

Laurene Powell Jobs

Founder and Chair, Emerson Collective, Disney Shareholder
Children: Three

Powell Jobs, widow of the late tech innovator Steve Jobs, inherited more than $US13 billion and is the largest individual shareholder of Disney. She's also an MBA and mum of three children: Reed, 23, Erin, 18, and Eve, 16. Through her foundation, Emerson Collective, she funds strategic educational reform efforts around the globe, and she serves on the boards of the New America Foundation and Teach for America.

Marianne Lake

Executive Vice President and CFO, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Children: One

Lake is one of the most powerful women on Wall Street. After more than a decade at JPMorgan Chase, she was tapped as finance chief of the banking behemoth in early 2013.
'Being a working mum is about prioritizing what's important,' Lake tells Business Insider. 'My son is my priority, but I know that I am a better mother for working. And I'm better at my job because I'm a mother.'

Donna Langley

Chairman, Universal Pictures
Children: Two

The mum of two young kids, ages 4 and 2, is one of the most powerful women in Hollywood. She oversees Universal's production strategy and the studio's Focus Features division. She's presided over hits like 'Despicable Me 2' and 'Fast & Furious 6' and spearheaded the acquisition of the 'Fifty Shades of Grey' movie, expected for February 2015.

Barbara Novick

Founder and Vice Chairwoman, BlackRock
Children: Three

Novick founded BlackRock in 1988 and remains one of its leaders today. As a member of the global executive committee, she oversees all aspects of the firm's business and leads a group of executives who represent investors in discussions on regulatory reform.

Shonda Rhimes

Writer, Producer, Director
Children: Three

Rhimes has been putting the spotlight on powerful women for the last decade. The creator of hit TV shows like 'Scandal,' 'Grey's Anatomy,' and 'Private Practice,' all featuring professional female protagonists, also has three young kids: Harper, 11, Emerson, 3, and Beckett, 1.

Sheryl Sandberg

COO, Facebook
Children: Two

Sandberg, the leader of the 'Lean In' movement and chief operating officer of Facebook, has been an inspiration and role model to women around the world. She's also a mother of two kids, ages 8 and 6, and makes a point of getting home for dinner every weeknight.

Shakira

Singer, 'Voice' Coach, Activist
Children: One

The two-time Grammy winner has been making music since the age of 13. Born in Columbia, the mum of 1-year-old Milan is now giving back. She's a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and has opened six schools in Columbia through her Pies Descalos (Barefoot) foundation.

Yingluck Shinawatra

Prime Minister, Thailand
Children: One

Elected in 2011, Shinawatra is the first female prime minister of Thailand. She was also the first woman to run for the country's highest office. Before moving into politics, she had a successful corporate career and worked as the managing director of telecommunications company AIS. She has one son, 11-year-old Supasek.

Katie Jacobs Stanton

Head of International Strategy, Twitter
Children: Three

The mother of three kids -- 13-year-old Ellie and 11-year-old twins Declan and Caleigh -- recently moved to Paris and switched roles from Twitter's head of international sales and development to its head of international strategy. She previously worked for Yahoo and Google and served as the special advisor to the Office of Innovation at the U.S. Department of State.

Kerry Washington

Actress and activist
Children: One

The Emmy-nominated actress and star of 'Scandal' recently became the mum of newborn Isabelle. Washington is also a passionate activist. She was honored with the NAACP President's Award for special achievement in furthering the cause of civil rights and was appointed by President Obama to the President's Committee of the Arts and Humanities in 2009.

Zhang Xin

Cofounder and CEO, SOHO China
Children: Two

The self-made billionaire has an estimated net worth of more than $US3 billion. She founded SOHO with her husband, and it's now the largest real estate developer in China. The mother of two teens, ages 14 and 13, previously worked at Goldman Sachs and has a master's degree from Cambridge.

Now see leaders who are changing the business world:

NOW WATCH: Ideas videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.