9 of 10
9. Maria Ramos
9. Maria Ramos
Group CEO
2008 rank: 22
Country: South Africa

After a swift restructuring of South Africa's transportation company Transnet, Ramos, 50, jumped in 2009 to Absa, a subsidiary of Barclays PLC and one of South Africa's largest banks.

Though South Africa's GDP has contracted over the past three quarters, Ramos has delivered 16.4% return on equity in the first half of 2009 and a 10% growth in customers.

Ramos was named Outstanding Businesswoman of the Year 2009 at the African Business Awards, and she serves on the executive committee of the World Bank's Chief Economist Advisory Panel.

NEXT: 10. Marina Berlusconi
Last updated September 11 2009: 10:31 AM ET
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