5 Most Influential and Successful Women in Russia

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Influential and successful Russian women (Feature image)

When I say most influential and successful women, what is the first question that strikes your mind? Let me tell you, you’ll ask, “who is she? can you name her?” but why, why our society is so skeptical about women. That is why only to break the stereotype, this hand-picked list of “5 most influential and successful women in Russia” has been brought in front of you.

5 Most Influential and Successful Women in Russia

There’s a controversy but very popular opinion that the modern world belongs exclusively to men. They build corporations and determine the future of nations while women modestly stand aside. However, a powerful woman is not a myth. I gathered a list of the five most influential and successful women in Russia so that I can put such opinions into the trash.

1. Maria Kozhevnikova

You would be simply amazed by knowing the quality of work this lady has put in, in order to establish herself in life. She was a member of the State Duma of the Russian Federation. You may not know but, she’s also a master of sports in rhythmic gymnastics. However, she couldn’t become a first-class gymnast because her forms weren’t sophisticated enough.

Maria Kozhevnikova

Choosing between sports and acting career, Masha entered the Russian Academy of Theater Arts. Fame and popularity came to her along with the role in the sitcom about student life in Moscow. She successfully passed the casting and was approved for one of the main roles. In 2014, Maria was awarded the 88th place in the list of 100 most influential women in Russia.

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2. Natalya Kaspersky

I’m sure that you must be familiar with the Kaspersky Antivirus, but do you know, who’s behind its success? Natalia is the name. She is a Russian IT entrepreneur, CEO of the InfoWatch group of companies, and a co-founder of Kaspersky Lab.

Natalya Kaspersky

She’s one of the richest women in Russia, as well as one of the most famous and influential people in the Russian IT industry. Under Natalia’s guidance, Kaspersky Lab. has become one of the largest antivirus corporations with a network of regional offices around the world.

Natalia started climbing the career ladder in the scientific and technical center in 1994, where she gained experience in selling software products. In 1997, she helped found Kaspersky Lab and organized a project for developing antivirus software.

In 2004, she founded her own subsidiary of Kaspersky Lab. called InfoWatch which specializes in restricting access and protecting internal information of various companies. Together with her ex-husband, Kaspersky is the owner of almost eighty percent of the shares of Kaspersky Lab.

3. Natalia Vodianova

Natalia Vodianova is the world-famous top Russian model, actress, face of “L’Oreal Paris“, and the muse of hundreds of designers, whose way to the top was unimaginably difficult. A simple Russian girl managed to achieve world fame and become one of the most influential women in the fashion industry.

Natalia Vodianova

You would never ever find a girl of such caliber, who is recognized as one of the most career-oriented and influential women. The beginning of Natalia’s career was difficult because the girl had to withstand intense competition. But after taking part in the New York week of high fashion, various agencies literally began hunting for her.

She took part in Gucci, Ives Saint-Laurent, and Calvin Klein shows. Apart from that, she appeared on the covers of such magazines like Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. In 2005 Natalia, together with her husband, founded the non-commercial charity foundation called Naked Heart.

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4. Olga Belyavtseva

Well, I must say that, while I was picking my top 5, she was the first to grab my attention. Olga began her journey to success as a packer at a cannery. However, she showed her will to succeed, quickly by becoming a leading economist.

Olga Belyavtseva

She was introduced to the world of business by her boss Mr. Bortsov. With his help, she founded a holding company, “Lebedyansky”, which was engaged in the production of juice. In 2000, Ms. Belyavtseva established “Assol LLC”. Another company, which became a distributor of “Lebedyansky” in 24 Russian regions.

Four years later, the company became part of Lebedyansky, while Ms. Belyavtseva turned into a co-owner of the company. At this point, “Assol LLC” accounted for 18% of the products ofLebedyansky” (in monetary terms). At the age of 48, she is worth $500 million.

5. Maria Sharapova

Maria is a famous Russian tennis player and Honored Master of Sports. She’s the former first racket of the world and the owner of the career slam (she won all Grand Slam tournaments) with a very recognizable style of play. She’s one of the best and highly paid Russian athletes in the world.

Maria Sharapova

She has been ranked world No. 1 in singles by the WTA on five separate occasions, for a total of 21 weeks. She is one of ten women, and the only Russian, to hold the career Grand Slam. She is also an Olympic medalist, having won silver in women’s singles at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Sharapova became the world No. 1 for the first time on August 22, 2005

Despite the brilliant career, Maria found herself in the middle of a doping scandal in 2016 and eventually was suspended from tennis for 15 months. Sharapova admitted to testing positive for meldonium, an anti-ischemic drug usually prescribed for heart conditions, that was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)’s banned substances list on January 1, 2016.


Meldonium is not approved for use in the United States, Sharapova’s country of residence; however, it is legal to use in Russia, the country that Sharapova represents in tennis.

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These 5 most influential and successful women have become an inspiration for the society. They have proved the fact that our so-called patriarchal society cannot tame the greatness of women. While I was writing this blog, 5 Most Influential and Successful Women in Russia, I thought, that why do women always have to prove their worth?

The variety of work-field in which they have expertise in is much much wider than our field of expertise. I personally feel that it is even beyond our capabilities to compare ourselves with women. Respect women!! Salute women!!

Author Details: Alexey Krughlyakov is a Russian writer. His writing genre is motivation and he is really good at it. He strongly believes in the empowerment of women.

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