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Benchmarking the Power List

The 2018 Power List has landed, and while most of the interest lies with the list, there’s a considerable amount to be learned from the list. There were a number of questions that we could ask (and answer): Where are the Power Listers? What do they do? Does one specialty dominate? What’s the gender balance?

Here’s what we found:

There’s a global spread of Power Listers. Almost half hail from the US, and almost four in ten from Europe (although the status of the UK’s 16 percent as ‘European’ might be up for debate soon). If we go by Power Listers per capita, the top three come out as Switzerland, Singapore then the UK.

Let’s examine the 47 Power Listers from the US. Where are they based?

By state, we see that California, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Florida come in at 1, 2 and third equal.

Let’s cut the data a different way. Which cities are the hottest in the world for Power Listers? Here, we see London leading the pack, followed by Philadelphia and Miami.

While many of those on the list have multiple job titles and affiliations and some work across multiple specialties, we decided to examine what their main “day job” was. What we found was that the vast majority had an academic affiliation – those with the principal job title “President” were relatively few, and of those who did, most were in industry.

Let’s visit gender balance. The first time we ran the Power List Top 100 in 2014, 13 percent of Power Listers were female. Four years later, that statistic is… 13 percent.

What was the most common first name in the Power List this year? Robert, followed by Thomas, John and David. Surnames were a little more diverse – the only ones that popped up more than once were Chang and Shields.

So what would the median, composite Power Lister look like? It would be a man with the title Professor, called either Robert Shields or Robert Chang, who lives in the United States, in the state of California, but somehow in London too.

This exploration of the Power List might be a bit of fun, but it’s important to recognize the achievements of every single person on the list. Irrespective of their age, race, gender or location, our Power Listers have accomplished great things during their careers. They have all worked incredibly hard, be it in the clinic, OR, laboratory, boardroom or podium, and their achievements deserve to be celebrated – after all, every single one of them continues to work to improve people’s vision each day.

Thanks to you all.

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About the Author
Mark Hillen

I spent seven years as a medical writer, writing primary and review manuscripts, congress presentations and marketing materials for numerous – and mostly German – pharmaceutical companies. Prior to my adventures in medical communications, I was a Wellcome Trust PhD student at the University of Edinburgh.

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